Sunday, June 14, 2009

It happened, but in the best way I could ever imagine.

What happened? I hit a new decade. I'm 30. I really had a hard time turning 20 ten years ago. I wasn't doing so well with 30, either. But at least this time, I had Mark to do it first and show me it wasn't so bad. Hm.

I came into this world 30 years ago. My parents lived in New Orleans East, then moved to Metairie almost a year later. They still live in that same house in Metairie, although the house has been through a great many changes in 29 years! I was the first granddaughter and grandchild on dad's side by 3 months, the third granddaughter of four grandchildren on mom's side. I apparently was a good baby. Naturally...

Twenty years ago, when I turned 10, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to hit double-digits, but the thought of being a teenager soon scared me. I never thought that those days would come! I was in Amelia Island, Florida, with my Dee-dee, my aunt Pam, my cousin Amanda, and maybe Myron. Geoff was only 5. They showed me "Dirty Dancing," which angered my parents. It was the first and only time I ever saw that movie. Please do not revoke my girl card! It was my first trip away from home without my parents, and the longest I'd ever been away from them. I was at SPN for school, making nice grades, never being in trouble, and hanging out with a great group of friends.

Ten years ago. I just got back from Emi and Jason's wedding, my first foray into the Pacific Northwest, my only Jamba Juice experience, and the first time I ever ice skated. It was the furthest I'd ever been away from home (and still is, but don't think that means I never travel!! I've been to about half of the states!), as well as my first flight without my parents and my first real road trip of sorts with friends. It was also the first wedding of a friend I'd ever attended, and it made me feel old. In fact, I'd only been to Philly, NJ, and everything between here and Florida at that point in my life, and figured I'd never see anything else.

Ten years ago, I wasn't driving, I had never been drunk, and I had met Mark several times, but was not dating him. I was such a good girl ten years ago...

Ten years ago, I was convinced I would have an amazing career as a journalist. I thought I was in my final year at the JCC. I was rebelling against my thoughts that mayyyybeeee I should switch majors and go into education.

Ten years ago, hurricanes didn't mean much to me. Well, other than a day off, of course. I'd never evacuated and thought people who did were stupid.

Ten years ago, I was a one-cat girl; my lovely lady Nala Noelle was the only kitty in my life.

Ten years ago, I thought I would never get married, but desperately wanted kids.

I was also one of 12 grandchildren on mom's side and one of 5, as of that January, on dad's side. That was it for the cousins.

So much has changed in ten years.

At 30, I am entering my 5th year as a teacher. I was voted Junior High Teacher of the Year in '08. I've been granted the role of journalism teacher and drama teacher for the upcoming school year. I also moderate the bowling team! I've been at the JCC for 14 years and am the assistant director for my 4th summer. And don't forget my three calendar years there as an all-around go-to girl! I've been with Mark for 9 1/2 years. We've been married for 7. No kids, with no chance of them any time soon.

Four cats exist in my life, one of whom is still my Nala. She lives with my parents, as does Geoff's cat, Icarus. I have Shazbot and Lily with me. Each is my favorite in his or her own special way.

I've upped the amount of states I've been to, and most of the ones I've visited have been as a group leader for middle school children. I drove halfway to and halfway from Indiana as we evacuated for Hurricane Gustav. I fear hurricanes.

I've rented a home, mucked out that home, moved back in with my parents, bought a home, fixed up part of said home, and owned three cars. The first was a '94 Corolla which was murdered by Katrina, the second was an '05 RAV4 which was murdered by a crazy drunk woman, and the third is an '09 RAV4 which will hopefully have a long and happy life.

I am in disbelief over having memories that are about 25 years old. My goodness.

How did I spend my 30th? The best ways possible. For the first time in 14 years, my birthday fell during a camp day. Once it was on Open House day, many times it was during Orientation, but never have I had the chance to celebrate it at camp.

The day started with me picking up doughnuts for staff breakfast. One of my CITs brought me a Cookie Bouquet cookie shaped like a turtle. She's so sweet! The Zion campers (4th-6th graders) made me birthday cards, many of which were so hilarious! They're hanging on my office wall. We took a field trip to a gaming place for kids, and I blew everyone's minds with my Guitar Hero skills. I won against all of the counselors. Booyah! My friend bought me lunch from La Madeleine, and another friend baked ice cream cone cupcakes for me. The camp day went smoothly, and then the whole camp serenaded me with "Happy Birthday" at dismissal. They had my little buddy Ben, who is about to be 7 now and is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (can you believe it?!?!?!) present a card signed by the whole camp to me! After dismissal, the staff surprised me with cake in the staff lounge, another round of singing, and a card signed by the whole staff...it's in three languages, too! (English, French, and Spanish...I need our Israeli to go back and add Hebrew to it. She signed the camp card, but not the staff one. Trilingual is cool and all, but quadrilingual would be totally awesome!!!) One of my students gave me a gift card to Zea's at the end of school, and so Mark and I had a delicious dinner that night. Yay for eating out....for free! We basically paid the tax and tip.

Oh, and the night before my birthday, my brother-in-law Phil scored free tickets to Coldplay from Anne and Scott. They couldn't use their tickets, so they gave them to him. The seats were amazing, too. First level (not floor) right alongside the right side of the stage. Fabulous.

Last night, my friend Kristin and I held a joint birthday party at our house. It was an international potluck. People brought lasagna, hummus and pita, guacamole, pot stickers, chicken chow mein, quiche, macaroni and cheese, snickerdoodles, Dutch cheese, cheesecake, goat cheese, Olive spread, quesadillas, salsa, sangria, Chilean wine, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies...it was an amazing spread! Everyone had a blast...especially Mark, for the most part, who left one ever-shrinking club amongst our friends and joined the ever-expanding one. I think only three of us remain who have never overindulged to that point...and I am one still! Poor guy. I told him that my plans for today included watching "The Hangover." I guess he misunderstood me. I meant the movie. He interpreted it as reality!!! Ah well.

Oh, and on Friday night, when I was out with my camp staff for the end of the first week staff dinner, I got carded. Yeah. Carded the week I turned 30. Beat that!!!

5 comments:

Emi said...

happy beefday old lady.
oh, and getting carded on your 30th? I can beat it. I got a kiddie menu at a restaurant.... (and not for Gavin, he wasn't with me)

Mae said...

Maaannnnnn....just when I was feeling awesome....

Emi said...

nothing says awesome like a mini box of crayons and a menu you can color on

Mae said...

Please tell me you kept the crayons.

lemondewdrop said...

Aww, happy belated 30th!

-Sky from the Ingleside forum