Tag Archives: Birthday

27 Thoughts on Twenty-Seven

Today, I turn twenty-seven. While it did take me some time to wrap my mind around moving from my mid-twenties to my late-twenties, I’m excited. I feel 27. And that’s a good thing. I thought about making one of those lists you see on the internet “27 things to do when you turn 27” but that felt overwhelming. And I don’t want to look on that list a year from now and feel like a failure if I haven’t accomplished what would most likely be an overly ambitious list. So instead, I have decided to share 27 lessons I’ve learned. Most are small reflections and none are ground-breaking revelations, but still, these lessons have shaped who I am today.

1. There is such a thing as eating too many cookies. Hard to believe, I know.

2. The best way to break in new shoes is to wear them with socks around the house. And on that note, never wear brand new shoes to a wedding or any event that will have a lot of standing/walking/dancing.

3. House projects will always cost more money and take longer than originally anticipated. If HGTV makes it look like it can happen in a weekend, it will probably take a month.

4. I’m naturally very Type A and a detailed planner. Being spontaneous is challenging, but I’m trying to be more flexible.

5. When doing manicures at home, base coat and top coat make all the difference. Also, make sure there is no dog hair nearby because it will inevitably get stuck to your nails.

6. May 7, 2011 will always be one of the best days of my life.

7. I have wonderful parents who have sacrificed so much so for me and my brother. They are such great examples of what it means to be a husband and wife as well as selfless parents.

8. Just because I’m small and have typically been younger than my peers doesn’t mean I’m not strong or capable. I can do more than I give myself credit for. And if I get a running start, I can still put my brother in a headlock.

9. All wine tastes better when chilled.

10. Make one “bulk” meal a week that will give us leftovers for busy evenings.

11. I am loved and treasured by a gracious God.

12. Make time every day to check email, except for weekends. It’s good to disconnect every now and then.

13. Always pack chapstick

14. Treasure Saturday mornings. I love when we have a free weekend to sleep in, take Wrigley (and now Molly as well) for a walk, and have breakfast together somewhere. It recharges us in the midst of busy schedules.

15. I am surrounded by a loving community at Redeemer that has helped me grow so much over the last three years.

16. Deciding to stay in San Antonio after graduation was a big deal for us. We don’t have family in town, but I am so grateful for this city and for friends that feel like family.

17. Dust first, then vacuum.

18. Don’t take the weather forecast seriously, especially in Texas.

19. Make time to read.

20. If I need to remember to do something, I have to write it down.

21. Comparison is the thief of joy. This is a lesson I’m constantly learning, along with not only being content, but joyful in each season God has called us to.

22. Handwritten letters can brighten any day.

23. Remember to take care of myself and not feel guilty saying “no.” I have a tendency to over-fill my schedule (there, dad, I finally admitted it) and have realized that I am not the wife, friend, and daughter I want to be when I’m exhausted.

24. Always carry an extra hair tie.

25. Do a little cleaning every day, and don’t beat myself up that our floors get dirty within 36 hours of vacuuming and steaming.

26. Don’t leave important papers on the coffee table: they will either be thrown away or eaten by Wrigley.

27. Set aside a little bit of money each month for traveling. It doesn’t have to be much, but it will slowly add up.

Double dose of birthdays

Today is not only my mom’s birthday, but also my grandfather’s. I am so thankful to have these two very special people in my life and the abundant love they have given me. I wish we could be in Tucson to celebrate with them both, but am glad that they will be spending the day together as they kick off what I’m sure is the beginning of another great year.

Happy birthday to the woman who has taught me what it means to be selfless, the value of a good shoe sale, how to make homemade mashed potatoes and a firm believer that family is always just a phone call away. And happy birthday to the man who is always joking, who used to feed me and my brother Cookie Crisp (occasionally accompanied with ice cream) for breakfast and can never turn down a game of dominoes. Love you both so much!

Happy birthday, mom

Happy birthday, mom

Happy birthday, Tata

Happy birthday, Tata

Happy birthday, Dad

Happy birthday, dad! Wish we could celebrate this special day with you, but until we see you again, we hope you have a great day to kick off another wonderful year. In honor of your birthday, we will spend the morning searching for garage sales and will raise a glass of wine at dinner in your honor. Happy birthday, papa bear!

