Happy Thursday lovely souls! My heart is full from this past weekend and I wanted to share my birthday celebrations with you as I already feel as my life is enriched from my newfound ability to share my passions, thoughts, and musings with you! As I mentioned earlier this week, we went to my dear friend Claudianas wedding and helped her and Hugo begin their marriage journey.
The weekend started early as I left work at 3:00 to drive to Rock Hill, just South of Charlotte, NC, for the Arzaluz-Vivas wedding rehearsal. It was another great meeting with friends and we were led through practice. Little did I know I would get quite a good refresher on my Spanish through the weekend. We went to a Southern food restaurant and bar for a 3-course, open bar rehearsal. Barbeque was first on the list and it was delicious. I decided to be naughty and indulgein the extremely sticky cheesy mac and cheese. Boy, it was glorious. !Muy drico!
We all hung out, reconnected, and got to know the rest of the wedding party from Hugo’s side. Their family and friends had traveled from Venezuela, Mexico, Germany, Charleston, Chicago, and more! We had to force ourselves to leave at 11:30 in order to drive across Charlotte to our friend, Kriska and Shawn’s house. More pictures from the wedding will come soon, but my birthday was kicked off toward the end of the wedding at 12:00! Claudiana is her mother’s namesake, and her mother Claudiana and I happen to share a birthday. At midnight we shared tequila shots and hugs in celebration. Shortly thereafter we discovered that one of the groomsmen was also changing ages. So we all three began our celebrations together!
The next day we slept in at our hotel and enjoyed being selfish with our space as our boxer, Crescent, typically commands most our space at home. We got a late checkout, coffee, and headed to some outlets. found these sunglasses by Oscar de la Renta at the Saks OFF 5th outlet and I am so obsessed with them! I love sunglasses and did not have a white tortoise color. The shape and size flatter my thin, narrow face so well.
Next, Brad picked out an excellent French Bakery near South Park mall to try, named Cafe Monte. I would highly recommend it if you are ever in Charlotte! I got the Cafe Provencal, an open-faced ham and turkey sandwich, with a side salad. Brad got the Parisian Omelet. We drank Mimosas.
Afterward was the highlight… dessert! We had this amazing well-portioned Creme Brulee!
Don’t you just want to crack-crack-crack it with your spoon!? (In reference to the French movie Amelie)
Afterward we ordered an eclair and Pan de Chocolat (a chocolate-filled croissant), reminiscent of our honeymoon, ‘to-go.’ The waiter said we had to try a fresh one so he brought us an eclair for free with our check! I would not be able to decide between the desserts if I had to pick only one!
Finally, we did some major damage at South Park’s LV- a reward for both my 28th and for paying off my student loans in February… an ‘experience’ review to come later!
We headed to Brad’s parents house to pick up Crescent and they bore gifts as well. I get so overjoyed and overwhelmed by how blessed we are that sometimes I spontaneously cry.
We picked up my grandmother and headed across town to my parents house to have dinner. I love time with my family and a home-cooked meal on my birthday! They sang happy birthday and we enjoyed cookie cake! I always ask for my mother to make me her “Teatime at the Masters” rib and barbeque recipe on my birthday, which just so happens to almost always fall on my birthday (along with beautiful azealea blooms and pollen sneezes!). My family gave me some beautiful gifts; they all do wayyy too much for me!!! By the time we took my grandmother home and unloaded our car, we were zonked.
Day #2 of 28 came so early. I cannot wait to blog, adventure, and share all I can with you throughout this coming year. I want to become more financially sound by investing. Spending time with my friends and family seems increasingly more difficult to do, so I plan to focus on improving it. I want to paint again and test my adrenaline levels a bit before I get too old to do so. I want to enjoy each and every day.
Let us focus on gratitude today. I am so thankful for every person in my life, and I feel sure you have some folks who care just as much for you as I do. I need to slow down so I also invite you to live in the present moment with me. Don’t wait until your friends’ little sis puts a daisy in your face to remember to stop and smell it! Soak in emotion- negative and positive. Find joy where you would normally find envy, camaraderie where you would find competition, and inspiration where you typically find anxiety to keep up with the Joneses. Make every decision throughout your day with your heart. I am grateful for you, my reader.