Weekends

"The Weekend Recap": Bountiful Birthday Blessings

Lucky birthday girl…and husband…

I woke up Friday morning, feeling like something about that morning was different.  It took me some time to make sense of it all – the husband still sleeping in the bed beside me (he’s normally long gone to the hospital by the time I wake up in the morning), the sunshine streaming into the room (it was actually WARM when I woke up that morning), and the knowledge I would be leaving the office that day at the stroke of 12…noon…

…even with a 12 hour difference, I was almost feeling Cinderella-esque…

…and the fact that sometime in the middle of my slumber, an another year of life had slowly slipped by.

And I felt blessed.  So very blessed.

Spring flowers are blooming in my home! 

Upon my arrival at work, I was greeted by a thoughtful card signed by all of my co-workers taped to my door.  There were a slew of sweet baked goods that adorned the top of the shared “kitchen” space (a long table with a microwave, coffeemaker, and toaster).  Moments later, a dozen roses were placed in my arms along with kind words and sweet wishes for the next year of life….along with the beautiful orchid plant given to be a couple days earlier, so very fitting for the start of Spring that actually FELT like Spring.

And I felt blessed.  So very blessed.

The clock on my computer announced that my workday was over.  I said thank you to those in the office and headed out the door into the beautiful Michigan Spring day.  While I wouldn’t have complained if the temperature had been just ten degrees warmer, I would take what I could get (upper 50s…nothing to sneeze at here in East Lansing).

Root, root, root for the BRAVOS!!

The highlight of the day was being able to do something I’ve always wanted to do on this particular special occasion.  We drove an hour and a half to the wonderful city of Detroit to watch the Atlanta Braves get blown out by play the Detroit Tigers. 

…and despite the utterly life crushing devastation disappointment of a game lost…

I felt blessed.  So very blessed.
New discoveries!  LUNCH!!

One blissfully restful slumber later, we begin a new day of celebration (heck, if we as the human race are forced to grow older, I feel we are deserving of longer and grander celebrations of our birth with every year that passes by).

A new year of life demands exploring new places…to eat.  This one in particular gave me new-found hope that there can be good Asian fusion foods here in Michigan.  With their creative take on sushi and other Korean/Japanese traditional fare, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.  Tamaki has officially taken its place on my Top Five list of restaurants, along with Moe’s Southwest Grill (on E Grand River Ave), Altu’s (on Michigan Ave), Thai Princess (on Central Park Drive in Okemos), and Brody Neighborhood (on MSU campus).

Doesn’t it all just LOOK yummy?  :-9

With bellies full, we headed towards one of my most favorite places to do one of my most favorite things (actually, this has only been a “most favorite thing” for a few months now) – The Tanger Outlet in Howell, MI.

Retail therapy to help me overcome the pains of the evening before…

If there’s one thing I appreciate about my husband is that he is sooooo generous…not once did he complain about how much money we were spending going from store to store.  If anything, I was more nervous about the money I was spending than he was.  But we both left with great apparel bought at great prices.

And I felt blessed.  So very blessed.
Upon our return to East Lansing, we prepared ourselves for an evening of food and fun at the Taste of East Lansing event (with some of our resident friends).  
Lady and Gentlemen…START YOUR APPETITES!!
With food vouchers in hand, we scanned the tables and booths sampling and getting plates of the most appetizing fare.  Everything we got our hands on was so delectably yummy.  We all agreed that the Indian food was probably the best (despite the fact Priyank and I couldn’t stop eating the walnut and cranberry filled dark chocolate).
Good times…good times…
To make things even better, our friend Priyank placed a bid in the silent auction…and WON a MSU Spartan football autographed by Coach Mark Dantonio!  We were all so happy for him (and only a TEENY bit jealous).  By the end of the evening, I was tired but happy…sitting around and chatting with my friends over frozen yogurt (at SugarBerry on E. Grand River Ave) and some hot tea (back at Priyank’s apartment).
And I felt blessed.  So very blessed.
After another night of peaceful and restful slumber, I woke up to spend the morning shopping with Priyank at the Lansing Mall.  
Thank you, James and Hema/Jag, for the lovely watch!  😀
With a 25% off Macy’s coupon and $50 in Macy’s gift cards (thanks to my friends James and Hema/Jag), I made a beeline for the jewelry counters with one objective in mind – buying the perfect white, ceramic watch.  Obviously, I found one that suited me (and I paid just one-third of the retail price for this watch).  Priyank (not be outdone) decided at the spur of the moment to also purchase a watch (you can ask him when you see him).  We had fun chatting with the salesladies who helped us as they rang up the items and removed watch band links to adjust the size for us.  Great watches, great deals, great service…what more can you ask for?
I felt blessed.  So very blessed.
My very first [not-really] 5K race!!

As we left the Lansing Mall, we came to the realization that we were going to be VERY late to our next event destination – the Susan G Komen 5K Run/Walk in Lansing, MI.  As Priyank used his “I learned to drive in India” skills to weave his way through Lansing traffic (God bless the person who invented police radar detectors), we were both sweating bullets wondering if we would make it to the starting line in time.

We didn’t…we had missed the group by about 10 to 15 minutes. 

So we began to run to catch up…deciding to take a shortcut and skipping the first “just under one mile” of the race (hence, the “not really 5K race”).  We were “cheating,” I guess…but we weren’t competing for anything…and we assumed the foundation was more interested in our monetary contribution than whether we ran every step of the 5K anyway.

A little less than one mile from the finish line (I did run most of that first mile and a half…honest!), we caught up to Mrinal and Dareen.  The guys took off for the finish line while Dareen and I walked briskly behind them.  We finished the race and felt good about our contribution to the fight against breast cancer (especially Dr. Priyank “about to be Hem-Onc fellow” Patel).  I was proud of myself, having run as much as I did and onlt feeling just a little bit winded (though my hair was a frizzy disaster).

And I felt blessed.  So very blessed.

While this birthday may not have been your typical birthday bash weekends (I didn’t even get a cake this year), it will still go down as one of the most memorable.  It’s all thanks to the people who made what would otherwise have seen mundane so much fun.

It’s not about what you do for your birthday.  It’s all about who you share it with.  And it just so happens that I’m surrounded by some really awesome people who went out of their way to make me feel special on this anniversary of my coming into existence.  It really makes one feel loved…knowing they are celebrating that anniversary with you.

Thanks to ALL of you! – InChul/Tyler, Walter, Priyank, Mrinal, Dareen, Hisham, Hema, Jag, James, Ian, Joonseok, Soo Young, Jinsoo, Ran, Jiho, my MSUCOM co-workers, and all of my Facebook friends and family who went out of their way to say “Happy Birthday” to me.

Because of you, I feel blessed.  So very VERY blessed.
 Now…where can I get some cake?  :-9


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