Birthday things.

I turned 33 this past week, which is officially old enough to where I received birthday greetings from my mortgage broker. Not that it is surprising, since all my friends are having exciting conversations about things like refinancing (DO IT) and the great minivan vs SUV debate (minivan!) and replacing sump pumps (ugh. so much flooding this summer and so much money having to be spent). I am not one prone to simple birthdays, because the extrovert in me (7w8!) loves parties. But covid, budgets, and time being what they are meant that this was maybe my most low-key birthday ever and it was pretty wonderful. One of my older kids unexpectedly had a rough night the night before, meaning I was up from 4:30 to 6. This never happens, but I decided in my parental wisdom to check on them after I nursed Maddie and then rearrange the covers and stuffed animals, waking them up in the process. I will never learn. I was in a truly grumpy mood afterwards, and James in his infinite wisdom did not wish me a happy birthday in those tense dark hours, but instead let me sleep in till 8:30. And behold – the day was redeemed. Which was good, because we had our first real date night planned for late that night. We tried out a new rooftop restaurant and it was so exciting to be out together. The food was not fantastic, but the place was lovely and I probably would have been content eating cardboard if I could do it on a rooftop patio surrounded by twinkle lights. Though to be fair, we did order takeout from our favorite dive bar as so as we got back in the car and picked it up on the way home.

Some birthday things!

I have always had a pink strawberry birthday cake, but since my mom made my traditional birthday cake for me when we visited in August, I decided to go chocolate. My friend Courtney brought us the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever eaten when I had Madeleine and I have made it twice since. The first time it was great, but this second time I tried to make it a layer cake with pour-over frosting… and it was a disaster. A delicious disaster, but it was so ugly that Henry felt compelled to sing the Daniel Tiger song about when something seems bad, turn it around and find something good. In these pics you can see my attempt to scrape the frosting off the plate and reposition it on top, an effort that did not improve things.

I had my eye on this chair for months before it finally stayed in stock long enough for me to pull the trigger, so I am also declaring it a birthday gift. I am slowly and painfully trying to decorate our house, something made harder by both a budget and my own painful indecision. I fluctuate between wanting to decorate everything now because we are living in it so why not, and thinking I should wait a couple years till the kids are done shuffling bedrooms and we can really settle. Anyone else feel this tension?

I want to do a gallery wall on our stairs, but my extensive gallery wall research showed me I really only love them when they are massive and cover floor to ceiling. That is a big commitment. So instead, I am building one in my study, and I’m including this planter in it. I absolutely love it, but when I tried to hang it in our living room, James told me that he refused to live in an Olive Garden. So harsh. My friend Anna is also lettering one of my absolute favorite French quotes to hang up and when it’s done, you can bet I will subject you to Pictures And Thoughts.

As you can see- big stuff in store for 33. But first, I’m going to go eat more of my hideous cake and hug my people – the best birthday things.

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