I’ve most certainly been a bad blogger seeing as my last post was almost a month ago; it’s not because of a lack of interesting things in my life, but the time to actually write about it. The best bit of the last 30 days has been my birthday!! Whether you dub it “Dirty Thirty,” the big 3-0, or my personal favorite: “Flirty Thirty,” I just celebrated it…a lot and often. I got another card in the mail yesterday if that’s any indication of how long I’ve enjoyed the festivities.

It all began with a surprise party from my parents! On Labor Day, I went home to have a cookout with the fam…a few family members and the grill – the perfect way to spend a three-day weekend. On Sunday, I went to see my uncle the chiropractor and afterward walked in the garage door – standing there was my best friend’s husband. Deer in the headlights we both were. I took a few steps in…family members invaded the living room. For nearly 30 seconds we stared at each other. Them looking at me, me scanning the room in sheer confusion. “SURPRISE!” they finally yelled. Ha! They weren’t prepared for me to be home already, so I guess I gave them a big ol’ surprise, too!! Thanks to my parents, family, and friends for helping me celebrate that day.

The next weekend, six of my girlfriends took me out for a particularly delicious dinner at The Bluebird here in the city, followed by drinks at the swanky and secret Violet Hour and a cocktail at The Southern. Many of my friends didn’t know each other, so it warmed my heart for them to all meet and get to know one another and that they all loved me enough to spend the evening with me.

On my actual birthday, I met my parents for lunch at Stir Crazy (and got a free meal from the restaurant!), then went on a major shopping spree. The worst part of the day was spending an hour and a half at the DMV getting a new license, but even that was brightened by two of the workers there serenading me on two separate occasions.

A few days later I received a package in the mail from my friends from Hong Kong. Not only did they send a brilliantly sweet card, they went together to buy a necklace with an A, a C, and a key on it. The A.C. for my Sassy Hong Kong pseudonym and the key for the “key to my future.” Had a serious tear in the mailroom at work over that one!

When I blew out the candles this year, I could only ask for one thing: for my life to stay as happy as I’ve been for the past year. I’m finding my groove in Chicago, my family rocks, I love my job, and I’m making new friends (I joined a kickball/softball league and it’s amazing – more to come on that in a future blog!). Here’s to another year of friends, family, love, and happiness! Cheers!

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