The Big 3-0

I’ve never been one for big parties.  While I’m all about hanging out with friends, my preference has always been that the “hanging out” be more on the low-key side of the spectrum.  A bar…a club…lots of people packed into a house to the point where it’s hard to move around?   Not my cup of tea.  Some friends over for a cook-out…a day at a park with some baseball gloves…dinner and a movie?  Sign me up.

This preference also holds true when it comes to the birthday party realm.  Some of my favorite birthday memories have been as a result of small scale, a few friends and family involved, no big planning sessions required events.  There were the family get-togethers when I was younger where we celebrated my birthday (July 5th), as well as my grandpa’s (also July 5th), and my older brother’s (July 11th).  There were birthday parties at the local Putt-Putt or sleep-overs at our house in elementary school, where I would get to invite a handful of friends.  There were numerous birthdays spent at camps or conferences throughout middle school and high school, which would be celebrated with my high school youth group that was filled with good friends.  My 18th birthday started in a broken down van on the shoulder of an interstate highway in Virginia, telling jokes and laughing with a couple of friends as we waited for someone to return with the gasoline needed to get the van working again (and a short while later getting a visit from a nice highway patrolman, who was kind enough to act like he was arresting me while my friends video-taped the “incident”).  My 21st birthday was spent fly-fishing with my dad in West Virginia.

Since moving to Seattle, the trend has continued.  Lunch with a group of friends, a small get together at another couple’s house, steaks with some good friends and my parents, who were in town for the 4th and my birthday.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing much planned.  No hoop-la.  All successful.

Which brings us to last week, and the latest milestone birthday:  the big 3-0.  Leading up to the day, I didn’t know what the plan was–or if there was one at all.  I hadn’t spent much time thinking about it, because in truth, I hadn’t had much time to think about it because of the start of the Summer Program I help run–aka the busiest time of the year.  And yet, everything turned out just fine thanks to some candles stuck into a box of doughnuts surrounded by church family late on the 4th (after the youth group had been setting off fireworks in the church parking lot), and then backpacking into a beautiful alpine meadow with Becky over the 3 day weekend.  Again, nothing fancy.  Nothing elaborate.  Right on the money though.

Here’s a few pictures from the backpacking trip into Spider Meadow:


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4 responses to “The Big 3-0”

  1. Richard Collier says :

    Very nice as always, Alex. Great shots. But try the big 6-2. This ones been tough! Love you!!

  2. Becky Grandle says :

    I turned 30 in Ireland, 40 with a magician in our living room, and 50 on Amtrak. I am grateful to be as old as I am, and I think you are, too. Love to you and Becky!

  3. donna lebsock says :

    Wonderful pics to remember a new decade! Love the hammock shot-avoiding spiders??? Donna

  4. Forrest says :

    Happy birthday! A bit late, but better than never?

    I found this because I’d just spent the weekend at Spider Meadow, and have been poking around to see other peoples’ photos from the place. Yours are gorgeous! I love the shot of that massive waterfall.

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