So, my 34th birthday came and went this weekend and it was the most eventful yet uneventful birthday I’ve ever had.

It’s been a while since I really cared about my birthday (I mean, once you turn 30, what’s the point? You’re just 30-something every year until you’re 40: woo hoo). But this year I was honestly too busy to even manage to care.

Still, we had a few celebratory moments amidst all the weekend work.

Birthday weekend in a nutshell:


No celebrations at work; too busy prepping for the weekend’s game testing sessions with kids. Left work at 5:00, rushed to BART to pick up Trent who had raced back to the old apartment to drop off the keys and pick up the security deposit. Then we raced to the bank together to deposit the check. Then we raced home to unpack some more. Then we slowed down and had company over. Ahhh.

“Company” being Marlene, Tim, and Laetitia, who brought wine, champagne, and tapas. We ate, drank, toasted, and hung out in the backyard while Sam and Andy (Tim and Laetitia’s dog) tore up every corner of earth they could get their paws on. We also commiserated with Tim and Laetitia about the perils of owning an old house, since they recently bought one themselves and have been systematically putting the smackdown on it.

Sam in the yard waiting for Andy to chase him.

Sam putting the moves on Andy.

Marlene, Trent, and Tim in the backyard at sunset.

First dose of sunset chillin’ in the backyard.

The back of the house, with siding half complete.

Our backdrop: house with new siding half-up, over 21st century weather barrier. Foreground: our olive tree.

Sunset from our backyard.

Sunset, birthday eve 2012.

Toasting for Lisa's birthday.

Happy birthday, happy house.

I was so tired I fell asleep on top of the dirty packing towel pile in our big leather armchair somewhere around 10:30, but it was the best birthday celebration I think I could have managed at a time like this. I had a blast.


My actual 34th birthday. I worked 9:00 – 5:00, and interviewed 23 kids during play testing sessions for our new Climate Lab video game at Chabot. I was absolutely exhausted when it was over, but hey — my boss made me a yummy vegan chocolate cake! I ate a quarter of it, for realsies (there are worse ways to spend a birthday).

Trent came and picked me up from work, and we raced to Bay Street in Emeryville so I could quickly find a dress for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary party this week. It wasn’t QUITE as quick and easy as I’d hoped, but I found one. Then we raced home so I could start downloading my photos for AJS as promised.

My birthday dinner was takeout from the Mexican place in our hood. It was pretty good. My birthday present was a great husband who, while I was at work, went to Home Depot and bought all the supplies on the “birthday weekend list” I gave him, fixed the molding at the entrance to the kitchen, and built out half our bedroom closet. Yes!

Then I passed out on the couch (are you sensing a theme yet?). Happy birthday to me!


I woke up early and cleaned up some of the mess around the house. Then we raced to Montclair Village to do a little shopping, because after THAT we had to head back up to Roberts Redwoods park (where my office is located). Our friends Geoff and Megan had actually picked it for their son, Kai’s, first birthday party, and it was a great choice on a beautiful spring day.

We brought Sam and we hung out with the kiddos and the other doggies in the sunshine, eating pizza (well, not me — boo) and drinking beer (well, not the kiddos — boo) and watching Kai strut around the park with the help of two fingers.

Geoff and Kai, the birthday boy.

Happy birthday, little dude!

I was glad Kai celebrated his birthday this weekend because it made me realize that if I had been too concerned with my own birthday, out partying on Saturday night, I probably would have been out of commission for Kai’s. And Kai’s birthday was way better. There comes a point in life when you just gotta age out of some rituals so you can make the time and save the energy to enjoy them with the folks who deserve them most. Like Kai.

So after Kai’s birthday, we went to Home Depot (I caught a quick nap in the car on the way there) and bought more house supplies. Then we went home and Trent finished the other half of the bedroom closet, and I FREAKIN’ ROCKED the unpacking of the living room.

Our living room, starting to look cozy.

It’s gettin’ cozy in here!

So much so that Trent went back to the store, and bought groceries for our Sunday-pizza-night ritual so we could try it out in our new cozified living room.

Which was awesome, and then I passed out on the couch.

Bring on 34!

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4 thoughts on “34

  1. Congratulations, Lisa and Trent, on learning how to celebrate the moments in life! And such big and wonderful moments they are! This 34th birthday is special. It marks a place in your life where you have learned to experience and balance everything that is good and important and wonderful in life, family, friends, home, and the beautiful gifts of nature, like your backyard with that gorgeous sunset and that little olive tree!! I can’t imagine what joys life will bring by the time you turn 40!

    As for Kai and his family, isn’t is nice to view life from a different perspective? You share a birthday with Kai, and your celebrations have taken a different turn, but they are no less fun. Life has so many unique and special moments, and you are so are humble enough to realize how lucky you are!

    Okay, I have to laugh at the images of Sam and his buddy tearing up the backyard. That dog just cracks me up the way he plays so well with other boys and girls. He must think he died and went to heaven. I can’t wait to play ball toss in the back yard with him.

    Grandpa is going to enjoy the pictures of the house and the scaffolding. He analyzes every shot and every angle to make sure it is done correctly, and he has no complaints! Randy and the team are awesome!

    And even more important, you have good Mexican food close to home! That will be my first request for a meal when I get there. I can’t wait to sit on that deck and soak up the afternoon sun, and watch Trent complete a home improvement project. Tim Allen has nothing on Trent! I can’t think of a better birthday gift than a well organized closet!

    As for falling asleep in a heap every night, you got that from me. But I like to think it is because I have “sucked the marrow out of the bone of life” every day, and I wouldn’t miss a minute of it!

    Life is good!



  2. Joyce Ruschhaupt says:

    Hi Lisa & Trent:
    Just realized I was a day late on the B-day congrats; of course, we were a month early on the gift? Does that balance out???? Somehow I had 6/3 as the date… bad Mom-in-Law!
    Congrats on the house, B-day and weekend of “adult” fun. Kai is beautiful… not too sure about what’s happening — great photo! Thanks for sharing; now go take a nap.
    Have a great trip and give Sam & Lucy a huge hug and congrats from Bryce and I for their very special “togetherness”… 65 years! WOW….
    Hugs to you too two!
    CA Mom….

  3. […] We closed on 3675 on May 4, 2012: just shy of our one-year wedding anniversary. We moved in on June 1, 2012: the day before my 34th birthday. […]

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