My birthday celebrations ended up being about 3 weeks long this year (not continuous)!
The celebrations started on May 14 with a visit from John’s dad and brother to celebrate both my birthday as well as his brother’s birthday (his was the 9th). We BBQ’d burgers and I made this yummy strawberry lemon cake with whipped cream frosting (the cakes were from a box…I made the whipped cream).
They gave me a generous monetary gift that I used, along with a gift from John’s grandma, toward the purchase of a Jo Totes bag I’ve been wanting for a while (more on that soon!). I also got a year-long subscription to Better Homes & Gardens from John’s grandma – and got the first magazine and notification in the mail!
The following day we had a great opportunity to visit the Happiest Place on Earth, courtesy of one of my friends who works there, to participate in an exclusive cast preview of the new Star Tours (amazing!). I was so excited when she invited us because with just 5 days until my birthday, I could count this as my annual birthday trip to Disneyland and collect another birthday pin (this is my fourth birthday pin!), even though this was the first year we haven’t had passes to go! Thanks Alyssa and Jeremy!
The next stop on the birthday celebration schedule was my actual birthday. John left me a beautiful bouquet of red and white roses he clipped from our backyard bushes before he left for work (which is really early in the morning). I was able to enjoy them all day until he got home and we could head out for birthday dinner.
He gave me a choice of going to either Chile’s or Chipotle. I chose Chile’s because I love their Cajun Shrimp Alfredo…or I used to. I must say, I was a bit disappointed. They seem to have changed their menu and some of their recipes. I left after dinner wishing I had chosen Chipotle instead!
When we arrived back home, it was time for presents (finally!). I was excited to open one of John’s gifts to me – Tangled! I loved this movie when we saw it in theaters and I’m working on completing my Disney Classics and Pixar collections, so this was the perfect gift. He also got me a new eye piece for my camera since I had lost the soft rubber party in San Francisco last October! He had put it on my camera and I hadn’t even noticed when I was taking pictures of our green wall in the kitchen!
The next day was a farewell party for my cousin and her family who moved to Utah for a job opportunity and since we didn’t have plans to celebrate my birthday with my family for another week, I asked my mom if she could bring my gift to this party since I already knew what I was getting and I wanted to start playing with it. She agreed and I was so excited to start using my f/1.8 lens! I can’t wait to use it on photo shoots and in indoor situations when my regular kit lens doesn’t allow enough light!
Here’s a few shots from the party that I took with this lens. I’m still getting used to the fact that it’s a fixed focal length (and I sometimes don’t have enough room to move back far enough!) and that when I have the aperture wide open, my depth of field is extremely narrow (as evidenced by this first photo of my cousin’s dog!).
The last part of my celebration was birthday dinner with my family on Memorial Day – my mom made my requested dinner of beef stroganoff, with something else for some of the others in my family since they don’t like it. My mom also made a pina colada cake (yum!), complete with 29 candles – yes, lots of candles!
After cake, it was present time. At this point, I had just one gift left to open since John gave me his on my actual birthday, my parents had given me theirs the weekend before, and my sister had ordered my Food Network magazine renewal back in April to make sure I didn’t miss an issue (I still did…not sure why, but I was rather disappointed!). Though I had just one gift to open (from my brother and his girlfriend), it definitely didn’t disappoint!
“Your Baby in Pictures” by Me Ra Koh! My mom had sent me a link to this book a while ago and I’ve had it on my wish list ever since, so I was very excited to get it! It’s a great resource for how to photograph the first year of a child’s life – complete with tips and techniques at various stages in a baby’s development. And no, we don’t have babies and aren’t expecting…yet, but this book will be a huge help in my photo shoots with everyone else’s babies that I’m photographing as I build my KatieJ Photography business.
So, with that, my 29th birthday came to an end – though I’m already looking ahead to next year and the big party I’m going to throw when I turn 30, provided I’m not super pregnant or have a very young newborn!
Here’s to the last year of being a 20-something!