If I review the year leading up to my 34th birthday, it was pretty stressful.
The spouse spent the first four months of 2010 working in Baltimore (boo!). Then he came home (yay!). He worked for a few weeks, then lost his job because the company went under (boo!). He decided to start his own company (yay!) and be his own boss. He partnered with his brother, who quit almost immediately (boo!). The spouse also accidentally started a feud with our evil former neighbors (boo!). Thus, we decided to move and bought a new house in the suburbs to renovate (yay!). We toiled for months. Then one of our dogs died (worst day of my life). We continued to toil. Until finally, we moved into our new house (yay!). We also sold the old house in the city (yay!). And then I turned 34.
Usually, birthdays are a BIG DEAL chez McGinniss. CPM and I try to outdo one another on gifts (I'm still trying to compete with 2008, the year he gifted me the Vespa, although, maybe we're even, since I took him to Hawaii for his 30th), we try to eat a meal out at a favorite restaurant, and there is at least one cake prepared. In short, all the holidays that we do not celebrate through the year (Xmas, Valentine's, Flag Day, etc.) get balled up into the Birthday (capital B intentional).
This year was different, and I'm fine with that. The day was an after-thought, we were busy on house stuff, however we did start with a lovely brunch at Farmicia (best brunch, hands down). I didn't make myself a cake until the day after. We decided to go out to eat dinner at the last minute on the actual day (Pizzeria Stella, because pizza is really my favorite food). There were no lavish gifts (except I bought myself a purse...hey, I had a coupon for the Coach store.) I've been saying that I'm living in my gift.
CPM and I did get to enjoy a lovely pre-birthday evening with my favorite friends. The Friday prior to my birthday, an unseasonably warm night for February in Philly, we met up at the Khyber Pass Pub for some delicious vegetarian dining. Unfortunately, the music was too loud to actually have a decent conversation, so we were forced to shout at one another. (I can tell that I'm getting old...we actually asked if the music could be turned down. Seriously. If I have to shout my order at the server, shit is too loud, turn it down.) We followed dinner up with ice cream from Franklin Fountain. My scoop of coffee ice cream with hot fudge sauce made me wish it were actually summer, and not just some flukey 60 degree February evening. (Funny observation about white people...as soon as the temperature hits 60, many break out the flip flops and shorts. Please, people. You look ridiculous. Your legs are white and scaly. Your toes are ungroomed. I advise you to keep it under lock and key until you exfoliate, apply some self tanner, and get the spring pedicure.)
Here's hoping that the coming year goes better than the previous. We still have a ton of work to do on the house. I promise, in the next few days, after I perform a cleaning, I will photograph the place for posterity.