birthday extravaganza

my 28th birthday finds me in a somewhat rough spot. i keep swinging back and forth between optimism and skepticism, i’ve been laid off and have put some distance in my family, meanwhile i’ve had some great interviews and keeping myself busy with work that is extremely important to me.

knives
from a softer world.

i turned 28 on february 16th and thought this year, man, i’m skipping town. i need to see some people i feel like myself with, need to wander a little and feed the parts of me that are restless. i bought myself some birthday flowers and they are just not doing the trick, although Whole Foods gets points for trying.
thanks trader joe's

so i booked a ticket from chicago
to denver
to philadelphia
back to chicago…

things kicked off with joe (of joe and kendra)
mandy, kendra, me, joe, melissa

picking me up from the airport in the late morning / early afternoon… and we caught up while waiting for kendra to get home by wandering the denver MCA
denver MCA

it was such a picturesque place to hang with an old friend, we ended up at the rooftop cafe drinking coffee and admiring the skyline.

THEN i made poor joe run an errand with me… i’ve been drinking these things called new whey protein so we went looking for a GNC (can’t carry them on a plane and didn’t want to check a bag) and we were able to find one but apparently new whey’s been recalled. so instead i tried this thing that tastes like rancid flintstone vitamins called liquid morph, and to make a long story short it’s FULL OF NIACIN and i had a severe reaction to it – like took a swig, walked across the room, and asked joe if someone was putting out lit matches on my face. my face was BURNING. kendra said she could see the sunburn-resembling reaction sweep across my face, down my chest and arms… so we called mandy, my best friend who happens to be a pharmacist, who advised me that a hospital trip was unnecessary unless i was having trouble breathing. awesome. thankfully we weren’t at that point and didn’t reach it.

i had recovered enough in the course of an hour to attend dinner with joe and kendra at their friends’ apartment where i met their peeps and had a great time at dinner.

monday was my actual birthday :) i spent the majority of my time monday, tuesday, and wednesday with the elias fund boys, doing some branding workshops and badgering them with questions like “if elias fund had ten commandments, what would they be? what are your stake-in-the-ground ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt nots’?”

it was hugely refreshing to hang with the elias boys. to see how they’ve been running this thing for four years is amazing. it’s all very scrappy and kept together with duct tape and dreams. their offices are in a church basement and our conference room had remodeling debris but there was also a whiteboard and a couple laptops, so who cares? we got done what needed doing :)

the elias fund boys hard at work

monday night i was able to meet up with brad corrigan and a few other people for birthday dinner! we went to a pub down the street and since i had only mentioned it was my birthday that morning, they showered me with gifts from a seven eleven raid (perfect!). PLUS they mentioned my birthday to the waitress and i can say with no exaggeration that they gave us a brownie a la mode the size of a brick. and five spoons. DONE.

also somehow in this dinner i was convinced that this was the year to go back to nicarauga. more on that later.

tuesday was more elias fund, with a lunch stop at Duffy’s – this place is famous for its cinnamon rolls, but they’re not like cinnabon, they’re like air wrapped around sugar. super good.
duffy's

and since part of my plan for the boys is to be more the face of elias fund, i took a couple snaps just to be a pain in the ass.
eric byington <- eric, scott -> scott byington

tuesday night joe, kendra and i met up with my buddy aaron who is a very important character from my days in iowa… aaron and his buddy drew met us at a fantastic pizza place, then since joe wasn’t feeling well and kendra had to go back to work (poor girl!!), aaron, drew, and i went to a fantastic dessert place across the street and i had a second birthday party with the boys. and got to have a red velvet cupcake, my favorite :) it was scrumptious and had sprinkles and i could only eat about a third of it because after my first bite of sugar i claimed my pupils were dialated…

afterwards the guys and i gassed up aaron’s car, and we ended up driving around for a bit before they headed back to fort collins. to be honest, i spent most of that part of the evening trying to convince aaron to move back to chicago.
aaron

wednesday morning the elias guys and i buttoned up their new web site, and by 11am i had to head to the airport.
denver sky
later, denver. love you. see you again soon.

later that night, owen picked me up at the airport in philadelphia and we got home in time for LOST – which we’ve been dying to watch together. wednesday through saturday was lisa-and-owen time, watching movies and checking out crossfit and backrub parties and me watching owen play guitar. the kid’s a virtuoso.
media PA

and saturday morning, since there are literally no photos of owen and i in the same shot, his mom offered to take one. somehow it was a little awkward.
owen & me

especially the part when he and his dad got in a slapping match and he put me in the middle :)
owen & me

i got home on saturday afternoon and took a long nap. felt like this trip was the best idea i’ve had in years.

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