So between work and interview preparations today, I managed to sneak in some time to do a little birthday week post. Just wading through all the photos made me smile thinking of all the laughs and fun I had this weekend. I seriously have the best friends and husband in the world. Seriously. I win the prize for the most rockin friends. They’re the best of the best!
I will warn you now, this post is incredibly picture heavy. But you know what? It’s my blog, so I can do what I want. If you don’t want to look at the 954 pictures we took this weekend, then you can scoot along and come back when I post something non birthday related :) But until then…
My birthday morning started off perfectly with breakfast in bed thanks to my thoughtful husband. (No this is not a picture from breakfast in bed lol.) I taught Monday morning and got lots of sweet birthday wishes from my students. The best birthday wish was from a student who said, “Happy 20th birthday!” Hmm, I think that student deserves a little extra credit :) I took the afternoon off for some birthday shopping, and then we met up with some friends for drinks at one of our favorite happy hour spots. The picture I took of all of us didn’t turn out so this is the only picture I have from birthday drinks.
Matt and I had planned to head out to dinner just the two of us after, but for some weird reason, neither one of us was very hungry. So we headed to one of my favorite spots in town for my most favorite dessert EVER. For realz. I heart this chocolate strawberry tart at a level that is likely unhealthy :) Matt and I headed back home and enjoyed a quiet night just the two of us. Since I had my big birthday celebration on Saturday, it was nice to just spend the night with my man :)
My birthday week continued the next day when I met my mom for lunch at a precious little garden store/nursery/tea room that is about 45 minutes outside of Houston. Neither one of us know a dang thing about gardening; we were there for the shopping and lunching :)
These little tea cups had both of us swooning. I LOVED the little winged handles. It was like a little butterfly just landed on our teacups. So precious.
Wednesday night I met two of my favorite people for dinner on the patio. Clare and Amanda are in the same Ph.D program as me, and their sarcasm and sense of humor have kept me laughing through all of the craziness that comes with getting this dang degree. They are out of this world hilarious!
Friday after work and long week for a lot of us, a small group of my friends headed to our favorite patio in town for happy hour and what my friends called “Birthday Kickoff #2.” We frequent this spot way too often :) Natalia was going to be out of town the next day for my birthday celebration, so I was happy she could join us for a little pre-celebration. I don’t know if its the angle or the colors of this picture, but I think its so fun!
Saturday was the big birthday celebration, and I had friends come in from Dallas and Austin to join us to for the celebration. (Like I said, I win for having the best friends ever.) That evening we headed to a local winery for a private vineyard tour and wine tasting, and it was so much more fun than any of us expected! The guide had no idea what she was in for, bless her heart. Our group can get a little crazy :)
Please excuse the awkward solo pic lol, but I wanted you all to be able to see the dress I talked about a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t planned to add a belt to it, but I think it added a nice layer to the dress. PS: someone asked me a month or two ago about doing some outfit of the day posts, and I’ve kinda been on the fence about it. Do people really care what I’m wearing? I feel like I should leave that to the fashion professionals. If so though, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.
Me and two of my favorite girlies! My best friend Jordan (on the left) drove down from Dallas with her fiancé for the occasion. Like I said, I have great friends :)
Matt and I towards the beginning of the tour. I am so so so blessed to be spending my life with such an incredible guy, who also happens to plan a great birthday celebration :)
Here’s the whole group out in the middle of the vineyard. This picture is probably my favorite from my entire birthday week and will have a prominent place in our Chicago apartment as soon as we move!
We learned a TON about wine throughout the tour (though I guess that was the point lol). The whole growing, picking, smashing process is quite fascinating. Those teeny little bunches on the vine are the early early grape babies that will soon make port wine.
We were all curious what those tiny little grape babies would taste like. And thankfully, the ever adventurous Ricky was on hand to test them out. He reported back, “Tastes like grass.” He them sampled another one. Only Ricky… :)
Here Jordan and I are are in one of the fermenting rooms (I think that’s what it was called) where the wine behind us is aging. We’ve been best friends for over 12 years, so I’d say wine isn’t the only thing that gets better with age!
On the tour, Ricky was selected for a “special task,” and I immediately pouted that as the birthday girl, I wasn’t chosen. (I can be a little annoying about birthday privileges.) Little did I know the special task would be drinking straight from the fermenting tank! That would not have gone over well with my new birthday dress :) Luckily, Ricky was on hand to take care of the “special task.” We tasted this same wine from the bottle later in the tour.
After the tour, we headed into the tasting room for a lesson in wine tasting . Matt and I (and creeper Steven) pause between wine/cheese pairings for a photo. Who knew so much went into drinking? Our friends realized we’d been drinking our wine allll wrong ;)
A blurry group shot (probably fitting considering the several glasses we’d each had) with our guide Lauren. Though we were a little crazy, she told us we were her second favorite tour of all time. Second only to a group of red hat ladies, which I for one, don’t mind being second to :) The group’s favorite discovery of the day was port cheese. Omg.have.you.ever.had.that.stuff? It was so deliciously yummy….and pink! Anything pink is great in my book.
On the tour, our guide talked about this rare red wine the winery produced in 1998. So rare, there were only 12 bottles left in the world. And yes, I said “were” because my crazy friends decided to purchase one of those 12 bottles to celebrate my birthday. Here I am with the grape version of the golden ticket.
Matt dishing out the fancy pants rare wine. It was pretty tasty, but looking back we all decided we probably should have tried it at the start of the evening ;)
Cheers to fabulous friends and another year of incredible blessings!
What kind of friend stands beside you as a bridesman in you wedding and drives in from Austin to celebrate your birthday with you? The best kind :)
We probably have 3,000 self portrait shots like this over the past twelve years. They’re still the best kind.
After a few hours at the winery we headed to one of my favorite spots for dinner. (Don’t worry, we had a DD.) Edgar was able to join us for dinner, and he brought a bad ass Dora the Explorer balloon with him that I wouldn’t let out of my sight all night. Seriously. I loved it and am now enjoying it perched in a vase in our dining room!
Me and the fabulous party planner. Love him :)
No birthday celebration is complete without a cake, and this one was both beautiful and yummy. I have a thing for birthday candles, so I was over the moon at this point! I can’t tell you what I wished for (because then it wouldn’t come true), but I have a feeling no matter what happens, this next year is going to be filled with lots of excitement and love.
From Monday to Sunday, the week was truly incredible and one I’ll never forget. A huge thanks for all of my incredible friends, family, and readers for making my 26th birthday SO special. I am so so blessed and am continually thankful for all of the incredible blessings in my life! Here’s to year 26!