turning 28

I'm a big believer in birthday weeks. I believe in early celebrating and then dragging out those celebrations as long as you can. As I wrote on Sunday, my birthday week did not start off on the right foot. Monday was almost an exact replica of Sunday, except James wasn't home to help.

And then Tuesday. James was supposed to have the night off, but he got called in to work. Gracie napped for less than an hour and woke up angry. For both our sanity, I knew we had to get out of the house. We were both in awful moods and there were still too many hours until bedtime. I decided we would go visit James at work, maybe hit the library, and I would use my free Starbucks birthday drink. We would redeem this day! I bundled us up to brave the frigid wind and blowing snow and got us situated in the car.

Which didn't start.

I immediately wailed on the phone to James and then called roadside assistance. Maybe they could get here quickly and we would still have time to get out. The man on the phone chuckled and said "Believe it or not, our van broke down. The roadside assistance van needs roadside assistance!" I mean, seriously. He said it would be a couple hours to get the van fixed, and they had another call before me. I hauled us back inside while Gracie yelled "I wanna go bye bye! Go bye bye!" I felt her pain. We barely survived the rest of the afternoon by watching too many episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Just as I was getting dinner out for Gracie, RA showed up. They jumped my car and I kept it running to let the battery recharge. By the time we finished, it was way past dinner time and almost bedtime. Gracie had a hangry meltdown and yet refused anything that wasn't cheese. It was a very long evening.

Needless to say, there hasn't been much celebrating this week.

Yesterday was my birthday, and thankfully there was finally some celebrating. Not did I turn a year older, but it means that in exactly two weeks, Gracie turns a year older too---don't talk to me about it. I had been sad that this would be the first birthday of my life that my family wouldn't be here to celebrate with me, so James took the day off. Having a full day with him in the middle of the week was the best birthday gift by far. I opened birthday presents with Gracie, who was just too happy to help me rip wrapping paper, and I blew out my candles while still wearing my cat pajamas.

It was snowy and 8 degrees when I woke up. It's usually in the 50s on my birthday, so this was strange. I can't remember the last time my birthday was so cold, but we still spent the morning going to a handful of my favorite places. I call this the Michelle's Favorite Things birthday, and it did not disappoint. We spent most of the morning in German Village, and started at Stauff's for cappuccinos. My favorite bookstore just so happens to be next door. 32 rooms of books! I wanted to spend all day there, but keeping tabs on Gracie and her Pooh Bear that she kept hiding in nooks and crannies was anything but a relaxing, book browsing experience. I decided to start a new birthday tradition of buying myself a new book every year on my birthday. There were a million books I wanted, but I wound up with Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.

After mentally taking note of 300 more books to buy once I win the lottery, we walked up the street to a bakery for a little treat. It was at this point that Gracie ran out of snacks and was asking for lunch, so we went out for Mexican food. It feels wrong to celebrate life events with anything other than tacos. We went to our favorite place since it's always good and the food comes out eerily fast. After 5.5 years, I guess we were due for disappointment. The server forgot to put our order in, Gracie was melting down, and I was feeling overheated and extremely queasy from motion sickness and low blood sugar. She cried while I tried not to throw up on the table. An hour later and after the manager went back to the kitchen three times for us (the restaurant wasn't even that busy!), our food came out. Half of mine was ice cold, but I was so hungry I didn't even care.

We went home, and Gracie gave me the second best gift ever by NAPPING. Oh, it was so sweet. I curled up on the couch and chowed down on the macarons I got from the bakery while James and I caught up on New Girl. I wound up with an upset stomach for the rest of the afternoon (not pregnant, thanks for wondering) and felt miserable. I'm looking at you, Mexican food. But we redeemed our lunch experience with pizza and birthday cake. All day long I thought about my birthday two years ago, when I was hugely pregnant and a week from my due date. It was only two years ago, but so much has changed. Including the fact that I didn't spend yesterday evening sniffing new shoes due to a pregnancy-induced obsession with the smell of rubber. Ahhh, the good old days.

Food, books, and lying on the couch. There is literally nothing more I could want for my birthday. And there's still plenty more week to celebrate, in the form of ordering my groceries online instead of dragging a screaming kid through the aisles and finally redeeming that free birthday coffee.



  1. I'm so glad it was a good day!

    32 rooms of books!

    I'm fairly certain that Mexican food is what they eat in heaven. It's 5 a.m. and now all I want is a burrito.

  2. Other than the lunch fiasco, it sounds like an amazing birthday! All of my favorite things! I first tried macaroons at that bakery in GV and fell in love. And I have been dreaming about The Book Loft for weeks now. I think a birthday book is an excellent way to celebrate every year! Love you, dear friend <3

  3. WOW, I am so nostalgic for all of your Columbus birthday hot spots right now. I miss that bookstore!!!

    I'm so happy that Gracie pulled through with the best gift you could ever ask for-- a nap. And pizza / New Girl sounds like the perfect ending to any old day, but especially a birthday. Happy birthday again!!! xoxo

  4. "It feels weird to celebrate life events with anything other than tacos" - AMEN. Can we turn this into a quote?! You'll go viral ;) HAPPY (belated) 28TH!!! So happy that your husband was able to take a day off work and that you felt special. Don't you just love book stores?!?

  5. SO glad your birthday went better than the first part of the week!! Hopefully the trend continues!! I think buying yourself a birthday book every year is an EXCELLENT idea. You could even write which birthday it was in the front of the book...how fun would that be to go back when you're 90 and remember which year belongs to which book?!

  6. We celebrated K's birthday with tacos, too! I'm glad you were at least able to sneak in a trip to The Book Loft. I'm still so bitter about our trip and the lack of parking, lol.

  7. Ah, happy birthday week! I'm sorry it started out rough, but I'm going to steal your book-buying birthday tradition! That sounds lovely!

  8. I'm so happy that there were some brights spots in a not so great week! Life right?

  9. Happy birthday!!! I'm so glad that James was off of work and that you wound up with Mansfield Park. That book is so incredible! (I love Fanny Price!!!!!)


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