Monday, June 29, 2015

29 & Birthday Donation Time!

Greetings from Austin. I am 29 on the 29th today! When our bar last night was on 29th street, I got reallllyyyy excited and wanted this photo:

I haven't met a birthday that I didn't love yet, and this one is certainly no exception. Before we talk about it, let's talk about Donate Your Birthday. My mom told me about this idea, where you pick a charity each year, and you donate your new age in dollars on your birthday. I have been participating since I turned 25, and I love the concept. It's a great way to do good to celebrate the year that you have been given. This year, my charity choice came to me easily. I heard on the radio that summer is the hardest time for food banks because children who usually rely on free or reduced lunch programs for breakfast and lunch are out of school, and there is definitely a larger population to serve meals to in the summer as a result. Our local West Texas Food Bank is an AMAZING organization. They have four stars on charity navigator and manage to turn a $1.00 donation into 4 meals. I happily donated $29.00, and I encourage anyone to join me or donate to your own local food bank. When people think of hunger, they often think of third world countries, but hunger is actually a big problem in America. Looking at statistics, 49.1 million Americans are in food insecure households, and Texas is above the national average. 18% of households in our state are food insecure...that is almost one in five, so to say the need is great is an understatement. My birthday celebrations this year have included a lot of food, and I'm glad to think that members of my community have a place to go when access to food isn't readily available. I really encourage everyone to practice Donate Your Birthday. It's one of many opportunities to give back :)

Now for birthday celebration shenanigans...
On Saturday night, Brendan made pizza from scratch for a group of our Midland friends, and we had salad, cake, and ice cream as well. Our fire alarm was NOT enthused with the oven being 550 degrees for two hours. It went off several times, and we'd have to fan around it, and open doors and windows. It was quite ridiculous, but the pizza was very delicious.

Last night, as soon as we arrived in Austin, Amanda and Matt picked us up and took us out for the night. They treated us to an amazing sushi dinner at DK sushi, which was seriously outstanding. I will be back, and this place is added to my favorite all time sushi spots. Then, Matt acted as our designated driver and drove us to Spider house, where I had not one but two frozen margaritas.

Afterwards, we went to the Amy's Ice Creams on Guadalupe where I used to work. The kids there gave me a free ice cream (Birthday cake flavor) and also told me that "I don't look that old." Brendan and I used the photo booth...the results are pretty amazing.

Today, I have a massage booked thanks to a gift-card from an amazing co-worker and friend, and tonight, I will celebrate with my family & friends in Austin. What a way to ring in the last year of my twenties!

I feel super thankful for my 28th year..we traveled Europe, vacationed in Maine with Brendan's family, I was a bridesmaid in Katie and Anthony's wedding in Boston, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Austin and Christmas in Connecticut, and we took a cruise to Alaska with my family. I worked on becoming an even better teacher, and I met some wonderful students and saw them accomplish great things. We also bought and moved into our very first home. I love it, and most everyday I say "I can't believe we live here!" Making the house all our own has been so fun.

I have a feeling that 29 is going to be a special year. We are starting it off right by leaving for a Costa Rica vacation tomorrow. Plus, a week that starts with your birthday on Monday and ends with your wedding anniversary on Sunday is a darn good week!

Hope you have a darn good week of your own!

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