I love birthdays like Betsy DeVos loves the voucher system. Since we got married, six years ago, I’ve been lobbying and advocating for “The Birthday Month.” My efforts were met with reluctance, but I made headway. During Colin’s birthday week I campaign hard by dishing out the love. Think cookies, large donations to the massage fund, and little surprises throughout the week. After six years “The Birthday Week” is finally a thing for us. Having never celebrated my birthday on one single day I can’t say what that would be like, but I am relieved I have the resources to sway opinion in my favor :p
This year we celebrated my birthday all week as usual, but I felt way less pre-occupied with my birthday than in previous years. And you know what? I had the best birthday week ever. Being a mama bird this time around helped me focus less on myself and I needed the change… Let me tell you an embarrassing story about a birthday of yesteryear.
Since I love birthdays I try to go all out for Colin. Then, when my birthday comes around I can get just a smidgen worked up about what he is planning. Two years ago I got really mad at Colin FOUR DAYS BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY because I didn’t think he was planning enough. The argument ended with Colin showing me the gifts he had been hiding in our apartment, me crying, and then not speaking to each other for several hours. If you ever want to spoil your own birthday, I’d recommend getting upset about something that hasn’t happened, alienating your partner, and throwing a tantrum.
This year I was excited to celebrate, but I didn’t get worked up, anxious or worried. The week before my birthday I was strategizing how to get Gemma to take a bottle with her nanny. I was busy thinking about my transition back to work. I got nervous thinking about the impending half marathon. There wasn’t any time to worry about my birthday, and yet it all fell into place and I felt loved and spoiled and happy.
Sometimes being a mama bird feels like it requires a lot of sacrifice. I don’t get nearly as much “me time” as I use to, and this little human baby seems to run my day. But I am beginning to see that sometimes adjusting my focus away from myself is the best thing I could do.
Even though I didn’t focus on myself, other people certainly did and I feel lucky and blessed to everyone who made me feel special. Here’s a run down of my birthday weekend 🙂
- Muddiest Half Marathon EVER. 6 weeks ago I decided I wanted to run a race on my birthday weekend and I wrangled 7 friends into running with me. The course was like a mud-slip-and-slide and I thought it was so much fun. Colin laughed at me like I was a crazy person for enjoying when my foot sunk in the mud, but YOLO – run on! After the run we ate carrot cake and went home for a nap. Carrot cake was from here, and I highly recommend it! I cut down the sugar a bit and it was still bomb
- Japanese onsen (bathhouse). My mom kept baby Gemma Joan while Colin and I went to a new Japanese onsen to unwind after the race. There are not enough oms to capture the relaxation. When I slid the wooden sauna door open I felt like I was stepping into a magical zen oasis, and the lush wall plants made me wonder, who gets credit for wall plants – the minimalists or the boho chic crowd? Whoever it is deserves a few hours in the onsen
- Played with my baby and went to sleep!
- Colin gave me a beautiful new cutting board. I am so excited to use it, but so far I’ve been laying parchment paper down because it seems too pretty to cut on. He also got me a cool shelf that goes over the bath to hold books, tea and candles. Clearly Colin has lived through a few birthdays with me…shoutout to him! Love you, Coli Bear!
- Dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house. Homemade beef stew, kale salad, bread and triple chocolate cake. Did I mention it was a triple chocolate cake? Nom nom nom.
- A birthday massage from my mom. (tiramisumassage.com if you live in San Diego and want to have a life changing massage)
- AND, a signed copy of Laurel Ulrich’s new book, “A House Full of Females.” Excited to read it, and happy to have it on my shelf.
Huge thanks to my mom for flying to San Francisco from San Diego. On a blog about being a mom, I can’t thank her enough for giving birth to me and then spoiling me all weekend. I am learning from her example that it’s all about the baby.
I am so grateful for a baby who keeps me grounded and less focused on myself. I have a feeling baby bird is going to make 29 one of my best years yet. Turning 29 was so good I might just keep doing this every year 😉