Jon’s birthday fun times!

Birthday! On Monday, Jon turned 28, and we celebrated with a day of hanging out and wandering around Brighton. Awesomely enough, the company he works for gives you a half day off on your birthday. Lucky duck.

We picked up a new pair of jeans for Jon (our new diet has solved most of his health problems and made him shed a couple of inches around the waist in the process, turning my already thin husband positively waif-like) and I gave him the fabulous watch he’s been wanting. We had a delicious sushi lunch at Yo! Sushi and an amazing steak dinner at a cute/weird little pub that evening with Jon’s parents and siblings. When we came home we toasted my favorite dude with some paleo-friendly brownies I made earlier that turned out astonishingly great (served with whipped coconut cream!). As you can see, most of Jon’s birthday revolved around eating. He’s pretty easy to please, when it comes down to it. And as far as I can tell he had a great day, which he 100% deserves.

Here’s to hoping 28 is a great year for Jon (and for me too, haha). Birthday, wooo!


Yesterday was lovely. I turned 28 on a sunshiney, chilly day in Brighton, and Jon and I had what we like to call a “good Brighton day”, where we just sort of wander around and enjoy all the weird and fabulous stuff happening in this city (a walk by the beach? check. shirtless dudes even though it’s barely 60 degrees  out? check. parade of activists going down the street, in this case chanting “meat is murder”? checkity check) We made our way over to some sort of arts festival that I never caught the name of, but that Jon thought would be right up my alley-he’s always right. This was after birthday pancakes and presents of course:)

I somehow managed to keep myself from buying books at this festival (as they always have used book sellers, and I can rarely say no), but I’ve got too many to-read books as it is in my house, and even cheap books aren’t as good as free books from the library, amirite? We did, however, purchase a screen print from a local artist featuring a whale saying hello in Welsh. Looking forward to framing that in our little abode!

Birthday part two was a bit more exciting. Jon surprised me with reservations at a cool little wine bar in town, and I loved it. Some of our friends met up with us there, and we caught up with Colin’s stories from his recent trip to Japan, and talked of other things. Eventually we moseyed over to the North Laines Brewery and colored some free children’s coloring pages while I drank cherry stout and enjoyed being an old lady. I was a little disappointed that no one could be bothered to go dancing or karaoking with me, but c’est la vie-people aren’t as crazy as they used to be in their early 20s, I guess!

The finished product of all our hard work. 

And this guy might be in this year’s Christmas card, perhaps with photoshopped santa hats and elves all around us…

The night ended with a visit and a drink at our friend/neighbor Lois’ place. She’s a fellow October birthday girl and we bid adieu to my birthday at midnight as we ushered hers right on in. I have to admit I was feeling a bit melancholy about the whole thing-not about getting older, but about only having Jon with me, and none of my old friends or family around. It was…a little emotional at times, which surprised me. But overall it was a nice day, and I’m a lucky lady.

How I looked on the way home.

Peace out 27! You were…okay, I guess. On to bigger and better things!

the sun came out and i stopped being sad for a while but now it’s raining again but i’m running on sunshiney fumes

It is ridiculous how tightly connected my emotions are with the weather. Yesterday was the first clear, dry day we’d had in a week and I basically strutted down the street while running errands, whistling a jaunty tune whilst twirling my cane, I was so happy. And Jon pointed out something very true about my life-I am the saddest when three things are happening/have happened. 1) I’ve recently left Ohio, 2) it is raining, 3) when I have no work to do. And all three of those marked the majority of this week. But things are looking to be on the upswing now, with a  jam-packed birthday weekend on the horizon, and various dinner and drink and unknown plans put together by my life partner waiting for me. And that should cheer any lady up. Plus, I just went for a run and all that business about endorphins is so true-I feel much better, even though it’s now begun to rain, once again. I can handle turning 28 in the rain though. It fits right into the story of my life and my non-American birthday celebrations-22 on an island in the Pacific, 25 in South Korea, 28 in the south of England (although I assume I’ll probably have more birthdays here along the way). It’s strange that even though I’ve had so many birthdays in America, the ones I don’t have there are the most peculiar.

