As many of you know, June is my birthday month and I celebrate it the entire length and breadth of it. This started in university when 3 of my closest friends had their birthday celebrations at the start of the month, and I wanted to join in. Since that time my self-indulgence for birthday celebrations has only grown, and I now consider any and all activities in the month of June as a personal Triumph to my glory - a bit egotistical??? Perhaps, but I share my fun with many.
I LOVE my birthday! I love looking back on the year that has been, and celebrating how far I have come, what I have achieved, and how lucky I am. This year was extra special - it was the first year I got to share my birthday with my son AND it was the first time I had ever had a summer birthday!!! Whoo!!
So the beginning of the month was the end of the road trip in the big blue car - not a bad start! This was followed by many coffee dates with the girls, going to the baseball, quality time with my boys, and finishing uni for the semester! Then the real fun began at the end of the month! It started with a post-yoga lunch at the pool with the ladies and their babies. Lots of fun. We made many American families jealous with the smells of a typical Aussie beach lunch - a BBQ chock, lettuce and coleslaw. The sun shone brightly, Zac and I bobbed in the water, and laughter filled the air. A very good day.
A few days later, Tristan and I got up at the crack of dawn, dropped Zac off at his 'quarter cousin's' house (that's what one of the boys introduced Zac as at baseball - awww), and headed to the mountains for an adventure - white water rafting!!! Ok, so it was Tristan's work function, not a Penni birthday event, but I had been wanting to go for ages, so in my head it was all for me ;-) We drove to Idaho Springs, and the mountain banks of the Colorado River where the water turned and churned its way down the 14,000 ft mountains as snow melt, into the river that will eventually wind its way to the Pacific ocean. However, as it was a tame snow season this year the water level was considerably lower than last year. But we were still excited! We geared up into stinky splash and life jackets, received a bank side safety lesson, and jumped into the raft (5-6 per raft). Keeping a hand firmly on the t-grip of the paddle, one foot wedged under the seat in front of us, we pushed off into the water. It was a beginners course, so there wasn't that much rough and tumble, but instead a pleasant ride in a narrow gorge (alongside the interstate...). Sure we got stuck on a rock and one of the other rafts barged us and lost a small child overboard into the very chilly water, but all in all it was a quiet ride. We had a small splash in the water at the end (we all cooked in our splash jackets and the sun was scorching!!), and caught a school bus back to the start point. It was lots of fun, and next time we absolutely want to challenge ourselves with an intimidate course. After the adventure, we had lunch at a microbrewery and I left Tristan to hang out with his work colleagues while I wondered the town, looking at antique shops, little boutiques and cafes. I really enjoyed myself.
My next celebration was shared with an 11 year old boy - Zac's 'quarter cousin' was entering his tween years and 'we' (his Mum and I) decided to share our actual birthday parties. It started with another poolside lunch (yum) and lots of frivolity. Zac and I shared some special moments curled up under a tree. We then went back to our house where we had an all-American BBQ. I cooked ribs for the first time (they turned out fantastic), we had some chicken wings and other bits and pieces. Everyone had a really good time. It's was lovely to look around and see how settled we were into our life over here, and how our extended 'family' came together for a celebration. I definitely missed my nearest and dearest from home, but it was wonderful to finally have a pool party summer birthday!!
And then, the next morning I get up and see that I have a few messages from my nearest and dearest on my phone. It seems they were having a get together at home and wanted to Skype!!! So lucky me got to spend the morning of my actual birthday catching up with some mates from home. It meant more to me than I can ever express. The best birthday gift I could imagine. So you see, my birthday month was fabulous. Spent in the sun, surrounded by friends, spending it with my little boy for the very first time, in the arms of my husband, a long way from home on an adventure of a lifetime. How lucky am I!!!!!