My Favorite Birthday

Perhaps this blog post is for reminiscing about past birthdays or, perhaps, it’s to divulge birthday ideas for others to try.  Regardless, these are my three favorite birthday memories.


Growing up, my mom committed to blowing birthday parties out of the box and into a land of unprecedented awesomeness.  Between my brother and I we had all sorts of birthday themes.  We had a Starwars party where my dad dressed up as Darth Vadar, creepily breathed the phrase “Connor, I am your father,” and then worked at calming my sobbing brother even long after my dad took off the helmet. We had a treasure hunt party when we literally scoured our large yard with a treasure map in hand.  I had a Beauty and the Beast party where Bell herself came and visited me at present opening time.  One year we threw a mystery dinner birthday party where an intimate gathering of close friends gathered around our dinner table to coded menu items and blindfolded eating.  Another one of my most memorable parties was a hippie party where all of my guests arrived clad in hippie getup and made leather head bands together.  But, my favorite party was my carnival birthday party.  On this birthday our backyard was transformed into a carnival, complete with clowns, face painters, balloon artists, and a even a miniature pony.  Need I say more?


A couple of years after Josh and I got married he planned a day of fun on my birthday.  I wish I remembered all the activities… we probably went shopping a little and went on a coffee date but the part I can’t forget is pulling up to a garage full of surprise party guests. We pulled in, Josh got out, the garage door opened, and I was suddenly met with a throng of bright, smiling faces.   I can honestly say I had no idea!  My mom even made the trip down and served as our personal chef for the evening.  We spent our time catching up, eating delicious food still talked about today, and ended the evening with a dance party in the driveway.


Last year Josh planned a surprise getaway at a Hilton in Madison.  He’s the worst at keeping secrets so at one point I found out, but that didn’t dampen the trip at all.  We only spent one night but we vacationed to the max in our short time frame.  For starters, we located the pool and enjoyed some swim time and hot-tubbing.  Then we ordered two large pizzas and two appetizers from the Glass Nickel Pizza Co. and ate until we fell into a heap on the bed.  We watched a movie until we had control of our movements again then went for a stroll in the misty rain.  We came to this lakeside patio and danced to the romantic music in the dark for a few songs.  We walked back to the hotel hand in hand, picked up some ice cream at the front counter, and resumed our lazy movie watching.  The next morning we checked out and walked to breakfast at the Marigold Kitchen.  I seems simple but it was such a treat to have a decent budget to do dine in style while we were in Madison.  It was a treat ordering way too much good food, my favorite pizza to this day, and being completely lazy.  And to top it all off, it is one of those memories where my life was a romantic comedy.  Although, to Josh’s credit, we have a lot of those in our marriage 🙂

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my intensely loving and giving Mom and husband for always making me feel like the most special woman in the world on my birthday!

What is your favorite birthday memory?

a Photo a Day | March 25 – 31

1M2Tu 3Wednesday 4Thursday 5F6Sa7Su

Monday:  For a mid Redeemed Tour getaway the Calhoun clan made for the hilly countryside of Galena, IL.  Our first moonlit night.

Tuesday:  Burgers for dinner and Ava was a little hesitant to partake.  After one bite she was in love though 😉

Wednesday:  A family walk at dusk.

Thursday:  Savannah’s birthday breakfast!

The full blog post of the Calhoun’s in Galena, IL is coming soon.

Friday:  I stopped in at Acacia Organics for a press shot featuring the Passion Art Walk.  I posed with my piece, the store owners, and my hubs.  I snapped a shot of the piece while I was there (full blog post coming soon).

Saturday:  Josh and Ben from Citizen Way played the Catlow for the Passion Art Walk (full blog post coming soon).

Sunday:  A resurrection sort of sunrise on Easter Sunday 🙂

It’s My Mom’s Birthday!

Today is my Mom’s Birthday!  And in honor of her I am going to tell you a favorite memory with her.

There are a few memories that stand out above them all… my mom tends to be HILARIOUS when under the influence of her sleeping medication, she is a riot while playing any game (especially our game of UNO while we were in Lochness, Scotland) and she is the perfect road trip buddy when faced with unknown territory and no navigation.  One such road trip occurrence happened on our epic California trip in the summer of 2010.  This trip took us from San Francisco to Napa Valley and all the way down to Los Angeles.  We delighted in wine country, mother-daughter time, and Hollywood in good company.

On our last day near San Francisco I resolved to make it into the heart of city before we left for Los Angeles.  My mom committed to making it happen.  So after a morning spent by the pool watching my second cousin in her swim competition we grabbed our rental car and hit the pavement.

When we reached the city limits, just off the bridge, our Garmin died.  For the next 40 minutes we putted along on Embarcadero Drive.  Why do I remember that street name you ask?  Because we were on a 1.5 mile road for 40 MINUTES.  I also must mention that we were on a time crunch.  With an hour budgeted to hang in the city before we had to be off to get me to a photo shoot our time was cut to 15 minutes by the time we parked which meant walked up a wharf, stared at the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz off far, far away, then walked back up the wharf and drove the 50 minutes back to Orinda.

With my mom though, I loved this adventure.  We mostly spent that 40 minutes of stuck in-between people and more people on that dreadful road laughing about it and dreaming up our blog-worthy story 🙂

I wrote a blog post about this experience a while back and, if you’re interested, you may CLICK HERE to read the original story and see all the pictures from that day 🙂

Also, if you haven’t already… check out my 100th Blog Post HERE!  Psst… I’m having a giveaway drawing over there :)