Birthday weekend

29 February 2016

At the end of the day yesterday, I turned to John and said, “that was the best birthday I’ve had in a while!” We didn’t do anything particularly fancy, as you’ll see, but over and over I was reminded of a current favorite Zac Brown song: “I got everything I need and nothing that I don’t.” Each text that rolled in from a loved one reminded me of the amazing people I have in my life and how lucky I am to have their love. I’m the type with a small group of close friends, and boy am I grateful for each one of them (and, of course, for my beautiful family).

chocolate-birthday-cake

We kicked off the weekend with dinner for eight (plus three littles) at our house on Friday. I made a favorite meal – beef ragu with papparadelle, salad, cheesy bread, pink lemonade, prosecco, and chocolate raspberry cake for dessert complete with homemade batter, filling, and frosting. It wasn’t exactly easy to pull off the preparations with June in tow – getting everything ready was pretty much all I did during the day on Thursday and Friday, aside from feeding her – but it was so worth it to have great friends sitting around our table. An extra special treat was having our Alabama friends Mattye and Woody in attendance, since they just so happened to be in North Carolina on the right weekend!!

pink-roses

I went with my favorite color on the table, and the Whole Foods fairies were smiling on me – they had two beautiful varieties of pink garden roses in stock last week! Aren’t they beautiful??

On Sunday, my actual birthday, John played with June all morning while I slept in. Then we picked up lunch from a favorite Mediterranean restaurant and ate it on the banks of a local lake, basking in the 65 degree sunshine. Next, at John’s suggestion, we loaded June into her stroller and walked a beautiful Raleigh neighborhood with picturesque houses – always one of my favorite activities, and this was a neighborhood we had never been to before. That man knows me well :) We finished the evening off with fruit smoothies, a bath for June, a new episode of The Walking Dead, and delicious leftovers from Friday.

In the past, I have unfortunately thwarted my own birthdays with unrealistic expectations. In this new season where I am trying (and, thankfully, mostly succeeding!) to let go of expectations entirely, a simple and extremely satisfying birthday was the happy byproduct. My wish for my 29th year is that I would continue to delight in the simple luxuries all around me, and to remember every day how very lucky I am – and I wish the same for you!

11 Responses to “Birthday weekend”

  1. courtney spencer

    love this, emily! happy birthday! xox

  2. I applaud your efforts to ease up on unrealistic expectations as I too struggle with this. Happy birthday, sweet Em!

  3. Zoe

    I could not agree with the message of this more. We are at our happiest when our hearts are open to gratitude for the simple joy of life, but sometimes that is much harder said than done. Happy birthday xx

  4. Happy Birthday friend! I love this so much.. adult birthdays are so different than when you’re younger and sometimes feel sad to me. But embracing the sweetness of what they are makes such a difference! So glad you enjoyed your special day! :)

  5. Natalie

    Sounds like a great birthday weekend! So glad you go to enjoy it! Happy birthday!

  6. Such a wonderful way to spend a birthday weekend, Emily! I love how your Sunday unfolded, it sounded like the perfect end to a very full few days.

  7. What a treat it was to get to celebrate with y’all! The grace and ease with which you approached your birthday dinner made it so enjoyable for everyone. From the food to the table setting to the CAKE, it was absolutely beautiful and delicious, but what shined the brightest was the value of people and relationships. Happy 29, friend!!!

  8. Kristina

    Happy birthday Emily! Letting go of expectations is one of my goals for 2016 too. It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday embracing what is and not thinking about what could be. So good!

  9. Emily

    “In the past, I have unfortunately thwarted my own birthdays with unrealistic expectations. In this new season where I am trying (and, thankfully, mostly succeeding!) to let go of expectations entirely, a simple and extremely satisfying birthday was the happy byproduct. My wish for my 29th year is that I would continue to delight in the simple luxuries all around me, and to remember every day how very lucky I am – and I wish the same for you!”

    These sweet words truly hit home right now. Thank you so much for sharing and for this important reminder. Best wishes for a wonderful 29th year!

  10. I had my birthday Saturday and it was one of the happiest ive had but it wasn’t fancy either! We were almost leap year babies (I bet you hear that a lot… I do!)

  11. Friend! What a sweet birthday for an even sweeter person like you! Xo