Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day & My 25th

Happy Valentines Day, my wonderful readers!

I know there is a plethora of "Valentine's haters" out there, but I must confess that I've never been one of them. In fact, I love all things pink, heart-ridden, sugary, and overly sentimental! Even during those times when I was without a significant other in my life, I just liked the thought of a day reserved for "love" - love for my friends, love for my family, and even for myself. Sure, there are cheesy parts of Valentines Day, but then again "cheesy" is a big part of my character description. Therefore, I'm sending all of you the biggest, love-filled hug today. Thank you for being part of my life!

In other news, I had the greatest 25th birthday imaginable. It's actually felt more like a "birthday week" (something I firmly believe everyone is entitled to). Even though my actual birthday was on Saturday, it actually began with an awesome dinner on Thursday. I had made plans a couple of weeks ago to have dinner with Jodi and our friend Ali (whose spotlight will be coming soon), but little did I know that they planned on making it a sweet birthday meal for me. Jodi even travelled downtown to buy me gluten-free cupcakes from Babycakes, a famed vegan and gluten-free bakery in New York City! It was a fantastic way to kick off the weekend ahead. On Friday, I had lunch with Billy Fong... a friend I've had since Colby, and now we both go to Columbia for graduate school! He helped me indulge in a birthday milkshake and then refused to let me pay. On Friday night, I met one of my closest friends (Becky) and some other incredible women for a yummy dinner and a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show! I'd never experienced Rocky Horror before, but for those of you who have attended a live performance... I'm sure you know just how CRAZY it is! We rang in my 25th with lots of laughs and some crazy dancing! The best birthday present was being able to dance without pain and waking up the next morning feeling well.

After getting into bed at 3am the night before, I slept in on my birthday and kicked off the day by calling my grandma who promptly reminded me that I was the "best gift she'll ever receive." I treasure sharing my birthday with her and, with each passing day, I realize more and more just how lucky I am to have her. After hanging up with her, I signed online to find all kinds of great birthday love in e-mails, Facebook messages, and blog posts...and then the phone calls started! Birthdays are so conducive to feeling on top of the world and remembering just how lucky I am to know the people I know. Probably my favorite message came from my brother: Happy Birthday! Thanks for being the best friend and sister I could ever ask for." Short and sweet, but so wonderful. I headed up mid-afternoon to see my parents for a couple of hours. They gave me amazing presents, cards, and lots of hugs. I also had a wonderful meal on Sunday with the rest of my amazing family, including my grammy - my"birthday buddy" - and even got some more awesome cards and presents in the mail from other people I love.

On my birthday, John had quite the evening planned! The best part was seeing how excited he was to make me happy. When I arrived, he immediately had me open my gift and, as I tore back, the paper, I saw this amazing face staring back at me:
This is a photograph taken by Sharon Montrose - one of my very favorite artists who takes amazingly adorable (and often hilarious) animal shots. I'm pretty sure I let out a scream because I told John about her work nearly a year ago. He remembered! Although the giraffe would have been more than enough, I looked down and found this gem stacked under it...
How adorable are these furry donkey ears?? Donkeys are definitely one of my top 5 favorite animals and I'd say their ears are a big reason for that. Just as I thought I was done and was preparing to hug my thoughtful boyfriend, I saw one last face looking up at me...
I'm in love! John did all the framing himself, which definitely takes a lot of visual planning and time (something he's lacking, being in medical school and all). As a die-hard animal lover, I honestly couldn't imagine a better gift and what made it that much more special was that he remembered what I wanted. After the presents, we headed out to an awesome sushi dinner with his roomies followed by dessert afterwards. It meant a lot that they wanted to celebrate with me too! When we got back to the apartment, John brought out gluten free brownies that he'd baked - another incredibly thoughtful gesture. I was worried that, on my gluten free diet,  I'd have to go without a real birthday treat this year. But John thought of everything...which leads me to this:
Happy Valentines Day John!!! I love you more than you could ever know.



  1. Happy Valentine's Day and Happy belated Birthday Maya!!


  2. I also think we are all entitled to a birthday week! My birthday celebrations in July seemed neverending! Haha!

    SUCH cute pics!

  3. Thanks so much Elin! Happy Valentines Day to you :)

    Jessica, I'm glad you agree about the birthday week! /i say ride the birthday wave as long as possible...

  4. i LOVE sharon montrose's photography. lucky you!