Chapter 21: Its my birthday, I'll escape if I want to.

So. It was my birthday this week! My brother Ethan has been staying with us for the past little while and so he was here during my birthday which was awesome. Steven, Ethan and our friends Amber and Devin were cooking up a storm when I got home from work we had a lovely dinner! We had pesto and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts, cesar salad, mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and apple pie with ice cream! Steven had made sure it was all my favourite things, and I was in heaven. For those of you who haven't eaten many meals out with me, if there is something with goat cheese on the menu, it will most likely be my dish of choice. And mashed sweet potatoes are never complete without toasted marshmallows! Aaaand I don't like cake but I love pie, so pretty much it was the perfect birthday meal. They sang happy birthday and afterwards we got bundled up and went to play Escape Room a few blocks from where we live. Every time I have gone to one of these I say "Man, I would love to do this with Ethan sometime. He would have so much fun, and be suuuper good at this." so getting to do this while he was around was like what I have always been dreaming of? haha. anyways. Escape Room, is pretty simple, yet very difficult. The premise is that you get locked in a series of rooms, and you need to search the room for keys and solve puzzles to be able to open the doors and "escape". The one we did this time was county jail themed, and they handcuffed us and locked us in cells! It was really fun, and to top it all off... WE WON!!! so that was amazing!!!  

After escape room, we came back to the house and Steven gave me a few birthday presents, a pair of pants I really wanted but decided not to get (he remembered and went back to buy them), a book I mentioned really wanting to read called "Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings" and a beautiful video he had made, compiling a series of birthday messages he had asked for some of my family and friends to send him. I loved it! It was just what I've been needing, being so far from so many people we love.

We decided we wanted to play card games with Ethan the night before he left. We got out the game we were sent for Christmas from our friend Sam. Its called Adventure Time Fluxx, and its kind of confusing at first, but once you get into the swing of it its super fun! You play by pretty much changing the rules until they work to let you win. The rules are constantly changing, which can make for some pretty sneaky surprising wins! You should definitely try it out, we had a blast thwarting each other's plans haha.


Since Ethan got here, the weather has been exceptional! the sidewalks have been clear, but there has been snow slowly falling and such. Magical! Picturesque! But the day he was leaving, I walked outside to... This. Slush-megedon. and its pretty much gone back to the norm since then. More snow fell, melted into slush, and then froze into rock hard lumpy 4 inch thick ice over all the sidewalks, with new fluffy snow masking this treacherous terrain beneath with fluffy lies.

So a couple funny things happened Thursday during our ward temple trip. (...not something you get to say too often!) We got a late start to our day, meaning we both skipped breakfast. Steven's lunch was insufficient, and then we had to leave right after work to get to the temple, and weren't able to grab dinner first. When we got to the temple, I realised I didn't have a recommend in my temple bag. Luckily since It was a ward temple night, the stake president happened to be there, and gave me a temple recommend interview in the only free room... the coat closet! haha it was pretty funny. By the time they had gotten me all sorted, the endowment session had filled up. Steven and I went to do sealings with a few other couples, and i guess the air conditioning was broken? the room was SO hot. I started seeing Steven sway, and then he made a face like he was going to be sick. he was sweaty and ashen faced. all of a sudden he just got up and said "im sorry, I have to leave, I think I'm going to be sick." and ran out! Poor guy, we think it was a combo of low blood sugar and the heat in that room. As soon as we got some food in him (thanks Jason and Gabrielle!) he was much better.

I had two girlfriends over on Friday night, and we tried to be productive but the evening quickly devolved into girl talk and It was so nice! Its been too long since I had a good girls night. Hopefully there will be more to follow. Steven spent the evening with a band in need of a drummer! There have been a few who have contacted him, but this is the first one he liked the sound of the music. Hopefully it works out, Steven would love the chance/reason to play more regularly!

I ended up working on Saturday again, things are getting tight at work but not too bad. After work I met up with Steven at Devin and Amber's place. We ate a ton of snacks and watched a movie. Pretty standard evening for us at this point, but after such a long day, I probably would have wanted to cancel on literally anyone but the Mendenhalls.

Anyways, its been a long, but wonderful week! There was so much more that happened, but I feel like that's a good enough taste of the highlights for this post. Thanks for all the birthday love this week you guys, it definitely felt special!