(pictures up top: the beautiful skies of yesterday, long since gone; red lips and glasses on a date with my dude)

Annual musings

gray brighton october

At the risk of being a downer, coming back to England and its gray, dreary weather is not doing much for morale-specifically, my own. Barring one exceptional day, it has rained on these shores every day since we got back from our trip last week. Also, it’s cold. Like, skipped right over any sort of autumn and went straight to the weather that will be here through March (mid-50s, lots of rain, very monotone). And I can barely believe it was only a week ago that we came back-it seems like Ohio was ages ago, those memories tinted with a blaze of red and orange leaves everywhere, cold nights and warm days, and all the pumpkin spice lattes a girl could drink. Ahhh.

But that trip is over and now in one fell swoop I am seemingly unemployed and stuck inside while the rains continue to fall outdoors. Jon went back to work on Monday, that lucky duck, and so I’ve got a lot of alone time on my hands. My birthday is this weekend, and while I feel like I say this every year, I thought there would be some sort of tangible more to my life by this age. 28. Not old. But not young. Like I keep hitting these weird roadblocks that no one else is getting. Where my problems aren’t that I’m stuck in some mundane path itching to get out-but that I SHOULD have picked a more mundane path, because then at least I’d have more to show for it. And is it weird that one of the things I’m proudest of in my life at this point is my relationship? Because I don’t want to be a woman defined by that, but I am unabashedly pleased with where we are and how much joy we bring one another. And I don’t want to keep going to school because of my zig-zaggy life choices, and I don’t want to have kids yet either. I would love to travel more, but now isn’t a good time if I want to get the English visa that I’m after (which requires me to be in the UK full time for 2 and a half years first). So many questions and ideas and every year on my birthday I just wonder-where will I be next year? What will have changed? Will I be more satisfied then?

Last year at this time I was a few months away from finishing my Master’s. Newly, barely married but living in Ohio while Jon was living in Brighton. Chilling in my room in the Short North and wishing that time would speed up so Jon and could be legitimately together, while at the same time trying to soak up all the time in America I had left. And the year since then has been a good one, no doubt. No complaints to be had, not really, and in fact, so many things to be thankful for. But there is a yearning and a questioning that maybe will never be sated. Maybe 50 years from now, nearing my 78th birthday I’ll be asking the same things; what next? What is there for me in this life?

Jon’s Birthday Weekend

Jon’s birthday extravaganza was great, just great. Finally, he’s caught up with me age-wise. Until October,when I once again take the lead-suck on that, Norris!  We spent the early part of yesterday wandering around Brighton, looking at a few rentals (I think we found one, fingers crossed! It’s not available till March, but we may wait for it, because it’s awesome. Already, looking at rentals is so much more fun for us. I dig it.) We ate a delicious lunch at the Hove Kitchen-fancy scallops with sage for Jon and eggs benedict with salmon for me- and went to see the Descendants at the Odeon to kill some time before meeting everyone for dinner and drinks. The Descendants-it’s good! George Clooney isn’t normally my thing, and this felt like one of the most adult movies I’ve ever gone to see, in a very grown up way. Serious material but enough laughs to keep it from being a total sob fest. It made me think of something my mom would like. (You’ll like it Mom!) Normally I’m only down for paying to see movies that have lots of explosions or are just too good  to wait for. This was nice!

So anyway, we had pho for dinner, hung out with good people, Jon got drunk and we took the last train home. I wonder when I’ll get used to the end of the night being at midnight? In a country where pubs close at 11:30 or 12 and the train stop running at around the same time, you sort of get a built in curfew. I’m not complaining though-fast asleep by 1 a.m. is far better for my old lady skin and bod (and brain) then burning the midnight oil until 3 or 4!





My amazing lunch plate. Must learn to poach eggs. It can’t be that hard, right?image

imageJon’s tiny, but delicious scallops.


Someone got a Mario birthday card!image

Friday we had a lovely dinner out to begin the celebrations with Jon’s parents. (I realize this is all backwards. Oh well.) I liked these tree bits next to our table. The goat cheese ravioli was delicious as well!image


Also a couple bottles of wine made Jon and I have a little fashion shoot. I was digging this outfit, in case you were wondering.

