Growing Younger

Apparently, it’s true. At some point in life, you hit an apex of maturity and then you begin to descend the other slope. Or maybe you just learn to relax and have fun in life, no matter the activity. I think I’ll go with the latter.

Yesterday was my birthday. How old, you ask? Old enough. A number large enough that I have a hard time imaging that it applies to me. A fact which I cannot change, no matter how disconnected I feel from it.

Happy Birthday to me! I found a store in town who still had chai! #getthechaiback #starbucks #ridiculoustorunoutofchai 😊I was at Starbucks twice in the morning. Once for breakfast with John where I discovered that our favorite store is again out of original chai! They said all the stores in town are out. They’d already been out on Tuesday and Wednesday, had it back Thursday and Friday, and were all out again! How was I supposed to use my free birthday beverage on my favorite drink on my birthday when they’re out? Sheesh. So after dropping my niece off at a class, I went to another Starbucks location. They did have some original chai…for a little while longer, anyway, so I happily ordered my free birthday chai, hung out, and did some journaling.

The early part of my afternoon was spent playing on the Wii with my son and niece. We raced on Mario Kart, ran after one another on Mario Chase, and beat up cartoon enemies in Pikmin. Good times.

We went up to fix some lunch and my niece showed me some hilarious videos she’d created using the Rewind Camera app. It plays your video backwards – your actions, your words, all of it. I shouldn’t have been eating while watching her eating chips backwards. They merge together from bits in her mouth to a full chip. It was a riot. We wrote down words to figure out how to try and say them backwards so they would sound “normal” when played back. Which, of course, they don’t, which is what makes it so funny. We laughed ourselves silly.

It’s not easy to say “Happy Birthday to me” backwards.

Last night my whole family all went out for Italian. Whole family includes Mom, Dad, my sister, her husband, their two daughters, John, the boys, and me. Ten in all. It’s one of those places where they put butcher paper on the table and hand out crayons. Naturally, that means some doodling is in order. My niece wrote the smaller Happy Bday at my place before I sat down. The rest was all me. I tore that entire section out and brought it home. I just couldn’t see leaving it there.

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Afterward we came back to our house for presents and cake. And a little more laughter and fun. Then I sat down with my iPad to read all the sweet birthday greetings I received on Facebook. I was surprised by how many there were. It was a wonderful day of fun, games, laughter, family, and friends.

Video games, silly backward videos, doodling at dinner. Sounds perfectly appropriate. Right?

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Rare Morning Reflection

Typically, Garden of the Gods doesn’t have a large, swampy pond. In fact, there’s not really a whole of water in the garden at all. But courtesy of a whole lot of precipitation last week (rain, hail, graupel, and snow), the pond has returned. I drove past the other day but it was in the middle of the day when the sun is bright and harsh. Not very photo worthy at that point. So this morning being one without rain and cloud cover being forecast, my niece and I got up ridiculously early so we could head across town and see the pond at sunrise.

While I was waiting for her to come out, I captured this shot of the moon. Made me pretty happy that she wasn’t quite ready or else I’d have missed it.

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A quick stop at the Starbucks drive-thru (so glad they open at 5:00 a.m.!) and we were off. It was a somewhat decent morning – very calm and 45 degrees. Although the dampness made it a bit chillier. I dressed well, but Bailey might’ve liked longer pants and warmer shoes. But at that point, she was doing well to be there.

It was pretty much a given that we wouldn’t be alone once we go there. The pond being a rarity, photographers tend to swarm around sunrise and sunset. There were only four others when we arrived, so it wasn’t too bad. There was plenty of room for everyone to get their shot without tripods and silhouettes in their pictures. Our timing was good as the sun was just beginning to come up so we didn’t have to wait.

Leave it to me in my gracelessness, I did manage to slip on some damp, muddy rocks and weeds, but nothing was hurt. Just some slightly wet pants. Apparently the guy who trotted down that way right before me had goat feet or something. Or maybe the fact that my shoes have almost no tread whatsoever had something to do with my abrupt landing.

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Oh my word. That morning light and dew is so breathtaking.

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I’ve never been a fan of hauling myself out of bed super early, but scenery like this is so worth that 4:15 a.m. alarm clock buzzing.

We were both getting hungry on our way home – it was all of 7:00p a.m. after all – so we made a quick run through Chick Fil A for those tasty little Chicken Minis. They were delicious and we had a great morning. Pretty sure I’ll be getting to sleep a little earlier tonight.