Matt turns 34

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If you didn’t know, I had another birthday this weekend, passing my 34th annual mile-marker, and I loved every minute of it. The official day came on Wednesday, which Vivian and I celebrated with each other for the most part. She dropped by my office at lunchtime with some of my favorite food: onion rings and guacamole bacon cheeseburgers from Louie M’s Burger Lust! We ate at the park and gave Hannah a taste or two of guacamole, which she seemed to like.

Presents were waiting for me at home that evening as Jack and Donna stopped by to care for Hannah as we had a night out. They included a restaurant gift card, a T-shirt from Stella’s, and a bunch of books — enough to keep me reading for a good while. Then Vivian took me out for dinner at the 801 Chophouse, where we had ribeye steaks, lobster mashed potatoes, and sauteed mushrooms with Boursin cheese courtesy of everyone’s favorite swing-dancing chef, Brian.

And speaking of swing-dancing, I dropped by the Eagle’s Lodge on Friday for an obligatory birthday jam and one of Bob’s happy birthday cupcakes. We seem to get out to dance so seldom these days, but we might have to remain away from the dance floor until we either find a regular babysitter or Hannah learns how to Lindy Hop, whichever comes first.

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My “official” birthday party came on Saturday, and it started down at Orval Smith Park in Ralston. I “parked” myself at a pavilion for a couple hours and saved it for our friends before they started arriving. We had a fun crowd that was a blend of jitterbug friends, church friends, and other friends all mixed together. Jack and Pastor Drew took turns grilling up burgers and hot dogs for our crew, and Hannah brought another one of her amazing cakes. Hannah got to meet a couple new friends, and Eric brought out a frisbee as the sun went down.

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We retreated back to the house after dark and played a couple fun rounds of the New Yorker game. The object was to come up with witty captions to go along with single-panel comics from the New Yorker magazine, a task that proved to be much more hilarious after a drink or two.

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Of course, this was also Labor Day weekend, and that meant plenty of our friends were also having parties of their own. On Sunday, we made the two or three block trip south to hang out with some of our friends at Merinda’s house for a “tri-wizard” birthday party. We got to play Cards Against Humanity, which was kind of like a horribly perverted version of Apples of Apples. I also got to hang out in the park next door with a couple of fun kids, test-driving the playground for Hannah once she gets old enough to swing around like a monkey. Hannah had a fun time indoors being adorable for everyone and crawling around after mom.

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On Labor Day itself, after cleaning house and pretending to make good use of our time, we dropped by Frank’s house for a campfire party, which was right around the corner from Merinda’s house and just as easy to wander by. Hannah got the chance to be more adorable, and the rest of us got the chance to have black-and-blue burgers and s’mores — at least until it started sprinkling.

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