It was a fantastic birthday, one which I hope to remember for years to come. Hopefully, this photo-journalized recap of my birthday weekend will help with that. :)
It all started the Friday before my birthday with a dinner out to my one of my favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot, with three of my favorite people.
|Fondue for four!|
The next morning, my friend Rachel joined us for some Ethiopian food and a trip to the theater to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
|Finger food. (We were trying to eat like Hobbits. Does this |
That night, the husband and our Melting Pot friends made our way to the Starry Nights drive-thru light display at our nearby park.
|Our view from the car.|
On my actual birthday, I awoke to a plateful of delicious (gluten free) blueberry waffles, topped with blackberries and coconut oil.
We slowly got ready for the day and eventually headed out to do our one non-fun task of the day: a background check at the downtown police station. I don't think I was expecting how blahhh this experience would make me feel, though we didn't have much of a choice. It was either do it on the birthday or wait several weeks 'til we had time again to do it together. And I didn't want to wait because this was our last piece of necessary paperwork before our adoption case worker can do the walk through of our home.
So, we ventured downtown, ended up getting a bit lost in a series of overcrowded police buildings, finally ended up where we belonged, only to find we needed money orders in order to get the background checks done. Bah! So we gave up for the day (because the birthday princess had a hungry tummy) and left in hopes of being able to do the background checks another day at a different, less crowded and less downtown-ish police station. (This never happened, as it turns out that police station is the only one that does background checks, but that's a tale for another time.)
Though our background checks were not a success that day, seeing the poverty around us -- the lines and lines of poor folks in and around the police station; the young mother carrying her baby in a car seat near her knees, severely knocking the baby's head around with each step she took; the negative attitude of everyone we interacted with -- it all helped to encourage our decision to adopt. To be able to possibly help, in a very small but significant way, to break this cycle of poverty. To hopefully give a better life to a helpless little babe that would otherwise be destined for a life of poverty, abuse, neglect, negativity. Earlier that morning I wasn't sure I how felt about adopting a child of a different race from us; I just felt like it would be too foreign for us. But after our short time at the police station downtown, my heart was softened and I felt called to open our home to any newborn, any race. What a special gift to receive on my birthday, and in the strangest of places.
(Edit: What I've written here is just a short reflection on a situation that encouraged me to continue discerning transracial adoption. Please see the comment section of this post for a little bit more information regarding our thoughts on adoption.)
With these thoughts stirring in my mind and a very empty tummy, we headed to our lunch destination: a Venezuelan restaurant called Arepa & Salsa.
|Instead of bread, they used smashed, fried plantains |
for their sandwiches (called tostones). Be still my
From here, we ventured to the Pink Palace, an old mansion in midtown Memphis that was turned into a museum once the owners couldn't afford to finish building it.
|In the grand entrance hall of the Pink Palace.|
Next, we went and bought an ornament, which I'm hoping turns into a yearly birthday tradition.
Followed by a quick pick-me-up of coffee and Trivial Pursuit.
And then on to dinner! Mmmmm. Sushi!
And the evening ended with some cupcakes, cuddles on the couch, and an episode of Doctor Who. A perfect day, if I do say so myself. And very delicious too! Can you tell I like food? :)
Oh, I almost forgot! My birthday gift from John this year was an AeroGarden! He was so sweet to let me open it two weeks in advance so I could have real, live herbs growing on my birthday. It's been so fun watching them grow each day. And since they've been growing about a month now, we've been able to use our new herbs in several recipes. What a treat - fresh herbs growing in our home in the dead of winter!
|Just after planting my little herblings.|
|My herbs pose for me on my birthday!|
|My herbs as of yesterday! Parsley, chives, genovese basil|
thai basil, mint, and cilantro.
What a lovely birthday! It couldn't have been any better. I'm so blessed to have good friends and one great husband to thank for that.
See ya next year, December 16th!