Now that birthday weekend is winding down, there’s not much left to do. Some birthday banoffee pie for my man, some netflix and video games. It was a solid few days. I am content.



Shenanigans of the birthday variety

It has come to my attention that Friday night is maybe not a great time for a party with my friends. Most of them get worn down from the Monday to Friday grind, and/or have to work Saturday mornings, and that’s understandable-whereas I don’t do either because I’m a grad student and no Ohio State students have Friday classes. So last night’s party was maybe a little sleepier than intended, and instead of everyone getting tipsy and then dancing with me, I mostly made sure that everyone drank a lot and had a good time (and the dancing, unfortunately, was at a bare minimum). There was no raging dance party, but it was rowdy enough for a lady getting close to the end of her twenties!

    I had grand ideas of chilly autumnal weather, maybe serving up a pumpkin pie, and wearing something cute and weather-appropriate, like tights and shorts with chunky boots and a cute top. And I was oh so wrong. Led astray by the unseasonal 80 degree temperatures that won’t go away, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear, nor did I want to turn on the oven, so my mini menu ended up being a pretty interesting butternut squash dip I made from one of my CSA squashes, some baked brie in puff pastry with raspberry preserves, and a veggie tray. And, you know, booze and stuff. And I just threw on a dress and stuck with the chunky boots because dammit, I really wanted to wear them!

(yeah, my best friend wanted to do a little photo shoot and I obliged)

Again, I couldn’t say how good it makes me feel to be surrounded by a well-curated group of the most lovely friends that love me and are there for me when I need them, or just simply want them around. A joyous occasion like a birthday-an actual day spent in remembrance of the fact that one is alive and still chugging along in the great stream of humanity-is more worthy than I can think to elaborate on. Thanks for being there, loved ones.

My birthday-Part One!

Turning 27 has been a low key affair. The big day (har har) was yesterday and I had some important meetings and running around to do for visa stuff and thesis stuff, respectively. However, my afternoon class had been cancelled, so it was like a special birthday treat, particularly when accompanied by the gorgeous 80 degree summer redux that we have around here currently! I had gotten a present in the mail from Jon the day before, so I’d spoiled that surprise already-I obviously opened it immediately. However, I will be taking advantage of a special part of Jon’s card for me…

That cheesy button is awesome. Keeping the love alive across the Atlantic! It will be worn this evening at the little party I am having so I don’t sit at home alone, weeping into popcorn watching endless episodes of Charmed on netflix with the dogs. Have I mentioned that I do that? Because I do, sometimes. Generally not with the crying though, but I digress.

Anyway, back to birthday. Originally my best lady friend in the whole world had asked me to go to dinner with her, because she is a wonderful friend and knows my life. Of course I said yes. And then we slowly accrued several other friends who called to see if I wanted company on the actual day of my birth (rather than waiting for the day-after party). These are good people! So last night as we sat around some delicious food and a few tasty beverages at the Jury Room, I felt incredibly thankful and grateful for these friends of mine. And then I realized that every single one of them has been in my life since I was around 7 or 8 years old. And that is a blessing. 20+ years of friendships going strong….beautiful stuff.  And a bit of a surprise, if you think about it.

It was a quiet evening, but it was a reminder that even when things seem not so great (my husband does live in another country, after all-that can be a bummer, especially with no guarantee on how our visas will turn out) that they really are nothing to scoff at, and I have been given some amazing people to accompany me on my journey.

Beautiful flowers from Nia and her little man.

I like the juxtaposition of this picture of Katie and Lindsey…

…with this one.

Oh, and my fabulous roommates surprised me this morning with breakfast in bed, acompanied by the birthday song as they came up the stairs. I was incredibly confused, since um, my birthday was yesterday. But it seems they knew that and said “sorry it wasn’t yesterday!” So, case closed. And delicious breakfast consumed.

Tonight-a party, full of dancing and more people that make my heart sing. Oh, and cheese.