But I seriously had a most phenomenal week seeing so many old friends I hadn't seen in years and going on the backpacking trip, and the weekend celebrations were just the tip of the iceberg.
On Friday evening my cousin and I headed out to the local Hillsboro Hops baseball game:
A gorgeous sky view from the grassy "general admission" seating.
We left early in the 5th inning since the score was already 9 to 2 in the 2nd inning! :) And from there we headed over to the nearest McMenamins brewery for food and our favorite Ruby brews.
On Saturday, I ran errands and finished putting the final touches on the yard/house for the weekend BBQs. A late afternoon jog with the dogs and a hop in the shower just before Tall D showed up to start getting his movie screen ready. Altogether I think there were 15ish of my friends and their significant others who made it over to get good food, mingle and laugh, and share great beverages. It was SO wonderful to see many of my favorite local faces and to be surrounded by people who bring me so much joy. Tall D had made his amazing from scratch carrot cake and I can tell you that it was completely gone by 5pm the next day (seriously, his cake is amazing....). While just a small handful of us remained, we finally put the outdoor movie on at about 1030 (my poor neighbors!) but it was great lounging in the backyard laughing along to Hitch. :) Tall D did an amazing job with his outdoor screen and it was great to see his idea come to fruition.
Tailend to the BBQ with just a handful of people still present on the patio
This year's amazing cake.
The next morning on Sunday (my actual day), Tall D and I went out to brunch after cleaning up the house. He treated me to a great local establishment here on the westside and I had an amazing pesto BLT on croissant and a garden Bloody Mary to start the day off right. After dropping me back off, I got the house ready again as my parents pulled up. An hour later the house was full again with many of my extended family, Granny, my parents, and my brother and his lady. Again, it was so wonderful to just be surrounded by so many of my loved ones. (Although ironically, Mom and Dad had Granny's audiologist come by to finish fixing her hearing aids.....so we had an intermingling of business and pleasure...ha!) Two of my aunts, my uncle, Granny, and my brother and his lady hung around until almost 5pm...and it seriously was just so great to have everyone around this year. I can't think of a better "gift" than to be surrounded by the people that you love on special days.
With Mom, Dad, and Granny
This lady makes every day a special one...
Add on to that the texts and Facebook messages that arrived from many of my Argentine "family" and friends and all my out of state gals. Seriously, so much love.
My house is full of fresh cut flowers. My wine rack is full and my beer is restocked. My fridge has plenty of left overs. There are a few items from Mom and Dad and several gift cards for food or other goods for my use from a couple relatives. The cards were even especially funny this year! And I have to say, Tall D went over and above and gifted me $100 to REI (for hiking boots....or snowshoes....or part of a starter bike....).
But seriously, more than anything...was the time people took to just be present...and to express their love. Because that more than anything is the best gift of all....
Might be one of the best birthdays yet....