Non-Tangible Birthday Gifts

birthday candles Saturday is my birthday. Other than being excited to see friends for the Frida Tweetup – whoop-de-doo. Make no mistake about it, I do love my birthday. Born on February 5th, I’ve said since about 1985 – “Feb 5 is a great day to come alive.” It’s situated far enough past Christmas that budgets have recovered, and just before people have shot their wad on Valentines’ Day. I do love presents….but this year, it really seems unimportant.

Last year I celebrated my 30th birthday, and it felt pretty monumental. But  for the first time ever…this birthday just feels like another year in the history books. At this point, I’m really just happy to still be around. 30 was a year of physical health struggles, mental health struggles, financial struggles, and the beginning of the biggest identity crisis I’ve ever faced. I’ve made it through with the support of family and friends – both online and in person.

Earlier this week, I had a discussion with a friend over Facebook about birthday gifts. She wanted to know if she should get me an iTunes gift card or something off my Amazon Wishlist. She’s been unemployed for several months, and it meant so much that she was planning to spend her meager funds on me. I hate to think of her spending money on that I know she doesn’t have. I told her that I didn’t need a gift…and she seemed sad that I rejected her opportunity to give. Since then, I’ve been pondering this idea. And late in the night, I had a thought – this year I’d rather have non-tangible gifts.

It means the world to me when a random stranger smiles at me. Or someone offers to watch my daughter so I can have some non-mommy time. I read and reread the heartfelt emails I receive which say why I’m loved and important to them. Blog comments and Twitter replies feel like a gift…it helps me know that my thoughts and words make a difference. I love getting invitations to come over to have dinner with a friend’s family, thus taking away the stress of deciding what to make for dinner after work. I love getting unexpected mentions online, such as links to my blog posts or professional recommendations on LinkedIn. I love when people show up at my house randomly to give me a hug (and don’t judge me for my messy house.) Or just slap a sombrero on my head, sing Happy Birthday in Spanish, and present me with a dish of fried ice cream.

So unless you were planning on giving me a stash of Coke Zero, don’t waste your money on a birthday gift for me. I’m curious what people will do/say, so I will report back next week to let you know how my non-tangible birthday gift experiment went.

Coachella 2010 Lineup



Forget all those SkyMall wishlist items…please just donate to my Fund for Coachella Concert Tickets!



Skymall Birthday Wishlist

I love to shop, but not in the traditional “Let’s go to the mall and have a girly shopping spree heyday” kind of shopping. As soon as I was old enough to help my mom clip coupons, I gained mad discount bargain shopping skills. I am true to my brand loyalties, despite buying most of my stuff at discount retailers and thrift stores. Growing up, I was a sucker for the “As Seen On TV” commercial products (I still am, if the recently acquired SlapChop in my cupboard is any indication). I’ve been shopping online since the late 1990’s, and get better prices on the things I do buy that way. Although I don’t do much shopping from catalogs, I have had a longtime guilty pleasure obsession with SkyMall Magazine.

Nothing produces a case of the “Gimmes” more than Skymall. It’s a brilliant airline marketing tactic…fill 136 pages with exciting and unique products, and provide each passenger with a copy at arm’s length. I usually ban myself from even pulling the magazine out of my seatback pocket, knowing that I will launch into greedy materialistic consumer mode before I hit 10,000′ altitude. But on my flight back from Memphis this weekend, I indulged in a little SkyMall fantasizing. In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday (in 17 days), here is my Skymall wishlist:

Magellan Aluminum Wallet $29.95

I’ve never actually purchased something directly through Skymall, but I have found the items on eBay and purchased them for much less (I still don’t know why people pay $30 for an iPod charger when you can get one for less than $3 on eBay…) If these gifts are out of your price range, you can also check out my Amazon Wishlist…and I say this in the least greedy, “I’ll still be your friend regardless of the gift” voice possible. I like presents, but I like friends more. Stay tuned for details on my upcoming 30th birthday bash on February 5th…

Just for fun…comment and tell me what your SkyMall obsession items!

The Tayviator is Thirty

This is my Tayviator. That’s Taylor + Aviator, if you didn’t already figure it out. He turned 30 today, and I want to tell you some of the reasons I love him.

He’s a good big brother…he’s the oldest of seven and he makes sure that all of his siblings feel important.

He’s good with technology. He figures out the stuff for me that I’m too impatient to do myself.

