Medieval Times

At the end of February 20 years ago, I turned 11 and my friend Kate turned 10. And how did we decide to celebrate? A birthday feast at Medieval Times! (Festivities also included playing Dr. Mario for several hours.)

In the spirit of nostalgia, we decided to celebrate our 31st and 30th birthdays this year by convincing our families to head back to that very same majestic concrete castle to don paper crowns, check out some jousting, and eat mini chickens using only our hands.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCWe were cheering for the Black & White Knight. Sadly, he met his untimely end at the hand of the Red Knight, who seemed like kind of a jerk. But whatever.

Even though our knight lost and we were perhaps the only group in attendance who was not accompanied by at least one child under the age of 12, it was a great way to celebrate. And now that I’ve got both feet planted firmly in the 4th decade of my life, it’s kind of fun to revisit a childhood memory. Because what they say is true–“some things never change.”

They also say “31 is the new 21.” Or did I make that up? Either way, it’s true.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Today my mom is EVEN OLDER than she was yesterday. Yikes.

(Just kidding, Mom – you’re not that old! Also, I realize the above statement is true for everyone, everyday. Whatever.)

Here’s the ecard I sent her:

Yes, she’s still young enough…but barely. (Sorry Mom, kidding! Again! Sort of. No really, I am!)

Note: For the past 5 years or so, I’ve used exclusively for all of my ecard needs. They are hilarious.

Celebrating my man and his grandpa

Remember in my last blog post how I said my brain is like a box of chocolates? Well Forrest, you may be a simple man, but I think you got the saying right – life is too.

Right now I’m supposed to be in the Dominican Republic at Erin and Brent’s wedding. Today is Will’s birthday and we were going to celebrate by relaxing on the beach, enjoying the sun, and I was secretly trying to figure out how to get the server at dinner to stick a candle in Will’s dessert.

Metaphorically speaking, I was expecting a delicious Fannie Mae Trinidad (yum!). What I got was the nasty Caramel Cream (vomit!).

Will’s grandpa had been fighting pulmonary fibrosis for awhile and on Tuesday night, he took a turn for the worse. We cancelled our trip, thanked our lucky stars for trip insurance, and went to the hospital the next day. This morning, finally, Will’s grandpa’s constant struggle to breathe ended.

So today, I’m celebrating the lives of two great men: One man who is the center of my universe and another man who made that possible not only by simply existing, but by helping to mentor, influence and mold Will into the man I love.

With the irony of birth and death floating around in this situation, I realize I’m dangling on the precipice of a black hole of symbolism and meaning here, so I’ll take a step back. All of this sharing of my feelings is making me develop an eye twitch.

But while Will’s 28th birthday may be marked by the death of someone he loves, he and everyone else in the family were marked by the life of someone who really loved them.

So cheers to Will’s birthday and Grandpa Wall’s life! Two things definitely worth celebrating.

Now who’s got the champagne? (Hey, if I can’t have a mojito on the beach…)

Happy Surviving Childbirth Day, Mom!

Readers, I lied to you. In my post last week, I told you that I’m 28 years old. This is untrue. Or I guess I should say this was untrue. When I wrote that post one week ago I was 27 (ah, the good ol’ days), but today I can officially say that I have been a member of the human race for 28 years.

Yes, today is my birthday, but more importantly in my opinion, it was 28 years ago today that my mother survived what I imagine to be one of the most horrific and gruesome of all human experiences: chidbirth. I know that may sound a bit dramatic, but when you get down to brass tacks and think about what giving birth means and what supposedly happens during this process, it is not completely dissimilar from the plot of a horror movie. And I hate horror movies.

Suspense, pain, screaming, blood, and then a small creature emerges from inside you. Hello, did you see Alien???


I’m sorry about that. Hopefully you aren’t eating while reading this post. But let’s be honest, you didn’t need that second granola bar anyway.

I have several friends who are labor and delivery nurses, or “baby catchers” as they sometimes refer to themselves. I know that when they talk to me about what they’ve experienced in the delivery room, it’s all matter-of-fact for them and they are not trying to turn me off to having kids. They are also not trying to make me feel nauseated and light-headed, but that’s exactly what happens when I hear the word “tear” in that context. Ugghh…again, I really hope you’re not eating right now.

Here’s a fun story: Once upon a time (3 weeks ago), I had to get my blood drawn for a life insurance physical. This experience ended in me passed out on my dining room table. The last thing I heard was the nurse saying to Will, “I think we’re losing her!” So now you know where I’m coming from. I’m not sure if it would be possible for me to stay conscious during my prenatal doctor’s appointments, let alone childbirth itself.

Also, did you know that labor and delivery nurses actually notice and discuss amongst themselves whether or not you have a pedicure? Well apparently they do. So that’s one more thing to worry about.

To sum up, the thought of giving birth is very, very scary to me. And realizing that my mom was willing to go through that just to have me (and then do it again with my sister!) is proof that she is amazing. Further proof that both of my parents are amazing is the fact that they were willing to drive 5 hours to St. Louis on Saturday just to take me out to dinner for my birthday only to have to turn around and drive 5 hours back on Sunday in the face of a possible snow storm. So if creating a life makes you care about someone that much, I guess it might be worth it. Plus, hundreds of thousands of women give birth every day so it can’t be that bad right? Right?

My mom and me last weekend