As always, monday came way too quickly this week, but for a very good reason.
After school on friday, Ryan and I ventured to New Jersey for two days of celebrating a super special birthday.
My future step-father turned the big 5-0 on Sunday and had a birthday bash extravaganza that was over-the-top awesome.
We arrived in just enough time to do a quick spruce up and have a pre-dinner drink with our new family, and headed to a swanky steakhouse that reminded me of something straight out of Boardwalk Empire.
This was a monumental occasion, not just because of the birthday, but also for the fact that Jim’s oldest daughter, who I am absolutely thrilled to call my soon-to-be sister, and her boyfriend flew in from South Carolina for a few days as well.
The six of us spent hours around a round table feasting, laughing, reminiscing and counting our blessings for a long future together.
Saturday was the official party, which I cannot even describe to you, or show any picture that could possibly do justice, because it was fantastic!
Held at the old DeLorean (you know, the car guy) manor, which is now Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, we celebrated Jim’s years with over thirty of his closest friends, way too much food and alcohol and very late, but worth-it night.
Of course, as pretty much every one of my weekend wrap-up posts states, the retelling is almost flawless, but the moments were hard.
I had been anxious for weeks knowing Friday night’s meal was not only at an incredibly scary establishment, but that it was also going to be after 8:00 PM. Call me a grandma, but we typically have dinner around 5:30-6:00 on weeknights so I was panicked that I would overeat that day because I was starving and then be thousands of calories above my meal plan due to a heavy restaurant portion.
The reality was nothing like that, considering Roots had a ton of options, delicious fresh seafood, and I ended up splitting evening snack into two portions so it really evened itself out, but the mental preparation could have ruined the experience.
Thankfully being with my mom, laughing with Danielle, joking about some funny stories and really remembering why I was there brought me back to reality and helped me calm down, savor every bite of my jumbo lump crab, and stay much more present than I anticipated.
The next day I had similar fears; since dinner was again after 8:00 PM, I knew I would be surrounded by more food than at a wholesale grocery club, AND i had no treadmill for comfort, but as I say quite frequently, I survived and I am here to write about it.
What makes this weekend slightly different from the past when I have shared experiences that are almost identical was the reason why we came together; a pretty significant birthday.
50 seems to be very important to most people. Just look at the card racks at Hallmark dedicated to that specific number and it is far bigger than most geared around births.
When I arrived home Sunday, I sent the obligatory text to my mother telling her I was safely in the door and thanked her for their hospitality. I also told her how much fun we had, how great it was to get away and how much I love that I have a wonderful new family.
She wrote back; “When I come home may I go to the doctor with you? We are worried about you and just want you to be here to be a part of our new family. I want you to be able to celebrate 50 someday too.”
I thought I did pretty well this weekend.
I was convinced I looked totally and completely like a normal 24-year-old party-goer.
Yes, a very normal person who had to pack snacks in her purse and eat them alone in the women’s lounge because she couldn’t meet her exchanges through the gobs of delicious food at the party (hello there was a personal sushi chef!).
A normal person who lived in her husband’s sport coat because her teethe were chattering so hard from being frozen in a cocktail dress.
A normal person who considered ordering a salad off the higher calorie section of the Skinnylicious Menu at the Cheesecake Factory to be a major splurge even though she mentally beat herself up for hours afterwards…
Those things listed above are not normal, nor are they fun.
I am not, and will not discount my progress, because I am very proud that I was able to laugh and enjoy myself, taste things I have not had in as long as I can remember, skip going outside in the rain to exercise Sunday morning even though I had regret from the night before, and nap because I was up until 1:00 am.
Those things all mark progress to me.
But I seriously hope that when I am 50, I can maybe have a birthday desert to celebrate.
First I need to make it to 50, and perhaps that will happen if at 25 I am able to have a birthday desert and truly celebrate all my blessings without worrying about how many miles I need to do the next day.