BIG 4-0 and Halloween
On Friday, I turned 40. I have been dealing with accepting the fact of turning 40 for probably 6 months. I used to have a hard time with it...but as it got closer and closer, I accepted more and more. By the time the days came, I was and am totally ok with it. I have accepted it and am truly looking forward to this decade. From everything I hear this is a great time in our lives... I definitely can say it started off amazingly well!
I woke up at 5 a.m. for a 15 km run with Wendy. Others said I was crazy to start my day that way ... but I thought it was the perfect way to bring in my 40's in solid good health. I came home to Warren getting the girls ready and then a presentation of a photo book he thoughtfully put together for me. He put in a happy birthday song and gave me the BEST birthday gift. He put together a book of all of my closest friends sending a cheers birthday message. I have looked through it too many times to count and every time I have a huge smile. On top of all this, my friends sent the never-ending care package full of wrapped gifts I opened all day. I kept catching myself in tears all day long feeling so grateful to have the friends I do. I got a birthday call from my mom and my bestie....and generally just felt loved.
For lunch, I had a few friends over to watch Magic Mike XXL. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous to watch Magic Mike at 11 am over some bubbles...but seriously that movie is just so fun! It makes me just want to dance and laugh and be dumb with my girlfriends...which was all in store for later that night so it just got me pepped. Throughout lunch I opened more gifts from friends and honestly, I don't think I could be happier. (Side note- I feel like lately I am writing a lot about how content I am and realize this could be really annoying. There are definitely dull, lonely, boring, irritating moments as an expat, a wife, a school counselor, and as a mom....but my birthday, anniversary, halloween are definitely over-shadowing those moments lately...which is a good thing; albeit annoying for others to read about).
After the long, happy lunch I met Andie and Zoë at the embassy for trick or treat, which was definitely the least exciting part of my day (more on that later). Afterwards, Warren met me at home and we went to Uli and Ken's house for a pre-dinner drink and some fake eyelashes. I wanted to feel a bit different on my 40th...so I went for it with the long lashes... We met friends out for dinner and cake and then moved on to dancing the night away at two different night clubs. I've said this before, but I LOVE dancing! It was so fun! We danced and danced and danced until 3am!!!!! Warren unfortunately had to leave a bit earlier to relieve the babysitter (as did most husbands) but the core group of girls stayed out 3! I don't know the last time I did that but I think my 40th birthday was a good occasion.
I thought I would be really sad to be away from family and friends on my 40th, but I wasn't. Yes, I truly missed them and valued their friendship immensely. I felt incredibly grateful to have friends like I do. But, I wasn't sad about them. I felt happy to be on this adventure with new friends in a completely different part of the world. This birthday will be memorable for that alone.
|on the dance floor
|champagne lunch and Magic Mike!
|Care package from friends
|Awesome book Warren made with love from friends
|care package a bit more dug into
|Birthday cake at Holiday Inn
On another note, this weekend was also Halloween. Fijians don't really celebrate Halloween, but the expats do. First, on Thursday, ISS had a huge Halloween trick-or-treat celebration (which I was partly responsible for organizing ...but the credit goes to Tricia, Lydia, and Salote who did most of the work). The celebration was from 4 to 6 right after school on Thursday. The kids were completely crazy and had a blast!
I learned that Australians have really just started celebrating Halloween and that most of my Aussie friends here never celebrated as a child. It's a new thing and it's a bit scarier there than in the States. In the USA it seems we have every costume possible...pumpkins, pirates, princesses....whereas from what I can gather it's MUCH more blood, gore, and scary in Australia. Friends laughed when I ask if they dress up their babies as jack-o-lanterns....and then asked, "What is a jack-o-lantern?" I didn't realize that Halloween was so American.
On Friday, AWA and all the embassy families trick-or-treated around the "haunted trail" around the embassy. The kids got LOADS of candy. Warren was at work so I was with them spending that part of my 40th birthday as a mom....which is a big part of my life obviously so it seemed appropriate.
Then on Saturday afternoon (actual Halloween) some of the expats that live in one neighborhood organized trick-or-treating between their homes. We don't live in that neighborhood, but luckily our friends too and invited us, which was fine as long as we brought along candy. The moms hung back to hand out candy while the dads took the kids around. More candy....the kids loved it!!! That night we had an adult Halloween party at Tiffany's. So many great costumes! Warren and I (along with 6 other friends) dressed up as cocktails...which is a little creative and a lot easy.... I was southern comfort (pjs and cowgirl hat) and Warren was a rum-runner (running gear and camelback with rum). This party was after our 3am night...so we were beat...but it was still fun. Quite a social weekend!
|Trick or treating in the neighborhood
|Girls in my office before party
|costume parade at school
|Monster corn hole
|My little Hermoine and mermaid along with a cute pirate
|Too much sugar?!
|sorting through candy
|costume parade at embassy
|Elsa and Ariel
|part of the loot
|Drinks- rum runner, southern comfort, lemon drop, shot, belgian white ale, scotch and soda, mimosa, mind eraser :)
|I loved wearing my pjs!