Simple Birthday Joy


Today, at 3:47 pm, Nora turned three.  We have her big birthday party planned for Sunday morning (please, please send no rain vibes our way), but I couldn’t let today pass without a celebration and making sure that our little girl knows just how amazing she is.

I let Nora choose what she wanted for breakfast, since it was our one family meal today.  When I was a child, somethings were guaranteed on our birthdays no matter what day of the week or where we were, and one of those things was that we had our choice of dinners followed by a beautiful and delicious cake, always always made from scratch.  I remember how exciting it was to choosing a meal and dessert just because I loved it, not having to worry about how anyone else in the family felt about it, and how special it made me feel on my day.  As early as elementary school, I recognized the love and magic my mother baked into our cakes and I knew they were extra special compared to something bought from a store.  


I’ve continued that tradition of never buying a birthday cake with Nora (even if mine are sometimes a little crooked and definitely less perfect than my mother’s), and though our restaurant-family life doesn’t allow for us to eat dinner together, we have made breakfast our special meal.   When I asked her yesterday for her breakfast request, Nora said she wanted fruit and cinnamon rolls, so late last night I made a grocery store run to splurge on a few of her favorite berries, which are not normally within our budget.  Then, I came home to knead together flour, butter, egg, milk, and yeast into the beginnings of a sweet confection.  An hour of final rising time after the night in the fridge, 20 minutes in the oven, and we had a breakfast that Nora clearly loved.

She opened her presents, 


a boogie board (which she had been asking for all summer) and a Maisy stuffed animal, and then climbed up in the stroller and announced that she wanted to go to the library, where we spent an hour reading books to one another


before choosing more to bring home.


She took a short afternoon nap, we worked on things for her party, and then we headed to The Brotherhood, where we spent a little time with Dada and ate a delicious dinner full of her favorite things: mussels, fish ‘n’ chips, coleslaw, chocolate mousse, and, yes, lemons.


At home we were able to talk with family and read more library books, which she did long after I sang her goodnight and tucked her into bed. 


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