I had the biggest birthday ever.
I said goodbye to a decade in the best way I could’ve ever imagined!
Before I go into the details I just wanna say that my 30s were good. They were hard and awesome and I think I grew more in this last decade than the two before.
I traveled. I moved. I loved. I lost. I loved again in a way I didn’t know existed. I got married. I got an instant family. I worked at a dream job. I went back to school. I got sick. I discovered what really matters in life. Thank you, 30s.
Holidays are a little weird when you have an incurable disease. At least for me it has been. I don’t want to get all emotional and sappy, yet I really don’t know if it’ll be my last one.
I remember standing in the kitchen getting ready for my 39th birthday party. I broke down and when MJ asked what was wrong I muttered, “what if this is my last birthday?”
Things were quite different at that point. I hadn’t been fully diagnosed and had only been told that I have some form of cancer a few weeks prior. It was scary. And sad.
This year was much different.
I had been looking for an excuse to get back to MI since I was diagnosed so I decided months ago that I wanted to have a party there for my 40th. And if I was going to have one there I might as well have one in San Diego too. So I did. 😀
On my actual birthday I got myself a doughnut for breakfast, played some video games, watched a movie (This is 40. Seemed appropriate) and went to lunch with MJ. We went to Snooze in Hillcrest.
YUM. It’s amazing there. Highly recommend. You’ll have to wait but it’s worth it.
MJ and I split everything. We got a burger. On a pretzel roll. Yes, pretzel. roll. Made my chemo work double time for that one.
We also got the pancake trio. I can’t remember what all of them were but they were all amazing.
And then… They surprised me with a birthday pancake. One that’s not on the menu. It was a fluffy, buttermilk, cinnamon glazed glory that was pretty much the best pancake I’ve ever had.
Had a group video chat with the family in Michigan later in the day. Finished the day with a San Diego Concert Band rehearsal.
It was a great day.
On the 16th we flew to Michigan. I haven’t been there in winter in awhile. Stepping out of the airport into 7 degree weather was breathtaking. I forgot just how cold that is. My step-dad picked us up and had the seat warmers on and blankets in each of our seats. The best welcome you could give to Southern California folks. Luckily it warmed up the rest of the time we were there.
My mom had an open house party at their place on the 17th and it was AMAZING! I don’t have a lot of pictures yet. I will post them as I get them.
So many people came it was super hard to get around to catch up with everyone. Every part of my life was represented -except Boston. Next time, Boston peeps.
I saw people I hadn’t seen in years and even my friend that I grew up with that I haven’t seen in, oh, I don’t know, 20 years? stopped in. Even the kids Auntie from MN drove all the way over to spend the day with us. It was a lot of fun.
My siblings and I decided to recreate a photo:
I don’t know how the fireplace got so small.
And then this happened:
Here’s some of my drum corps buddies:
We still look fabulous 😀
We didn’t stay long in MI. Kids had to get back to school and MJ back to work.
On that Thursday I had a church meeting and they brought me a cake and sang.
That was a surprise and very cool 🙂
On the 23rd (Nalani’s birthday) we had another open house party here in San Diego. I don’t have very many pictures because I just wanted to enjoy the time with every one. Here’s a couple:
Another great time.
Thank you to all who came and celebrated. Everyone should get at least one birthday like this and I feel blessed and honored to have gotten one.
The best part about my actual birthday and both of the parties was that I didn’t question for a minute that this could be my last one. The thought didn’t cross my mind until I started thinking about writing this post. The entire time I was in Michigan I never once looked at someone and thought, “hey, I might not ever see this person again”. And that could be a reality with a few people there. But I didn’t let it get to me. It’s been getting easier to think that way the better I feel.
So goodbye, 30s. You were great.
40’s? I have no idea what’s in store for us, but I can assure you I will appreciate every minute of the ride. Even the tough shitty parts. Makes all the other times that much sweeter.