Yesterday was my birthday. Now combine that with a holiday weekend, my parents being in town, and a baby shower and the last few days have been a (very busy) blast!
On July 4 the weather was phenomenal, I can’t even get over what a great day it was for summer in DC. In the evening we enjoyed delicious BBQ with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law before heading down to the Capitol. From there we had the most amazing view of the fireworks display we’ve experienced in all our years of living in Washington, DC, and since we were at the Capitol we could hear the National Symphony Orchestra play while we watched the fireworks go off. Top that off with the perfect — and I mean perfect — weather and it was an amazing evening.
Saturday after teaching Jazzercise and running errands I rested while my mom and my husband put up an adorable decal in the nursery. I’m so grateful that they were able to get the many many pieces onto the wall without too much difficulty and that it looks so sweet. In the afternoon I had a southern baby shower with a group of wonderful women from church and the baby (and I) were spoiled with gifts, advice, and chocolate chocolate cupcakes.
Yesterday I woke up and opened birthday cards and a few small presents, then my husband and I walked to the local coffee shop where my birthday was announced on their menu board! It was so thoughtful, but I was really glad my husband was with me because I think I might have missed it — despite how big it was — if he hadn’t pointed it out… Baby brain leaves me so distracted sometimes! The rest of the day consisted of a lovely French brunch with my folks, flourless chocolate cakes that my hubby made and topped with chocolate chip gelato with the in-laws (who gave me the sweetest alphabet book that they had created for the baby hippo with pictures of us and our favorite things representing the letters), dinner with my parents, and finally a movie to wrap up the day.
Now the birthday fun may be over, but I’m 32 years old and 32 weeks pregnant and I am loving life (even if it’s Monday)!
Today is my husband’s birthday. He hates having extra attention lavished on him so I figured I’d better write a blog post about it, right? Last year his birthday was just one day in a very long list of days that we were thousands of miles apart, so simply being together this year is a great gift for both of us.
Although he’s off spending his birthday at work, we did kick start the morning with cards, a little gift from me and the hippo (although really, isn’t the hippo gift enough?!), and breakfast at our local cupcake bakery where the owner treated B to his chocolate cake donut and coffee. Yum. Tonight a dinner surprise awaits him and in a few days we will continue the celebration over buttery croissants and other delicacies while enjoying our babymoon in Quebec.
In our day to day lives, it’s often difficult to take the time and really appreciate the most precious people in our lives. This morning I have to say that I couldn’t ask to be spending my life — and making a new life — with a more loyal, loving, and considerate man. Happiest of birthday darling!
This picture may be a repeat from last year’s birthday post, but it’s just too cute! Hubby is, of course, the shirtless one sticking his hand in the cake…
We spent a long weekend California where we celebrated my birthday, America’s birthday and — the real reason behind our visit — a family wedding. Arriving late last Tuesday and heading back to DC even later last night, the past few days have been packed with family, food, and adventures.
We were able to spend the first few days in our hometown, catching up with our parents and extended family members. My parent’s dog, Bonnie, was particularly glad that my husband is back from Afghanistan. She just couldn’t get enough snuggles, despite the temperature topping more than 100 degrees when we were there.
The final 2.5 days of our visit we were in the Bay Area where we attended a rehearsal dinner, the wedding and a post-wedding breakfast. We also managed to wander on the beach in Half Moon Bay (where we saw some frolicking labs) and do some sightseeing in San Francisco. Despite how much was packed into 5ish days, everything went pretty smoothly.
The terrible plane crash at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning impacted our travel slightly, delaying our flight back to DC on Sunday evening about 2 hours, so instead of taking off at 11:30 pm we were on our way about 1:30 am. All things considered we had a safe flight and had nothing to complain about. This morning we were certainly rushing to get ready and start our delayed work days though.
Not surprisingly, this afternoon I am pretty wiped out, but I wanted to share a few pictures from the wedding. The location, Kohl Manor, and all of the details were exquisite. From the bright flowers to the tasty desserts and unique cake toppers to the bride’s dress and the groom’s purple sneakers, it was obvious that the couple wanted to make sure the wedding reflected their personalities.
As a special treat, the centerpiece at each table was given to the person whose birthday was the closest to the wedding day and since my birthday was on the wedding day, I was able to enjoy the pink and purple blooms interspersed with fragrant rosemary for an extra day (and I lugged the vase back to DC for future use). My hubby and I got a kick out of our trips to the photo booth and enjoyed our time on the dance floor, but most importantly the bride and groom were over the moon in love — who could ask for anything more?
I have lots of ridiculous nicknames for my husband and for the most part I have no idea where any of them came from. But he does love muffins so “muffin” has become part of a handful of those silly nicknames (since it’s his birthday I promise I won’t totally embarrass him by posting the long list).
Speaking of which — happy birthday honey! Neither of us is excited about spending his special day so many miles apart, but thankfully it won’t be too much longer before we can have a belated celebration back in DC. I hope that his 32nd year will be full of adventure and excitement (and that I will get to be a part of more of it than his 31st!).
