* Well, 30 really did feel special this year. I’ve never before celebrated my birthday so much. One of my grandmas said she was confused as to when my birthday was this year and that would probably be because I’ve been celebrating it so darn much! On Saturday, while we were at the market, my dad and stepmom drove up from southern Oregon to join us that afternoon. We visited farmer’s market before they closed, walked around, chatted. Bracken has given them market tours before and I’ve already introduced them to so many fellow market vendors by now that they certainly know their way around. Bracken was having a blast with his Grandpa Bob, they were running around together and created an obstacle course where they had to crawl under a sign. (I told him he was a pretty agile Grandpa.) Bracken’s giggles and delight were so fun to watch and my dad had a huge smile on his face. You couldn’t help laughing with them, they were being so silly.
My dad and Dorrie helped us tear down the booth at the end of the day (so nice to have extra hands!) and then took us out to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We went to a favorite restaurant with amazing food and we feasted. (Yep, same place we had Jeff’s surprise party. I will forever think of that day whenever we go there.) They had a drive yet to get home, but we really wanted to treat them to some ice cream at a favorite spot. We went to Vanilla Jill’s and all got our ice cream to go, said our goodbyes, and ate it on the drive home. If you are a local and you’ve never been to Vanilla Jill’s before, their ice cream is divine. That’s really the best word to describe it. With dairy allergies in our family, we hadn’t had ice cream in many years. When we discovered the paleo ice cream at Vanilla Jill’s, we were ecstatic! They have ice cream made with coconut milk and even options sweetened with honey, our sweetener of choice. (The coconut milk ice cream at the grocery store is sweetened with agave nectar and I hafta say I’m not a fan of agave.)
All the pictures after the * were taken from previous visits to Vanilla Jill’s. Our family started a new tradition this past summer. After a long, hot market day, we would stop by Vanilla Jill’s for some ice cream (and sometimes soup too, their soup is also delicious) before heading home. Jeff would joke “I bet little buddy doesn’t really feel like stopping for some ice cream…” to which Bracken would chime in “Yeah! Yeah! I do! I do!” It gave us something to really look forward to at the end of the day, and felt like such a treat to ourselves. As if discovering their ice cream and soup wasn’t enough, they also have paleo ice cream sandwiches that are out of this world! Oh, and my favorite ice cream flavors? Number one is honey mint. I love that one the very best. Second would be apple cinnamon with maple syrup.
Yesterday was my actual birthday, so I am officially thirty now. I ended up being sick on my birthday and in a funny way felt really happy about it because I was able to relax without any guilt whatsoever. Let myself off the hook so to speak. I sat on the couch in my pajamas and tied buttons on cards for much of the morning. It felt luxurious, which is cracking me up that I actually wrote that. Sitting and relaxing really did feel fantastic, though. I thought it was ironic that the very day I published a blog post about how much I need outside time, I ended up wanting to snuggle up indoors, since it was all overcast and chilly outside. Later I did feel like some fresh air, though, and Bracken and I went to take care of the chickens. We ended up being surprised by some sunshine and sat out in it for a bit. Jeff joined us for a break from his workshop. I didn’t even bring any work outdoors with me to accomplish, after my brief activities and walk around the garden, I got to the point where I needed to rest and had expended the meager energy I had. So I simply sat and watched the bees all over the mint and arugula flowers. (Thank you, by the way, for all your comments and insights on yesterday’s post! I always love hearing from you and you have the best ideas.)
I was given a birthday card from Jeff and Bracken that I absolutely treasure. Inside Bracken drew a picture of our family with a sun above our heads. He pointed to each of us and said “Mama. Dada. Bracken.” Then he informed me in all seriousness that he was sorry because he looked kind of old in the picture, (letting me know he had made a blooper and wasn’t completely pleased with how his artwork had turned out.) It looked perfect to me. Then he said with a sigh: “And I forgot dada’s belly button.” Oh my goodness, he makes me laugh!
Facebook has really changed the experience of birthdays, hasn’t it? I remember pre-facebook when a few family members would send me a card and a few more would give me a call, but since facebook entered the picture, doing such a great job of letting people know when birthdays are, I’ve felt showered with birthday wishes. Those birthday messages sure do make the day feel special. Yep, I have felt officially spoiled for my birthday this year as we celebrated all throughout September. I feel so grateful for all the thoughtful people in my life who made me feel loved. And now I can say: hello 30!