Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My 34th Birthday in Floral Park 2013

Wow, I'm really getting up there. I'm officially mid-thirties! It's not like I didn't see it coming, we spent a while debating whether 33 counted as mid-thirties last year, and we decided it didn't, but there's no debating it this year.

My awesome friends from college and from New York came to visit, drink wine, eat sushi, and sleepover. I wish I'd gotten a chance to show some of them more of my town, but it was a pretty quick visit. Truly my best gift this year or any year was getting to be with all of them at once.

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Christina, Sarah, Ash, Michele, me, Rachel, Megan, Jaime, and Janice

Ready for "34 Fun Things?" Even before they got here, Kevin and James were already spoiling me. Kevin let me sleep in late and got up with James, which is not uncommon in my house, but I wasn't responsible for James all day which was nice. (#1) When I got up James was busily drawing me a birthday card. He worked on it for hours, and it came out so nice (in a modern art kind of way) that I immediately framed it and put it up in the most prominent place in our living room. (#2) Kevin gave me THE camera lens I have been obsessed with for the last 2 years or so. I was so happy, I told him I didn't need anymore gifts for the whole year. (#3) When used correctly, the photos are super awesome. (See photo of me and Janice below.)

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
With my two favorite boys in the whole world.

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Framed birthday card from James (age 22 months)

My mom and my friend Wendy sent me birthday flowers (#4-5), and I got lovely and generous gifts from my mother-in-law Kathy, and grandmother-in law Ruth. (#6-7) I also got calls, emails, and texts from other friends and family. (#8)

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Flowers from Wendy and my mom.

When the ladies arrived we relaxed and had wine and cheese. In addition to my hoards of wine and snacks, they brought even more with them. We tried to rise to the challenge! (#9) Since Easter is in March this year, we also had peeps and chocolate bunnies. (#10) James even had his first peep ever. To say that he loved them was an understatement. It was pretty funny to watch him! (#11) My friends brought lots of nice little gifts with them too which was really just too kind on top of everything else. (#12)

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
First peep ever!

All my friends know I love pictures so much that one of the things that I was looking forward to the most was all the pictures I would take. My photo wish list included a group picture and a picture of me with each friend individually, and we totally rocked the photos. (#13-22)

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Individual shot with Ash

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Another group photo- all 11 of us

Kevin took James to the park so that we could relax without having him try to stick his hands in our food or spill our wine. But he swung back to deliver a huge helium birthday balloon because he knows I love these. (#23) I know, I'm a 34-year-old child.

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Birthday balloon!

Finally, we left for dinner. My friends opted for sushi, possibly because they know it's my favorite, possibly because most of them love it too. (#24) Since we have a great sushi place walking distance from my house, we hoofed it over and had no need to worry about cars or designated drivers. (#25) This led to the purchase of an additional carafe of wine.

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Walking to dinner during magic hour

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Another group photo- Nine for sushi!

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Cheers to awesome friends for life!

We had copious amounts of sushi, and my buddies treated-- again way way too generous. (#26) The waiter surprised me with fried ice cream and everyone sang happy birthday to me. (#27-28) As you get older, people don't sing every year, or even notice you're having a birthday, so it was kind of a treat! Some older man kept trying to talk to me and flirt with me-- he was really old-- but I guess it's flattering? (#29?)

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
Cute photo with Janice (and you can see the new lens's great focus)

We walked back home, drank more wine, and Ash and Michele scoured my neighborhood to bring back amazing cannolis. (#30) We watched the best episode of Saturday Night Live ever. In honor of my birthday, the host was Justin Timberlake. Think whatever you want about the man or his music, but he is hilarious. My favorite skits were Veganville-- amazing!-- and the Elton John tribute to Hugo Chavez. (#31) Ash, Megan, Janice, Jaime, and Michele slept over because birthday sleepovers are the best and keep us feeling 13 years old forever. (#32)

Sadly, I had to get up with James 3 hours after I went to bad. That was baaaad. (-1... haa no just kidding, you can't subtract). Jaime picked up some New York bagels for us around 8:30 am. (#33) Ash and Megan had to leave on the earlier side, but Jaime, Janice, and Michele were able to hang around and spend more time with me and James. (#34)

Fun things: accomplished. More importantly, I feel really lucky to have all these wonderful friends and family. I feel really loved and I really love you guys. 

My 33rd birthday with Michele, Christina, Hudson, Kevin, and James
My very pregnant 32nd birthday, and my huge blowout baby shower with all of my girlfriends
My 31st birthday in Chinatown with my college buddies and the opera

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