Sunday, February 28, 2016


On Saturday, I hit a big life milestone - I bid farewell to my twenties and entered a new decade of life as I celebrated my 30th birthday!  Since my birthday fell on a weekend this year, I got to celebrate my birthday all weekend long!  The birthday celebrations actually began with two surprises delivered to my office on Friday - the most delicious cookie delivery of all time from my sweet college roommate, and beautiful flowers from two dear friends in Indiana.  One more surprise arrived from a long-distance friend (and another is on the way!) over the weekend, and all I can say is how grateful I am to have such incredible friends who celebrated this milestone with me from afar!

The actual weekend began on Friday night with a celebration of a different kind - a surprise dinner party to celebrate Steve's completion of the bar exam.  We introduced two of our favorite couples to Steve's favorite Dallas texmex spot - Mariano's - and talked law and politics all night over queso and tacos.  For us nerdy lawyers, it doesn't get much better than that!

On Saturday morning, I squeezed in a run before Steve and I headed over to my parents' house for my breakfast-of-choice for the day - my dad's famous pancakes!  After we ate breakfast and caught up with my sister, who came into town for my birthday, we drove over to Grapevine Lake for a hike along the cliffs.  The weather was ideal - mid-60s with not a cloud in the sky - so being outside was a must for me, and a hike was the perfect way to do that!

{a house divided - Purdue vs IU!} 

After the hike, we stopped at Starbucks and sat outside on the patio with the dogs for a while, soaking up more Vitamin D :) before having a light lunch at my parents' house.  We reconvened later that afternoon for a quick stroll around Northpark Mall before the big birthday dinner at Maggiano's.  Forever a carb lover, I wanted Italian (aka pasta) for my birthday dinner and Maggiano's certainly did not disappoint!  Our food was delicious, the company was the very best I could ask for, and I was serenaded by a round of "Happy Birthday" in Italian at the end of the meal!

After dinner, we headed back to our place for the grand finale - presents and cake!

Back when Steve and I were first dating, he asked me what kind of birthday cake I would like.  I told him "strawberry cake," which in my book meant the pink cake that you can make from the box with cream cheese icing.  I probably should have clarified, because he surprised me on my birthday that year with a strawberry cake made from scratch - mashing of strawberries and all.  It was delicious and over the years has become a birthday tradition!  Last year, when Steve was stranded in Indiana over my birthday, he sent the recipe to my mom, who sweetly stepped in and baked the cake for him.  This year, my sister helped Steve to repair a "cake casualty," so it was a joint effort between the two of them.   Each year, the cake is made as a true labor of love and that makes it even more special to me!  <3

On Sunday, the birthday festivities continued with some quality time over at my folks' house.  After grilling out some delicious hamburgers, Steve and my dad headed out for a motorcycle ride while my mom, sister and I went for a walk with the dogs.  We met some new longhorn neighbors across the street - they were big fans of the pups (especially Lyla), but not of us humans.  We still managed to get pretty close to say hello, though!

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing with family.  It was the perfect way to close the chapter of my 20s and begin a new one for this new decade.  So far, my 30s have been great!  ;)

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