being in the mix and turning 36

sorry … i simply couldn’t help myself. had to find a rhyming word that worked with 36. probably because we’ve been reading lots of rhyming bedtime stories. also just because its fun. after all, at 36, sitting at my grown-up work desk and making my way through emails and quietly going through the alphabet looking for THE word that rhymes with 36 just so i could type this up. yep! maturity comes with age, doesn’t it?

actually, my birthday weekend has been wonderful. it started out with walking into my office on friday morning and bursting into laughter because our student workers put a lot of time and energy into making my office festive after i left on thursday afternoon. american flags, christmas stockings and st. patrick’s day garland kept me laughing throughout the day on friday! have i mentioned that students workers are super-fun energy in an office? well, they are!
friday nights have been date nights for panda and i. shortstack typically spends fridays at papa and gma’s house so that he can get spoiled which means that panda and i have some time to spend together focused on ourselves and each other. typically date night ends up with both of us asleep by 8:30 … yep! we’re party animals!! this past friday, we attempted to stir things up and bit and aimed to stay awake until at least 9:00. heeheehee … we made it … barely! went for a stroll around kapiolani park and waikiki beach. now, i have a confession to make. being a local girl, growing up in kailua, we – as rule of thumb – stayed away from waikiki for the most part. we would enjoy going down to kapiolani park to enjoy a sunset picnic every once in a while, but we stayed away from tourist central. on the other hand, panda is a kaimuki girl. she worked in and enjoys waikiki so, when we got together, i found myself being introduced to daily life and enjoyment of life near, in and around waikiki. i wish that i had the camera with me when we went for our stroll ~ the sunset was AMAZING!! every so often i get a screaming-loud reminder why this state is considered paradise.
now, i’m not a big birthday person. i like them quiet, small and fanfare-less. so my birthday weekend was “practically perfect in every way” (if you know that quote, then you are definitely a friend of mine!). saturdays are “get-things-done” days. costco run, cooking, cleaning, entertaining … BUT they are also the FIRST day of the weekend which means the FIRST day of weekend coffee!! so, i think explanation may be needed here. as you may have inferred by now, i am a coffee addict (which a freely, shamelessly and loudly admit). weekday coffee (monday, 12 AM through friday, 6 PM) is strong, black and usually set to automatically start brewing at 5:15 AM. weekend coffee is a different story altogether! it’s still strong, but weekends (typically saturdays and sundays – except for those sweet and rare 3 or 4 day weekends) mean coffee in all its fun manifestations! coffee with flavored creamers, coffee drinks – hot and cold, coffee with sugar, iced coffee (usually AM leftovers) with whipped cream! and then of course, the delivery and consumption of weekend coffee – HUGE coffee cups, multiple servings of HUGE coffee cups, coffee while lingering over conversation and yummy breakfasts, coffee while beach walking, coffee in my pjs with no rush to get changed … OH!! the LOVE of weekend coffee! so, where was i going with this? oh yeah! saturday morning started with weekend coffee at kalapawai market in kailua town (gotta review this later! because it is a gem of kailua!!) picked up shortstack, did the requisite costco run, picked up a fish tank (again, more on this later!) and made it home and started cooking. you see, saturday night was a special night for me … hanai cousins of mine who i haven’t seen in 15 years were coming over. yep! FIFTEEN years! tough to believe. so i, of course, wanted to make a killer meal. and, because panda had mexican from our fave mexi place on friday for lunch, i had mexi on the mind. so chx enchiladas and serve-yourself-taco bar was on the menu. for those of you who know me, i LOVE my kitchen! i ADORE spending time puttering, creating, attempting recipes in my little slice of heaven of our home. for the most part, i think that panda and shortstack tend to enjoy the fruits of that labor. but on saturday afternoon, i found myself giving panda a look of horror as she naively asked: why do you make food that takes so long to cook? i swear, my mouth dropped open and i was speechless. yep! SPEECHLESS!! funny thing is, she was sincerely being concerned about me. you see, i’m supposed to be writing my thesis. and, for some reason, my thesis chair has charged panda with kicking my a$$ into sitting down and really writing and panda thought that i would quickly throw food together for saturday night dinner and then spend the rest of the afternoon really writing. oops! saturday night with the cousins was a BLAST! it’s fun to catch up after years of absence in each other’s lives. partly because we have the hanabata day history and we know what we WERE like … and now, well, we’re supposedly grown up … there’s a new generation in this hanai family (namely shortstack who seems to ADORE all the attention from the aunties), we have jobs, partners, experiences, bills … all the fun stuff! and we’re different … our relationships, experiences, thoughts, schooling … all of it … has changed us. but deep down, we’re still the little snot-nosed cousins that gave each other a hard time, banded together at family gatherings and keep each other entertained throughout our childhood. so, in many ways, it was fitting to revisit that piece of my past before watching another year of my life begin.
i cana’t wait to share my birthday day events with you all … and my thoughts on being 36 … but i have a small-kine travel hiccup for my business trip that needs attention, so i guess i’ll get that taken care of and catch up with y’all later …
have yourself a beautiful day!
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