Mel, G and L: Happy Birthdays

G and L officially have the birthday thing figured out. First was my stepdad’s birthday on February 21st, then mine on February 27th, and my brother Mitch’s on March 12th.

When we celebrated Papa’s birthday on February 24th, G and L gave their best birthday singing performance to date:

During my birthday celebration on March 3rd, it was all about “cake time!” and dancing to Aerosmith, of course.

And poor Mitch didn’t get enough recognition during his “happy birthday party” on March 17th. G decided it was Toby the Tank’s birthday instead.

Now G and L are looking forward to their birthdays. L is first up on April 26th, with G next on June 18th. G has already told me numerous times about everything he wants for his “happy birthday.” Yes, he adds the “happy” in front of “birthday” every time. I suppose it makes sense since birthdays should be happy, right?

April Recap

1.  Celebrated niece Lucy’s 1st birthday.

Lucy enjoying her very own birthday cake

2.  Kansas City for 23 hours.  Short yet productive trip.

3.  Donated books to first graders at Jefferson – Edison Elementary.  Woot for Scott County Republican Women!

4.  Attended a PR Network Power Workshop at the iWireless Center in Moline.

5.  Traveled to Mount Pleasant for the 2nd District GOP Convention.

6.  Enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with Lexi at Fireside Winery.

February Recap

This was hands down one of the best Februarys ever.

1. Traveled to Kansas City with the Miller family to partake in some wedding dress shopping festivities with bestie Jen.  We found her dress and our bridesmaids’ dresses.  Woot!

The panel of wedding dress judges. 🙂

2. Super Bowl Party in Durant was a blast.  I didn’t really have a horse in that race so randomly picked the Giants that Sunday morning.  Go Giants!

3.  I met a reporter from Inc. magazine, thanks to my old boss Steve who invited me out to lunch to discuss apps.

4.  Attended my first Clinton Chamber event, and it was so fun.  Lots of great food and drinks at Medical Associates, a very impressive facility.  Also had a free blood pressure check, and I passed with flying colors.

5.  Also attended my first Muscatine Chamber event at Salvatore’s restaurant.  It was an early morning event, but they made it worthwhile with delicious coffee and breakfast.

6.  Enjoyed Final Friday at Bucktown Center for the Arts in Downtown Davenport with Beth.  Lots of cool art and discovered the Leap Day cocktail.

7.  Attended a Dubuque County Republican Women meeting at The Naughty Dog coffee shop in Dubuque.  Enjoyed meeting the ladies and discovering another cute place with great coffee.

8.  Celebrated my 33rd birthday.  The fam got together for brunch in Durant, and I treated myself to wine at The Grape Life in Rock Island.  On the day of my birthday – a Monday – I had assumed the fun was pretty much over.  Much to my delight, Shelly took me out to lunch, and Sarah, Gabriel, and Lucy brought me dinner.  Also had two flower deliveries from friends.  Awesome!

9.  Made my first sale at Rainbow International of the Quad Cities!

Day 12,053

Monday, February 27, 2012, wasn’t just my 33rd birthday. It was my 12, 053rd day.

It was a fabulous day. I had no high hopes because it was on a Monday. I didn’t consider taking Monday off from work because I do love my job, and just about everyone else would be working anyway.

I started my day with redeeming my free birthday drink coupon at Starbucks.

I walked in the door at Rainbow International of the Quad Cities to Shelly’s cheerful (yes, she’s one of those morning people) “Happy Birthday, Melissa!” Then I arrived at my desk to find a card from my co-workers, with a Starbucks gift card enclosed.

Thank you, Rainbow co-workers for many happy mornings ahead. 🙂

About an hour later, our office manager Carol asked if I would be in the office all day. I was going to get birthday cake that afternoon!

Then Shelly took me out to lunch at Azteca….SO good.

When I arrived back at my office after lunch, I had a surprise from bestie Jen that nearly made me cry:

Simply beautiful! Thanks, Jen!

