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26 Candles

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So, this is only a week late (yeah, more about that later) but I had the best birthday weekend…

It was simple and delicious, bursting with my favorite flavors like ice cold shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce and nostalgic Funfetti cupcakes. Friday afternoon we packed up the car, which now conjures scenes from the Griswold’s Family Vacation, with a pack and play, our mismatched luggage, two furry dogs, one adorable baby and all her paraphernalia (she is not what you would call a “light traveler”).

But the packing was worth it… for eighteen years, my little sister, Gracie, and I have celebrated the same birthday. And this year was no different… we feasted on boiled shrimp the size of my palm and homemade cocktail sauce just the way I like it… so spicy it will clear your nose right out… smoked brisket with a creamy horseradish sauce… raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, both tart and sweet… creamy mac and cheese, you know the kind that comes in the blue box 🙂

And to top it all off, we had a fluffy, pink, strawberry cake with about a million candles on it (26 + 18 is a lot!) with a side of homemade ice cream from my daddy. As we blew out the candles, I looked over at my baby sister who is now 18 years old and I had to hold back the tears. I love that my family’s birthdays aren’t fancy or themed. We’re just all together, surrounded by love and lots of pink icing.

And then the next morning (my actual birthday), I woke up early to get ready for church. Matt wished me a sleepy happy birthday and I kissed my sweet girl on the forehead while still flying peacefully in dream world.

I got to worship my Savior with my church family and take in the hugeness of how God has blessed me this past year.

I walked through the door when I got home from church, and Matt was standing at the kitchen island with a whisk in his hand and a big bowl of Funfetti batter. My love of that cake with the funny little candies is quite ironic given the fact that I can’t stand white cake OR white icing… but somehow those tiny little colorful gems add a flavor I can’t resist. He baked the cupcakes and I iced them, and we both licked the spoon.

We went to dinner that night and I savored the shrimp tacos and grilled zucchini I had been craving all week. I held my husband’s hand, looked over at my baby girl smiling up at me, blew out the candle in my cupcake and thought to myself… if next year holds half as much joy as this year I’m pretty sure my heart might burst…

It was a very happy birthday…

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