Birthday 21

Hello, everybody! I’m writing to you for the first time from a 21-year-old body. That’s right, I had a birthday over the weekend (Saturday, the 7th, to be specific) and I am now wise and old and adult-like. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In reality, I decided at 1AM on Wednesday night that going home for the weekend would be an excellent idea. So, very un-adult-like of me, I booked a last minute train ticket, ditched my friends, and surprised my family. Everybody forgave me in the end, and it was the best of all possible worlds. (Points if you get the literary reference!)

I spent my birthday/Easter weekend surrounded by people and things that I love. Strawberry mojitos, for one. My family, for another. The Dark Prince that is my cat. Plus there were books, and phone calls, and cinnamon-toast-crunch-like Easter nests with Mini Eggs in them, and the Decorah Eagles livestream and a 2 hour hike, and all-you-can-eat sushi/thai, and an inappropriate amount of side-by-side Draw Something games, and brunch. My family was definitely in its element this weekend (go team!).

Then I came home last night and walked over to hang out with some friends and walked into a straight-up surprise party! Complete with a cookie/candy/chocolate pizza (#resuscitateme), and all my friends, and whipped cream, and smiles, and white wine. And maybe a bright red, Le Creuset, cast-iron, enamelled skillet. What? Is this real life? Is this a strange dream in which I get everything I’ve ever wanted, ever?

In all seriousness though, I feel so blessed, so loved, so happy. Smiles, all around.

I made a mini-book to document all the love from my birthday weekend. I still might add a few things to it, including photos and journalling, but I thought I’d share it now before I forget about it. I love minibooks (learn more about them here) because they give you a chance to be creative, keep all the memorabilia that you want, and streamline the junk. You’re left with a cute, special reminder of a particular event, and I love that. Enjoy!

The book is made up mostly of the cards and paper I just cut up into about the same size. The reason the pink “Happy 21st Birthday!” is backwards is because my sister filmed a really cute gif and thought she had to make the sign backwards for the camera – but it turns out, she didn’t! I like that story. I took the pretty envelope liners from my parents’ cards and glued pieces to the front so that I can preserve those too. My other sister brought me that cute postcard, from China. I made the cover page by slipping the card inside a plastic sleeve and sewing up the remaining 2 sides by hand with white thread. Yay! I love it so much.

ps. Remember those powerpoint slides from that awesome book preview that I loved so much because they suggested the best books but that I lost, seemingly forever? I found them! The birthday magic continues!

Spring, Sprung

The past few days have felt blissfully like summer. And if that weren’t enough, I got some absolutely thrilling news yesterday and I feel like I’m jumping on a trampoline next to the ocean while eating ice cream and pizza simultaneously. I’ll share the news asap, but just rest assured that I am furiously happy.

I’ve been celebrating the summer weather by wearing skirts, drinking fruit smoothies in the morning, incorporating Spring veggies into my diet, going for runs, having brunch with friends with the doors and windows wide open, drinking beer in the park at dusk, listening to great music, hanging out on busy patios, and soaking up the sun whenever possible.

It’s been a totally incredible weekend, and more great things just keep happening. I love Spring.

The Everyday

I love Instagram. Even though I haven’t been counting iPhone photos towards Project 365, I’ve still been trying to take pictures when I’m out and about, and little things in my daily life. This poster represents 2012 so far, and it makes me crazy happy everytime I look at it. I need to keep reminding myself to document the small details, the everyday – because I absolutely adore having those small memories to look back on. I should also probably start using the same filter every time I share a photo on Instagram, but I can’t help switching it up.. there’s just so much variety! And I love how they all look!

Here’s to the little things. Here’s to technology. Here’s to remembering the moments that make us happy. Here’s to a great weekend! Hope it’s not raining where you are. Happy Friday.

The “poster” is thanks to Printsgram, a great service that lets you organize your photos and save PDFs – for free!

It’s the Little Things

{Breakfast parties with all the fixings}

A little while ago, I wrote about the idea of being uncomfortable. (Five-second recap: process is product, ritual is reward, journey is goal, sometimes it’ll suck but try to stay calm and push through.) I still love that idea. And I think for the first time, I’m really trying to sit with things – if I feel awful, it gets acknowledged, expressed to a great friend, journaled about or cried out (although my level of crying has decreased dramatically in 2012). Same with happiness, joy, discomfort, sadness, loneliness. I’m giving myself both permission to make mistakes and to celebrate good choices.

{Long walks on overcast days}

And process really is product, for me at least. The most happiness I’ve had lately has been in the quiet moments: in the mid-afternoon winter light, kneading bread, going on my solitary walks, and having friends over, which instantly turns my quiet little apartment into more of a home. I just wanted to share a few of the pictures that celebrate the little things – the love, the food, the friends – that are making 2012 my greatest year yet.

Continue reading