3 Things I Do to Celebrate My Birthday

3 Things I Do to Celebrate My Birthday

I recently celebrated my 29th birthday, my first as a mother. I absolutely love celebrating my birthday. The Back-to-School energy and anticipation of the arrival of autumn give this time of year its own special vibe. I love to reflect back on the previous year and spend some time vision casting for the next. Though I have a ridiculous amount of people who love me, I take most of the ownership for celebrating my birthday. I can count on a special birthday breakfast, a bouquet of flowers, and a thoughtful gift from my husband (which is actually a lot!). Any other plans, like a party, I plan myself. There’s no way that I could squeeze all the celebration I want into one day, so I usually stretch the festivities out over a week’s time. These are the three things I do every year to celebrate myself on my birthday.

I Make Some Plans

First of all, I love to plan my birthday week. For me, planning can be just as much fun as the event itself. There have been years where Peet planned my birthday celebration (one year, an elaborate painting party) and we’ve found that while it’s fun occasionally, it’s a lot of pressure to put on a spouse to plan something every year. Plus, I just really enjoy the process of planning and sitting down to decide the type of celebration the year calls for. One year, my birthday fell right after my college graduation and, feeling thoroughly celebrated, I didn’t feel like I needed a big birthday party. Similarly, my birthday last year fell smack dab between two elaborate baby showers, so I kept the birthday celebration simple.

I wanted something bigger this year, so I planned a celebration under the trees at a local winery. Thanks to the obscenely hot weather in this part of Texas, the celebration was quickly moved indoors, but it was still a lovely time. I also enjoy a few smaller celebratory events: lunch with my mom and siblings, a pedicure with my sister-in-law, brunch with a best friend. And, of course, dinner and drinks with my guy, babysitting courtesy of generous family members.

I Gather Treats

I love to stock up on special treats, usually some sweets or a special coffee creamer to enjoy all week long. Once year, I commissioned cookies from my best friend’s custom cookie company, in various shapes representing some of my favorite things. All week I munched on cookies in the shapes of daisies, champagne bottles, mermaids, books, tangerines, and red lipstick.

This year, Scout and I made a trip to Target for birthday goodies. After a long, brutal summer in Texas, I leaned hard into autumnal treats, purchasing some candy pumpkins, pumpkin whipped cream topping for my morning coffee, and a mix to make pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. I picked out a candle with a pumpkin fragrance and snagged a few Halloween board books for Scout (here’s a list of my favorite Halloween books for kids!).

While we were shopping, I had a seemingly small but meaningful moment with Scout. Since becoming a mother, I sometimes long for the ease of life before. When I walk into a store, a baby in my arms and heavy bag over my shoulder, a nagging reminder that she’ll need to nap soon and I need to make sure to give her a snack before we get in the car (don’t forget, don’t forget, don’t forget), I think about when I used to walk into a store with only my wallet and keys, no thoughts in my mind except that of my own pleasure. Things that used to be easy are hard. Things that used to be fun feel like a lot of work. Going to the grocery store, eating at a restaurant, strolling the aisles of Target. Sometimes I miss when it was easier.

But last week, when Scout and I were wandering through aisles of fall decor and pumpkin flavored treats, I looked down at her sweet face. She loves sitting in the shopping cart, delighted by every person she sees, her eyes full of wonder at the colors and displays. She laughs and claps and points. Everything is new and exciting and seemingly just for her. I took her in, her deep brown eyes and wide grin and I thought, This is actually more fun with you. You make this better. I wasn’t having fun in spite of her presence; her presence actually increased the joy. She is a lot of work. She is also a lot of fun. Swept up in a sudden surge of joy, I started laughing. And she started laughing. I love having a daughter.

I Buy Myself a Bigger Present

Another thing I love to do around my birthday is buy myself a present, something bigger than the little treats. I can usually count on receiving a little bit of cash for my birthday, and I like to think about something larger or more expensive that I’d like to add to my home or wardrobe. This year, I bought myself two things, taking advantage of the Labor Day sales the weekend before. Our living room needed a new rug, so I picked out an adorably mid-century checkered one.

But the item I am really excited about is my new chair. Our current rental home has the most lovely sunroom off of the main bedroom. It currently houses my unplayed guitar and art supplies, a temporary burial ground for hobbies which have died for the sake of motherhood, but which I am confident will be brought back to life in the right time. I haven’t used this room to its fullest potential, there being no furniture in it on which to sit and enjoy the marvelous light that streams through its huge windows. I’ve been scouring Facebook Marketplace and thrift stores for a used chair for this space, but I couldn’t find anything that I really liked. Finally, I decided to buy myself a brand new chair. Sturdy wooden arms and smooth faux leather cushions, it’s the only thing in our home that is really all mine. I love to sit in this room and watch birds sitting in the branches of the crepe myrtle and lizards sunning on the stone wall that surrounds our little cottage. My new chair has brought a new, peaceful function to this space. Thank you to the family members who funded it.

Thank you for reading about three things I do for myself every year on my birthday. To stay up to date on the latest blog posts and book recommendations, sign up for my newsletter below.

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No joke.