Sunday, February 26, 2017

Birthday Celebrations

This has been a  super busy week for me because I'm teaching online-only classes for one university starting next week, so I had to complete three weeks of online training, along with grading 60 papers from the other college where I teach, plus the actual teaching.
The end of the training is in sight though, and I'll be able to teach online no matter where I live (think France).
Now that I have a few minutes of down time, I wanted to tell you about my birthday extravaganza.
It started Thursday morning with a marvelous 5-mile run in the 54-degree weather. That is the warmest it has ever been on my birthday when I lived in Ohio.
I'm a blur because I took this picture as I was running. 
 When I got home from my run, my dutiful husband was in the kitchen putting an egg wash on the chocolate croissants before he slid them in the oven.

So after my shower, I got to enjoy a chocolate croissant. Then we drove through Starbucks on the way to work for a free birthday drink. I got my favorite, a white chocolate mocha with an extra shot of espresso -- all decaf, since I've been off caffeine for years now, ever since 2012 when I broke my nose and had caffeine withdrawal before my surgery. But that's another story you can read here if you want. 
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach from 8-2 with 10 minute breaks between each of my four classes. So things were pretty normal without any birthday fun. Only one class knew that it was my birthday and they urged me to cut class short so I could celebrate.
After I got home from work, I changed into my spring-time sandals. So pleased to be able to share the pedicure that my husband had given me for Valentine's Day.

I went to the coffee shop for our Writers' Group and found a beautiful of pink gerbera daisies and a birthday card signed by the baristas plus my fellow writers.
Another writing friend came in with a balloon that says "Proud of You." He loved that it was so random.
Then two other friends came bearing gifts -- Angie brought me power greens because she doesn't like them. Emily stopped by with her two-year-old and gave me a quart of blueberries. I used them both to make juice the next morning.
Then, as the rain began to pour, my husband showed up to escort me to dinner. We were going to a restaurant just down the street from the coffee shop. All three kids showed up, although Tucker had to leave early for a game in his soccer league, and Spencer got there late because he was working.
There is just something satisfying about gathering all my children together.

We had a starter of goat cheese with tomato aioli and toast triangles. Then I had crab cakes for my main course.
We came home afterward to a luscious-looking cake that my husband made. This was my favorite cake as a child, and each year Earl tries to recreate it. The icing is boiled and can be so tricky to make. It has to be boiled to the exact temperature and then beaten until it loses its sheen.
This year, it turned out perfectly so that it hardened on the cake like a fudge shell.

We also opened a bottle of dessert wine to drink with the cake. 
Yes, the wine came from France and is one of the few remaining bottles we have from our trips. I guess we'll stock up again in May when we travel to southwest France again.
Grace's boyfriend Jack was able to join us after his play rehearsal, so even though we lost Tucker to soccer, we gained another dark-haired boy for the celebration.
I went to bed full and happy, but the festivities continued the next morning with a facial, which was my birthday present.
The esthetician, who has been giving me a facial once a year, went on an on about how good my skin felt. She suspected it might have been the juice cleanse which made it so healthy. "It even looks good under the magnifying lamp and that's saying something!"
But I focused on the relaxation of the facial and felt totally relaxed when I walked out.
Ahhh. I love birthdays, even if this is the last one I'll celebrate in the U.S. It definitely lived up to my expectations.


Anonymous said...

Joyeux anniversaire!
I have the same sandals--from Kohls? or JCP? I don't remember now, but I love them.
When you are in the south of France, refer to chocolate croissants as "chocolatines." If you ask for a "pain au chocolat" the baker will smile and say, "Ah, une chocolatine!" Correcting you, but gently. Pain au chocolat is for northerners. Sometimes they're also referred to as simply "choco."

Paulita said...

What a great tip! I think my sandals came from DSW but they're very comfortable. Thanks for the birthday wishes

Anonymous said...

You are a lucky lady to be spoilt so nicely on your birthday. It sounded quite perfect.

grammajudyb said...

I totally forgot that we share a birthday! That happens sometimes when you are an "old lady". You had a marvelous day is seems! Mine, a bit puny compared to yours!!! I stitched with friends, lots of cards, no cake. I have lost 40 lbs since my last birthday, and no one wanted to sabotage me! That is friendship!! Hope your coming year is awesome and full of blessings!

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