Now that I'm in my thirties, I think I'm more what I want to be. I have responsibilities and beliefs and ideas that are well suited to my age and life station. It's nice!
For this birthday, I got to do some great things. I was in a very good mood this year, which doesn't always happen around birthdays. Even though I don't mind getting older, I don't usually like my birthday very much.
Jim arranged a surprise date for us on Sunday. He didn't tell me what we were doing but he arranged for my brother-in-law to baby-sit and I knew we had to leave to go downtown at 1pm. We stayed home from church so the morning wouldn't be rushed and spent some time as a family. It was not too cold and a little rainy, so we went for a walk in the neighborhood to enjoy the autumnal beauty.
Years ago I started a tradition of collecting leaves and other natural things in autumn and putting them in a vase to make a pretty centerpiece. K helped me find leaves, a cool seed pod and some acorn tops the day before and then we got a few more during our walk.
After getting S for a nap, we had a little church service for K, Jim and I. Then we got all dressed up to leave. This is not the best picture, but oh, well.
On the way, James told me we were going to Navy Pier and had me guess what we were doing there. He had bought tickets to a play at the Shakespeare Theater! I've always wanted to go there but hadn't gotten around to it yet. They actually had no Shakespearean plays (?) running this season, so we saw one called The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart by a Scottish acting troupe. And it was definitely strange!
The seating was tables and chairs like a restaurant, the actors move all around the room and the whole thing was very interactive. To begin, a few of the actors played and sang some Scottish ballads. Then the other actors came around to tell us all to rip up napkins on our table to throw when given the cue so it would make snow for the setting of the play during a blizzard. Everything was really creative like that: the main actress "drove" to a conference on the shoulders of another actor while more ripped up napkins were thrown at her "windshield". The actors spoke in the round, trading off rhyming lines all around the room. They sat, stood, and laid on tables; I got faux strangled with my scarf in one scene; an old lady pretended to karate chop the actor challenging her during another scene; a guy had one of the actresses sit on his lap for a bit; and one poor guy got a lap dance/dry hump from one actress and two actors!
As a whole, it was a bit more risqué and embarrassment inducing for me than I prefer, but I enjoyed being out and experiencing something new so much that I just suspended the "normal" for a while. It was so well acted, funny and creative. Plus I love Scottish accents, so it was great.
The theater is beautiful, with lots of windows in the hallways and stuff so you can see out over the Pier and the lake.
After the play, we had amazing soup at a restaurant called Riva. Lobster Bisque for me and Clam Chowder for Jim. Since that restaurant was more expensive that we wanted, we decided to spread our culinary experiences out. After the soups (and bread they give you for free), we went to a Greek place in the food court for gyros, then to the Hagen Daas counter for dessert. It was great to spend the day together and have some different experiences.
The next day, my actual birthday, I went to work for the morning then picked up James and met my parents at a local asian restaurant, Chi Tung, for lunch. They recently added a Hibachi grill and the lunch prices are half the cost of dinner, so we did that. Another new thing for us since we had never done Hibachi. The chef does all kinds of tricks with the food and his tools while cooking your meal.
See the onion volcano smoking in front of him? The food tasted great and we had a fun time. Since it was my birthday, I also got free ice cream with a candle and a coupon to come eat for free next year.
To cap off another gorgeous fall day, the boys, James and I went outside when we got home to play in the leaves. I raked up all the leaves I could find in our yard (not a lot because our landlord has a lawn service that mows everything up once a week) and we jumped in them for a bit. S was hesitant at first because I don't think he remembered it from last year. But then he got used to it and we all had a blast.
With 33 starting out like this, I think it's going to be a great year!