I’m always so depressed after my birthday is over. I just love it so much. I’m especially sad today because this year’s birthday kicked ass.

I woke up on Friday to oodles of birthday comments, emails, and voice mails. Mike let me sleep in and I felt fairly rested when I woke up – no small feat considering Maddie has started to announce her middle of the night hunger by screaming as if Freddy Kruger was standing over her. Scares the CRAP out of us every time. When I finally decided I was awake, Mike brought me breakfast in bed and my presents! I got some music and a picture frame from Maddie and Rigby, and then Mike gave me an upgrade for Photoshop AND AND AND! My dream came true!

My birthday came 12 days early

Yep, an SLR camera! Sure, it will take us months to pay off the Best Buy credit card, but so far it is totally worth it. And, as those of you who subscribe to my site feed or follow me on Twitter know, I actually got the camera on Father’s Day. Best Buy was having a sale! It takes such purdy pictures:

Or maybe it’s just the subject.

The rest of my birthday was great – Maddie had a doctor visit where she weighed in at 11 lbs, 14 oz (thanks for gaining weight for Mommy’s birthday!), I got a pedicure, and then Mike and I went to a delicious sushi dinner while Maddie hung out with her grandparents. It was so great to have some alone time with Mike, even if all we talked about was Maddie.

On Saturday, as you know by now, I managed to convince a bunch of my friends to take a trapeze lesson with me. I’d read in the LA Times about the Trapeze School opening up on the Santa Monica pier and I knew I had to try it. I really can’t explain this, since I am afraid of heights and fact suffer from vertigo. Clearly I wanted to start this trip around the sun by flirting with death.

To work for the trapeze school, you have to be ridiculously nice, beautiful, and in shape. Our main instructor looked like Lenny Kravitz, with a gorgeous pair of eyes. He gave us a quick run-through on the ground, and then it was time for me to take the first swing. Climbing up the ladder was really scary for me. I seriously have dreams that I’m being chased and the only way I can escape is up a ladder, except I miss a rung and I fall and then they catch me. So I wasn’t in the best head space when I got to the top of the trapeze platform. I told myself not to look down…and then I immediately did, seeing the ocean on either side of me, along with dozens of people standing outside the gates of the school, ready to watch me jump.

The hardest thing, for me, was the trust involved with the trapeze. I am short, so I had to lean WAY out to grab the trapeze. There was an instructor with me on the platform, and he had to hold onto my safety harness so I could reach all the way out. I had a REALLY hard time letting him hold me into what basically amounted to mid-air. Once I had a firm hold on the trapeze, the instructor said, “ready…HEP!” and I had to jump. Except, the first time he told me to jump, I couldn’t. My legs were frozen! He talked me through it, and then he gave me the command again. This time I jumped…and I screamed the entire way down.

The instructors actually expected me to be able to hang by my legs the first time I jumped. That didn’t happen, I was too scared. I was just glad I managed to hold onto the trapeze the whole time. The next time it was my turn, I got my legs on the bar and hung upside down. It’s a crazy mix of fear and fun. By the end of our two hour lesson, the instructors thought we were ready to do a catch – it’s exactly what it sounds like. All my friends managed to complete the catch, except me. The first try, I didn’t put my arms out all the way. The second time, the catcher messed up on the timing, and the third time, I was WAY TOO TIRED. It was so much fun, though. There are tons of videos on my YouTube site, so if you want a good laugh, check them out (especially the ones of Mike, entitled Bigfoot and Chewbacca). I would highly recommend taking a lesson – you don’t have to be in shape, I can’t even do a push up and I still managed to do it! Of course, I am more sore than I’ve ever been in my entire life!

After our lesson, the whole lot of us invaded a Mexican restaurant on the end of the pier, where we celebrated our triumphs, and indulged in chips and salsa and tacos. Then four of us dumped our purses on the boys and went to the rides.

(I love my new camera)

After some careful discussion, we determined that we wanted to go on the roller coaster:

And yes you jerks, I was tall enough to ride.

The coaster was surprisingly fun. We got to ride twice in a row before we had to get off. My friend Dana managed to sneak her camera on, and since we were in the front seat, she got some awesome pictures:Dana is an awesome photog

I couldn’t have asked for two better days of celebrating – and there was even more celebrating to be had.