I'm about to turn 30. My first instinct was to write everyone I know that lives on the east coast and invite them to a party that celebrates all things Mattie.... and then I realized that I had that party a few months ago.

When I left Portland my dearest friends threw me an amazing going away party. There was chamber music, speeches, baby ketten karaoke, and lots of general waypost-cocktail-induced merriment.

For the last week I've been reflecting on milestones and how we celebrate them. We throw huge birthday and new year's eve parties, but how often do our lives actually change in those moments?

The milestones happen in-between birthdays.

I knew I had to do something huge before I turned 30. I knew I had to move to NYC. And now that I'm here, turning 30 just feels like another Sunday with homemade enchiladas.

But leaving Portland, leaving my best friends and family, changing careers, and going off into the unknown with everyone's blessings... that is a celebration far more meaningful than a birthday bash!

Some of my favorite moments included...

PAYBACK. My mother demanded that I perform Bach at my own party, so I got her back by demanding that she sing Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" for her karaoke debut.

TOASTS. The "fearless leader" elect - Christopher Corbell - put the whole bash together and started off the speeches.

SINGING & DANCING. The Dalcroze dorks got down to Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name".

(click here the entire photo set, taken by the very talented Gary Stallsworth)


HEART-SHATTERINGLY-CREATIVE GIFTS. Like this amazing painting by my violin student, Alysse Kerr.

And the song "Our Hearts Belong to Mattie"  that Toby Loftus created and performed with Gulchin Tarabus. (while the assemblage sang along)

Oh Portland, if you think the homesickness hasn't kicked in yet, you are beyond mistaken. I love and miss you. Thanks for throwing me such a great party!!! I'm loving my new life in New York and have settled in with all of the confidence that YOU gave me.

And you, New York City, I'm turning 30 on Sunday and you are most welcome to come over for homemade enchiladas.