Wednesday, February 3, 2016



Happy birthday to ME!

Just kidding.

Well, kind of....

Let me back up. Today is not actually my birthday. However, I did have a birthday not too long ago - which I'm finally getting around to writing about today (only about a month and half later).

Just for fun, here's a little recap of what was going on in my life on my birthdays in recent years/since getting married:

  • 25: I was a brand-new newlywed of only a few months, living in Michigan, and pregnant in the first trimester with Gabriel. I remember I had a cold, but Michael and I made some fun memories exploring nonetheless.
  • 26: We were doing a brief stint living in Florida (I know, my husband's career has taken us all over) and considering our baby was 4 months old I was figuring out all this parenthood/life balance which made fun for a fun, tired, beautiful time in our lives. We were blessed to have my sister and her family visiting us that week!
  • 27: We had been living in Pennsylvania for nearly a year, Gabriel was 16 months old, and I was a little bit beyond the first trimester with Peter. On my actual birthday Michael was temporarily in Colorado for work, but I found myself surrounded by the beautiful community God gave us during our time there as we celebrated - and prepared to say goodbye with a bittersweet move coming up less than a week later. I also made some comment that since I took no pictures, I would have to get a picture with my TWO kids on my lap the next year to make up for it.... ;)

So, 28!

My actual birthday (which is 10 days before Christmas) was on a weekday, so we made plans to celebrate with my sister and her family on the preceding Sunday evening. Since it was Gaudete Sunday (apropos of a celebration in Advent, no?), we had fun decking our little Christmas tree. It was the first time Gabriel (age 2) got to help hang up ornaments and potentially make some tree-decorating memories, which automatically made it a sweet endeavor.

Let me back up and say that the night before we enjoyed a family outing to our local Whole Foods (Saturday night at Whole Foods - stop the presses for these party animals!) so that I could pick out a special birthday dessert. In the past few years Michael and I have developed this tradition of going to whatever nearby grocery store we feel has the "fanciest" desserts in order to choose our birthday cake/cheesecake/whatever we want. Personally, I love the sentimentality of baking cakes (or cupcakes!) so I will continue doing that for our kids - but my baking skills are not nearly as much of a treat for my foodie husband and I know I'm not baking myself a birthday cake EVER, so...that's where we stand on that.

While we were having fun at the grocery store we discovered that our Whole Foods has b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l flowers at no higher cost than the ones at our usual grocery store - so naturally I asked my husband if I could get some flowers for my birthday. And, of course, he said yes because he is a good man.

If there were a love language for having your entire home spotlessly cleaned (and unpacked after a recent move!), a decorated Christmas tree brightening up your living room, and a vase of some of your favorite fresh flowers in the middle of the kitchen...that one could possibly trump "words of affirmation" for me. In other words, I was in a very happy place by the time my sister and her family arrived for dinner!

I've already forgotten what we cooked for dinner (baked ziti, maybe?), but I remember clearly the most important parts of the evening - namely, being with people I love, listening to all of them sing Happy Birthday to me, blowing out candles (with Gabriel's earnest help, of course), and eating a most heavenly strawberry shortcake.

It was good.

And then, only a couple of days later I felt the birthday love again when my husband came home on my actual birthday with more gorgeous flowers! Red roses and lilies, to be exact.

What can I say? Michael's love language isn't gifts, but the man knows how to give his wife some flowers (am I right or am I right?).

The flowers and family dinner(s) were more than enough of a gift to remind me how incredibly blessed I am, but Michael also ended up gifting me with some new non-toxic products to add to my growing collection (love!) and an Indiana necklace that has a heart cut-out over Bloomington (where we met! Love love love!).

And yes, I DID get that photo of me with my two boys on my lap after all!

Truly, my 28th was a very happy birthday indeed.

"I'm not getting old, I'm getting better."

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