Sunday, March 9, 2014
I get notoriously excited about birthdays. Specifically mine. To the point where my best friends know to wish me “Happy birthday month” at the beginning of February.
Despite the terrible, freezing Chicago landscape, the people in my life came from near and far to make my birthday so special.
The celebrations started the week before with a fancy schmancy Valentine’s/Birthday/Anniversary dinner. George booked this most ridiculous table in an elevator shaft that overlooked the whole restaurant. Complete with a special fixed menu and our own waiter, the night lived up to its three celebration name.
Then for birthday week itself, I took Friday off work to hang out with Momma who had come into town. We got reflexology massages, ate doughnuts, and planned for a little wine and cake gathering with friends. And oh my goodness if you are in Chicago, do yourself a favor and get any kind of baked good from Dinkel’s Bakery. George and I may have become a little too obsessed with it and drive the 20 minutes to get doughnuts almost every weekend.
George had teased me about my birthday present for weeks. I really really really really really wanted to know what it was, but he’s basically the best surprise planner/secret keeper. I had gotten clues that it was made specially for me and had to be mailed here, but that was all I knew.
Finally, the day of my birthday arrived and he woke me up with the present. As soon as I opened it, I was crying. Not just a tear or two. Like really crying.
He’d commissioned a painting from a photograph of my parents taken on my mother’s 30th birthday. That little photograph was always in my room growing up and it’s traveled with me to New Mexico, Canada, Atlanta, London, and Chicago. It’s the only copy we have.
The painting is so perfect and unexpected and thoughtful. It’s a beautiful portrait of two of the most important people in my life.
Surrounded by family and friends was the perfect way to spend my birthday. Welcome, 25th year. I can’t wait to see what happens.