Wednesday, October 5, 2011


That's it, that's me.  Plain old 33.  I don't feel older, maybe just a little wiser.

This past week was full of birthday fun.  The Sunday before my birthday we went to my mom's house to eat homemade lasagna that she makes every year.  But this time, it was made with gluten free noodles and there was gluten free french bread for dipping in the sauce.  My step-dad made me meatballs without bread crumbs and I made gluten free lemon cupcakes for all - 2 batches that morning.

Now I didn't make two batches for eating, I made two batches because I messed up the first batch!  I used Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix and then combined three different gf recipes from the site to make the cupcakes.  I used this one for the frosting, this one for the cupcakes and this idea for the filling (lemon curd).  The first batch turned out so small, they didn't rise at all, that it would have been a cupcake bite, AND they were super sticky you couldn't even get them off the paper.  So, I sent Ian off to the store to get more supplies, and another mix, and tried again.  This time - delicious!  The cupcakes still didn't rise as much as I would have liked, but I filled them up higher in the tins (use metal tins and spray so they don't stick).  The frosting was out of this world, I had to triple the recipe just for one batch of cupcakes but it was worth it - I could have eaten the whole bowl by itself!

(The ulu knife my dad got us in Alaska made a great lemon zester!)

(lemon curd filling)

(Hurricane Allison strikes again!)

We headed to my mom's and enjoyed a day with my mom, step-dad, Ian's family and our nephew Reggie.  It was so nice and relaxing.  Afterwards, I stopped by my grandma's (Nani's) retirement home to drop off some lasagna to her.  We got to take a whole pan of gf lasagna home with us and ended up eating it for the entire week, no cooking.  It was awesome!

(Our nephew Reggie!)

(Mom and me)


(Gf lasagna - I'm sad I didn't get a pic right out of the over, this is after we already ate some and were ready to take it home!)

(If you are searching for a gluten free french bread roll, this is it!  They make ciabatta bread too!)

(My step-dad Joe and Ian's dad Henry.)

(The moms)

(My sister-in-law Ashley liked the blocks!)

(Reggie playing the sax like his Dad.)

(Cute little family.)

(I made my wish.)

That night we got some awful news, my friend of 18 years put herself in the hospital again.  It was a night full of worry and waiting but she finally woke up and was released late Monday night.  It was a stressful and horrible couple of days and I still worry about her every day.  I hope she gets the help she needs and we will be here to support her no matter what.  It's sad that this is part of my birthday blog but with the good comes the bad - the tide rises the tide falls.  I love you friend, and always will.

Ian started to walk on this trail by our house, so I decided to join him on Monday.  I needed to just get away and clear my head.  It was so peaceful at the top, it was not a place of worry but a place of calm.  I'm glad I went with him, it took me away from reality for a bit.

(The governor's tomb, the first Arizona governor, George W.P. Hunt.)

(No one can dispute our sunsets, they are truly the best.)

(Papago mountains - my Dad and I flew 17 hours to Australia when I was 21 and it looked exactly like this.)

(One of the gorgeous, small ponds by the zoo in Papago Park.)

 (Those buildings in the distance are downtown Phoenix, with the sunset as their backdrop.)
On my actual birthday, Wednesday I was in my second day of a conference downtown with two school friends.  My mom picked us up for lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory and I got to sit in the caboose, my favorite spot!  They have DELICIOUS gluten free pasta and for a great price you get spaghetti, salad and ice cream for dessert (spumoni for me!).

That night I did my favorite thing with my hubby, we just laid around.  It was so relaxing and nice, I even skipped yoga to just lay on the couch!  Ian never relaxes, he's always up and doing something.  So for him to lay around, I knew he did it just for me.  

(Birthday blizzard!  Not a great pic, but I was in relax mode!) 

Friday at school my three best girlfriends came and took me to lunch (thanks Christine!).  We went to La Piccola Cucina, just like last year, and it was super fun.  I love spending time with these four ladies and can't believe it has been 18 years.  (Thanks again Christine for the lovely pic!)

(I had a box of magazines in my car that Ian was supposed to take out, oops!)

That night I took Ian to the Melting Pot fondue restaurant because he had never been.  I saw online that they had a gluten free menu (and you know exactly what you are getting because they make everything in front of you or you cook things yourself) and wanted to go.  I hadn't been in years and Ian loves cheese and chocolate so off we went.  2.5 hours later we were stuffed but it was fun!  We brought our own gf bread, cookies and brownies to dip and it was SO worth it!

(Ha, cheesy pic that they took but it came out cute!) 

The next Saturday night I celebrated my birthday with my girlfriends.  There were supposed to be eight of us going out dancing (what are we?  22?) but the twins got strep throat and some people canceled so it just turned out to be Christine, June, Mary and I.  We hopped from club to club, walked a lot, gawked at all the people and then sweated our butts off at the Firehouse until 2am.  (The music sucks there but it was the ONLY place we went with a good dance floor!)  

We discovered the same thing we always discover here in Phoenix, all the best places are gone and replaced with weird, dirty, crowded places that now serve drinks in plastic glasses.  (You know you're old when you remember when clubs served drinks in GLASS glasses!)  It was a fun night but very strange, I had no idea downtown Scottsdale was that crowded, with that particular crowd, and that it would be that nuts.  It wasn't what I expected but we made the best of it and had some fun together.  (Thanks, Christine, for the pics!)


(Mary, June, me and Christine)

(And a classic Mary pic had to be taken!)

On Sunday, after drinking only two drinks the night before, I had a killer hangover and laid on the couch all day.  It was the most fun Ian and I have had together in a long time, I don't even think we left the house all day.  We watched Tron, played with the hamsters (yes, there are two now - more on this later) and just vegged out.

My birthday came and went, time is just whizzing by.  I wish it would slow down a bit so I could enjoy a moment or two but it just keeps flying, faster and faster.  Before I know it I will be 60, in the blink of an eye.  It's so strange because when I was in high school it seemed like time moved so slow and now . . . so quickly.  Ugh, I just want a moment to breathe, to be in the present.  But it keeps on ticking by.  

Thanks to everyone who celebrated my birthday with us - it was a very happy birthday to me!  :)

1 comment:

  1. First, I'm sorry to hear about your friend....that's sad news. Second, I'm sorry I missed your birthday!!! Happy birthday!!! Third, I want all of your clothes. And all of Christine's clothes, for that matter. You guys can just put them in a huge box and ship them to me...thanks! Fourth, have you read any books on Zen meditation and/or mindfulness. It crossed my mind when you mentioned that walking on the trail helped you escape from reality....zazen is all about acknowledging and accepting reality for what it is, without seeing it through our own filters of judgment (good, bad, happy, sad, etc.) It's been tremendously helpful to me (an anxiety-prone control freak) and I think you would really like it. I'm guessing that your walk on the trail may have been more like a peaceful meditation and you were actually present in reality enjoying the trees, the view, etc. without worrying about something else?? Not sure...anyway, I can recommend a couple of great books if you're interested....miss you Phoenix girls!!