Monday, November 23, 2020

My Pandemic Birthday

Last Friday, I celebrated my birthday and officially turned 36.

After this calendar year, I have to admit that I was excited for a "new beginning" no matter how small.  So far, 36 hasn't been too much different than 35, but I have a lot of plans and goals for this upcoming year.  The biggest being that Eliot and I have been working so hard on finishing our house so we can finally get a puppy.  (Actually, that was going to be my birthday present from my parents, but I told them we needed to wait.  The house isn't ready.  Plus, I don't want to be potty training a puppy when it's getting colder out.)  Hopefully, by this time next year, I'll have a bouncy puppy (or puppies!) that will get in the way when I'm opening presents! 

Year 35 has been interesting.  It started off with a bang with all of our travels.  Then, there was a lot of time at home this year during the ongoing pandemic.  2020 has certainly been a year like none we've experienced before.  I have to admit, I didn't think we'd still be doing the whole coronavirus thing this severely by this point.  I figured by now, we would have been able to flatten the curve and that we'd all be on our way to getting the vaccine... not that cases across the country would be breaking records with multiple states re-entering quarantine the week of my birthday.  As of my birthday, Massachusetts has restricted travelers from Maine.  (So there go my plans of visiting the Disney Store one more time during the holiday season... blah.)

Thankfully, Maine hasn't quite gotten to those extremes yet.  I'm very thankful that I was able to go out and about (cautiously and safely) to have some small semblance of normalcy.  And by COVID standards, I had a wonderful birthday!  Eliot took the day off from work so we could celebrate it in true 2020 style.

I usually wear something fun and festive for my birthday, but this year I opted for comfort above all.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, but I wore my "Happy" Mickey shirt, black leggings, my ice cream cone and rainbow sprinkle scrunchie from Enchanted Candy Carousel and my Rapunzel Face Mask from Park Candy.

First, we ordered a take out from our local IHOP and ate it in the car.  I got my favorite pumpkin pancake breakfast combo.  They even put rainbow sprinkles on my pancakes since Eliot told them it was my birthday! 

After finishing our pancakes, Eliot and I drove up to August to meet up with Mom, Dad and Nana in the Lowes parking lot.  My Mom had a doctor's appointment up in Bangor anyways, so they were already half way there.  By the time we got there, it was already dark so Nana stayed in the car, but Mom and Dad got out to visit with us.  We all had our face masks on and we stayed a bit away from each other while we talked.  Then, they gave me my birthday cards to open.  (My Mom got a chuckle out of me asking if the money they gave me was safe.)  They also got me a potted lily plant.

Dad went inside Lowes with Eliot and me to check out the Disney display.  Then, we picked up a few things we needed.  Dad also ended up buying us some Bounty paper towels since that store actually had some in stock!  (Even the lady at the check out was surprised!)  After that, we said goodbye to my family so they could drive home.

Eliot and I stayed in Augusta a while longer.  First, we went to Walmart to meander around the store and the Christmas stuff.  I was so excited to find a few things that we'd been looking for!  Plus, Eliot and I also got some new Disney Christmas socks!

After that, we went to the one store I'd wanted to for my birthday- Michael's.  (We'd talked about driving the rest of the way up to Waterville to go to the Hobby Lobby, but we realized that we would run out of time with all of the stores closing early due to the coronavirus.)  I was content going to Michael's though.  We've never been in the Augusta store, so it was fun to check that out.  I enjoyed checking out their Christmas decor.  Before we left, Eliot and I bought a few large plastic ornaments to experiment with for some business and home decor ideas.

We ended the night at Barnes and Noble which didn't close until 10.  At this point, pretty much every other store was closed so both Michael's and Barnes and Noble were empty.  Eliot and I were some of the only customers in the book store.  We looked through the books getting ideas for our Christmas wish lists.  After wandering around for a bit, we purchased two children's Christmas books to add to our collection.

Then, we hopped into the car and started our trip home.  Eliot drove home since I'd driven up and it was nice to sit back and relax.  (Plus, my eyes have sometimes been bothering me at night.)  In Topsham, we stopped at both McDonald's and Arby's to grab something to eat.  Since we'd eaten the IHOP pancakes mid-afternoon, we were hungry but not starving.  Eliot got a Happy Meal (for another Disney toy) and I ate his french fries.  Then, I got an Arby's sandwich and he got cheese fries.  After eating in the Arby's parking lot, we got back on the highway and drove home.

Since my birthday was on a Friday, I'd originally had visions of spending the entire weekend celebrating my birthday.  We'd talked about going to the Yankee Candle Factory, maybe spending the weekend in MA and NH... then COVID happened.  I still got to celebrate a little bit over the weekend, but it was in between working on orders, watching Hallmark movies and cleaning the house.  However, I added some rainbow sprinkles to my Dunkin Donuts frozen coffee drink and Eliot bought me a small cake at the grocery store... so there was some fun.

One thing that didn't change was how loved I felt.  I received so many phone calls, text messages and Facebook posts from everyone.  I got them on my personal page, our Happily Ever Hatter page and My Disney Life page, as well as on both of my Instagram accounts.  It made me feel special.  Plus, it was so nice to know that people took time out of their day just to wish me a Happy Birthday.

All in all, it was still a good celebration- even during a pandemic!  Cheers to 36!!!  °o°

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