* The picture is from someone’s birthday a couple of years ago. My hubby is the shirtless one. And if he has things his way, he’s probably shirtless again this year.
I’ve always loved checking the mail and finding a brightly colored envelope, a small package that contains a gift that just happened to make someone think of me or a postcard from a friend or family member’s recent travel adventure. It’s lovely to know that someone who is somewhere else in the world is thinking of you enough to find a card, write a quick note, and drop it in the nearest mailbox.
Snail mail is one of my favorite things about Christmas, my birthday, and our wedding anniversary — during these three times of the year I can count on receiving some clever and heartfelt cards mixed in with the usual bills, magazines, and assorted junk.
Since my hubby has been in Afghanistan I’ve been sending cards to him as well as small packages with chocolates, comics, and other assorted little goodies. After the holidays, he took a book of stamps back with the intention of doing the same. Well, I shouldn’t say intention, he has been sending me letters and postcards, but I hadn’t been receiving them until quite recently. His first letter was mailed on Feb. 3 and arrived on Feb. 25 while the second—mailed only two days later on Feb. 5—just arrived yesterday! But despite the delays, this week alone I received a postcard on Monday, the letter yesterday, and another postcard today all of which added some much needed sunshine to a pretty gloomy week.
Making my mailbox every cheerier today, I also received a cute card from my parents for Administrative Assistant Day. Since I work for myself I am my own assistant, but my mom and dad figured I probably wasn’t going to buy myself a gift. Opening their Snoopy card definitely made me smile.
I know that sending a card takes a bit more effort than shooting off an email, but it really only takes a few minutes to let someone know you are thinking of them. And for 42 cents (or something like that, thanks to forever stamps I really have no idea what the cost of a stamp is anymore) and the cost of a card (or time spent making a card), I’d say that’s a pretty good use of a few minutes of the day.
(And yes, I love Snoopy, how can you not?)
Looking back through all of my posts the past three years, I can’t believe I’ve never shared the “platonic” flower story. It’s what brought my hubby and I together in 2004 and we (or at least I) continue to get a kick out of it to this day.
I was inspired to share the tale when a bouquet of 30 pink, white and red tulips showed up on my doorstep yesterday with love from Afghanistan and the note that is pictured. I sent him a thank you email last night that included “you know this is going on the blog.”
So let’s go back to summer 2004:
I was working at a daily newspaper in a small town in Northern California and my would-be hubby, B, was interning at a non-profit in DC. We had been friends for many years (yes, we met when I was 9 and he was 10), but had never dated. I sent out a mass email one day about eliminating an address I’d been using and he responded. We started to catch up via frequent email exchanges about what we had done during our college years and life since graduation.
When my birthday arrived, I was shocked (and, in the moment, appalled) to receive flowers at the office. I had been sent flowers only once (from my parents the previous Valentine’s Day because I had recently broken up with a boyfriend of many years) and this delivery came with a cryptic unsigned note about how I deserved better.
How had my ex found me? I wondered in email after email to B all day long. I hadn’t talked to him in months, he shouldn’t know where I worked, and yet, he had sent me birthday flowers. What an @ss! Although I agreed wholeheartedly that I did deserve better.
My lovely spouse-to-be kept telling me that surely the flowers had come from someone else, someone who just wanted to be nice. No, I assured him, I had asked my parents, my friends, pretty much anyone I had ever met. None of them had sent me flowers, and if they ever did, they promised they would want to take credit for it.
The next morning when I got to the office, I had an email from B letting me know he had sent the flowers. But still, I wasn’t sure — perhaps he just wanted me to shut up about them. So he sent me the e-receipt. That evening I went home and told my parents the mystery had been solved. My dad said, “Well, does B like you? Why else would he send you flowers?”
Good question, dad. Initially I was just so glad to know who they didn’t come from that it took me some time to think about who had given them to me and what that meant.
B claimed for many years that these were “platonic” flowers, but everyone agrees there is simply no such thing. And to this day I’m exceedingly glad he sent them. No matter what his intended meaning at the time, it sparked our love story and I am grateful to have had such an amazing Valentine for the past 9 years.
The past few weeks have been incredibly busy with work (which I am certainly not complaining about, although it did catch me by surprise at this time of the year), so I have been neglecting the good old blog. I think I can also blame the lack of posting on a lack of interesting tales. I mean, working until 11 pm doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of funny stories. But it’s Monday and I am trying to keep up with my mini-Monday posting at the very least.
It’s a gloomy, rainy day in DC, but despite the weather it’s quite a festive week — Chinese New Year was yesterday, Mardi Gras is tomorrow, Valentine’s Day is Thursday and my sister-in-law’s birthday on Wednesday falls in the midst of it all.
What am I doing to celebrate these wild and crazy days? Well, last night I watched the Grammy Awards (until 10 when I had to go home and go to bed), tomorrow night I am going to a professional development training (although design nerds are pretty wild and crazy so I’m sure it will be almost the same as being in New Orleans), and Thursday I am teaching Jazzercise. With my hot date on the other side of the world, I figured why not? I just hope someone comes to class other than me!
So happy party week, everyone! Hope you can have as much fun as I am. Or maybe even a little more.