Yesterday I turned 31. As part of an extended birthday weekend, on Friday I went to Friday’s Front Row (The TGIFriday’s in Bank One Ballpark) with my family and Earl, and Earl and I hung around for a very dull loss by the Diamondbacks. The next day I attended a memorial service, had an extremely tasty burrito for lunch, drove back from Phoenix, got some wonderful gifts, had some tasty cake, had some dinner, and watched a little movie. It was a pretty nice day overall, if a little introspective.

I still miss my mom, truth be told. I miss her calling to sing me happy birthday. She was always the first one of the day. The memorial service was the first one I’d attended since my mom’s, so that didn’t help. And it was for someone’s father. Although stastically they’re probably always someone’s mother or father.

Birthday’s are often a time when one takes stake in there life and reflects on the past and future, which in general I find myself doing a lot more as I get older. I’m sure I’m not alone in that regard.

Last year at this time compared to this year at this time are like night and day, owing almost entirely to the house. At 30, I never dreamed of owning a house. Maybe in 10 years at an outside shot, I thought. I tore up, spit out, shreaded, crapped on, and spindled my credit history throughout my 20′s. While I knew you could still get car loans at shitty rates with bad credit, and a credit card (maybe secured) with bad credit, but a house? No way.

At the urging of my good friend and financial guru SpoonDave I pulled up my credit report to being the arduous process of cleaing it up. But … it wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t that arduous. And I was only a few points away from qualifying for an FHA loan. Around the same time, a house almost fell into our lap. A friend of my mother in law was moving, and wanted to sell his house to a family that he knew. He wanted to do it without a realtor, and he wanted to do it for what was probably less than market value.

ba da bing ba da boom, we had a house. Moved in in September. Holy cow. It’s hard to explain the differences between pre-house and post-house. In many many ways it made little to no difference. But mentally, it seems huge. I’m an adult now, all growed up. I come home to our house. I work on our yard. It’s really quiet incredible.

But back to introspection, this is about my year not the house. Other than the house, things are mostly normal. My son has changed from the crying pooping lump of a 4 month old to a wonderful laughing 16month old. My daughter continues to amaze me with her language skills. So I guess we haven’t screwed them up yet.

Everything else is pretty much the same. And that’s a good thing.