31 is the new 30

Once you get past the youthful milestones of 16, 18 and 21, birthdays begin to run together a bit and eventually exist solely to remind you that you’re not so youthful anymore. Beyond the “I can finally drink (legally)!” celebration, the next “big” one tends to be your thirtieth and each ensuing decade marks another occasion to celebrate more outrageously than usual (and/or freak out about the seemingly impossible increase in the speed of time while overanalyzing even the smallest sign of aging). Being that I was five months pregnant with Crosby when I marked 30 years on this planet, the celebration consisted of some seriously low key family time, and being that low key family time is not exactly the Sarah Elder way to throw down for a big deal birthday, I was decidedly motivated to make up for it this year. And I did (with much help from others of course).

My birthday weekend kicked off with some serious awesomeness at my place of work thanks to a truly amazing group of coworkers that I’m quite fond of. In the morning they surprised me with a little breakfast biscuit party where I devoured a delicious sausage, egg and cheese delight from a favorite local deli called Neal’s. I then proceeded to consume half of my boss’s egg biscuit because he took the morning off to go flying (as in piloting a plane because he’s 50 something and needs to do that now which I fully support because it keeps him happy) and I somehow thought he might forget about it or not even have known about it to begin with. Oops, wrong. He most definitely inquired after his eggy goodness almost the moment he arrived at work and I apologized profusely for my greedy food hoarding behavior offering to replace his biscuit or buy him something else to snack on. Lucky for me the bossman doesn’t see food theft in quite the punishable light that I do and all was well in the world of work. Later in the day I was asked to come to the back where I was surprised once again, this time with the number 31 laid out on the back table in beers. A few of my worky faves had gotten together and picked out 31 different IPA’s for me which is pretty much the only beer I like to drink and that made me feel all kinds of special. Not only were the beers fun for me, but as it turns out they have provided much entertainment for Norah who thoroughly enjoyed playing “pretend beer” by faking the consumption of many beers with her dinner while talking about how she was going to have a party for the people and give them all the beers. She then took them out and lined them up in a curvy row and talked about how when she got older she could have beer like mommy too. So much trouble is coming my way, but for now at least it’s kind of hilarious.

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When I got home from work on Friday I did my normal routine of greeting the family and heading to the bedroom to change into my PJ’s (it’s never too early). I noticed the bedroom door was closed but thought nothing of it as Norah frequently closes it on her own. I opened it, entered, went to set my bag down, glanced in the mirror and gasped…there was a new headboard! I looked some more – a new bed too!! Pete had built us a bed that week and I had no freakin’ idea it was happening. I knew he was building something but totally thought it was Norah’s bed as that’s what he had me believe and I never once questioned it. Clever one that guy. The headboard he built out of some reclaimed barnwood we’d acquired awhile back and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The bed itself is going to be (still needs drawers) a farmhouse style storage bed. It was a giant surprise and entirely changed the look and feel of our room and I am SO happy with it.

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Then came Saturday with all the big plans. A couple weeks prior I had finally made a consultation appointment at Glenn’s Tattoo Service in Carrboro. Backstory: I got my first tattoo at the not so grown up age of 19 while attending the University of Florida. A couple of my friends had gotten the ubiquitous tramp stamp (clearly unaware of this label) and I wanted in on the action, so I found a lovely yellow flower deal and started thinking about it. Then one day while studying for exams at a local coffee shop I decided it was time and closed the books to go get my ink. While I can’t say I’d make the same selection for art or placement today, I don’t regret my tattoo because it’s pretty and simple and reminds me of that time of my life. Of course that first ink triggered a heddy desire for more because (assuming you didn’t have a terrible experience) the tattoo to potato chip analogy is totally accurate – just one is never enough. Until recent years I wasn’t quite sure what my next ink would be and then I had babies which puts a serious hold on permanent body art, but once I knew the baby making was done and I had most of what used to be my body back I was ready for round two. So I had my consultation, brought my ideas, worked with the wonderful Paulie Andrews on my art, and on Saturday of my birthday weekend Pete drove me to my appointment. I was so nervous about the whole ordeal and so happy with how it all went down and I absolutely LOVE my tattoo.

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That evening I put on a pretty dress, a little makeup and some fancypants purple shoes and got together with most of my favorite people for a Mebane Bar Bounce complete with dancing and even a few shots (trust me that’s a big deal these days). It was funtastic and I love my friends so damn much. For those of you that couldn’t be there…I will never forgive you. The rest of you are my BFF’s. The night went late and wound up with me stealing my pal’s Chinese food and eating nearly all of it by myself (I’m sensing a theme this birthday) followed by five or so hours of sleep before the kiddos decided it was time for Sunday to get going. Aside from being super exhausted I didn’t feel too terribly and later enjoyed a nice family birthday celebration at Grams and Grandma’s house complete with sushi and a funfetti cake that my mom baked and Norah decorated with oodles of sprinkles.

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Monday, my actual birthday, was actually the least exciting as the weather was shite and Norah came down with something icky. She spent the better part of the day sleeping off a fever and when she was awake I did what I could to make her feel better with lots of cuddles and attention. After the exciting events of the three days prior I was perfectly content to do pretty much nothing on Monday and other than my poor baby girl feeling puny it was just what I needed to wind down the weekend.

Thank you so much to all of my friends and family for making this birthday amazing with their cards and flowers and wishes and gifts and love and celebration. I couldn’t be happier with where I am in life at the fine age of 31. Hugs and kisses to all!

Elderland out. XO.

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