04 November 2012


When I celebrate my birthday, more often than not in the last decade, I have a “go big or go home” mentality. If I were in therapy, for that I would blame my mother. She was great with the parties my brother and I had as kids. I was recently sent some photos for my first five birthdays and I remember one particular party for my brother and me (because our dates were three days apart) where we had all kinds of people over to celebrate with us, we ate lots of cake and there were goodie bags for everyone to take home.

After five, I have no record of a birthday party. Now, I am not saying that we never celebrated birthdays, we just didn’t go all out for them. As my parents aged, their desire to celebrate turning older dwindled and, I suppose, so did the party planning and hosting desire as well.

When I headed off to college, I decided to celebrate once again. I celebrated 19 because it was my last year as a teenager. I celebrated 20 because it was my first year in a new decade. I celebrated 21 because I could legally drink – and, for me, actually drink at all. Yes, I was that much of a good girl.

When I turned 25, I celebrated the ability to rent a car without an underage fee and the fact that I now had a new box to check on any form: 18 -24? No, not I. I was now the 25-30 box.

I wanted everyone to know it was my birthday. I wanted to go out and celebrate with people I liked. And I did.

This year I was not shy about letting people know that I was turning 30. My husband planned a nice, quiet dinner the night of my birthday and I planned a party the next evening. I had birthday week and it came with seven days of cake.

Day one featured brownies served for a Girls’ Night In event that I host monthly:

Day two was a cinnamon brown sugar cupcake from my favorite bakery, Plain Vanilla in Holland Village. It tastes like spice cake, which is my ultimate favorite:

Day three featured this amazing chocolate Oreo cake from Plain Vanilla. At this point, my Facebook friends were pretty jealous:

Day four was brought to my by Starbucks in the form of a java chip frappucino. The drink had cookies in it so it counts.

Day five featured a lovely cake presented to me at work by my lovely instructor, Becca. So good:

Day six, and my actual birthday, I ate my birthday cake cupcake style. After enjoying a fabulous lunch with my RDA friends we had a hilarious Mexican lunch at Cha Cha Cha in Holland Village. I had a giant margarita because I was trying to numb myself up for my upcoming first-ever bikini wax. It was a way to say I did something really big and scary before turning 30. Yeah, they talked me out of it. I will never forget Gaylin’s response: “It hurt worse than childbirth.” O.K. I’m out. She may have convinced me to get a tattoo instead.

After Mexican, we went, yet again, to Plain Vanilla where I bought everyone the birthday cupcake – milk chocolate chip: yellow cake with chocolate chips, chocolate buttercream icing and topped with chocolate-covered Rice Krispies balls. Fricking amazing. Best. Cake. Ever.

Saturday night was the big party and, yes, there was cake. There was this giant cake which looked absolutely nothing like the photo I sent the bakery but it was yummy and it did say “30”:

I also had 18 various cupcakes around the table for anyone who might have been craving something else.

If you are wondering how I felt about turning 30, let me tell you that it was the opposite of freaking out. I only felt somewhat nervous one time the week prior. For the most part, I was ready. When I think about all the crazy things that happened in my 20s, how immature I was, what college did to me (good and bad), the person I became right after college and the things I have done since, I was ready to say good-bye and be associated with the adult decade.

I divorced my 20s and celebrated 30. After all, 30 is the decade when people will take me seriously. This is the decade for kids and for exciting adventures. I already know who I am so now I just get to enjoy life. To 30, I say, “Bring it.”

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