~By Brenda

I turn 33 this year folks. Everyone told me turning 30 would be horrible, but it wasn’t. Being over 30 is awesome. People take me more seriously, my kids are getting bigger and more helpful, and I like myself infinitely better than I did at 18. Sure, parts of my body are starting to sag, random hairs are sprouting on my chin, and my stomach hasn’t been flat in a decade. So what! The truth is I’m getting smarter, funnier and cuter every year I’m alive – and that’s something to celebrate.

When I was turning 30, I wanted to try something new, so I decided to learn how to roller-skate. My husband (the rollerblading dynamo) bought me a new pair of skates and every week on date night we would practice together. After a few of those dates, I was comfortable enough to skate around the block. I also picked up a pilates class to strengthen my core muscles and that made a huge difference in my skating.

After months of practice, I was ready for my grand entrance into my third decade. What better way to show off my new skills than a Disco roller skating birthday party?!?!? All of my friends came in costume and the music DJ played all of my favorite songs from “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire to “No More Tears” by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. I was in Disco heaven.

I had a cake.

My friends all showed up in their best Disco costumes.

My tongue-in-cheek motto for the evening was: It just might take 30 years to look this good!

So yes, Mormons do celebrate birthdays. Normally they are not as extravagant as mine was. I doubt I’ll ever have another party like that again. Most Mormon families like to take a day to celebrate the individuals that bring them happiness. Some families have birthday fairies that decorate the house while a child sleeps so they can wake up to a birthday surprise. Others have friend birthday parties. Some Mormon families may cook their child or spouse their favorite dinner. I know my favorite things near my birthday are handmade cards from my kids. The goal is to create family traditions that have meaning and make the birthday person feel special.

How do you celebrate birthdays? Please send in pictures and stories of your Mormon birthdays to mormonwoman(at)gmail(dot)com.