I’m one of those lucky saps that has their birthday within close proximity to another major holiday/event. For RJ, his birthday is by Thanksgiving. For me, my birthday is exactly the week before our wedding anniversary.
Lucky for me, my husband is pretty awesome about celebrating both separately.
My birthday landed on a Friday, and began with Bilbo Bagginses and Gollum waiting for me in the bathroom. My husband knows me too well!
My sweet husband also woke up at 6:45AM just to buy me an amazing breakfast burrito from a local Mexican place for my not-as-awesome commute into LA. What a sweetheart, right??
When I got home, RJ surprised me by taking me to this nice Italian restaurant, Mario’s Place, that we’ve been meaning to try for a while.
Of course, what better opportunity to clean up than my birthday??
RJ’s looking pretty nice himself. ;)
RJ ordered something…tomato-y and goat cheese-y…and I ordered something AWESOME. It was a pasta with slow-cooked oxtail sauce topped with Parmesan cheese, super hearty and delicious.
After dinner, we went to a friend’s place. A friend whose roommate makes PRETTY. AMAZING. BEER. Like award-winning beer. And they even let me be part of the process on my birthday!
I got to sample a watermelon cucumber beer, a pecan beer, and a stout. All DELISH.
We got to enjoy some great conversation with some great friends over great ice cream, smuggled down from Fenton’s Creamery in Norcal.
I started off the next morning with brunch with some amazing ladies from grad school (not birthday related, but super lovely all the same!!). It was like group therapy.
And then my family came up to meet RJ and I in downtown Redlands for my birthday! We started out at A La Minute, a hip little ice cream place that RJ hates upon principle. But a good man will do what he hates for his woman.
And then we made our way to Eureka Burger upon my request.
Even though I had just eaten brunch two hours before.
And even though I had ice cream immediately prior.
I mean, after seeing so many friends’ pictures of their burgers from Eureka, I had to try it!
It’s always so fun to see this lil’ cutie!!
Later, we attempted to go trap shooting, which is a relatively new obsession of mine. Of course, the place was closed (Really?? On Saturday???), but we got home in time to catch my dad washing our windows for my birthday.
We went to a Taiwanese tea shop for dinner, where I enjoyed neuro mien, one of my fave Taiwanese dishes.
And then we came back home and enjoyed dessert on the patio. My parents brought a rich raspberry cheesecake and my brother brought two cupcakes.
Okay, I lied. I do.
And I definitely did this past weekend.
Two weeks ago, I was blessed enough to win two Dodgers vs. Red Sox tickets for the game on our actual anniversary in a work raffle. I love how God provides for us in random ways!
Anyways, RJ decided to drive out with me that day to LA so that we could make an evening in Los Angeles for our anniversary.
We started out in Little Tokyo, which neither of us have ever visited.
We tried the toasted almond and green tea flavors. And played with our food before eating it. ;)
Afterwards, we went on a quest for good ramen and ended up at Aoi Restaurant, the cutest lil’ mom and pop shop with the cutest lil’ old Japanese lady. We split a shrimp and vegetable tempura, and RJ got the udon noodles while I got the spicy ramen.
After dinner, we made our way to the game via a free Dodgers shuttle service from Union Station. I felt like a sardine packed in a can. This was taken in the first 5 minutes, when we were still in good spirits.
An hour fifteen minutes later in a crammed, stinky, lurchy bus while on our feet the whole time, still in good spirits…but not quite as peppy.
First order of business at the game…get me a drink!! I started with the margarita, which I was absolutely not impressed with. Fortunately for me, I was able to exchange my drink for another, a chelada.
Now you will never guess what is in this drink. Unless you know. But then you’re not guessing, so that’s cheating. Take a look.
And IT. IS. FREAKIN. DELICIOUS!!!! Next on the “figure-out-how-to-make” list: chelada!!
Neither RJ nor I are super attached to either the Dodgers or the Red Sox, but we enjoyed ourselves, rooted for the home team, and most importantly, we enjoyed each other.
Throughout the evening, we talked about how we’ve both grown in marriage, our favorite moments together so far, and our most difficult moments so far. We talked about where we were doing well relationally, and where we could grow relationally. We shared our dreams, we shared our fears, and we just enjoyed one another.
And we gave thanks together to God for His hand on our marriage and our lives, asked for His continual blessing on our marriage, and prayed that He would use our marriage to minister deeply to others.
Two very full weekends, two very blessed weekends, lots of quality time with my best buddy, family, and friends.
If you made it this far, good for you! You deserve a mochi ice cream ball, on me! ;)
Thanks for reading, and thanks for all of the lovely birthday and anniversary wishes in the past two weeks! I’m definitely feeling very blessed.