My 22nd birthday was just a couple of weeks ago on September 13th. September is always such an exciting month to me because it starts with the county fair, continues with my birthday, and ends with the first day of autumn and fall weather creeping in. This year, the fall chill has come on pretty suddenly, so it’s been a bit of a shock because it went from being too hot for pants three weeks ago to suddenly too cold for shorts and there’s a definite need to keep a hoodie on hand at all times. I happen to be that strange, quite solitary blogger who loves cold weather, so I’m loving every moment of this!
On a random note, I find it funny to people watch at this time of year because there are consistently three categories of people once autumn weather hits:
- Those who have fully accepted autumn and are decked out in cardigans, jeans, boots, and even the occasion scarf
- Those who are still in summer mode with t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and sandals
- Those who fall somewhere in the middle with jeans and sandals or shoes (but not boots), and perhaps a t-shirt but with some kind of jacket or sweater.
I definitely fall in that middle group right now, but I can’t wait for full-on fall outfits of leggings, boots, scarves, and oversized shirts and sweaters!
Anyway. I turned 22, so how about a little celebratory Taylor Swift? Yes, I’m fully aware this is about as basic as I can get, and yes, I’m shameless. How often is it that a popular song is about your particular age? 😉
My birthday fell on a Wednesday, but it felt like it started on Tuesday. Right after a night class my husband and I are taking together on Tuesday nights, Joshua started excitedly counting down the hours to midnight. He reminded me of the time every half hour or so as my birthday neared, which I thought was adorable and hilarious because he definitely seemed more excited for my birthday than I was. He had taken my birthday off work, so we stayed up late and he insisted we do whatever I wanted. I chose s’mores and reading (#lifeoftheparty) since I’m a huge bookworm. It was honestly an amazing end to 21/beginning to 22. When midnight hit, Joshua immediately wished me happy birthday, we pondered what life would be like in another year, and made some goals for what we want to accomplish before my next birthday. And of course listened to Taylor Swift’s “22.” 😉
Around 2AM, we fell asleep, but as I was still excited for my birthday, I woke at 9:45AM and told my husband I couldn’t sleep any longer. He wasn’t quite ready to wake up yet, so I forced myself to wait about another hour (this was still early for us…we aren’t morning people at all, so when we sleep in, we sleep for hours).
We began the day with checking all my notifications of lovely birthday wishes, and then showered and we were off to my requested breakfast: a local diner here in Flagstaff called Galaxy Diner. It’s decorated to resemble the 50s, with all-day breakfast and amazing prices. We both got a hot chocolate, Joshua ordered a steak omelette, and I ordered pancakes with eggs and hash browns.
After breakfast, Joshua was ecstatic to take me to a surprise he had planned. This was something he planned weeks before and usually I’m great at guessing surprises, but I didn’t guess this one! He was so intent on me not discovering the surprise on the way, he wanted to blindfold me in the car. (I convinced him that instead I could just keep my eyes closed because I spent a lot of time on my makeup that day, lol.) However, he insisted I keep my eyes closed even when we got out of the car and walked down a sidewalk for a bit. I definitely wasn’t too keen on that part, haha!
Finally, he told me I could open my eyes, and I realized we were at my favorite bookshop! It’s called “Bright Side Bookshop” and it’s in the heart of downtown Flagstaff. It is the cutest little shop that has super great titles for typical chain bookstore prices. It is extremely well organized with labels for literally every shelf and islands with cutesy things like totes designed like library cards, bookish knee-high socks, and collectors’ items. When we walked in, Joshua told me I could pick out whatever books I wanted. #husbandgoals
I browsed through all the bookshelves, but most seriously looked at the Young Adult section–my favorite genre. Make it a fantasy Young Adult and I’m sold. I also spent a bit of time in the younger readers’ section and found the most beautiful copy of “Alice in Wonderland.” Longtime blog readers may recall that I have a deep love for Alice. 😉 This particular copy caught my eye because there’s just something about a leather-bound book that makes my heart flutter with joy and simply feels magical.
I ended up going with two books. One is a YA dystopian hardcover titled, “All Rights Reserved” by Gregory Scott Katsoulis and the second book is a YA fantasy paperback titled, “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine.
After the bookstore, we ran by the library to pick up a movie I had on hold, then stopped by Starbucks to get my free birthday drink. If you aren’t part of their rewards program, you totally should be because you not only earn free rewards, but you get a free drink of your choice (and any size) on your birthday! I ordered the Salted Caramel Frappuccino since I look forward to that every September and it just came out!
We headed to the mall with our drinks because I wanted another ear piercing and I’ve gotten all my piercings thus far from Claire’s. 😉 I already had two piercings in each earlobe and one in my left cartilage, but I chose to get a third in each earlobe. I love them! They didn’t hurt at all and recovery has been great, thankfully! I had trouble with my second earlobe piercings randomly bleeding and getting infected despite my constant care, and my cartilage took over a year to fully heal, so I’m grateful these have been easier so far.
After the piercings, my husband took me to an entertainment exchange store/bookstore here in Flagstaff called Bookmans, where I used store credit to purchase the Grease soundtrack (any other Grease lovers reading my blog?), and a Michael Jackson album I didn’t yet have. I already have multiple copies of the album’s songs, but I’m a collector of every MJ album I can find, so I scooped it up. #HappyBirthdayToMe #TooManyHashtagsInOnePost?
After that, mister and I headed home to take some birthday pictures at sunset on a bridge in our apartment complex.
We then headed to our dinner reservation at Olive Garden, where we took advantage of the BOGO to have a meal for the next night! I ordered their ravioli to eat in the restaurant with a Dr. Pepper and their spaghetti for the to-go meal. Joshua ordered their baked ziti for in the restaurant and ravioli for the to-go meal. We loved all of it, and on top of the delicious meal, our waiter was the best either of us had ever had in terms of customer service and friendliness, so that made the experience even better!
After Olive Garden, we drove over to Joshua’s parents’ house for presents (one of which is the hoodie I’ve been keeping with me now that it’s chilly, lol), ice cream cake, wine, and sparklers. When I met Joshua, I was introduced to having ice cream cake for every birthday and I love it. Ice cream cake has always been my favorite, but I guess growing up, I just forgot it was an option. It’s a tradition for everyone in the family and it’s the best! Spending time with my in-laws was such a fun way to wrap up my birthday outings.
Back home, I opened hubby’s presents to me. He gave me “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story” (which happens to be my favorite in the Anne of Green Gables trilogy and the one I was missing!), the new-ish Pentatonix album, and a mug for bookworms that’s totally my favorite of all our mugs now.
We ended the night with staying up until midnight playing MarioKart, which we haven’t done for a long time, so it was a blast! I have always loved playing MarioKart, so it was just the best to finish out my birthday with it.
I can honestly say that it was one of the best birthdays I have ever had, and it’s all thanks to my sweet husband! I feel so blessed to spend my birthdays with the one my soul loves. ❤ As part of my birthday month, we also took advantage of $5 movies here at our movie theater earlier during Labor Day weekend, and next week we will be heading up on the Snowbowl Sky Ride to see the changing colors of all the beautiful trees on the mountain.
And that was my birthday! How do you like to celebrate your birthday?