Thursday, October 7, 2010

Celebrating #46

October 6 turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day in Portland. A few years ago I started taking the day off on my birthday, and today was no different.

Can I truly be 46 years old now? Why do I still feel like a 20something inside?

I began the day by taking Nicholas to see the Ladybug Theater show, "Red Riding Hood with Puppets." I went to the Ladybug Theater when I was a kid--they used to have an actual theater building shaped by a ladybug in the 1960s (at the Oregon Zoo). We've been taking our kids to Ladybug since Chris was a little tot. It's essentially over-the-top, silly theater geared to the 6-and-under set, but I laugh out loud too! Nick was a bit scared when he was a toddler, so we haven't taken him for a few years...but four seems to be the magical age. He loves it now--two weeks in a row! I'm sure I was the oldest mom in the room.

Michele Early with Baby Bear (the puppeteer is her
hilarious and talented son, Matt)
Big bad wolf played by cute and cuddly puppy
I was fascinated to hear all the various names of the kids--I heard Abby, Ali, Ashley, and Anna! "A" names are clearly in...
All of the "A" kids in the audience taking a bow (with my little ham on the far left)
Nick and I walked over a block to the New Seasons in Sellwood, where I passed him off to Mike (who had been at his writer's group meeting that morning). Then I drove to the other side of town, via Pier One. :) I have always loved Pier One, but don't get there very often. I bought myself some birthday presents:

My $6 ring!

I'm a sucker for pretty glassware on sale--these were marked down 1/2 price to $3.88/glass
Next I made my way to the Pearl District, where my friend Judith kindly treated me to lunch at the fantastic Peruvian restaurant Andina. We shared a mixta nikkei cebiches de la casa (a mashed potato cake topped with spicy raw tuna, crab, avocado, and crispy shrimp). Then I had the Peruvian paella (ají panca-infused rice topped with a seafood medley). Look at this gorgeous sorbet they brought out for my birthday:
Wouldn't it be fun to decorate plates in chocolate?
I need to find out how to do that!
The best thing about the long, leisurely lunch was catching up and spending time with Judith. I've known Judith since 1993, when we bought our first house (she was our realtor). We were poor young married folk and could not afford very much...but she treated us as if we were rich clients. She helped us find our first wonderful, charming house in SE Portland, and then she also helped us sell that house in 1999 (for a nice profit) and buy the house we live in now. If you are looking for a realtor in Portland, look her up--she's phenomenal.

Beyond being a great realtor, she's also become a wonderful friend over the years. We were in a women's group together for several years in the 1990s. A few years ago she became a mom for the first time when she adopted a Chinese girl with a cleft palate, of course close to my heart.

Judith (who didn't want me to take her photo!)
After lunch I went off to Powell's for a bit until my parking time expired. Then home to call my birthday sister/friend Nancie to wish her a happy birthday!

We had dinner at neighborhood favorite Marco's...I had the roasted vegetable omelet and another dessert...this time, peach/marionberry crisp! Man, two desserts in one day after months of eating healthy. Time to get back into a fitness regimen!

With Chris

Finishing Book #6 of the Lemony Snicket series
(isn't Mike sexy in his reading glasses?)

Me and Kieran

Cracking up! (Love this photo)

With my birthday dessert
We are really pretty horrible about getting the kids to make or purchase gifts for birthdays or's pure laziness and lack of training. But yesterday Kieran, completely unprompted and on his own, made me a present. A friend had given him a carpenter's work bench...and he put it to work and made me a clock. ("The teachers all have them in their rooms," as he informed me...) I love it!

The clock face

The back
I got some other lovely gifts too...Mike gave me a gift card to one of my favorite stores, Topanien. My mother-in-law sent me this pretty handmade-in-Burma bag for my iPhone:

Mike's brother and his wife sent me this book, which has been on my "to read" list and was just HIGHLY recommended to me by a friend last week:

All in all, a nice day! And in honor of entering the second half of my 40s, I will rename myself Anna Ali Ashley Abigail. :)

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