This birthday was one for the books.  Just typing out this post I’m feeling so happy and full of love, but also so sad that it’s over!  So many friends came out to celebrate me and it wasn’t just one night of festivities, it was multiple occassions spread over the course of four days which was so wonderful.

The last few years, I haven’t been one for big parties, and have done more intimate dinners with friends and loved that.  This year, however, I really wanted to do something bigger.  Our friends group is fairly large, we love to host, so I wanted to throw something that would be all inclusive but also where we could just go out and let loose.

I’d love to share a bunch of photos with you, if you’d like to see…

On my actual birthday, I arrived at work to a fully decorated office–we’re talking banners, streamers, HAPPY BIRTHDAY glitter confetti all over my desk, balloons and more!  What a surprise to brighten my morning!  Later that afternoon, my best friend sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to my office and we went out to lunch.

That evening, Marco returned home from a work trip and we were both exhausted.   Him from travelling, and me from all the excitement of the day and interaction with people coming over with birthday wishes (so nice).  We opted for a super simple dinner–grilled cheese and tomato soup!  🙂

The next day, my parents took me to lunch, and when I showed up they had a birthday balloon waiting for me (plus they got me an Instant Pot!).  We had a wonderful lunch and the server even surprised us with free dessert–coconut pie for me!–and she sang happy birthday to me!  Such a sweet gesture.  I also feel like a you get older, when people sing to you, it’s way more special than ever.

We have a family tradition where whenever it’s someone’s birthday, we call them and sing happy birthday to them over the phone on the actual day.  Of course my singing voice is nothing to write home about, but it doesn’t matter, it’s the thought.  Haha: this year for our teen niece, we used Snapchat filters and DM’ed it to her.  Gotta stay current with the times 😉

Later that evening, my bestie took me to dinner and at Carben; a modern, international restaurant with a real foodie flare.

The dinner was unreal good, the cocktails were fantastic (if you like tequila, get the Mexican 75), the service was phenomenal and we shut the place down.  We just sat and chatted and it was such great quality time–a wonderful evening.

On Saturday, Marco had planned a big birthday party for me at a hotel and then the plan was to go out dancing.  We stayed at the Andaz hotel in downtown Ottawa, which was fantastic.  We did Marco’s birthday there a couple years ago.

We checked in around 5pm, then went to Lonestar for a quick dinner down the street, and came back to get ready.

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Guests started to arrive around 8pm and Marco had set up some snacks and a cute birthday banner.  Soon the place was filled with friends and the drinks were flowing!

Music is always an important aspect to any party so I started with this chill vibe playlist as the party was starting, and moved over to this playlist once things were a little more hopping.  We always bring this portable speaker with us and connect it to one of our phones or iPad (we also use it at home on the back deck, at the beach, during softball games, on vacation, etc.)
life with aco, Lightbox, andaz hotel

We were about 25 people at the hotel, and about half that when we headed out dancing.

The place was packed and the music was awesome.

We danced and danced and danced some more, and had a great time.

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On Sunday, we slept in and lazed around the hotel.  We got a late check out and really took advantage of enjoying the suite while we were still there.  The night before they surprised me with two amazing pies for my “birthday cake” (not a cake lover 😉 ) but it was right before we had to leave to get to the club before the cut off time for guest list.  So you better believe I had some pie for breakfast the next day!

It sounds cheesy but my heart is so full from all the amazing birthday surprises and events that happened.  Feeling so thankful for Marco, my friends and family, and also all of you that reached out to send me a DM or comment wishing me a happy birthday.

Like I said before, birthdays haven’t become less special as I’ve gotten older, but the smaller things mean more and more as the years pass.  “Simple” things like people coming to the party for me meant so much, and as somewhat of an introvert, I understand that going to a party despite wanting to for a friend, is sometimes hard for people.  All that to say, I know I’m gushing a little, but I’m just trying to ride this high for as long as possible because the post-birthday blues are going to hit me hard after such an amazing extended weekend of celebrating!

Thanks again for stopping by, reading and hanging out.  Happy Friday!!




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