Lordy, Lordy...

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Guess who is forty (40)?!

I cannot believe it, myself. I don't feel as though I'm that old and I certainly don't act like much of an old man... If someone would have told me that I'd feel virtually the same at 40 as I did at 20, I would have suggested they seek mental health advice. Granted, I don't feel as spry or healthy as I did a year or two ago, but I have no one to blame other than myself for that - eating like a jerk and not exercising much will do that to a guy.

I find myself heavier today than I have been since December of 2008... that's a bad sign, especially for someone my age. I'm as serious as a (pending) heart attack when I say that I must get back on-track with some sort of responsible eating pattern and workout routine. My face looks so unbelievably chubby in this photo, it's embarrassing.

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But enough about my poor eating choices and lack of exercise. I'd rather (at this moment) talk a bit about the excellent birthday party from this weekend. I truly do have a marvelous bunch of friends - from life-long pals like Dan and Tara to my co-workers to my friends from around Madison - you're all a great bunch of people. Thank you so much for attending the get together, for the good times, the cards, and for the well-wishes.

I have to extend an extra round of thanks to Steve and Molly - they played hosts for the shindig and they did an amazing job in every respect. Regular blog readers will recall that Steve has a great house, the Green Egg smokers, and an excellent selection of whiskys, scotches, and bourbons, so when he offered to host the event, I jumped at the chance. Thank you!!

It's hard to say which items were most popular at the event, but it's probably safe to say that the smoked turkey and baby back ribs were near the top of the list. Here's the turkey and one set of ribs, fresh from the Green Egg smoker:

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That, my friends, is a 10-lb bone-in turkey breast and 5 full racks of ribs; another 5 full racks were still smoking in the Green Egg. At the suggestion of a coworker, we tried Famous Dave's Rib Rub on the ribs, and it was phenomenal - super good stuff. For the turkey, Steve used a poultry rub from Whole Foods - another win.

I was a bit nervous that we'd have too much food, but we managed to get nearly 30 people at the party, so the food went quickly:

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Both the turkey and the ribs were unreal. They were perfectly cooked and featured a delicious smokey flavor; the turkey was incredibly moist and the ribs were super meaty - they were more like little pork chops than ribs... Accompanying the ribs and turkey were some grilled chicken breasts:

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We also had a plethora of dips, chips, salsas, guac, and other goodies - here's an avocado black bean dip/salsa that Ian's fiancee, Mandy, made for us. It was super delicious - people plowed through it almost as fast as they did the meats:

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I ate a boatload of turkey, ribs, and that dip. So much, in fact, that I've surely met my smoked food quota for the year. :-) That said, there was still room for some Craig's Cake Shop cake:

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You're looking at a chocolate cake, with raspberry buttercream filling, covered in Craig's signature white chocolate flake frosting. And here it is after we tore into it:

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I snapped other pictures aside from the food - here's a photo from the kitchen, where a few people were hanging out.

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If the weather had been a little nicer, we would've spent more time outdoors. Odd as it sounds, as the night wore on, the weather seemed to warm-up, so by 9pm, we were outside sitting around the fire pit, making s'mores.

One of the highlights of the night was receiving a homemade card from Kate and Michael - they're my coworker Brian's kids (you may recall seeing them in the Livestrong fundraiser event photos from October of 2011). They crafted this awesome card that featured Luke Skywalker (dressed as a ninja), fighting General Grievous, with Yoda assisting. Accompanying the card was a custom-made bottle of "Colt 40" (it's normally Colt 45, but it was my 40th, so Brian made some edits to the 40-ouncer). If you look closely, you can see Brian's wife, Brenda, in the background with Michael and Kate.

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And lastly, I managed to snap a photo with a group of my pals - you'll definitely recognize Tara in the photo; she's flanked by Chris (next to me), Bryan and Josh. I'm fairly certain this photo was taken rather late into the evening, so that help's explain the fun expressions.

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So, there you have it. 40 years old. A wonderful party with close friends, great food, and good times. There's not much else to say, other than "thank you" to everyone who attended, and a huge "thank you" to Steve and Molly for the hospitality.

Oh - I almost forgot... the first two photos were taken by another good friend of mine, Jackie. She is a photographer and did an (dare I say "killer") awesome job with the photos. If you like her work, she has a website - be sure to check it out.

There were a few other photos that she took, including this one:

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Thanks again to everyone. Now it's back to the workout and eating-like-an-adult wagon.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on April 1, 2012 3:30 PM.

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