On Thursday, I met my mom at her office as she walked out the door for the last time as an employee of Citizens Bank. After 21 years, I know that she will truly be missed, but the bank’s loss is our family’s gain. Too soon, I’ll be back to work at West, and HQ will get to spend her days with her Grandma JoJo!
Friday night was Mom’s retirement party. And while it made me slightly more anxious than I would like to admit to leave Harper, it was really nice to spend the time celebrating Mom. And it was lots of fun to be back at Kelly's Bleachers, the scene of many family shots, family softball games, and other shenanigans. I can't complain about getting to spend time with cousins or with our little Badger game/concert crew.
The next day, my birthday, was filled with many of my favorite things, at least those that don’t involve mountains or international travel. I set an alarm (not my favorite) to ensure I was at the gym with some of my favorite people for one of my favorite classes of the week. Sixty minute of cardio and a bit of lifting were a great way to start my day and to balance out the weekend’s birthday treats, including the donuts I *had* to bring to the gym!
I headed home for birthday snuggles with our little lady, some time with Brian, and some vacuuming (one of my most favorite things!!) before we joined my family for traditional birthday weekend fun, picking out our Christmas tree. This year, we took advantage of the excellent weather and cut down our own. And while Harper slept though a good portion of our outing, we’ll give her credit for choosing the perfect tree. I’ll take credit for finding the perfect treat - chocolate caramels with sea salt - at our stop at The Elegant Farmer (haven’t been there in ages!). Now, to exhibit self control and ration them...
We drove west that evening (one of Brian’s favorite things...though we didn’t make it nearly as far west as he would have liked) on what turned out to be a really scenic drive for an excellent dinner (with veggies cooked exactly to my picky liking). The ambiance was as great as the drive and the company, and the smell of the fire reminded Brian and me of being in Turkey, which was a birthday bonus treat, kind of like when Bri let me have the last bite of our shared dessert.
And while the outcome was not what I had hoped for (but sort of expected), we closed out my birthday gathered in our living room taking in the ups and downs of the Badger game. Even a loss is tolerable with family gathers around - I love me a full house.
Thanks to our fabulous little sleeper, I woke up well-rested Sunday, which meant I was ready to do some climbing, and I did a lot of it. And after, while HQ rested up for another evening of celebrating, Brian and I enjoyed a nice little lunch date, and he didn’t even finish the last sip of our shared drink (happy birthday to me!). Later that evening, we met my in-laws for burgers and custard (it’s a good thing that working out is also one of my favorite things). They’re so good to me!
I went to bed Sunday feeling blessed beyond measure - and a bit older. So many wonderful things filled my weekend: family, friends, blueberry donuts, tradition, physical activity, ice cream. And the icing on the proverbial cake was that I didn’t have to spend any time thinking about work or going back to it on Monday. I’ll save that for the New Year.