Jesse just turned the big 40 - a momentous and somewhat scary milestone. Jesse once shared that he had a hard time turning 30 so I wasn't so sure how he would feel about 40. Turns out he feels a little better about it (at least it's not 50 - yet), but he isn't relishing in all the glory that 40 brings (such as arthritis in the shoulder, back pains, etc). I wanted to do something special for this birthday to ease the transition and celebrate that he's made it this far, but here's the deal... he isn't a big deal kind of guy. When I asked him what he wanted, he basically asked for some t-shirts and a movie night (and not just any movie - he wanted to see Interstellar and even purchased tickets two weeks prior).
I could do that.
I knew we had to do something more than a movie and t-shirts, but I knew not to throw a party. Although, Jesse's co-worker (who I also know) did a great job of implying that might be happening. Love that he did that, and then I played coy when he told me about it. But Jesse knows that I know him well enough not to do that. Maybe for his 50th?
I did think about giving him 40 different gifts, but that deemed to be too taxing on my brain (and my pocketbook). So I came up with a plan to go out Saturday for dinner followed by a movie while Riley spent the night at her grandparents. I had some gifts to give him that day, but was going to give him the big gift on his birthday, which was Tuesday.
We sort of stuck to this plan, but then started talking about a week prior to his birthday about revisiting purchasing a new vehicle. A little over a year ago we initially had this conversation, but it was right in the midst of me trying to adjust my work hours (and work from home). I knew I was going to have a cut in income and wasn't sure I wanted to take on a car payment (plus I would work from home and buying a new car wasn't really needed) so we abandoned our plans, but recently our second car started acting up again and it was a reminder that we needed to revisit the idea of having a more reliable second vehicle. We've been more mindful of our finances since our original conversation about a new car and can see a light at the end of the tunnel for preschool payments and a current car payment so we decided that this was something that we could seriously consider - and we could consider vehicles that I wasn't willing to originally consider because of price. It was very freeing to not be fretting as much about this (I'm the fretter and Jesse's more the dreamer).
So this led to us going car shopping on Saturday. No, actually it was supposed to be a comparison trip. No buying. After we dropped Riley off at her grandparents (oh, and after we gave Jesse a few T-shirts and a book Riley made) we had four destinations to explore. We wanted to compare the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say we both agreed that we liked the Toyota better (not really a surprise there), we got a kick out of the Nissan salesman calling Jesse 'Boss' multiple times, and in the end we bought a truck.
So much for just looking.
We actually wanted the used red Toyota that was in pristine condition, but ended up with a slightly newer, but used, black truck with less miles, and more importantly with a way better warranty. We were really happy with the dealership we went to and were super impressed with their service - they even had live music (live music!). Jesse joked that he hoped he'd have to bring the truck in for repair some time since the service waiting area was super nice.
Side note: The only thing I didn't like was multiple references that the truck was for Jesse. We didn't go in indicating that in anyway. Honestly, my first vehicle I drove in high school was my dad's three on the tree 1981 Chevy C10. I loved driving a truck so much that when I went to buy my first car it was a 5 speed 1991 Chevy S10. It was a little insulting (and sexist) that these references were being made even though Jesse will likely be the primary driver of this truck - they didn't know that.
Anyhoo, this was not the birthday I had in plan, but Jesse was quite pleased. Me agreeing to this truck was far better than anything else I could have come up with so I'm glad this happened on a milestone birthday such as this one.
One of our original debates last year about a second vehicle was that Jesse wanted a truck, but I didn't want to pay the price. Jesse thought we could have a truck without a back seat and said if he ever needed to drive Riley somewhere he would put her in the front seat. I was not ok with this. So this time around we were able to consider trucks with a full back seat. Jesse still seemed to think that we would continue to only drive Riley in our Kia (therefore only needing one car seat), but I told him that I bet we'd get another car seat. He dismissed this, but the day after we brought the truck home Jesse ordered a second car seat.
And, I don't blame him. When Riley saw the truck she was so excited and kept telling us how 'cool' it was. We let her explore inside and she pointed out where her CD's would go. How could we not drive her someplace in the truck?
Jesse is not a fan of having his picture taken especially if I plan to put it on Instagram and Facebook, but agreed to one. He quietly stood next to the truck and said "let me know when you are about to take the picture", and when I was, I got this. Goofball.
Yeah, he was excited.
I actually had another gift in mind for him. I had Jesse's birthday off so my dad and I were going to go pick up a snow blower. My dad was instrumental in that he had a truck and was going to help haul it, but apparently that wasn't needed anymore. When we discovered that we were going to get snow Monday and Tuesday we moved the purchase up to Sunday morning before meeting my in laws for lunch (and to pick up Riley). My dad was still part of the process because of his knowledge about these things that I do not posses and because he wanted to use his veteran's discount to help with the price (he's a nice guy like that). Somehow I got Jesse over to my dad's without him having a clue why we were going.
And then I got him to the store without him figuring out what it might be that he was getting. He's resisted a snowblower for years (we used to have one, but it was always breaking down) and claims he likes shoveling, but admitted that (with the onset of arthritis in his shoulder) that it would probably be a smart choice. He was excited once again and even more so that he could haul the thing home in his own truck.
He hasn't actually gotten to use it yet because the big snow storm wasn't so big and was super wet so he just shoveled, but we are both looking forward to the relief it will provide in the upcoming months.
And finally, on Jesse's actual birthday (Tuesday) we did go out to dinner at World Street Kitchen. I first discovered them by going to their food truck when I worked downtown. They have since opened up a restaurant space and I've been meaning to go forever. We both loved our dinners and were even offered a free tofu yum yum bowl to take home. Happy Birthday from World Street Kitchen.