Monday, February 4, 2013


This photo sums up how I feel about my birthday weekend...

It was fantastic.  I got to celebrate with everyone I love.  Friends, family and of course Matt and my girls.  I didn't have to cram it all in one day...I got to spread it out over a nice long weekend and soak it all up.  Friday we had friends over for some appetizers and drinks.  As we hung out, the work week faded away and the celebratory mood set it.  Although, it felt celebratory at work because I have awesome co-workers who had a birthday banner up complete with chocolates, confetti and a birthday tiara waiting for me Friday morning.  It didn't take long for my tiara to be stolen by a little girl after school...

That night, Matt finally told me about our weekend plans and I'm happy to say they did not include Buffalo Wild Wings.  He had planned a night at Chico Hot Springs for us and a sleepover at Grandma's for the girls.  Win, win.  Chico has always been a favorite of ours for birthday and anniversary celebrations, but it is no longer a secret get away.  Unfortunately it has become quite popular so getting a room can be a plan a year in advance type thing.  Thanks to somebody cancelling Matt was able to get us in.  

You cannot help but feel relaxed as soon as you make the turn and see the Chico sign and the resort tucked into the snowy mountainside.  If you were driving down the main road and didn't make the turn you wouldn't even know it was there.  A true hidden (until it got discovered) gem.  I may have a middle of winter birthday, but it always seems to be pretty nice.  This year was no exception...the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky and I actually worried I'd get a sunburn when we were soaking in the hot springs.  Three hours and a couple of cocktails later I had not a care in the world.
Over the past few years we still go swim at Chico a lot.  In fact we owe Ava a trip there who picked that as her "prize" for filling her sticker chart.  We also had the best family night there last year for my mom's 60th birthday when we were able to rent the big house on a fluke the day before her day.  However, it has been years since we've eaten at their amazing restaurant.  We made up for lost time and ate until we literally could not eat anymore.  Oyster appetizers, fresh bread, salads, steak Gorgonzola, shrimp scampi, washed down with vino and topped off with desserts.  Not just one shared dessert...oh no...we each indulged in our own.  Dessert may not have even been considered after all that food, however the people sitting next to us insisted on buying our dessert and said we each had to have our own.  No reason...they simply "liked doing that and one day when you are older you should do the same"  Love it.  Two hours after we had sat down we dragged our very full selves out of the restaurant.  We had intentions of going to the bar next door, listening to the band, having a drink and behaving like adults who have no responsibilities would behave.  This did not happen.  We were officially in food comas and nothing else was going in.  We sat in the lobby, people watched a bit (always a fun time), made friends with the locals...
I was telling him I was sorry I had meat, but sometimes a girl needs a steak...especially when it is slathered in Gorgonzola and red wine sauce
We tried soaking again, even attempted to go dance at the bar.  Neither lasted long and we finally gave in and went to bed.  It was a pretty pathetic bedtime for kid-less parents...knowing no little girls would wake us up in the middle of the night needing a drink and knowing we could have slept in.  Oh well...I was about to turn a year older and needed my beauty rest.  It was glorious.  And, we did get to sleep in to the wonderful hour of 8 am.  Chico offers a delicious brunch on Sundays, but hunger had still yet to return after our evening meal.  Just a cup of coffee, a little more soaking and it was time to head home to celebrate my day with my girls.  

As much as I love having a night away I was missing my babies.  It was another sun soaked day so we took advantage and did a little sledding.  It was just us four and only for about a hour but it was one of my favorite parts of my day.

My mom had invited my sisters and their families over for a "Super" party.  Which was just her very nice way of having a Superbowl party but including my birthday in it as well. It was fine by me...I got to spend my birthday with the whole family, which has not happened in I don't even know how long.  Getting together for family dinners has not happened as regularly lately which made everyone being together a little more special.  Lots of food, kiddos playing, and an amazing birthday dessert....cappuccino chocolate cheesecake.
Cousins are the BEST!!!
Toothless girls

Matt with his masterpiece.  
Mmmmmm...the cheesecake.  My amazing guy hates cheesecake.  (Who could hate cheesecake you ask?  I wonder the same thing)  Yet, he spent hours researching, shopping and baking me this because he knows I love cheesecake and any dessert with chocolate.  Add some coffee flavor and I'm done for.  Well done, babe.  Well done.

I know when you are a kid birthdays are all about the gifts.  As I've gotten older I know the true gifts are just spending time surrounded by the people you love and enjoying those simple moments of togetherness.  That is exactly what I got this weekend.  However, I also got a couple really fantastic gifts that were so thoughtful and just meant so much to me.  My friend Amy made me this beautiful photo...

Yes, I said "made" it.  It is on a piece of wood and don't ask me how.  I tried to have her explain, but didn't really catch it all...just heard the word "PInterest" and it all made sense.  I really love it...and knowing that she took the time to make it for me...that's why she's my bff.  

And, then my two other bff's, also known as my sisters, got me this...

It is made by a local artist, Nikole Rae, each letter is a photograph.  I have been eyeing her work at the last few art festivals and markets we have gone to.  I have almost bought some of her work for myself, but didn't because it was Christmas time.  I could not believe when I opened it and saw it...I was certain Matt had told them I had admired her work.  Nope, they picked it out themselves.  Scary how well we know each other sometimes.  I cannot wait to hang this on my wall.  It represents what means all the world to me.  

I saved the very best gifts for last.  When we got home the girls grabbed the gifts they had been working on all week for me to open.  Beautiful artwork created by the sweetest little things.  They melt my heart.

The top card from Ava translates into "Couldn't have a better Mommy"  Are you kidding me with that????   

One of the best birthday weekends ever.  Bring it on 35.

Have a happy week.  

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