As you can guess from my 30 Before 30 series, I turn 30 in two months and three days.
When Mom was my age, she was giving birth to me. She also had a three-year-old son, who was with her parents in Daytona during the tumultuous delivery. She’d recently celebrated her seventh wedding anniversary with her college sweetheart. She was a few years into her teaching career, after needing to pivot from a criminal defense role in South Florida.
When Mom was my age, she was juggling being a wife, mom, educator, homeowner, and a million other adjectives I haven’t experienced yet. She was sacrificing some dreams and goals for those achievements, never once blaming or resenting us for the path she pursued.
When Mom was my age, she had no idea how harrowing this birth would be. She had no idea her husband would suffer a stroke in eight years, changing her marriage and parenting plan overnight. She had no idea what we’d become or pursue or achieve; she just did her damnedest to ensure we were brought up with strong morals and guidance.
When Mom was my age, she was on the cusp of 30 — maybe pursuing her own List of sorts before the milestone birthday arrived. She’d likely been to 10 concerts (now guess which one was fake) 😤 She’d experienced a lot, but still had so much more to come.
Although Mother’s Day is two weeks away, I couldn’t let today — the exact age she was when I was born — pass without acknowledging how grateful I am for everything she did for me then and has continued to do ever since. 143 always, Momma.
Do you wanna know a secret? Well, I suppose it’s not so secret anymore.
It’s my high school bestie’s 30th birthday today, and her husband coordinated for another close friend and I to surprise her in Memphis today! Aaaaand, we pulled it off!
It was, perhaps, the surprise of the century. (Modesty was always my strong suit.) We’re so excited to spend a few days celebrating our fave friend. Our chattering teeth are only partially from the freezing temps, I swear.
Happy 30th, Jenny — may your year ahead be your best yet! Xoxo ❤
Are you ready for some life-changing obsessions this week?! You are?! Hint: This will not include the anger-inducing “schedule” feature on WordPress, since it failed me so hard last week.
Anyway, get set — this is not a drill.
- Hoisin Chicken Stir-fry: I haven’t been shy about professing my love for Blue Apron. And despite some ingredient issues recently, including with this very meal, it’s my go-to for creating delicious dishes. I couldn’t give this any more than five stars, but I would if I could. Check out the recipe here and let me know if you’re as in love as I am.
- Silencing FB Live: If you’re suffering an endless slew of Facebook Live notifications, you’ve wondered, no doubt, how to make them stoppp. I was only seeing the option in-app to turn off individual notifications, but there’s a way to do it from the ol’ desktop that takes two seconds and will save a million headaches. Dramatic, much? This article explains.
- Magz’s Birthday: It’s my favorite mom’s birthday today, and as she celebrates (undisclosed number here), I have to reflect on how much she’s impacted my life. From keeping our family together during tough times to answering all of my “how to adult” questions, Magz is deserving of a gold medal and a fantastic year ahead. Cheers!
- “Starving” – Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f. Zedd: I heard this song on Spotify a few times without realizing how often it’d get stuck in my head after. You may recognize Hailee from “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect” or the upcoming “The Edge of Seventeen.” Turns out, her pipes sound even better with a little pop-funk in the background.
My birthday weekend went much differently than planned, which could be the universe’s way of knocking me on my ass a bit. Whatever the case, I’ve got a few things to keep me smiling through the bumps and bruises.
- Lillian Grace: Despite anxiously awaiting my niece’s arrival, there’s still something so magical about her actually making her entrance into the world. She was born on June 30 at 1:12pm ET, weighing 8lbs and 13 oz, and was 19.5in long. Welcome to our crazy, beautiful family, Lillian! I can’t wait to squish those cheeks and cover you with kisses soon.
- SFMOMA: The iconic SF Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) closed for extensive renovations before I moved here, so to say I was excited for a team outing there is a total understatement. We didn’t even make it through the entire building; there’s so much to explore and enjoy. Highly recommend whether you live in SF or are just passing through.