He’s a good protector of the family

He’s Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent

He’s worked hard to complete his education

He’s willing to try new things, even when he looks like a fool

He stands up for what he believes in

He is an extremely loyal friend

He has a “Taylorsmile” and kind eyes

He has forever enriched the lives of Rosie and I

He came into my life exactly when I needed him

He let me put this picture in our wedding announcements, even though he thought the pose was cheesy and contrived

He tells me often that he loves me more than the day he married me

He looks so irresistible lying next to his laptop

He’s survived some pretty hellish times, including a trip to Hell (Michigan)

He shares his Diet Coke when we go out to dinner

He puts the twinkle in my eye

He humors me with taking pictures for my blog that he thinks are really lame

He loves the beach as much as I do (especially Ventura County)

He introduced me to In-n-Out

He takes my breath away

He makes our house feel like a home

He understands my need for adventure and culture, and takes me out on the town

He treats me the way an adoring husband should treat his wife

He has secret magical powers (and is a blast to be with at Disneyland)

He’s a devoted husband and father

He’s fun to fly with

He has extremely kissable lips (and they’re all mine)

He looks hot in his uniform

He’s fun to be with, both day and night

He loves to travel, and has afforded me many opportunities to see many parts of the country

He “rocks” my world

I love you, Tay!

Nine Years of Adventure

Dear Rosie,
Excitement and boredom. Joy and sadness. Change and adaptation. Hugs and kisses. Creativity and silliness. Independence and bravery. Fun and Culture. Travel and Home. Love and empathy. Childlike, yet mature. Seven moves, four states, lots of great food and countless people who love you. I’m so blessed that you’re mine. Please don’t grow up too fast.
Happy 9th birthday!


Birthday Bash

Last night was my big (little) birthday bash. It was an evening of friends new and old: high school friend, old roommates and pilot buddies. Taylor made his fabulous fajitas, and we celebrated with chocolate fudge fantasy cake. I was serenaded by Clint on his new single in production (and I say that a loosely as possible) Rosie took lots of funny pictures. We ended the night watching my favorite movie, Better off Dead, with a bunch of people who can quote the movie as well as I can. A fun evening, and a great way to usher in the last year of my twenties.

Birthday Blogging

Today was my 29th birthday. It started out with 3 hours of sleep. A conversation with Janet. 45 minutes more sleep. A shower. Waking up Rosie. Dropping her off at school. A really busy workday. Taking Rosie to the Dermatologist. Going out for a birthday dinner with Rosie. Waiting for Taylor to come home….only minutes away.

I was showered with kind greetings galore through Facebook, Twitter, Pilot Wives Club, Email, Text Message, and phone. It was great to have the support I did. Not the most spectacular of days, but not bad either.

Today is also Cpt. J’s wife’s birthday. Go wish her a rousing happy birthday too!

My birthday is in 5 days *hint hint*

If I could have ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING for my birthday this year, it would be a ticket to Coachella Music Festival. Oh, how I had $300 of disposable income! Look at the line up! My lifelong dream (since I really started caring about music as a child) has been to see Paul McCartney live. And he’s a HEADLINER. Plus The Cure….another band I’ve ached to see live. And Franz Ferdinand?!? And Amy Winehouse?!? And The Killers?!? If someone out there in the blogosphere really loves me….this is what I really REALLY want. Enough that I’d sit out in the desert sun for three days.

As far as obtainable gifts, my Amazon Wish List is updated…

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today has been a lovely day. If it were only for my dad’s progress, I would have been a happy 28 year old woman. But I got a whole day with Taylor, and we had a blast! I picked up up from the airport right after Rosie left for school, had a lot of alone time together, had a nice lunch at Chili’s, went shopping for some gifts, Taylor cooked dinner, and we had cake and ice cream with Rosie. I finally got the Imaginiff board game, which I’ve been wanting for about 6 months. Rosie made me a beautiful necklace out of my nicest beads, and a bunch of handmade paper flowers.

For anyone who lives in Michigan, or wants to come out, we are having a birthday party/housewarming shindig on Friday night. Let me know if you want to come!

27th Birthday Shindig

Okay…here’s the 411

Birthday party at my house in La Verne on Friday, Feb 9 from 6:30 to 10:30. Message me if you need directions.

No gift required…but if you are feeling extra generous, I love restaurant and movie gift cards 🙂

***In case you don’t know me very well…no alcohol will be served. I got teased at work today for saying that the party would consist of pizza and cake.