Today is my birthday, but we started the celebration early by having a small dinner party yesterday. Actually, if the celebration includes receiving roses from Geoff's brothers and family in the mail (always a classy way to receive flowers) and the frantic cleaning that occurs before one has people over, then the partying began Friday afternoon. Geoff and I did some errand running, including gathering enough stuff for a triple batch of his mom's chili recipe. Being OCD about having people over, I shooed Geoff to bed and continued cleaning for the rest of the night and grabbed a short nap on the couch while waiting for the giant monster batch of chili to cool down enough to be put in the refrigerator.
We started Saturday's festivities with a trip to the Westview Apple Orchard out in Romeo. It's more geared towards kids, but it was kinda fun to watch kids run around and be, well, kids. The place doesn't have the whistles and bells of a mall or an arcade and it was nice to see that it didn't need it. It was a little chilly and I was dressed more for style than comfort, but it was a beautiful day and I got to nap in the car while Geoff and our friend Doug sat up front. We brought home Red Delicious apples, cider and pumpkins and donuts. Geoff doesn't like apples any other time of year and we haven't managed to get out to an orchard for a few years with crazy schedules, so it was well worth the drive and the cold to visit one.
When we got back, Sara joined us, bearing the most adorable birthday cake - it was yellow cake with white frosting and a hunormous Hello Kitty! I unfortunately bumped my brand new digital camera a little too hard at the cider mill (thank goodness for the extended warranty), so I don't have a digital image to share at the moment, but when I get the film developed, I'll have to show it off - it was absolute genius.
The full dinner party started at 6:00 with the arrival of more friends: Lori and Steve, Patti and Ann Marie, Curt and Fern and Sonia. We had a log in the fireplace and I got to pick the music (a mix of stuff on my iPod, the soundtrack to "O" from the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and the Barenaked Ladies's Stratford soundtrack to "As You Like It"). There was chili, burgers, salad, and of course, cake!
Everyone stayed for a good long visit, including a few rounds of "Dance Dance Revolution" (Geoff's present from my birthday last year). Then it was hugs all around and promises to get together soon. My brother Alex called at midnight to wish me Happy Birthday (he never fails to amaze me by remembering to do that every year) and I collapsed around 12:30 am. I got to sleep in today until 1:00 in the afternoon. Geoff's present to me this year, in addition to our buying a new camera and printer set up as a shared item (but it's mostly for me) was a great book on digital photography. It looks like it will be a great read and I can't wait to improve my skills.
My mom met us at the house and then we took off for Windsor for my Goddaughter Amara's birthday party. She is now five and was dressed up as a pirate queen (think Snow White embellised by Treasure Island). My cousins gave me a beautiful basket with a big bunch of Starbucks goodies and I had the traditional Filipino pancit (noodles are eaten for long life). Geoff and I took tomorrow off so we won't have to rush around after a busy weekend.
So I am now 31, but that doesn't bother me. Life is very good and I am grateful for everyone and everything in it.