Remember how it was my birthday? Well I never got to share with you what happened! Thursday: Ian surprised me with my birthday present. Yes - way early since my birthday was on Saturday but I didn't complain! One of my all time favorite artists is Mark Rothko. I've always loved his 1967 print. Ian got me a huge print for our dining area. I can't wait to frame it!

This is a Mark Rothko 1967 print.

Friday: My family [mom, dad, grandparents, sister, and cousin] came up to Syracuse! We relaxed at our new apartment and got ice cream in the rain. On Friday night my grandma [who I call Nan] also gave me an early present...her wedding ring setting. Ever since I was little girl I was always fascinated by jewelry. I've always loved my Nan's rings. After Ian proposed I realized that my engagement ring looked like my Nan's. We soon found out that my ring fit into her setting and our diamonds were the same size. I was shocked when she handed over a ring that she had worn for years. It's very art deco, and the fact that it's hers makes it all the more special.

This is a picture of my engagement ring with my grandmother's setting.

Saturday: [my actual birthday] we packed up and visited Green Lakes, a gorgeous lake. My brother and new sister-in-law arrived late Friday night so they also joined us. I'm sad that I was too busy having fun that I didn't take a single picture! It was a gorgeous day though and I soaked up some sun. That night we BBQ'd and celebrated with the traditional cake and birthday singing.

This is a picture of my birthday party.

Sunday: I didn't expect any surprises. Ian and I were skipping church but I didn't know why. He told me we had to drive somewhere. While in the car I figured out we were heading towards the airport. He dropped a hint that "two people" would be joining us for brunch. My mind immediately started racing, "Who is coming?! Who are two people that I know that would be flying here?!"

As we waited at the airport I asked if my surprise was a sea dice kids...but a girl can dream! I spotted the hair almost of my best friends from North Carolina making a b-line to the bathroom. I was so excited. I anxiously waited to hug my friend that I hadn't seen in 4+ years. I was thrilled she came and was finally able to meet my husband [her world travels had her on the opposite end of the country when we got married]. She's a hairdresser and has fabulous purple streaks in her hair, a look that I could never pull off but this southern belle wears it proudly.

The whole way back to our apartment I was mesmerized that she was here, in Syracuse. I took her on a tour of our new place [something I have yet to show all of you, I promise I will!]. While we were talking I noticed the front door open and in came my gorgeous best friend from my entire life [yes I can say this because our moms were pregnant at the same time and we are a month apart. They put our baby car seats next to each other and the rest is history]. I'm not gonna lie, I screamed. I think it was just because I was so overwhelmed and I totally forgot that Ian said "two people"! What a sneaky, sneaky husband - he managed to get my two best friends here without me having a clue!

We laughed, hugged, and left for brunch. We enjoyed ourselves and I showed off downtown Syracuse. After an afternoon of exploring Ian told us we needed to help carry food that my brother made at his restaurant. See, my brother is the executive chef at BC Restaurant in Armory Square. We frequent BC since my brother lives in a loft above the restaurant. I was thrilled I would be able to show my friends the restaurant since they are closed on Sundays. We entered and immediately I saw a buffet table set up with appetizers. I was confused and slightly upset because our plan was for all of our family to hang out. I figured my brother would have to work a party that they booked and wouldn't be able to spend time with us.

As these thoughts were racing around in my head the back dining room doors opened and all my family and friends yelled, "SURPRISE!" Ah, my first surprise party - I've always wanted one. You would think that I would put two and two together but I had no clue. Another present was that my family and friends pooled together for a joint present for me to go see Once on Broadway. You may remember that some of my favorite experiences are the Broadway shows that I have seen. Once is a movie that Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were in [members from The Swell Season, one of my favorite bands].

This is a poster of the Once Broadway musical.


It was abundantly clear that I am blessed with a loving and sneaky husband, a wonderful family, and an amazing bunch of friends. Thank you to everyone who helped make 25 one of the best birthdays a girl [yes, I'm still calling myself a girl] could ask for!