Three Zero

Today I turned 30. Woot.

My mom didn’t make me stand in front of an “I AM 30” banner (or fashion a crown for me) like she has in past years, but she and my dad did have us over for brunch on Sunday morning. It was actually a surprise that Sherry planned with them. I had known about the brunch (since my cousins, aunt, uncle, and little sister had traveled in from DC for the day), but was somehow oblivious to the fact that they might use the gathering to celebrate my thirtieth until a candle-filled plate of muffins was placed in front of me. Oh, but my mom did make me this:

Never one to just slip money or gift cards into an envelope, my mom constructed this “flower” with a happy face spatula and paper leaf pockets that housed some gift cards to my favorite places. Oh, and the can “planter” was stuffed with new running socks (likely my dad’s contribution).

My sisters went in on this for me:

It’s the Christine Berrie bicycle print that I’ve always loved over on 20×200. It’s the perfect addition to my bicycled-themed art obsession. Speaking of which, I did actually manage to secure a set of the Gap bicycle prints that I yearned for thanks to a helpful Gap manager (remember when I pined for them here)? We were truly shocked when they arrived at our PO Box. Lesson learned? If you ask enough times, a manager might take pity on you and actually send a sign your way (instead of tossing it into the dumpster). So be the squeaky wheel, folks. And hooray for recycling! (Get it? Bicycle? Cycling? See what I did there?).

We haven’t figured out where to hang my new bike collection yet, so pictures “in situation” will have to wait for another post when we pin down proper locations.

But I do have “in situation” pictures of what Sherry gifted me. Any guesses?

Yup, it’s a white rhino. Specifically the large Robbie trophy that she bought me from Cardboad Safari. I know it’s probably one of the weirder sentences I’ve ever typed, but rhinos are kind of our thing. We even worked one into our blog header.

Sherry knows that I’ve always loved the larger Cardboard Safari creations (not that I don’t also love our little full-bodied Robbie, who makes frequent appearances in various places like our console table and our laundry room). Big Robbie is an especially fitting gift since I surprised Sherry with a ceramic rhino for V-day a while back (more on how that turned into a highly involved rhino scavenger hunt here). So apparently we like giving each other horned mammals. And they keep getting larger. Maybe we’ll end up with a life sized rhino in our kitchen someday a la the giant dog on Friends.

Oh but one word of warning for anyone else who’s eying a large trophy: be sure to consider how far they stick out from the wall when it comes to where you want to hang them (this guy comes out about 18 inches). We fortunately found this spot where no one’s gonna knock into him when they walk by or sit down (since you stand up in front of the chair and not on the chair). So while nobody puts Baby in a corner, we totally put Robbie in a corner. And we love him there.

Overall, the birthday celebrations were pretty low-key (just the way I like ’em). My family took me out to dinner last night and my mom is babysitting tonight so Sherry can have a date with her old man (aka me, in case that was too cryptic for you). Lately she has been calling me her silver fox because I’m sporting some gray hair in the front. But she swears up and down that it’s a compliment. Her rebuttal is usually “Hello? Anderson Cooper – I rest my case.”

Oh, and since I never got around to making a “to do before I’m 30” blog list (like Nicole), I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had actually made one on paper back in high school (as part of a prompt in my senior English class). Who knew keeping those old notebooks stored away would ever come in handy?

Looks like I had gone back and updated it with “Completed” marks sometime around 2005. And sadly I haven’t checked off many more since then. No new countries (#4), bungee jumping (#6) nor movie roles (#7) for me. Though Sherry and I did visit Hollywood (#8) on our first vacation together in October 2005.

And I sorta accomplished #9, if you count my run in with Kelly Clarkson at a client event in May of 2005.

Neither Sherry nor I can remember if we still had our fish when we got Burger, so #10 is an unknown. I definitely haven’t learned how to play the bass guitar (#11)… or even the regular guitar (though I owned one for a short time in 2002). But I did work for the National Geographic Channel (#12) in the summer of 2001. It was far from glamorous, but certainly more satisfying than seeing #13 come true. Oh the lofty dreams of an 18 year old…

And although I had completed #15 by visiting Hawaii with a friend before Sherry and I even started dating, it was nice to earn some bonus points by going to Alaska on our honeymoon.

Speaking of which, I’m gonna earn a third check mark on #15 when Sherry and I continue the turning-30 celebration next year (Sherry hits the big 3-0 in March) by following through on our plans to vacation in Hawaii (which will also multitask as a vacation to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary). But more on that another time. A long post like this has made these old bones weary. Just kidding. To anyone wondering, 30 feels just like 29. But Clara’s even more fun this year because she’s walking and talking (and singing hilarious songs). This morning, for example she sang this:

“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you said.”

Anyways, thanks to my family for a fun 30th. And to everyone who made my 20’s an exciting and eventful decade. Here’s hoping the 30’s are just as fun!


    • says

      Ahhg that’s awesome! Our trees have lost their leaf’s and are all brown by now. I can’t even imagine November at 80 degrees. That blows my mind haha. 60 feels like a heat wave! I love love love snow, but I have to admit I’m secretly relishing that it’s still so warm out. Warm Thanksgivings are super rare and it’s going to mean a crazy fun outdoor game of something or other. Have a super fun time jumping in the piles with the little one and have fun with the birthday boy tonight!

  1. says

    happy birthday! i have one of those lists… just about everything is checked off except the visiting of another country at this point… still planning that one out… :)

  2. Cameron says

    Happy birthday!! Welcome to the dirty 30’s!!!! Love your rhino- we have the moose head, so I share your affinity for cardboard hunting trophies. Hope your birthday muffin candle wishes come true!!

  3. Julie B. says

    For some reason, in this morning’s post, I noticed a piece of one of John’s notes that said he was thankful he turned 29 instead of 30 that year. Funny then, when I saw this post, on the same day, I felt for ya, John. The year is now upon ya!

    I turned 31 this year and I keep telling everyone that I’m 29:)

  4. says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!! Being 29 myself (30 in April)…I enjoyed your list of things to accomplish. Thinking I should make one for “things I must do before….50?” :) Enjoy your day!

  5. says

    Happy Birthday!!! What a great list! Maybe I will make one for everything I want to do before I am 40. I am 33 and feel pretty much exactly like I did in high school. Sometimes I realize the huge difference of how my parents life was when they were my age. Things sure do change!

  6. says

    Aww, I love your mother’s creativity! You scored some great goods to ring in the Big 3-0, and the “horned” rhino is certainly a great addition to your awesome collection of wall decor. Congrats on checking off so many items on your “to do” list, and Happy Birthday!

  7. Sam Cross says


    Sounds like a great way to celebrate, here’s for the 30s!! may they be filled with even more blessing and joy and many exiting adventures!!

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