Sunday, June 29, 2014

reunions (reprise)

Good news: I survived the reunion. There wasn't a huge turnout from my class, but it was still interesting to see those who did show up.  The average attendee was slightly more successful, more bald, and more pregnant than they were in high school.

cozy birdhouse | high school reunion

I also celebrated my birthday over the weekend. I didn't really want to get a year older, but it happened anyways.  When I was younger, I was excited just to get one year older (as I imagine most people were). All the festivities and presents were just the icing on the cake.  (The icing on the cake was also the icing on the cake.)  I'm starting to think all the hoopla just a conspiracy to make me like birthdays so that I wouldn't be so whiny about them as an adult.  Well, joke's on you... I'm still whiny.

Here's the things that made getting one year older totally worth it:
  • Delicious meals cooked by my mom and husband
  • Thoughtful and generous gifts from my family
  • This amazing Charlie-shaped pot holder my friend Kathy made!!  Can't you see the resemblance? He looked at it very suspiciously when I held it up to his cage.
cozy birdhouse | parakeet potholder

This weekend, I also ordered my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding this fall.  Now I just have to avoid getting fatter (or skinnier) before the wedding. I better go easy on the cake icing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Last spring I received an invitation to my 5 year college reunion, and my reaction was, "Oh, how fun!  I get to stay on campus again and hang out with my friends for a few days.  Why do people get so stressed about reunions?  I don't feel any need to buy a new outfit, get my hair done, lose 15 lbs, etc."  Then, this spring, the 10 year high school reunion invitation arrived, and I realized, "Ohhhh... that's why."

I don't know why I feel like I have more to prove to my high school classmates.  Maybe it's because the college classmates saw me in sweatpants with messy hair, no makeup, and huge dark circles under my eyes after an all-nighter.  As long as I showed up to that reunion showered and wearing clean clothes, it was an improvement from how they'd seen me before.

I had a pretty good high school experience and see my friends often, so this weekend won't be much different than seeing them normally.  I won't over-analyze why the invitation generated an initial emotional response of panic.  But, let me just say, if a 15 year middle school reunion invitation graces my mailbox next year, I might need to buy a new dress.  And rent a Lamborghini.

cozy birdhouse | high school graduation

Sunday, June 15, 2014

the most magical place on earth

Finding an entire week during the summer for a family vacation takes some impressive pre-planning (thanks, mom!) and a touch of Disney magic. We (my husband, parents, brothers, sister, and brother's fiancee) spent a week in Orlando, with a 5-day Disney ticket and 2 additional days at Universal Studios. I made t-shirts for the family, but got all different color shirts to avoid being too matchy-matchy. My friend Julie designed a graphic of Cinderella's castle to go on the back, and they turned out great! We got several compliments, and a few people were even disappointed when they realized they were group t-shirts and they couldn't buy them in the store.

cozy birdhouse | disney world t-shirts

cozy birdhouse | disney world t-shirts

Sorry for the picture of our butts; we had to show off the back of the shirts!

We visited all 4 Disney parks, Epcot twice. Dan and my brother's fiancee were either impressed or horrified by the volume of ice cream consumed by the rest of us. I won't say we planned our day around it, but we strategically ended up in France for dessert both nights! Our trip coincided with a Star Wars weekend at Hollywood Studios. A bunch of actors were there, including Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams. We didn't wait in line to see any of the famous people, but it was fun to witness the occasional Storm Trooper marching through the park.

cozy birdhouse | storm troopers at disney world

I finally visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios... check that off the bucket list! However, the Diagon Alley addition is set to open later this summer, so I will need to make a return trip soon. The butterbeer was delicious.  It tastes like a butterscotch soda with a creamy, frothy topping... and it was even dairy-free so Dan could enjoy it!

cozy birdhouse | drinking butterbeer at the wizarding world of harry potter, universal studios

Sometimes I worry that my Harry Potter obsession might be getting a little out of hand when the books/movies/games/park make me happy, but then afterwards I am depressed that it's not real. Then I go to the theme park and witness two people dressed in their replica Gryffindor/Slytherin robes mouthing the words along with the actress introducing one of the performances in the stage area. At least I am relatively normal (key word: relatively).

Thanks for the great vacation, family!