Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Art of Birthday Month

April was, in case you hadn't heard, my birthday month. For reasons that are both for the benefit of myself and my friends and family, I decided a while back not to contain my birthday to a single 24-hour period, but instead to enjoy celebrating the whole month long. Trying to celebrate a birthday in just one day is too restrictive; it puts pressure on everyone involved to get it just right. I've found, through trial and error, that the best thing for all involved is to take the entire month of your birth and celebrate at your leisure. That way, no one needs to feel stressed about belated gifts or well wishes, or feel guilt about not being present on the actual day of my birth for festivities. Relax, y'all: we have the whole month. You're welcome.

We kicked off what may be one of the best birthday months I've ever had with a fiesta dinner with friends at Paco's Tacos and Tequila, a favorite restaurant of mine. If there's a better way to get into the celebratory spirit than chips, salsa, margaritas, and tacos, I don't know about it. Unless it's also with a piece of Paco's most amazing tres leches cake. 

Birthday month kickoff at Paco's. 

The week of my actual birthday was a high note as well. Clint was out of town on business for several days, so in his absence he sent these beauties to keep me company:

As a bonus, these flowers made our whole house smell fabulous.

Plus, I am one lucky girl to have friends who celebrate birthday month right along with me...especially the ones who do so with gifts and cards. You sure know how to spoil a girl, and I'm just fine with that. Within a span of two days, my love of mail and my love of my birthday had collided in a whirlwind of goodies.

You know I'm not big on attention (ahem), but this was a nice touch.

I kept these on display all month!

My real, actual, day of birth is April 9, and lest you think it was more of the usual revelry, we boarded a plane and headed to New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival. I already blogged about what an awesome trip we had last time, but it bears repeating. We had four days of sightseeing, seafood, and cocktail sipping. And in case it's been too long, here's another picture of me with a cake and candle.

Celebrating at the Bourbon House restaurant in New Orleans. What a birthday!

Once we got back from the Big Easy, it was time to do a little laundry and repack our suitcases to head to my parents' house for Easter weekend. My mom didn't create as much birthday fanfare this year as she typically does--occasionally, people will tire of the month long observance, and that's okay--but we still managed to have yet another cake and a little more celebration, including a girls' trip for the day to Atlanta for shopping and lunch. We paid a visit to one of my very favorite places, the Swan Coach House, and savored every bite of shrimp and chicken salads, zucchini bread, cheese straws, and their signature drink the "Bubbly Atlantan." If you haven't been to this landmark and you enjoy places full of history and charm, it is a must.

Two Bubbly Atlantans, and cocktails by the same name. Wink.

Back in Charlotte, I was lucky enough to enjoy a few more lunches with friends to mark the occasion, as well as a cupcake or two and a sip or two of bubbly (birthday month demands it, who am I to refuse?). And just like that, the last weekend of the month arrived and it was time to send birthday month on its way...but I wanted to send it out in happy fashion. Cue Hops for Hospice, a charity beer event at my neighborhood wine shop. The patio was lined with tents from 17 different area breweries, and the wine shop chef prepared small bites for the crowd to enjoy as they sampled beverages. Good food, good drinks, and raising money for a worthy cause like hospice make this such a great event.

Enjoying Hops for Hospice with some of my favorite guys.

Once the Hops event was over, a couple of our friends went on with us to visit two other breweries, just sipping our way through Saturday. We talked and laughed and finally made our way to Queen Park Social, a new spot filled with fun and entertainment: this former warehouse has full size shuffleboard courts inside, eight lanes of bowling, darts and games. We grabbed one last cocktail and headed straight for the Skee-Ball machines. It was the perfect closeout to birthday month.

Is there a better way to fend off old age than Skee-Ball and hitting the McDonald's drive-thru
on your way home? 

All good things must come to an end, and so birthday month is now over and officially closed. I guess it's time to drink some water and eat a vegetable or something. The good news (I suppose) is that next year is a milestone birthday for me and so there has already been talk of how best to celebrate. I love a party that starts a year in advance. 

To all of you May babies out there, I'm passing the birthday month baton to you. Eat, drink, and be merry the entire month long--you deserve it!

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