30 was the greatest. Let’s do it again…

Everyone should be rewarded for a job well done. My 30th year went above and beyond what anyone expected of it and delivered my best days yet. So in that spirit, I move that we reward my 30th year by letting it have another go-’round!
That’s right, yesterday I turned 30 – again. And to show there are no hard feelings to my friend 31, I’m posting 31 pictures from my 30th year. Thank you to everyone, friends and family, rock stars, artists, well-knowns and not-so-well-knowns who have made this past year worth repeating.
I hope everyone can have a lifetime filled with the fun I’ve had this year – Enjoy!


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30th Birthday photo dump.

I haaaaaaate parties – I used to be really good at parties! I was the perfect mix of social, funny, witty, loud, and entertaining; but now I feel like I’m just disjointed, awkward, and *situationally unaware* (thank you Alisha for teaching me that phrase).

Actually, I’m probably still really good at parties – just not my own! I am just no good at hosting a group of people. It’s just too awkward for me. All those different personality types circling each other, just waiting to clash; everyone arriving and leaving at different times; everyone talking to you at the same time; and add to that my Type A (‘A’ is for anal) personality that won’t let me relinquish control of anything within my own 4 walls. Yes, it’s much better to be at someone else’s party.

But despite all that, which seems like a mess, it really wasn’t that bad – I had an amazing time at my little 30th birthday party! The cake stole the show – created by Mica at Confectioneiress Cupcakes & Sweets (the very same baker for my wedding!). It’s a ginormous 3-layer yellow cake with butter cream icing, smothered in multi-color sprinkles. We’d all love to know how she pulled that off!

I got some really thoughtful gifts, and some much needed alcohol, and of course some great pictures to document the night! Enjoy!

The universe is giving it to me hard.

The universe is giving it to me hard. After a crystal-clear forecast predicting partly-sunny and 50-degree weather for last Sunday, it turned out that it translated into mostly cloudy with 100% chance of raining on my parade.

But, I persevered and carried out my day of Random Acts of Kindness, also known as #RebasRAOK30th on Twitter.

Ben was quite the trooper all day, driving me around…and around and around. And he participated in almost all of the acts. We weren’t able to complete all 30, though. The rain made it tough, yes; but we also spent too much time returning grocery carts at Kroger. By the time we finished clearing out the last row in the parking lot, all the carts were back out. We had to call it quits at some point, so we moved on…

Ben & I worked really hard all day, giving and caring – we’re not used to all that unselfishness!  Here are a few more things we did:

  • I found my first RAOK very quickly.  As soon as we were seated for breakfast a Harold’s Steer-In.  We were seated next to a cop, on break, having breakfast.  I told my waitress what I was doing, and she brought the bill to me (anonymously).  Easy peasy.  Except, the cop was really confused later when she tried to pay…
  • The most awkward experience came after I purchased a gas card and attempted to give it to a guy at the gas pump.  He looked suspicious, followed by looking like it happened to him all the time.  He did gather himself enough to wish  me a Happy Christmas.
  • The one I thought would be really cool, but ended up getting me the most stares was leaving some quarters at the laundromat.  I hated having to laundry at the laundromat, especially on dreary raining days like Sunday was.  I knew it would make someone’s day when they found a pile of quarters near the washing machines!  I wrote a note, “A random act of kindness…”, and placed the quarters on the note – so the finder would be sure that the owner of the quarters wasn’t coming back.  Now, I’m pretty sure no one noticed what I was doing, but every person in there stared at me like they expected me to break out with a flash mob at any moment.
  • I made the obligatory donations to Goodwill, and several small donations to charities that I love.
  • The most rewarding RAOK was delivering flowers to the nursing home.  I bought a bunch of flowers from the grocery store, separated them into a few bouquets & tied them with ribbon.  Everyone at the nursing home was happy to see someone with flowers.  It probably doesn’t happen as often as it should.  I explained to the ladies at the reception desk that I was doing acts of kindness for my birthday, and asked if anyone in particular could use some flowers.  There was a lady nearby who I gave flowers right away.  I entrusted the rest of the bunches to the staff, who assured me they’d get to some very deserving ladies who were in recovery.  It made me want to go back there more often.  Weird.
  • I thought more people would cry 🙂 but the only person I made cry was my mom – I had 30 flowers delivered to her – one for each year she’s made ‘being me’ possible.