Love you, dad

Love you, dad

The big 22

Today’s is my brother’s 22nd birthday. Having him turn 21 was a big deal to me; now 22 is solidifying him as an adult in my mind. I have to admit, this is a little hard for me to process. I think a part of me will always see him as a goofy 16 year old that lounges around the house in flannel shirts, basketball shorts and his black Nike socks (he’s quite the fashion stud…). A part of me is also coming to recognize the man he is becoming. Sure, he looks like a man with his mountain beard and tall physique (most strangers think he’s older than me… rude), but what’s made me most proud is to see him mature over the last couple of years and take on more responsibility. Don’t worry, he can still be a complete fool, but I’m excited to see this maturing process continue and all that this year has in store for him.

Happy birthday, bro. I sure do love you a lot.

I love my little brother

I love my little brother

Alex has always had a flair for dramatic backyard games

Alex has always had a flair for dramatic backyard games

One of my most favorite pictures from our childhood

One of my most favorite pictures from our childhood


Over the last year, Haley and I have become very good friends. It would be an understatement to say that her friendship has been a huge blessing to me. When Chip and I decided to stay in San Antonio after graduating in 2009, one of our reasons was to be around all our close friends. Over the years, however, many of them have moved to new places for school, jobs and many other reasons. Before we knew it, a lot of our best friends were in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Washington DC and Nashville. We now have some fun cities to visit our friends in, but we were missing quality time with other people. Since joining Redeemer Presbyterian about a year ago, we have made lots of new friendships, but our relationship with the Matt and Haley Beham is particularly special. Matt and Chip get along extremely well and it makes me so happy whenever they have “guy” time and go golfing or just hang out while Haley and I chat over some wine. Getting to know Haley this past year has been so great and I am so surprised and appreciative at how similarly God made us. Needless to say, I love it when we hang out with the Behams.

One thing Haley and I have in common is a love for the British Royal Family. We know probably a bit too much about the Queen and the beloved Will and Kate duo (we’ve joked that we’ll throw a British tea party whenever they have a child… normal, right?). So when Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton came out with her own party-planning book, Celebrate, Haley and I naturally mentioned it to each other one day and how excited we were to get ourselves a copy. Turns out we also both made a mental note to get it for each other because that is exactly what we got for our birthdays.

Chip and I went over to the Behams house last Thursday evening to go buy some wine together for our birthday dinner at Fralo’s this past Saturday. I brought in Haley’s gift and placed it on the table next to the gift she had got me. It didn’t take long to realize our gifts were the exact same size and shape… by the time we opened our gifts, we were doubled over laughing at what great taste in gifts we both have :) Luckily Chip had my phone at this point so he was able to get the next series of pictures:

Shortly after opening our gifts

With our awesome books

I have to say, this book is pretty awesome. I’ve flipped through it a few times now and have found so many recipes and party-planning tips that I can’t wait to use. I will definitely be blogging about any Pippa-inspired dishes and crafts!

A much bigger book than I had anticipated!

Holiday ideas…

Pretty page for the Summer section… love this book’s organization


This past week was a festive one… in a span of five days, we celebrated three special birthdays. On Wednesday, I turned 25 (hello, quarter of a century!). Considering it was a birthday in the middle of the week (I definitely prefer weekend birthdays!), I still had a very special and fun day. After a great breakfast at home, Chip dropped me off at work. The day included a decorated desk and chocolate cake in the afternoon (who doesn’t love that??). After work, two of my really good co-worker friends, Annaliz and Priscilla, treated me to a happy hour over at Landry’s. I am so thankful for these two ladies and the joy they add throughout my work day :)

My festive desk


Happy hour with Annaliz and Priscilla

That’s some cute grilled cheese

Chip then picked me up and we made our way over to Bin 555 to celebrate both of our birthdays (Chip’s 26th birthday was yesterday!). Since we would be celebrating both of our birthdays, we decided to splurge a little bit and ordered some tasty grilled cheese sandwiches for appetizers, had a tasty meal and then a nutella dish for dessert. While I prefer the nutella dish at Tre Trattoria, this one was pretty good, too.

After dinner, we went back to our house to open birthday gifts. I’m pretty excited about the two books Chip got me – Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Stacy London’s The Truth About Style. These books have been on my list for a while, so I can’t wait to get to them. Fun fact: when I tagged Stacy London in my tweet about these books, she actually replied. How awesome is that? I’m convinced we could totally be BFF’s :) Wrigley was also sweet and got me a gift card to Spa D’sante. What a thoughtful pup.

So excited to read these.

