i have ALOT of blog catching up to do. i apologize for my lack of creative posts while attempting to start a new career while also moving into a new apartment. phew! i survived. so far.

first up - MY BIRTHDAY. 3rd annual 29th. also my 31st in real life.

i had my family over to my apartment for the first time for dessert on my real birthday, a sunday afternoon. we had pie because i prefer it over cake! and my best friend allison was able to join us from Delaware. it meant the world to me to have her drive up to see me for the day!

then i went out with my local friends that night for some more celebrating. that is me and my friend kelly’s husband, bryce. it was HIS birthday that week too so we did some “cheers” together.

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HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY to Mary. one of my longest best friends. since high school and possibly earlier, Mary has been one of the most favorite friends in my life. i can’t imagine life without her and our adventures together. we’ve come a long way, Mar. love you so much. can’t wait to do this next decade together!

and we will be celebrating in style this weekend in Stone Harbor, NJ at her parent’s beach house. perfection.

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anyone who has followed my blog for any period of time would know just how important my paternal grandmother is in my life - Nanny Lillian. she is more of a mother and a best friend than a grandmother. but still all three of those so perfectly.

this past week she turned 89. and she doesn’t seem a day over 70 in my book. she is one of the most cherished people in my life. many have thought she was my mom while out in public at times. i’ve admired her fashion since i was a child. trying on her size 5 shoes, going through her jewelry, and lusting after the jewelry box my Grandad made her which she eventually gifted to me. (filed under one of the happiest moments of my life.)

she is a constant source of joy and laughter in my life. every week. she loves me and thinks i’m quite possibly the most amazing person on the planet. along with her other grandchildren of course!

she embodies the grace and elegance of an era gone by. reminds me of Jackie O in so many ways. looks and fashion sense. i inherited my dancing talent and love from her, as she dreamed of being a Rockette but was too short at 5’2”.

she is the picture and essence of beauty and just such a classy lady. i’ll always strive to be like her. i love you Nanny. Happy birthday a little late - June 13 is her day!

(this is her pictured with her sister. she is on the Left. the coat she is wearing, i now own and wear. and a photo of her and I at a recent wedding in November 2011 when she hit the dance floor till 12am. true story. and i’m wearing one of her custom made vintage cocktail dresses.)

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happiest of birthdays wished to one of the best friends i’ve ever had. her birthday was yesterday, so she’ll have to forgive me for this post being a day late. but not a dollar short.

rebecca was first my college cheerleading coach. then we coached the team together for a fabulous 6 years. during which we became the best of friends. her family is my family. her house is my house. her husband is my husband. (kidding, that’s an inside joke.) you get the idea. there was a glorious two years that i lived within a mile of her house. and before that i was within 2 miles. i was there almost every day. playing pseudo mom when needed, as well as fashion consultant for hubby. we spent way too many nights on her couch watching mindless reality tv with a bottle (or two) of wine. and our other best friend, rach.

and then last year…they moved back to IL. we are all in different states now. and it makes it a bit harder, as we don’t see each other every day. BUT we email constantly all day long, every day. literally. and texting in addition to the emails. and sending cards and care packages through the mail.

and i hope she had the HAPPIEST of birthdays because she has made my life that much happier by being in it. true friends. life time friends. are rare these days. and i’m so glad i have so many and that she is one of them. love you, R!

happy birthday mommy.

today is the birthday of my mother. it’s really challenging to put into words what my mom means to me OR who she is as a person to so many others. my mom is one of a kind as most of my friends know! she is funny and quirky and has her entire own sense of humor that gets everyone else laughing around her. she is the mom who made hand crafted notes to place in our lunchbox through elementary school. she is the mom who left me special notes in my room for milestones in my life…proms, graduation, dance recitals and competitions. she is the mom who decorates the kitchen table for breakfast on all holidays…st. patty’s day, easter, valentine’s day. my mom is the care taker and nurse not just for my sister and i or dad, but for anyone she knows who is not feeling well. she makes care packages and pours on the prayer like no one i’ve ever met. my mom not only sent care packages of baked goods and toys to my sister and i in college, but also all of our cousins and our friends. my mom is beautiful inside and out. strangers approach us and ask if she is a sister (she loves it).

today we celebrate you, mom. thank you for being the most amazing mom and one of the most incredible people in my life. not everyone can say that. and i’m so thankful you are someone i could never live without. thank you for all you do that seems to go unnoticed. it doesn’t. we would be lost without you.

