Where do I even begin? I am usually so on top of my birthday posts, and now we are in the final days of May and I just finally got myself to write something out. I think it’s because I was waiting for the important rush of inspiration to come to me that I usually feel, but it never quite arrived in the exciting, motivational way it usually does. My birthday posts are usually filled with me gushing about how thankful I am for each year passing by and I usually will talk about something I learned over the passed 365 days. And believe me, I am still feeling so grateful and I had a fantastic birthday weekend, which you can see in a video here or at the end of this post, but the last few months have been a trying, stressful time for me and it’s hard to not acknowledge that and then just go on my cheery way.
So here’s what I just decided as I was writing the end of the last sentence: I am going to give you a quick wrap-up of my 26th birthday like I did last year for my 25th birthday, and then acknowledge my underlying feelings. For all interested in reading, I deeply thank you!
The end of my mid-20s
Turning 26 marks the last year of my mid-20s. Is there an actual scale for measuring what years constitute the beginning, middle, and end of a decade of life? I have no idea. I decided last year that I am going to go “all out” for each of my birthdays for the remainder of my 20s. Why? Well, I lost out on two years of celebrations thanks to the pandemic and I’m not getting any younger!
I did not go as hard as I did last year for my birthday, but it was still full of memorable times. On the Friday before my birthday (which is May 2), I treated myself to a massage. I carry a ridiculous amount of tension in my upper neck and back and as I said, the last few months have been a lot for me, so I decided I needed to help myself. It wasn’t the most relaxing massage because I had the massage therapist really work out my back. It was even painful at times, but at the end of the massage, I felt good because I knew had done something good for my body and my wellbeing.
Then, on Saturday, my boyfriend Marcus woke me up by singing “Happy Birthday” to me with a present and balloons in hand. I was so confused when I woke up that my first reaction was to protest that it wasn’t my birthday, which we both found funny. We agreed on not doing any presents this year (although I have already gotten him something for his), but he still made me feel so special all weekend. He ended up getting me a little birthday bag full of some of my favorite snacks, plus a yoga book so we can practice some poses together, which was extremely thoughtful.
Then, he drove us all the way to Middletown so I could use my birthday coupon at a thrift store called Plato’s Closet, where I unexpectedly got a new birthday dress even though I had bought one the weekend before. Marcus was super helpful and filmed some clips of me trying on clothes for my vlog, and it was a fun time hearing his commentary on the pieces I was trying on. He’s such a supportive and enthusiastic boyfriend. We finished that trip by visiting the local Stop & Shop where Marcus located a cereal he had wanted to try: Wendy’s Frosted cereal. It ended up being glorified Cocoa Puffs with mini marshmallows, but it was at least an exciting adventure.
We had just enough time to eat our Bubbakoo’s burrito bowl we bought with another birthday coupon before we headed South to Atlantic City. Like last year, my best friend Laurel’s father was able to get us a comp room at Tropicana, so we used it with her plus my friend Lauren and her boyfriend. We had a really great dinner at a cute place called Ryfe Bar, which was a 20 minute walk from our hotel. After that, we all got ready for the night.
I felt like a true Barbie in my thrifted pink velvet dress and white heels (seen below). I even added pink glittery lipgloss to my eyes and lips to complete the look! While the outing was fun and enjoyed by all, I do have to say the bar I went to, (and had been obsessing over since I went last year) called Wild Wild West in Bally’s, was not as exciting as it should have been. BUT I still got to dance to Rihanna performed by a live band, so I would call that a win. We finished the night with some flatbread even though I had it for dinner as well (that was the only place open at Tropicana at 1:30 am) and hit the hay, as I had an early morning the next day.
I have to say, I was quite impressed with how timely everyone was the next morning despite staying up late (Lauren and her boyfriend stayed out gambling even later after we got the pizza). We were out of the room by 9am so I could get back home for a baby shower I had for my friend Jessica and so Laurel could meet her work friends for some brunch. Despite the bar not being as poppin’ as it could have been, everyone said they had a good time and that’s what matters to me!
On my actual birthday, I was able to grab brunch with my grandparents before heading off to work. And the following Saturday, my dad took me and Marcus out to sushi for a belated birthday celebration because he was on a work trip for most of my birthday week. He surprised me with the best present ever: Taylor Swift’s autograph (seen below). I could go into detail, but all I will say is many tears were cried and my dad pulled a lot of strings to get the framed beauty in his possession after it had been auctioned to someone else at a work conference he was at earlier in the year. And for that I am forever grateful.
Well, if you’ve made it this far, you can reward yourself by watching my quick birthday mashup below. It looks like I am going to be writing my birthday post not only in two parts, but in two separate posts, because at this rate I will be writing a book. As always, thanks to anyone who decided to read along with me and follow me as I present my life and thoughts on this little safe space of a blog. I will talk to you all on Friday for post 2!