Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Birthday Celebrations!

I had a blessed 24th birthday on Monday this week and enjoyed a couple celebrations with friends. On Friday night, my two friends from church took me out to dinner at Sante, the restaurant I enjoyed with my parents back in February. We ordered a Fromage plate to share with three kinds of cheese, salami, homemade mustard, apple-cherry preserve, candied walnuts, raisins, and slices of baguette. My main dish was ravioli stuffed with pork confit (con-fee) and apple cream cheese and covered with a mushroom crema sauce. Delicious! We finished up with bread pudding that had a homemade marshmallow to the side and butterscotch sauce drizzled over the top. The atmosphere of Sante and conversation made for a wonderful evening! Thanks Cindy and Becca!
On Sunday evening, I had the pleasure of cooking my mom's wonderful lasagna for several of my friends and housemates. We talked about our alter-egos at the dinner table, and then went out for Froyo. You don't want to know what was on my Peanut Butter/Birthday Cake frozen yogurt. Let's just say I have a high sugar tolerance. :)
My co-worker Emily and I joke that we're the same person because people call her Elizabeth and me Emily. We sometimes call ourselves Emily Elizabeth, like the owner of Clifford, the books about the big, red dog. So, as a present, Emily crocheted this adorable mini-Clifford for me: 
On Monday, I left work early and drove up to Trader Joe's (next two pictures). Call me crazy, but I simply love looking around that store. I didn't even get a ton of exciting stuff, just chicken breasts (which are currently in my Crock-Pot with onions, salsa, and taco seasoning), bacon, Fontina cheese, Roasted Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic on the recommendation of a friend, Yogurt O's Strawberry Cereal, and a bouquet of flowers. I was having trouble getting my face, the flowers, and the Trader Joe's sign in the picture without blinding myself (the sun was bright!), so this is the best picture you'll get: 

I love having fresh flowers in the house again! My co-worker got me the Nutter Butters as a present. It's peanut butter. Enough said!

My housemate Pam made me this lovely sign and hung it above our front door. It's so great! It was the first thing I saw when I walked upstairs at 6 AM on Monday.

My housemate started her first day of a new job on Monday, so to celebrate doubly, my housemates Pam (left), Justina (right), and I went to a taco truck for dinner. We got a simply delicious burrito with marinated pork and onions and nachos with ground beef. It was delicious!

My co-worker bought me a bag of candy Princess jewelry with two necklaces, two rings, two lipsticks, and a bracelet with a "diamond." She said I'm the Party-Planning Princess at work, so I needed appropriate accessories. I put the ring on my finger and almost had to eat it off. Oops! A bunch of us in the office also love Downton Abbey, so she got me this awesome t-shirt! If you're Downton-Abbey literate, you'll know that Mr. Carson is a black-and-white, toe-the-line butler who also has a good heart. :)

We had our April birthday celebration at work and one of my co-workers brought this enormous, pizza-sized cookie! It was quite the sight! We also had brownies, a Mexican dip with chips, and fruit. I was a little sugared out at dinner, so I ate salad, roasted asparagus, and roasted cauliflower leftovers and a bowl of Strawberry Yogurt O's for dinner. Yum!
Overall, my birthday was a delight. However, in light of the bombings in Boston that happened on my birthday, I realized and continue to reflect on how grateful I am for the gift of life and for the gift of so many friends and family who have made my twenty-four years full of joy. Thank you! Life is precious, and I pray that we're each able to embrace life with the joy and courage given to us through Jesus Christ.