We celebrated my 31st birthday last week with so many of my favorite things, as well as a few surprises from the two boys in my life. While I was at a meeting for work the day before, Beau surprised Cruz and snuck him out of daycare for a fun morning just the two of them. Cruz picked out a few gifts for me, they baked a cake together, painted a sign, and documented the whole thing with my camera because Beau knew I would appreciate the pictures! This was supposed to all be a secret; however, Cruz is definitely not who I would suggest going to with your deepest and darkest! The minute I pulled in the garage, he met me at the car and informed me that he and daddy were not baking me a cake and wrapping up my presents. :)
Thursday was my birthday and we had an easy going day with lots of family and lots of food, two of my favorite things! Mom came and met us at Panera for lunch, then Beau took the afternoon off and the four of us headed to The Falls for the afternoon. It was nice to have one last afternoon at the pool just the four of us before packing away those swim passes for another year. I've loved our pool days so much this summer and am so proud of my two little fish.
While the kids napped, Beau and I got ready for a night out just the two of us. But not without a little celebration at home first. We had cake before supper, as all good birthday celebrations require, and Cruz loved helping me open up my gifts he so affectionately picked out himself. My favorites had to be my pink bordered mirror for the bathroom (it's actually a locker mirror, complete with suction cups on the back), and my sweet birthday card he filled out himself, asking Beau how to write, "I love you, my darling" on the inside. I'm quite sure I drop a lot of balls as a parent, but one thing I'm quite confident I've taught my children is how to celebrate special days. Cruz knocked it out of the park and his daddy didn't do too bad either. He made me a reclaimed wood bathtub caddy and gave me one of my favorite albums, I and Love and You, on vinyl.
While Mary from daycare came and stayed with the kids, Beau and I enjoyed a night on the rooftop at Montage. It was the perfect night for it, and we took our time, ordered slow, and savored every single bite. I decided that their raspberry chipolte pasta over spinach noodles is my choice for my last supper, complete with the single chocolate truffle they surprised me with for dessert. Afterwards, we strolled down Main Street, stopped in Luna for a bottle of wine, and went back to our house to sit on our deck and talk about big and small plans to conquer in this decade or so.
After a fish fry and a super fun night with lots of new neighbors on Friday, we invited my family over Saturday for one of my very favorite themed dinners. We once again got out the old outdoor burner and steamer pot and had ourselves a family style seafood boil. I love this for so many reasons. Instead of everyone spending half the day making a side dish, everyone instead pitched in and brought a pound of seafood. We threw in sweet corn, smoked sausage, red potatoes, shrimp, mussels, and two kinds of crab legs. The only preparation was a cute galvanized tin tray I stocked with lots of seafood fixins - cocktail sauce, clarified butter, lemon, hot sauce, and paper towels, and lemon and lavender infused cake I completely botched the morning of! Thankfully, I have a mom who swooped in and made it all better, with my favorite coconut cake, a bowl of coleslaw, and the prettiest dessert plates that have been on my list from Anthropologie for a long time.
She even eats lemons. :)
We had quite the feast! And my favorite part? Four generations of family seated around a table now big enough to fit us all, laughing at our crab leg techniques and celebrating when some Iowa kid managed to pull out a large chunk of amazingly delicious crab. It was all SO good and I don't know why we don't pick up a pound of snow crab more often.
It was a great 31st birthday and a great way to celebrate the end of this summer season. Maybe that's why my birthday always feels a little bittersweet, for it always falls at a time of transition and change. But I wouldn't want to do these years with anyone else but them. My people.
And thanks for all the pictures, Beau, a present in itself. It's so important for mommies to get in front of that camera, too.