RAOKs should happen more often.  They were definitely fun, and inspiring, and while it’s not supposed to be a selfish act, I have to admit I did feel really really good after doing them.  And tired.

Random Acts of Kindness

Today is my birthday!!

I get 6-year-old level excited every year on my birthday. Whatever good things happen on that day, I celebrate it as though the tiny random good thing were a direct result of the day being my birthday:
Gas went down 10-cents a gallon? Yay! My birthday!
Awesome sun-shiny weather? Yay! Happy Bday!
That awesome new pair of shoes went on sale? Yay! It’s so nice of them to do that this one day only!

So, today, giddy with excited energy, I’m braving the drizzly rain and spending my day spreading love & kindness all over the fair city of Indianapolis.

Today I’m planning on performing 30 random acts of kindness (RAK or RAOK). I may update this with some pictures, etc, if I get a chance today; but I encourage you to join me, in honor of my 30th birthday, and perform just one random act of kindness yourself today! Here are some examples:
– buy someone a coffee
– write someone a long letter – with pen & paper
– push in some shopping carts on your way in to the grocery store.
– leave some change on a vending machine (use tape)
– give a gas card or calling card to someone at the gas station
– compliment everyone and everything!
– write a nice review
– reward good customer service – find their boss and praise them.

Well, that’s just a few, and you’ll find a few more with a quick Google search of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’.

Have fun today!

My first 30.

Minutes into my 30th birthday, I’m growing more nostalgic for ‘what was’. Instead of lamenting, I’m appreciating and marveling at all the amazing experiences I’ve had so far. Below are 30 big things I’ve experience between December 1981 and December 2011:
1. I’ve been lead waver on no less than 4 parade floats.
2. I was voted 3rd Grade princess and got to wear a sash at the county festival.
3. I got to see Elton John perform at Clowes Hall.
4. I spent a week in Dublin, Ireland.
5. I learned to snowboard in Jackson Hole, WY.
6. I marched in the parade at Disney World with my high school marching band.
7. I nearly drowned in a swimming pool when I was 4, but my dad saved me.
8. I got my first tattoo;  then my second;  then my third.
9. Since I was 18, I’ve had 11 jobs (not including temporary side jobs and unpaid internships!)
10. I graduated college – a semester early.
11. I converted to Judaism.
12. I’ve been to the Everglades more than anyone I know.
13. I saw Iron & Wine in concert, and Pat Benetar; and Pinback – probably a record # of tiems.
14. I married a rock star.
15. I got a life-changing breast reduction.
16. I sat next to Jamey Abersold on a plane, and talked about Dave Matthews Band for 2 hours;  got his autograph and gave it to my music teacher.  Dammit.
17. I went to Canada with a bunch of “not Frat” guys from Anderson University – one month after 9/11 – without an ID.  Come on, border patrol!  That seriously didn’t look suspicious?
18. I lost my dad to lung cancer.
19. I was on the cover of NUVO Newsweekly.
20. An article I wrote for Broad Ripple Gazette is framed & hanging at Ripple Bagel Deli.
21. I paid off all my debt.
22. I spent an amazing 2 weeks in California on my honeymoon.
23. I learned Spanish – but have forgotten most of it.
24. I went back to school to study Fashion Merchandising.
25. I lived in Detroit for a month – and rocked it.
26. I used to write poetry.
27. I saw Pearl Jam in concert.
28. I got fired.  Hard.
29. I lived in Naples, the most beautiful city in Florida, for over 2 years – and got to sail every inch of water between there & Sanibel.
30. I’ve never fallen out of love with Bruce Springsteen.