Friday, January 11, 2013

It is crystal clear outside this morning, and I'm staring at the Olympic Mountains I now feel are close friends. We've talked together, sat in silence, sat in fear, celebrated and overcome together.  Yes, I'd call them my good friends if I am not yet theirs.

I have had many wonderful things to tell and show you about my birthday... but I woke up quite sick Monday morning and most of my energy has gone to surviving the hours of work I can, and then sleeping in hopes of kicking this cold before it fully develops into what half of my office now has.  This has been one of the longest weeks.  "Finally Friday" only begins to tell just how long.  Beau has loved it.  I have not.  But, looking back, I must agree with him that we have accomplished quite a lot in the end.

A trip to the grocery store Monday evening told me perhaps this cold/ flu epidemic is wider than my office.  The empty shelves where chicken noodle soup and NyQuil should have been.

I don't mind that the cold finally caught me, I'm just grateful it held out until Monday to unleash itself on me.  Friday, I could feel it in my chest and head.... just that odd dry airy feeling and shortness of breath. I was worried.  I cancelled on my evening plans and cuddled up in bed right after work.  I was praying I'd be well enough when I woke up to enjoy whatever plans would require snow clothes.

It worked.  I felt quite well when I woke up.  Before leaving my house, I was given my "unlimited Instagram gift" and then, moments later, a giant box wrapped up with newspapers.  I'd torn into it and found these: my new snowshoes.  John has a pair and has talked about how he really enjoys it - I'd asked to come along sometime.

There was some schedule that had to be kept and he rushed me out the door, off to Milstead (our favorite coffee shop) and on our way to downtown.  By then, I knew we had a ferry to catch.  I think he probably told me, but if not, I'd guessed.

We boarded for Bainbridge Island and all the while Beau just kept commenting "Isn't it so weird that we are going snow shoeing on an Island?  Bainbridge Island, weird huh?"  He said it so many times in his teasing tone that I threatened to hurt him.  Eventually he told me where we were heading - The Olympic National Forest!  (See my "25 Goals for 25").  :)

We stopped for more coffee at Pegasus and were back on the road for a few more hours.  Eventually, we wound our way up a terrifying road to Hurricane Ridge.  Strapped on our snowshoes and headed out.  By this point, it was already 2:30 and we didn't have much time until dusk.  But what a lovely time it was!!  Looking forward to more snowshoeing adventures with my Beau (hopefully with less scary drives to them?  please?).

When we returned to Seattle, we finished the night with some delicious pizza and a bottle of red wine we've been holding onto since basically our start.  Last summer, we'd quite literally stumbled upon a wine tasting room in Fremont (after running out of gas on his bike).  After running into an old friend of John's there, and meeting the winemaker, we walked out with two signed bottles.  We've been waiting for a special dinner to open them.  The first of the two did not disappoint.  Just like the entire day.

The next day, we had our family dinner to celebrate and my mom had a balloon, presents wrapped in birthday paper (which is exciting for those of us who have birthdays right around Christmas).  They even made me a cake and sang happy birthday.   All in all, it was a wonderful, wonderful birthday weekend.  Thank you to all of you who helped sweeten it with messages and wishes.  Love you all.

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