Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Simple Celebrations

texas wildflowers for birthday

Today is my birthday.

(It's also the first day of autumn, so obviously it's a great day.)

My husband does a really great job of making my birthday a special day. He takes over most of the household duties and makes me Texas sheet cake just like my mom used to (he's gotten really good at it over the years) and generally always plans some spectacular birthday date for me. Already it's been a pretty special day.

But even still, it's a Wednesday, and my husband still has to go to work, I still have class today, my son still threw an epic tantrum on the way to preschool today, the baby still has poopy diapers to change, and the vast majority of life will be very normal today. As much as I'd love to use my birthday as an excuse to skip out on all of these mundane responsibilities (and maybe one of these years, I will), that's not so much an option today.

But just because this is not my year to celebrate my birthday at a cafe in Paris, or not the year to throw some blow-out magical party, just because this year most of my birthday will consist of boring, average, daily living, does not mean it won't be a wonderful, celebratory day. The thing I've learned about birthdays as an adult is that they are only as special as I choose to make them. Over the years, I've developed the tradition of small celebrations, little things I slip into this day that bring me joy and make it special.

Here are ten small things I'm doing today, the gifts I'm giving myself, to really celebrate my birthday:

Quit Nursing - My baby's 1st birthday is this Saturday (holy cow! It's been a year!), and I'm super proud of myself for going a full year with nursing. However, I do not enjoy it. I hate nursing, and the only thing that keeps me at it is the price of formula. So for my birthday, I'm introducing my baby to cow's milk a few days early and giving myself a break from the biting, scratching, wrestling battle nursing has become (he's ready to be done too, he took to that sippy cup without any complaint at all). I'm not sure we'll quit cold turkey (I'm super prone to mastitis) but at least for today I'm done! Happy Birthday to me!

No Cooking - I had my favorite breakfast of a bran muffin and hot chocolate, I will eat a sandwich made by someone else for lunch, and a taco made by someone else for dinner. That is the best way to celebrate.

Fresh Flowers - There's a bunch of wild flowers growing in an empty lot down the street, and every time I drive by them I dream of cutting some for a vase in our home. Today's the day. I'm going to walk over there and get a bunch, because nothing makes me happier than fresh flowers (especially with the price tag of free).

No Homework - Even if I have to go to class, I can afford one day off of homework. So I'm ignoring my school work today.

Dress Up a Bit - You always feel better when you look good, so today I'm wearing my favorite outfit, curling my hair, and putting on make-up (that doesn't happen every day).

Take a Bath - With my lavender bath salts. Luxury.

Pedicure and Manicure - Alas, not a professional one (no time or money for that today). But I love doing my own nails, especially while indulging in a chick flick or BBC show of some sort. My fist choice would be BBC's Pride and Prejudice, or North and South, but I haven't got 4-6 hours free today, so I might have to just watch parts. Haven't decided yet.

Pleasure Reading - Obviously. Probably while I'm soaking in the tub.

Pleasure Writing - That would be writing up this little blog post here. Because yes, writing makes me happy enough that I choose to do it on my birthday.

Go to Bed On Time -  Because the best pleasure in life is getting enough sleep.

What are the little ways you like to celebrate special days?


  1. Quitting nursing is a huge way to celebrate! Way to go making it all the way to a year. My kids were never big into breastfeeding so I only made it 9 mo and 11 mo. The cost of formula was definitely a reason I stuck it out as long as I did. Anyway, happy late birthday! Bath + manicure + early bedtime sounds like my kind of combo. I celebrated my bday this year "working from home" and having a mid-day pool party with my fam then going out for tacos. Not grand, but it's something:)

    1. That's fun that you got to have a work-from-home day. I think that's a great way to celebrate, especially with a mid-day pool party thrown in. :)

  2. It sounds like a great birthday! Sorry we were a day off and I'm glad we didn't call at 10:30pm when we realized it. You would have already been in bed :)