Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010 - R.I.P.

On Friday the 13th, I laid my 20s to rest...begrudgingly.

I have had a lot of people remind me that 30 is still young and to just get over it. But it is hard to get over when I vividly remember for so many years (those "teen" years, you know) legitimately thinking that 30 WAS, in fact, quite old! It never occurred to me that my mother was 36 when I was born and that I still don't consider her to be that old (you know what I mean, right Mom?).

But when I turned 20 and my brother turned 30 (we share a birthday separated by 10 years), because I have considered him to be my peer since I was about 2 years old, I thought, "Poor guy. He's 30!" And I'm sorry to say that it did make me feel a lot better this year to think, "Well at least I'm not 40!" (seriously, Mark, no offense...***)

The truth is that I am very happy with "where I am" in my life at this age and have nothing to complain about, but I also really, really, really loved my 20s. I had academic, professional and personal successes beyond what I ever imagined and, despite a few medical bumps along the road*, think that my 20s will be a hard decade to beat. But of course I have to beat it because I am way too young to have already lived the best decade of my life, right?!

*If you add up all of those medical bumps my body's actual age might be something closer to 82, which should give me a much bigger complex than the little old number 30!

Ok, ok, ok...enough of my 30-year-crisis. Despite my unwillingness to age, I was celebrated very well by family and friends in Denmark and ended up having a lovely birthday.

To start with my husband bought me a reminder that he doesn't think my life is over yet.
Then when we were on Als (the Danish island where Kristoffer was born), Johannes and Marianne got me my first "kage mand" (cake man) to celebrate my birthday with them.
Back in Varde, Kirsten and Hans also got me a second "kage mand" to celebrate my birthday!
Watch out fire department, there were even 30 lit candles on my cake!
The Danish flag was hanging in their garden (not really blowing that day) in my honor...
...and Grace led her own little parade to celebrate her Mama.
The table was laid in fine china...
...and many foods that I love were served...including my biggest pregnancy craving:
McDonald's chicken nuggets!
We may be the first people ever to eat McDonald's chicken nuggets on fine china.
It was an incredible meal and both Rocky and I were very satisfied!
Then Kristoffer and I were off to Bornholm for Morten and Elsebeth's wedding.
They kicked off their weekend by presenting with me with my third and fourth "kage kvinder" (cake women). I was so honored that they celebrated me during their big weekend and was reminded that Kristoffer's best friends, over the years, have become my friends too.
Kristoffer has assured me that no Dane has ever gotten FOUR "kage mand" (can you believe it?!) for his or her birthday and that I should feel very special to have accomplished a new record for my new decade.

So thank you to my Danish family who celebrated me and also to my family and friends at home who sent cards and gifts and emails...nobody seemed to get the message that I didn't
want to turn 30 but, since I had to do it, thank you for making me feel so special!


***To be fair to my brother, Mark is a very young, very cool 40 and still manages a pretty good jump shot when playing ball with his soon-to-be-33-year-old-brother-in-law:

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