...didn't really happen. There was the aftermath of Nick's birthday to deal with, the lovely Annika came to visit from Norway, and we had a little midweek drama/sadness (which I won't be writing about) thrown in with the usual work, school, church and HOA meetings. OK, so I guess this week really did happen, just not in the way I had planned in terms of my blogging adventures. We just had a lot more week than I had planned for! I have, however, planned a few more weekly activities (see the ever-growing list on the right) that I can just grab on weeks like this one and go with, so I'm hoping there won't be too many more weeks like this one.
Now, let me catch up on last week and give you the run-down of Nick's 30th birthday extravaganza so you can see what all of last week's planning went into. Let me preface this by saying that it is my firm belief that birthdays should be celebrated, and celebrated properly, round number birthdays even more so. I give to you: The Birthday Weekend.
To commemorate Nick's last day of work in his 20s, I got up early and cooked him a yummy breakfast of eggs, bacon and English muffins. I then scooched him off to work, and attacked the house with the rage and voracity of 1000 angry kittens. I cleaned, I wrapped gifts, I did homework and laundry and I pulled a muscle in my neck so badly I couldn't turn my head. Pausing only briefly to take some pain killers, slather on the Icy Hot and crawl into bed to lie flat on my back for an hour, I powered through the day leaving a trail of neatness and order in my wake. I also inaugerated the new North Family Tradition of getting clean sheets and towels on your birthday. Which is high on my list of Favourite Things, and is therefore a keeper. Then I gingerly got myself all gussied up for a Hot Birthday Date with the lovely birthday boy.
When Nick got home from work, we went out to dinner at the Bombay House and had a lovely, splurgy dinner of vegetable samosas, Rogan Josh, Peshwari naan and strawberry and mango lassis, respectively. We love us some Indian food, and the waiters were all super nice and remembered us even though we haven't been there for months. I love that about the Bombay House.
After dinner (when we had regained the ability to walk, talk and breathe again from all the foodiness), we drove over to BYU to see a play. We had a few minutes to spare, so we wandered through the late Modernism exhibit, which had some pretty cool pieces. There was also a medieval music group playing in the museum, which added some pretty interesting contrast to the art pieces we were looking at. Then we scurried across to the Pardoe theater to watch Dial M for Murder. Barring some fairly atrocious fake English accents, it was very well done, and perfect October/Halloween viewing. Then we stopped by Maestro's, a gelateria on Center Street, to grab some dessert before heading home, and pretty promptly falling asleep.
We slept in until about 9:30-ish, when I could wait no longer and had to scurry off to my secret birthday stash and get Nick's Big Present: a Nintendo Wii. Let me tell you, finding, buying, hiding and keeping quiet about that thing is probably one of the toughest things I've done in a while. It's hard to keep your mouth shut around someone you tell everything too, especially when it's something you know that you would both be excited about. There were so many times in the 3 weeks that it has been hiding under the bed in our guest room that I wanted to tell him, but the pay off when he opened it up was SO worth every moment of it. Fantastic. Then I cooked another breakfast of champions while Nick got the Wii set up. He was even in his jammies, so it was totally like he was a little kid at Christmas :) Happy happy.
After that we headed off to the store to do some pre-party shopping. Just before we left, we noticed that the power went out, but didn't really think too much of it because we were planning to be gone for a couple of hours, and it would surely be back on again by the time we got back. Wrong. Two hours (and 5 stores later) we came home and were going to start food prep right away, only to discover that the power was still out. So I freaked out and panicked a little bit, then proceeded to continue cleaning the house. An hour or so later, it came back on again, and I freaked out and panicked some more about how much food there was to make in not enough time. In the interest of this not being absolutely the longest post ever, I will fast forward to the actual party.
The menu consisted of:
-The ever-famous Zucchini cakes (minus the mushrooms) and roasted red pepper sauce. They disappeared so fast that I only had two! We made a triple recipe, so had about 36 of them for the party.
- Pain Chocolat. We had them in Paris, and liked them so much that we figured out how to make them here.
-Trifle. The only semi-disaster of the evening. Due to the power cut (and some poor direction reading on my part), the Danish dessert didn't have time to set all the way, so it was more liquid than I wanted it to be. Sad! Still, it all got mostly eaten up.
- The all essential vegetable platter, which I'm very glad we decided to repeat, seeing as we had some vegetarians, and some people who couldn't eat wheat or dairy. It's kind of a boring party staple, but always gets eaten up, so I'm keeping it on my party food menu.
- Strawberry lemonade with strawberries and lemon slices.
All in all, the party went well. The first guests were here at 6:30, the last ones left around 10:30 (not counting Annika who stayed for another month!), I think we had about 30 guests in all, which seemed appropriate for a 30th birthday party. Nick scored big time on the birthday presents (Thank you, generous friends!), most of the food got eaten up, and an all round good time was had. Annika, Nick and I rounded off the evening with some pretty intense Wii-playing.
The actual for realz birthday! It started out pretty uneventful, seeing as it was a Sunday and we had church at 9 AM, but we cam home afterwards and had tasty lunch, birthday naps and presents. Once again, Nick did really well, and got lots of British television, a shirt (that was magically transformed into a pair of pants a few days later), opera tickets, a book and the quintessential birthday money (later transformed into more British television). The families called, we played more Wii (do you sense a recurring theme here?), and then headed up to the canyons for a combined birthday drive, walk and photo shoot. It is a recent North family tradition that everyone gets an official birthday portrait:
I would like to point out that there was only walking, not hiking involved. It was a Sunday, after all. Then we went home and had Cornish pasties for dinner, at the behest of the Birthday Boy himself. The evening ended with the watching of the birthday movies, and possibly, more Wii playing.
And so Nick is 30.