I'm 35!

Well there it is! I'm three and a half decades old! I'm proud of it. I own it. All of it. I'm not afraid to say my age. I've been through quite a bit already in life and I think I've earned this number. Plus it helps that I think I don't look 35...not that 35 is necessarily supposed to look a certain way on a person. I also don't act it. Ha! But again, I've never been 35 and I'm not entirely sure how a person behaves at 35.

This birthday was a very big one for me. It's the first birthday I've had since I was 21. I entered a religious cult, soon after my 21st birthday, that didn't allow the celebration of anything, including birthdays (Jehovah's Witnesses). Thankfully I got to have my 21st birthday but I missed out on 14 years of birthdays including my 25th and the BIG three-oh! To make up for lost time, I went/will be going all out. Covid 19 has delayed half of the festivities but that just means instead of having birthday month, I'm having birthday year!

35 years ago, already into the heat of summer in Dallas, TX, I was born over Memorial Day weekend on that Sunday. Being born in the South on a Sunday, it's been said that those babies are "bonny and blithe, merry and gay", so the nursery rhyme goes.

I was named after my maternal grandmother's cousin, Julia. Julia was very dear to my grandmother and though Julia was much older, they had been good friends since my grandmother was in diapers. She adored the fact that I was named after her and she loved me tremendously. She wrote me notes (while I was still a baby and toddler) and spoke to me as if I was a little adult. I still have those notes and sometimes I pull them out and read them when I need to smile and feel a connection to her. She passed before I was old enough to form any memories of her.

Since there is much to catch up on and celebrate and because of Covid delaying much of the plans, festivities are happening in stages. For the first round of my birthday extravaganza, we had a small party at home with decorations harkening back to my parties as a little girl. Lots of pink and unicorns! The cake was a recipe that my grandma used when making birthday cakes for my mom and her siblings - white cake, maraschino cherries and almonds. The candle holders were ones that someone gave my mom as a baby gift around the time of my birth. Believe it or not, this was the first time they were ever used. They are darling, silver animals consisting of birds, a frog, a fish, a turtle and a duck. I brought out a carrousel horse music box that mom had given me for a birthday MANY years ago and a tiny pewter unicorn a family friend gave me that I used to play with as a kid. To keep with the pink theme, I had my favorite type of wine, Rose.

My brother colored in the cutest sign that we put out by the mailbox and throughout the day, we could hear people joyously honking as they drove by!

Friends and family sent gifts and cards, even some that were homemade with love. I've got them all hanging on my display string on the wall.

South Carolina has been opening up so I've been going to some of my favorite local restaurants. The Famous Toastery for my birthday brunch followed by antique shopping and exploring historic neighborhoods full of cute houses, the Pump House for drinks, Papa Docs for dinner and drinks with friends. Soon I'll head up to Charlotte for a night out on the town and then come fall, after the heat subsides, I'll have all my girls over for a weekend of festivities, including afternoon tea!

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