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Birthday Weekend 2013 (woo hoo!) is officially over. ‘Twas a weird one, yes. But between all the tears, overwhelming emotion, and exhaustion, it was also probably the best birthday I’ve had in years.

IMG_20130920_174203Friday afternoon I headed up to St. Cloud (yes, again) to met up with my cousin, Danielle, for dinner at my favorite Mexican place. But first, disgusting birthday shots with a chocolate milk chaser with my grandma were, apparently, necessary.

IMG_3747IMG_3738Grandma ended up joining Danielle, my mom, and me for dinner. A dinner where we feasted on all of my favorites: daiquiris, chips and salsa, burritos slathered in cheese and sour cream and all things sinful, and the best of the best: Fried. Ice cream.

IMG_3764IMG_376520130920_18243320130920_18282320130920_190339Can you tell the emotional eating was still going strong? Oh, yeah.

20130920_18463320130920_18472720130920_18114720130920_18111120130920_18233720130920_182407After dinner, the four of us headed to a local bar where several more shots and cocktails were knocked back, along with some minor league gambling. Yes, my family is the coolest.IMG_20130920_225554IMG_20130920_225804 IMG_3767IMG_3790IMG_3783IMG_3784IMG_3788Grandma decided it was past her bedtime, so while she and my momma headed home, Danielle and I grabbed a few beers and stirred up a bit of trouble around town. We crashed a party at my aunt and uncles (small town shenanigans), and ended the night back at her house for a slumber party. It was delightful.
IMG_3793IMG_3794IMG_380420130920_192204IMG_3779Saturday, my actual birthday, dawned bright and beaming: endlessly blue skies, sunshine, and a chilly fall breeze. My favorite weather. Danielle and I decided it was absolutely required birthday behavior that we head to our favorite local bakery for donuts and coffee.

20130921_08463320130921_084642IMG_3821Don’t worry, I only ate one…and a half…and two coffees.

We sat outside people watching and generally enjoying the gorgeous morning, After topping off our coffees, we decided that I guess maybe we should do something to work off the excess calories we consumed, so we laced up our sneaks and headed out for a long walk. Good conversation with one of my favorite people? I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed having this girl around.
IMG_3825The day got a little heavy, then, as Danielle had to head off to a wedding, and I had to go to my grandpa’s house to help pack up all his stuff. There’s some sort of odd poetry in packing up all a person’s belongings on their birthday…

Later, I spent some time with my grandpa out at the cemetery, wishing him a happy birthday, crying some happy tears, crying a few more sad tears, remembering all the birthdays we’d shared through the years.

Finally, after a long day, I sleepily drove back to the Cities. After all, I had to get a little shut eye before my 5K race on Sunday! But, so I don’t abuse my photo privileges here, I’ll share more on that amazingness tomorrow!

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