Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Birthday birthday birthday! This was a great birthday. It started over a week ago, when Mom took us all out to celebrate at this great little Italian place in Durham, and is going to keep rocking through this weekend, when B & I head to Charleston for the weekend (yea!). Monday night, we celebrated with the nieces (see birthday cake helpers, below). And last night, on the actual day, B and I kicked off the night by trying new recipes (baby back ribs and homemade mac n cheese) before I opened all my cards and my gift from B: a framed, enlarged copy of our favorite honeymoon photo.

The day got off to a great start. I "slept in" a little, waking up around 8:30 and getting to work (no rest for the weary!). It was a pretty busy day, work-wise, plus I had a quick coffee break with a friend of a friend who is planning our mutual friend's bachelorette weekend that kicks off a week from Friday. Eep!

I got home after coffee and popped the ribs in the oven to start baking (3 hours, plus grill time!). It's been a little bit of a weird day. I'd felt kind of sick to my stomach and just a little draggy (that's a lie-- I almost got really sick in Harris Teeter. Eep!).

B got home after class and I had him put the ribs on the grill and, well, they stuck and we couldn't get them off and I was upset and (yes) started crying. So I'm crying into B's shoulder at the grill while he's trying to get what's left of the ribs off and all I can say is "It's not the ribs!"

B finally gets the ribs off and flips them onto the cookie sheet, which splatters the homemade barbecue sauce all over both of us and finally, I start laughing. So then B's scraping rib meat off the grill and making jokes about the sauce on his shoes (and forearm, and shorts, and BACK of his shorts...) and all is better.
We go inside to eat and discover that the meat that stayed on the ribs was pretty
damn good (look out Mike! Time for a rib-off!) and the mac n cheese was enough to put me in a lactose coma. B pours me red and white wine and we proceed to get even further covered in sauce.

After dinner, I headed to the couch to open the cards from our families (so fun!) and B's present, the awesome framed photo--I can't wait to hang it in the hall! Then B turned out the lights and brought out the final surprise-- two enormous slices of my favorite strawberry shortcake from my favorite Durham restaurant, complete with candles on top.

We ate cake, drank wine, watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and rang in 26 in style, then got ready to turn in for the night and... the crying started. I knew (and B knew, I'm sure) that I'd been a little down all day, thinking about Dad, which didn't make a lot of sense to me-- Dad and I didn't have some special birthday ritual, but I think just getting through these "firsts" is a lot harder than I expected. So I cried. And I'm so glad I had B, who let me cry, and made me laugh, and got me tissues, and made me laugh again.

I was upset at myself, for bringing a little cloud over my birthday, the first married one with B, especially when he'd made it so great. And he's been so great, as the night cryings continue, granted fewer and further between. I was upset missing Dad, which I assume is normal. I was upset for feeling like I shouldn't be upset, something B worked tirelessly to convince me was entirely crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I know it sounds crazy to say that I had a great birthday, but I did. I think I'm learning that welcoming the good (birthday! fun! cake! cards!) and the, well, memories. I'm looking forward to Charleston, when it's not "the day" and B and I can explore a new place together and enjoy fun dinners out, drinks on the porch of our bed & breakfast, and our first weekend getaway together. We can't wait!

Thanks to all my friends and family for making this birthday a special one!

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