HAPPY birthday mom. i love you.

happy birthday, daddy.

today we celebrate the most incredible father. ever. i am truly blessed to have a dad who i enjoy bragging about whenever i have the opportunity.

i realize that i can never take for granted who my dad is in my life and what he means to me. i realize not everyone gets a dad like i did. and for some reason, God has blessed me with a man so many others admire and look up to. including my sis and i of course.

he has been my biggest cheerleader every day of my life. he has been there when it counts. he has been there when it was easier not to be. he has loved me through my worst and my best. there is nothing this man wouldn’t do for me (or my sis).

he has been a second father to my friends. he has loved my closest friends as if they were his own children. he has loved strangers with the compassion that Jesus did. he has left footprints in so many lives that will go unrecognized, but not unfelt by those that were changed by his spirit of giving. caring. generosity. and deep unconditional love.

my dad can build a sandbox for my sister and i that is lined with benches for our friends and mud pies and has a custom-made lid for night time to keep the cats out. and a roof over it to keep the rain out. he can build a custom designed deck around our pool. he can create the designs that i come up with in my head for scrunchy holders and purse stands. he can take a broken piece of furniture and make it like new again. nothing is truly broken until dad tries to fix it one more time.

my dad is the dad who prays with me when i’m upset. who gives me money to get a massage when i’m feeling at the end of my “stress rope”. the man who has loved my mom unconditionally through sickness and health and ups and downs since May 17, 1980. my dad scrapes my car off when it snows. and teaches me how to share his love of waterskiing when i was just a kid. and to cast a fishing pole and get a fish. my dad taught me to drive stick on my first car - a 1990 jetta GL. and as a result, instilled my love obsession of Volkswagens to this day.

my dad, my hero. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, daddy. i love you so very much.

Tags: birthday daddy

scenes from a 30th birthday celebration. danielle has been my friend since pre-K. and while that’s something to celebrate alone, it was also her 30th birthday! i don’t miss an opportunity to sip a good martini or two! we’ve had so many adventures, i can’t count. and we still spend time laughing and reliving our glory days. who am i kidding - these ARE our glory days! cheers to you, d.marie!

happy birthday cousin katlin.

one of the most naturally beautiful people i’ve ever seen. and she HAPPENS to be related to me! i’m so lucky to have family i choose to have as my best friends. and i know i’ve said that before, but sometimes i just feel so overwhelmingly blessed.

i remember waiting for katlin to arrive. the NEW baby cousin. the hard part? she lived 6 hours away in Ohio. i was devastated that when she was born, we couldn’t drop everything, get in the car, and drive 6 hours to go meet her. i had to wait until Easter that year and it just about killed me.

her beauty speaks for itself. but the best part is that she is JUST as gorgeous on the inside. sweet, caring, genuine, real. love you so much cousin. cheers to you.

here we are sharing our favorite beer i introduced her to!

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happy birthday, dear friend.

today is Groundhog’s day. but it’s also one of my childhood friend’s birthdays. one of the very first friends i’ve ever had. playing in the backyard on swing sets. pretending we were Nancy Drew. imagining adventures together. creating real adventures. and just being kids.

HAPPY birthday, danielle marie. cheers to lifetime friends.

and here we are first day of kindergarten. yep…! i’m the one with the awesome purple socks. notice my matching accessories. bracelet and necklace.