Happy 80th, Grandma!

This weekend was a major celebration of my Grandma’s 80th birthday.

As always, my mom had decorating, catering, designing and planning duties to pull off the event – and made it beautiful!

There was plenty of food to feed an army, platters on platters on platters. There were friends and family, both old and new. I had a great time introducing Dan to some of the family members who have read about him time and time again here on this blog. They all said that he seems like a “keeper”! I especially had a kick out of seeing Grandma’s neighbors and friends coming up to us saying that they had heard so many things about Dan with eyebrows raised and big smiling faces. I wonder what rumors Grandma’s been spreading!!

Over the four hours we were all together, I ate way too much (including frosting #drool), had a great time reconnecting with cousins and second cousins and volunteering to take home the fresh fruit and veggies during the post party cleanup. Grandma was nothing but smiles the entire time and nearly dropped a tear when and old friend from work stopped by with a thoughtful and memory provoking gift. She’s surrounded by so many great friends and it makes me happy to see her happy. She was also fooled by some of her neighbors into thinking that they’d brought her a kitten – syke – just a stuffed animal in a really convincing box. Dan says he couldn’t tell who was more fooled and excited – me or Grandma!

This is Dan directly after saying “Wow, when we’re 80….” ^ #Mindblown

Happy 80th, Grandma!

❤ JE


Weekend Update

We’ve had quite the eventful weekend around here!

My birthday on Friday was one of my best yet. It was so nice to have my brother home for the first time in 3 years and my family made it a very special day as always. I enjoyed a relaxing day off from work and received way too many gifts from my family. And a ridiculous amount of Facebook love. Thank you, everyone!

Dinner at Montage with the family and Dan was perfect and was full of strong drinks, great laughs and delicious food. It called for a ‘before’ and ‘during’ photo comparison.

^ They made me a crown ^

^ Dan ordered the girliest drink on the menu – which was really good ^

^ Ja ‘Civa’s Cake ^

Another member of our family did not have such a great night – Bailey was stung or bitten by something that made her face swell up, itch all over and develop a turkey neck from all of the fluids. At least she’s seasonally-minded. Gobble Gobble!

When I heard the news that she wasn’t feeling well, Dan and I cancelled our Saturday plans and headed straight to see her and spend some time with the sick girl.

^ Photo credit: Matt ^

^ Photo credit: Dan ^

Being home Saturday meant supervising two turkeys cook in the oven, witnessing Oregon’s unfortunate loss, eating wonderful meals, making a cheese ball for the 6th annual Fakesgiving Dinner, wrapping mom’s birthday presents and getting Dan set up with a few photos on instagram.

As you know from yesterday’s post, we headed to chase a beach storm. More on that fun tomorrow!

❤ JE

My 25th Year

Today, November 16th is my 25th Birthday. A quarter of a century old and perfectly placed into my mid-twenties.

^ Here’s the photo my sister posted on my Facebook last year ^

^ And here’s my 24.5 Birthday! ^

I was born in the early hours of the morning on a Monday in 1987. One of my favorite traditions each year is being woken up by a phone call from my mom and dad at 3:10 in the morning to hear their sweet voices singing me Happy Birthday. Sometimes they even included banging pots and pans in the background.

My birthday is always an incredibly special day and this year will be no different. Things I’m seriously looking forward to are:

  • A week day off from work.
  • A serious sweat session from 6:15-7:15 in the morning.
  • A manicure.
  • A 90 minute massage from Miracle-worker Maggie.
  • A mom-daughter coffee date in the afternoon.
  • Family Dinner at Montage (+ Dan).
  • Birthday cake and presents that my mom and dad weren’t supposed to get me because they helped me for my summer Europe trip.
  • Watching Bailey eat cupcakes!

This will be a fun-filled extended weekend as I’m taking today through November 26th off from work for the holiday, my mom’s birthday (the 18th!) and while my Brother is in town.

This week I asked my mom a very important question to start out on the right foot for my 25th year.

Q: What advice would you give your 25 year old self?

A: That’s a hard one… At 25 I’d encourage myself to become what I dreamed for myself.

Knowing what I know now, I’d tell myself to stop worrying and judging myself and be kind to myself.

Seriously great advice.

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes today – I sure do feel special!

❤ JE

A 10 Year Old’s Birthday List

Now that it’s October 17th it’s officially “Birthday Month”!

My birthday is November 16th (write that on your calendar) so mayyyybe it’s not the same calendar month… details details.

I don’t have a wish list this year as my parents have already given me my gift in the form of cash for my Summer 2012 vacation. However, I want to share with you what I wished for 14 years ago when I was 10 going on 11 and there was a world of great opportunities ahead of me (and before Pinterest)

I thank my mom for both saving and sending me this gem that I typed up October 13th, 1998. I can’t say that I am impressed by my taste back then or that it matches my current needs, but I am impressed by the formality of my written request. I can’t be sure, but I can only assume that it was also signed, sealed and properly addressed to our old SE Portland address judging by the way the paper is folded.

1. Cable – I believe we got cable in the spring of 2000 so I wasn’t loved it didn’t make the cut 🙂

2. Batting Gloves – Such a tomboy. #2 on my list was a pair of batting gloves, really?

3. $20 Or More – is this open ended? Did I really need to specify / think that if I said “Cash” that I would get less than $20? My parents were better than that!

4. Rampage World Tour for N64 – didn’t get this and not sure what all the hype was about.

5. Oops, I missed #5. Microsoft Word, you failed me.

6. New Shoes – I assume these are athletic shoes based on #2 and #7

7. Sweatshirts – I ask my 10 year old late 90’s self: Crew, Zip or Hoody?

Thankfully my taste has improved since then and on my fictitious wish list now are kitchen appliances, home improvements,  gift cards and camera accessories.

Maybe someday I’ll share an accompanying photo of my awkward pre-teens with you.

❤ JE

Weekend Recap

As I mentioned last week it was my dad’s birthday on Friday. He’s now married to a much younger woman – for only 47 more days, and he’s not yet a Speed Limit (he’s a young 54)!

I was able to make it to their house after work with plenty of daylight remaining and much to catch up on since they spend most of their time at the coast.

As always a gourmet meal was made and enjoyed by everyone, including Bailey!

It was a family affair! Dad grilled chicken, mom made sweet potato fries and a fresh salad, and I brought over kalamata olive bread and served it with 21 Seasoning Salute + Olive Oil.

I was given clear instruction to avoid taking photos of the ugliest cake of all time, so when you see the blur below just imagine that it was pretty. I’m proud of my mom for not causing a fuss over how the cake looked – it only mattered how it tasted! Judging by how quick it was gone I’d say dad thoroughly enjoyed it!

^We are an internet shopping family^

^This is how all birthdays go, Bailey first!^

There was a short break in my weekend at home with my parents in the form of a 90 minute pre-race massage with Maggie. She is a miracle worker! Hydration, epsom salt baths and plenty of rest is on the schedule for the next week!

Mom and I spent some of the day Sunday virtually decorating the beach house apartment, skyping with a jet-lagged brother and playing with my beautiful sister Bailey! The weekend goes by too fast!

❤ JE