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).
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!!
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!