I missed Friday Photo this week, but it was for a very good cause — there was birthday party-planning and sangria-making to be done! I’d say it was all for the best because, now, I can show you these photos that reflect some of the memories I will cherish from my 31st birthday.
You know you had a great dinner when…
10 people leave a once-full jug of sangria looking like this…
and a cake that was supposed to feed 30-40 people ends up looking like this…
Other bits of bliss that made this the best birthday week in recent memory…
- Monday: Brad surprised me with a carrot cake cupcake. I savored every bite while finally watching the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. (Yes, that’s how rarely I watch TV. Don’t judge.)
- Tuesday: Even though my bday wasn’t until Saturday, Brad sent me flowers so that I could enjoy them all week. They were a beautifully delicate shade of ivory/pink, almost antique-looking, which is right up my alley. Nice work!
- Wednesday: Oh, where to begin with Wednesday. First, I met up with some running buddies (whom we lovingly refer to as the Sole Sisters) to celebrate a “sister’s” birthday. These ladies are the most kind, generous, strong, caring, loyal, stunning women I know. I am a better person to have them in my life. And, their husbands aren’t bad either. 😉 As if this wasn’t enough, my best friend from law school was in town visiting from Hong Kong. Even though I’ve seen her only once a year for the last three years, we never miss a beat. I am so proud of her independence and success, but I miss her dearly.
- Thursday: Brad surprised me — again — by ordering a cake for my birthday. 1/2 italian cream cake + 1/2 dark chocolate. Even the bakers were drooling when we picked it up.
- Friday: I had an impromptu early birthday lunch with my co-workers; great dinner at a new (to us) Mediterranean restaurant; and a very successful sangria-making session.
- Saturday: I had a great birthday bike ride, followed by burgers, followed by a 2-hour mani/pedi that involved sea salt and hot rocks, followed by a fabulous pizza dinner with friends (see above). I took a risk inviting people from all aspects of my life — lawyers, runners, and cyclists — not knowing how they would ‘mesh’. But, it was fun for everyone to meet each other, and we had a really great time!!!
- Sunday: About 1.5 miles into my long run, I was greeted by signs reading “Happy Birthday Beth!” and “No Pain No Cake”. Considering how badly I wanted not to run this morning (due in large part to the sangria), this was the best pick-me-up. EVER. Without hesitation, I knew that Hillary was responsible for this greatness, as if she hadn’t done enough already! (Did I mention that the Sole Sisters are amazing?)
Here’s the thing: My 30th birthday was terrible. I was in a bad place in life, which had permeated my marriage, my friendships, my career, you name it.
All I really wanted for my birthday this year was for it to be better than last year.
As I got ready for dinner on Saturday, I realized that it already was. Sure, I’ve done some pretty cool stuff in the last year — I ran a marathon, I became a certified coach, I got a new job. But, more importantly, I developed more meaningful relationships with everyone in my life. I somehow became completely content just being me and, like magic, things started to click.
This year wasn’t just better; it so far exceeded my expectations that I can’t imagine how we’ll ever top it! But, I look forward to trying for many years to come.
A million thanks to all my loved ones and friends who made this year so special!!! xoxo ~beth