It started with a gathering of the most gregarious, gracious and gorgeous girlfriends a gal could ask for, table side over laughter, wine and a smattering of gifts. Let's not forget the most decadent crepes and chocolate cake created by the lovely hands of one Leah V. and a list of stories and memories that make every girls' night special.
Following that was a surprise, adults-only dinner over a mouth-watering steak, three cheese macaroni and a red heel cocktail that hit my sweet tooth just right. Dessert was not even required!
The next morning, I awoke to the world's most beautiful sound: the passion and excitement of my sons' voices and squeals wishing me a happy birthday. A bouquet of flowers and trashy magazines were tossed near my bedside, along with a card that featured the pre-schooler's latest handwriting skills and a big ol' pile of donuts that went straight to indulgence station.
That day offered the greatest gift of all: no worries, cares or obligations besides which little boy I was going to cuddle on the couch with next. We spent hours tossing in the covers, using our imagination, sharing recent experiences and at times, laying there in the quiet of our family, basking in all that we were thankful for. My husband and I exchanged many hugs that day, delighting in the fact we were able to remain in pjs and for the gift of the present. It was a day I will never forget, for all of it's extraordinary ordinariness, and for the way my heart felt in looking at the three men I love with my entire heart.
The evening ended over pizza and ice cream cake. With these two items, nothing can go wrong.
The next few days will put a bow on birthday week, with a fabulous group of colleagues baking from scratch, posting decor around my office, signing sentiments in cards, doing the donut and carmelita drop off and enjoying delicious brie over intimate conversation on a bit longer lunch. Not to mention a set of sparklers in the form of earrings and a headband to boot! Sunday, I'll meet with two neighbors who I have the luxury of sharing cul-de-sac with as we celebrate and catch up on lost time.
Does this sound like birf-day perfection or what?!
Thirty-four didn't seem significant to me when I thought about it, but if the past week has been any indication, it's going to be the best year yet.
I don't know how I got so lucky to be surrounded by such remarkable, thoughtful people, but I'm sure going to spend my nearly-halfway-to-fortieth year being incredibly grateful and humbled.
That and all the years to follow.
Thank you, my fabulous, wonderful friends and family, for making this year and all those to follow worth celebrating.