This morning, I woke up groggy to the sounds of Beau brushing his teeth in the bathroom. I glanced at the bedside alarm clock that hasn't been used in three months and smiled at the thought of Cruz still asleep in his magic room upstairs. Soon, Beau was bedside, happily serenading me with 'Happy Post-Birthday To You! Happy Post-Birthday To You!' Yes, after four days of celebrating yours truly, I can finally say we are all birthday'ed out around here. Even Cruz, mister party animal himself, had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. Because even after the world's most killer party comes to an end, there's a sigh of relief to be found in popping the last few, die-hard balloons and returning back to normal life. So, relieved and ready for the day's normal agenda, my 28 year old self crawled out of bed and faced the first day of her new year...
We celebrated in style this weekend, not just my birthday, but the end of one amazing summer. We celebrated with some firsts and some favorites, some busy and some quiet, some rain and some drop dead gorgeous weather. Beau gave me sole power in planning the weekend, and I made sure to include things that not only make me really happy, but things that scream summertime in completely obnoxious ways. After all, you might as well go out big, right? (Which reminds me, I'm still a little bitter that my mom forgot this said birthday crown on Sunday night...)
Friday, we celebrated with a night out with friends, outdoor seating at The Brown Bottle, and a plate of some really delicious chili pepper penne paired with a glass of red. We celebrated a chilly night outside in a pretty outdoor space at Tony's, the inaugural lighting of the flaming heat lamps, and a tasty rum shot that I could have had another of. Afterwards, we tip-toed back to our place to find three tuckered out cousins, and equally tired, but content grandparents. I'm convinced I will never grow tired of watching my dad rock one of his grand-babies to sleep.
Saturday, we celebrated the three of us. A morning of wiffle ball in pajamas, a hand-crafted blanket tent for books in the backyard, and my first ever flea market. Beau found a $20 bill in his wallet (after realizing flea markets don't accept debit), and I felt like a kid in a candy store, scouring the tables of vintage merchandise for just the right thing to spend my money on. I loved the furniture and glassware, but most of all, I loved the stories that seemed to simmer from each and every item. I suddenly felt like a historian, desiring to research and document and bring to life the unique stories of each Ball jar, and each scuffed-up wooden chair. I settled on a tall glass coffee jar, two very old Sesame Street Golden Books for Cruz, and an old red Coke box. Next, I'm keeping my eyes open for a chair to refinish for Cruz's room...
Saturday night, we celebrated with one of my most treasured summertime pastimes - a picnic. I've had my eyes on Alice Wyth Lake all summer long, a quiet, lesser-known sister to the more noticed George Wyth Lake in Waterloo. I wanted effortless and easy, so we went with pizza on patchwork. We explored the trails a little, skipped rocks into the lake, and tested the waters of our new tent frame. Cruz was in such a good mood, and we had loads of fun under the golden light of a setting sun. We ended the night with a stroll down Main Street, a lavender-infused lemonade spritzer and caramel latte at Cup of Joe, a game of Cribbage on the deck after Cruz went to bed, and open windows and the sounds of crickets lulling us to sleep.
Sunday, we celebrated with rain. Rain that ruined plans for a grill-out with my parents and in-laws, and sent us to Sakura, our local hibachi grill, instead. Cruz was completely in awe of the master chef at the grill, and I think most of us missed the show because we couldn't take our eyes off of him! He sat perfectly still on Grandma Mary's lap, and ate his fried noodles like a champ. Cruz was in seventh heaven to have both sets of grandparents here at the same time, and he happily introduced them to his new room, his window seat, and his most prized book collection.
Monday, my real day of birth, I celebrated with a clean kitchen and a pitcher of lemonade with lavender, an hour of alone time at Panera, a free bagel, and some quiet time to blog and think. We celebrated with yet another August afternoon with windows open, fresh veggies from the garden, some books, a shade tree, and a quilt-covered tent made for two.
And finally, we celebrated with something I've always wanted to do --- a tried and true New England style seafood boil, complete with shrimp, sausage, crab legs, sweet corn, taters, and a heavy dosage of Old Bay. My family joined us for a feast to be remembered, a feast we devoured around a table covered in newspaper. Charly showed us her batting skills, Cruz copied everything she did, and Hayes had lots of snuggle time with Grandmas and Aunts and yes, cousins. Cruz LOVES holding his baby cousin.
We ended the night with a strawberry cake, 28 candles (a long ways from 16), and two kids on my lap trying their best to sing the Happy Birthday song along with the rest. We sang, we laughed, and we stuffed ourselves with seafood --- the perfect combination to celebrate another year passed.
Wow, no wonder we're partied out!
Looking forward to just a few more special days at home with Cruz before my new adventure starts. I have lots of reflecting and writing to do, but it may have to wait. After all, we've got a tent and a whole lot of books to read.
Thanks to everyone who expressed birthday wishes, and especially to my family for putting up with my tendencies to go slightly overboard. And to my husband, for making not only my birthday dreams, but my life dreams come true. And oh yeah, for this killer new camera lens, too ;)
I love it.