Friday was my good friend Haley‘s birthday and we surprisingly got each other the same gift :) This was pretty funny and will be its own separate post!

With Chip’s birthday on Sunday, we thought it would be fun to celebrate our three birthdays together on Saturday with a group dinner at Fralo’s. Fralo’s is hands-down one of my favorite restaurants in town and we were really excited for us to spend the evening here. We had a great time with all of our friends and are so thankful to everyone who was able to come celebrate with us (big shout out to the wonderful Jeff and Megan Claydon who drove from Houston for the event! We love you guys!!). The wine was great, the appetizers tasty, the pizza delicious and the live music awesome (really, he was great… Haley and I shamelessly sang along to most of the songs). Following dinner, we went and saw the new James Bond movie Skyfall with the Behams. It was a great movie, although we were all a little tired when the movie ended after midnight… definitely past my bedtime!

Three cheers for Fralo’s!

Having a great time at dinner

Some different shots of the table… not pictured: the Claydons, the Barnetts, Bekah McNeel… totally meant to get a full group picture!!

Since Sunday was going to be a busy day, Chip opened his birthday gifts in the morning before church. I think he’ll enjoy the two books I got him and the golf outing Wrigley is treating him to! We spent most of Sunday afternoon with the youth group at Redeemer doing a scavenger hunt throughout downtown San Antonio. It was a really fun afternoon running around with these teenagers, doing pyramids in front of the Alamo, interviewing tourists, getting a picture on one of the RiverWalk tour boats, etc. After the scavenger hunt, we spent some time over at Eliot’s (one of the other youth leaders) apartment to watch the Texans-Bears game.

It was a great weekend getting to spend time with so many great friends. Thanks, everyone, for making our birthdays so special!

More birthdays!!

January is a big month for my family. There are birthdays just about every week! For those that don’t believe me, here’s the evidence:

There were times in my childhood when I felt a little left out being the only non-January birthday in my family, but then I also loved being the special one that got my own birthday month :) Now that January is coming to a close, it’s time to celebrate the birthdays of both my mom and my grandpa.

My mom is a remarkable woman and I am so thankful for all she has taught me through her words and actions. She is one of the most patient people I know and puts this trait of hers to good use everyday from tolerating the antics of my dad, my brother and myself to her twelve hours shifts as a labor and delivery nurse. She’s great at what she does and puts 100% into every aspect of her job at the hospital. It’s no surprise to me at all that patients will send my mom thank you cards for being such an attentive, calm and encouraging nurse. My mom is also one of the most selfless people I know, always thinking of others first before even considering her own needs. I am also thankful that while growing up, my mom always placed such emphasis on the importance of education, from making sure my brother and I did well in school to completing her own education and going to nursing school while my brother and I were very young. Thanks, mom, for showing us the value of hard work, for showing us the importance of working with integrity, for being cheesy and using emoticons at the end of every email :), for spoiling us with our favorite meals whenever we come home to Tucson, for your endless help during our year of wedding planning, for always being a ready ear and adviser and for being one of the best shopping buddies I could have asked for (hello, Anthropologie!!). Now, similarly to the post for my brother’s and dad’s birthdays, here are some of my favorite pictures of my mom! Happy birthday, momma bear!!

In Peru!

Macchu Picchu!

My parents on their 20th anniversary five years ago

With momma bear

My mom helping me get ready for my wedding

Today is extra special in that it is also my maternal grandfather’s birthday. He’s the only grandfather I’ve known and has been a part of so many childhood memories of mine. I’ll always remember going over to their house everyday growing up and being able to count on his afternoon habit of making Cuban coffee (in the same little espresso maker he’s had my whole life). There would always be the sound of dominoes on a table at family events with my Tata being particular about the way the dominoes were shuffled between games. My grandparents always had Cookie Crisp cereal for us at their house and my Tata loved nothing more than to offer us this with ice cream for breakfast (super nutritious, right?). Growing up, we could always count on my grandpa to give us any needed batteries for toys as he had quite the collection in his office closet. Most recently, my grandpa was a part of our wedding. During the lighting of our unity candle during our wedding ceremony, he sang the Ave Maria just like he had at my older cousin’s wedding several years ago and at my parent’s wedding 25 years ago. It was such a special moment and one I’ll always treasure. Here are a few of my favorite pictures with my Tata from our wedding day. Happy birthday, Tata!!

Singing the Ave Maria at our wedding

Salsa dancing with my grandpa at our wedding :)