Monday, May 13, 2013

B's 26

My 26th birthday was yesterday and it was fine. I suffer from this thing called Peter Pan Syndrome, so "another year older, another year wiser" isn't really something I ascribe to. I mean, Tuck Everlasting was my favorite book as a tween. I have issues.

But I like birthdays because they are the one day a year that you can say things like, "I'm not washing those dishes or those dishes or whatever that is. And, I'm not cleaning a thing. Its my birthday." Technically, it was the night before my birthday, but that totally counts in my book. Or, plop a foot in W's lap and demand a birthday foot rub (or three). But mostly, birthdays are excuses to treat yourself a little, soak up some deserved spoiling and make a few bucks.

Well, its true!

So, 26 was fine. No biggie.


Do I feel any older? No, I don't. I remember being 18 and thinking 26 was something so sophisticated and professional and, well, adult. And I look at my life and I don't see any of those things. Sure, I'm not traipsing about in cut-off and short jean skirts anymore. I'm not guzzling Captain Morgan straight out of the bottle or going to restaurants and other fine establishments in my (cringe) pajamas. But, I am still spending ungodly amounts of time on the Internet and Facebook. I am still eating Nutella and peanut butter on a spoon, straight out of the jar, as I watch the Kardashians. I still want Ramen noodles for breakfast. I think of my year in semesters and wonder when I get to have spring and summer breaks again. When did there become so few holidays?! Oh, right, when I entered the "real world". I don't have a 401k. I still actively search out babysitting jobs.

None of these things (or lack thereof) seem very adult to me. Oh well.

Here are a few snippets from my birthday weekend.

You should know that W and I are not very sentimental people when it comes to gift-giving amongst ourselves. We aren't big on exchanging gifts and surprising one another. I don't really find either of those things very romantic. Yes, my heart is an iceberg. I don't know. Material things are just that. Materials! They don't mean that much to me. I find the kisses W insists on smothering and scratching all over my neck much more romantic--annoying, yes--but more special than any piece of jewelry he could every give me. Unless its a 10 karat diamond. Kidding..... I would rather sit with him on the couch all night than pay a large amount of money to eat at a nice restaurant.

I don't like the pressure of having to gift someone something or do something spectacular or them having to do that for me--especially when its W. Because, if I'm being perfectly honest, I find everyday with him to be one of the most precious gifts I've ever been given. I'm not trying to suck up here or anything, but I feel really, really lucky to get to spend the rest of my life with him. I love waking up next to him--well, he is usually out of the bed hours before me. But, on the rare occasion that I beat him to it, I enjoy nothing more than rolling over, snuggling up to him and sticking my pinky finger in his ear.

That is romance.

So back to gifts and the act of giving. I like doing those things normally just without the social impetus and expectation. So, I ramble to say that that adorable little necklace on my neck in the picture above was something I saw, wanted, and asked W to get me for my birthday. And, he did! And, I love it.

Isn't that better than him getting me something that I won't wear or don't really like or would never ever use? I think so. Is it boring and practical and lacking all that sparkle and imagination? Yes, but that's just me in a nutshell.

W wanted to take me to a fancy dinner for my birthday on Saturday night. And I was all on board because I love good food. But after last week's dinner party, luncheon, and fundraiser, I wanted none of the pomp and circumstance that goes with two very poor people treating themselves to a fancy dinner. I just didn't have the energy or desire. Pair all of that with high school PROM night and I wanted to stay as far away from all of the "fancy restaurants" as I could get. I just don't have the stomach to watch awkward pre-prom date interactions between girls in shiny and bright and colorful dresses and hair-sprayed do's and gangly boys in (gag) white tuxes and light pink cummerbunds. Sidenote: I definitely feel adult in comparison to them.

W canceled our reservations and we went out for unpretentious margs and mexican with some friends. It was perfect.

I think that in addition to grain alcohol, our particular Mexican restaurant must also crush up Ambiens for that little extra something in their margaritas. By 8:30, W and I were both fighting heavy eyelids and losing miserably. We looked at one another, fingers propping our eyelids open, and vowed that we would not go to bed before 10pm. We spent the rest of the evening, dozing and watching, of course, Harry Potter!

Sunday dawned beautiful if a bit chilly. W made me a delicious omelet and latte before we went to the flea market. The flea market here is usually a disappointment, but you just never know. People frequently find thousand and million dollar works of art at West Virginia fleas. I was hoping I had some birthday magic and would find my Renoir in an old sack of baseball cards. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

After that, W abandoned me for his studies. Story of my life. So, I took my sad, birthday girl self to my favorite antique shop and got this beauty:

Its a vintage Aladdin lamp. I'm in love.
It now looks perfect with a shade here:

I also found vintage drinking glasses. I will post those soon.

After my shopping spree, I made myself my new favorite thing ever:

This stuff is so good. One of the major positives that came out of my incredibly busy last week was this recipe. We had a War of 1812 food historian lead a lecture and demo. She demoed this cheese deliciousness and I couldn't wait to make it myself so that I could eat as much as I wanted without judgment and having to share.

Its a wheel of brie that you cut in half horizontally. Then, put a small layer of roquefort or any bleu cheese in between the brie slices. Slightly warm the cheese in the oven or microwave and serve with GINGER SNAP COOKIES. Omg. I will never eat brie cheese without ginger snaps ever again. It is so incredible. She also stuck sprigs of fresh rosemary in hers which was delicious. I just forgot to pick some up. Enjoy with a glass of rosè. (Groan.) I want that right now.

Then, I made a pork loin with apples and caramelized onions, cauliflower puree and roasted brussel sprouts.

After dinner, W quit his studies and we curled up on the couch and watched the ABC Family world premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

It was a perfect birthday.


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