- Birthday Gifts: After an extra-long weekend, our office was a little sluggish getting back into the swing of things today. But two of my teams surprised me with thoughtful cards, flowers and gifts from SFMoMA, which filled my heart with happiness 🙂 ← Proof
- Sugar Pine Point: As promised, Tahoe was absolutely stunning this weekend. Our campsite was the perfect distance from the outside world, yet we were close enough to the lake that we could kayak and watch fireworks and relax without much prep at all. It’s no wonder the sites sell out on the first day of the season!
Images courtesy of: SIL + Brother, Twitter, Me x2
After months of planning and anticipation, my cousin’s wedding was absolutely amazing! The newlyweds ended the evening with a firework sendoff fit for a fairytale. I’m sort of back to reality while working remotely from Tampa this week — so here are four things I’m loving while in the 813. Are you surprised they’re all food-related?
- The Columbia: We celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday Sunday at this iconic Ybor establishment. From mojitos to the 1905 salad to “good rice” that’s to die for, it’s no wonder this Cuban cookery has been a Tampa tradition for 110+ years. Don’t pass through Tampa without stopping by!
- Moreno Bakery: What birthday dinner would be complete without a towering, tantalizing cake? My SIL’s mom provided a fantastic Bananas Foster cake that left us all with sugar comas beyond compare. I’m actually drooling at the thought.
- Publix Subs: These things have a cult following for a reason. The PubSub is actually life-changing, and being so far from this grocery store makes them all that more special when I’m in Florida. Boar’s Head Italian FTW!
- “Sugar” – Maroon 5: Full disclosure: I actually can’t stand this song (or Adam Levine’s voice, still). But something about hearing it at a wedding — or when my niece is in the car — just gets the people going. Plus, the video is just the cutest ever (fake or not).
Pardon my delayed post, but as you read on you’ll see I have a very good excuse! Get it while the getting’s good.
- Brother’s Birthday: My big bro turns 32 today, and though we may not be celebrating together, he must be having a great one. Yankees are up (as of this writing), cold beers are abundant and he’s got an amazing little family who loves him so. 143, Moose!
- HAWAII: I’ve been up for 13 hours, but that’s not stopping the excitement. I set sail tomorrow for a 10-day cruise around the Hawaiian Islands and up to Vancouver. If this first picture is any indication, it’s gonna be a good one.
- Disney Cruise Lines: I know, I know. This is so off-brand for me. But, when your friend’s friend hooks you up with a dream vacation at a fraction of the price, you say, “Let it go” and jump aboard. I’m super stoked, to say the least.
- Fifth Harmony – “Worth It”: This song keeps popping up everywhere lately. A co-worker first introduced me to it, and then it’s been all over Spotify and, most recently, the Miss America pageant. I’m not ashamed to say I’m really feeling it.
We now bring you back to your regularly scheduled Wittyburg program 😉 In all seriousness, thanks to those of you who took the time to read my ramblings yesterday. I don’t make as much time as I should to change up the content here, but it’s always nice to hear your feedback and suggestions!
- Magz’s Birthday: My favorite mama celebrated her birthday Monday (and all weekend long) with family and friends at the happiest place on Earth. We had a nice little phone date, and I know she’s already feeling great at 50-something 😉 Cheers to you, Magz!
- Lake Tahoe: I was fortunate to have Labor Day Weekend plans with a dear friend who lives near Sacramento but — then! — our mutual friends invited us camping in Lake Tahoe so we jumped at the chance to join. The views were simply breathtaking and well worth the drive.
- Remembering Slick Rick: Sunday marks two years since my dad’s death, which I can and can’t believe. Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds, but it certainly offers perspective as we experience more milestones without him. Raising a glass to you, big guy.
- “Dreams” – Life of Dillon: This trio of dudes’ debut album is sure to soar, and I’m calling this single out as the next big thing. The hook is so damn catchy, especially with the killer quote “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
Images courtesy of: Mah iPhonex3, Genius