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THETURTLEBEAR
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A nice couple of days

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I normally make my birthday a non-event. It's not particularly exciting having your birthday roll around right after everybody has finally settled down from the holidays, exactly four weeks after New Year's Day. My family knows that I'm not big into celebrations, but this year I decided I had some great reasons to celebrate, so I scheduled my own birthday dinner at a local restaurant. I realized it had been at least ten years since all my sons were in the same state as me on my birthday, and if nothing else, the dinner would provide a photo op!

Earlier in the day, I went on a hike with DH and my Meetup hiking group - six of us plus Boo Boo the dog (who had coincidentally "adopted" his current owner on a Meetup hike last year). It was a beautiful day, and we did a six mile loop in Gunpowder State Park, with a nice mix of cardio hills and trails along the river. Then home to shower and change for the dinner. Here's the "before and after" pic. DH is in the black jacket and I'm in my many, many layers of outdoor gear, in gray.



As hoped, I captured my sons in a digital moment. As the camera was aimed, I admonished them under my breath saying, "You'd better smile and show the results of all the orthodontia money I invested!" And so they did.



I thought it might be in poor form to exclude DH from my attentions, so we posed too.



Finally, I made sure to get a pic with the photographer, my adorable future DIL.



As a funny aside: I did my normal practice and asked my waitress for a carry-home container when my meal was served. She looked at me with arched eyebrows and let me know that she would happily take my plate to the kitchen and set aside a portion of my meal, but they did not normally have customers doing this at the dining table. LOL - how tacky of me! I was thrilled when she brought back my nicely sized new portion and there was actually enough in the carry-home container for TWO more meals!

Meanwhile...I mentioned that it had been a nice couple of days. That's because a few days before my birthday, I got a big award from the Baltimore Area Boy Scout Council for my years of work organizing backpacking treks to Philmont Scout Ranch for the boys in our Council, work I've done with my own scout groups, and training programs I've taught for adult leaders. The only downside was that I didn't have a scout uniform that fit me now, so I wore a previously "too small" size Large shirt, which is now a size too big, plus a pair of pseudo scout-looking gray pants in size 14 from my pile of stuff that needs to go to Goodwill, cinched on with my skinniest son's old scout belt. There were a lot of gathers at the waist with the excess material, and they were baggy in the butt, but it wasn't horrible. Here's a picture of me, getting my award.



Lots of attention directed at me in a single week, but it was a lot easier to handle because I wasn't self-conscious about my appearance and could just enjoy myself.
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