But the deliveries were only beginning! Next was a flower cake from my former Target Optical co-workers Raye, Nikki, and Anthony:

Roses, carnations, and daisies with greenery on a glass plate, made by Greenthumbers.

My office smelled and looked awesome.

Wow. Guess I don't need a man to get me flowers. I would accept jewelry though. Ha ha. 😉

Oh, and we are not even close to finished yet. I had to eat some delish chocolate cake, but only after posing for a photo. Yes, I still care about my birthday, just like I did when I was five years old.

I love chocolate!

On the way home from work, I detoured to The Grape Life for a good bottle of red wine. Also perused Hobby Lobby for a bit, but didn’t find anything I had to have.

Think I had enough birthday fun by then? Probably, but there’s still more…..

My sister arrived at my door with G and L. And homemade pizza for dinner. And a birthday gift. I was a slacker and didn’t take a picture of the pizza, but I did take a picture of the awesome trio of coffee koozies she made for me:

Sarah is so crafty. She needs to start selling these on Etsy!

And G and L were entertaining, as always.

Hi Lucy!
Reaching for my iPhone
G helps me blow out my candles
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"Yeah, I'm awesome," thinks G.
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L channels her inner Spiderman. She literally tried to climb outside!

After Sarah, G and L left, I curled up with Jag and my wine.  I decided it’s wise to listen to Betty White, as my goal is to make it to two more 33 milestones.

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Thanks to all who made my birthday fabulous!

Happy Birthday, Baby Sister!

July 11, 1985: The day I became the happiest big sister ever.

I had been an only child for six years, and I had been practicing baby holding, feeding, and diaper changing with my Cabbage Patch Kid Alisha Sue for months.

I stayed at Grandpa and Grandma Schulz’s house – back when they lived on the farm between Lawler and Fredericksburg – that day.  I immediately got to work and started drawing a picture, but I had to wait to hear if the baby was a boy or a girl and what the name was before I could complete it.

Then the phone finally rang.  My poor grandma had to focus on my stepdad’s voice while I jumped up and down asking, “Is it a girl?  Is it a girl?”  Grandma hung up the phone and told me I had a little sister, Sarah Lynn.

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  After my initial bout of jumping up and down, I completed my artwork.

Later that day, I held Sarah for the first time.

Melissa and Sarah Lynn

Happy Birthday, baby sister Sarah!

An Ode to Year 32

On Sunday I will flip from year 31 to 32.  How did I get to be this old?!  Yeah, yeah.  I know age is relative.  Anyone older than 32 reading this is thinking, “Ah, to be 32 again!”

But, really, where did the time go?  Some days I feel like I should be 22 again, just graduating from college and beginning to explore.  That’s probably because I’m still finding my calling in life and am continuing to learn more than I thought I would need to learn at this age.

Jane Fonda was on Oprah recently and described her 30s as the time when she was just starting to figure things out.  And in Sex and the City, the girls learned a lot in their 30s.

Maybe that’s why I don’t freak out about being 32 and single and not absolutely sure about where my life is headed.  I love being in my 30s.  I enjoy my independence.  I am thrilled to uncover new adventures.

Age is just a number.  Everything else is up to us.  I’m completely comfortable with not wanting to party until 3:00 a.m. every weekend.  I like having a few good life experiences under my belt, while looking forward to many more.  It’s nice to know what I do and do not want from a relationship.  The only thing I’d like to get back from my younger years is the ability to eat anything and not gain a pound.

This past year led me through a couple of career changes, a couple of dating adventures, and learning who’s truly in my wolf pack.  (Sorry, had to insert a little bit of Hangover humor.)

I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.  I’m sure I will continue to have my moments when I make bad judgment calls and feel like I should have more money in the bank or more to show for myself in general.  But when that happens, I will look at all of the things I have that you can’t put a price tag on – things like fabulous friends, an open mind, and the conviction to stand up for what I think is right.

And happy birthday to Elizabeth Taylor and Chelsea Clinton, who share my February 27 birthday!