My birthday was last week.
I spent it at home.
In true time honored tradition, I flew to my hometown to see my dad, little sister, grandparents and aunt and uncle to have my cake and eat it too.
It wasn’t your typical shots-at-the-bar fiesta (that came later).
Instead, I asked for a birthday party.
Maybe I was in a reminiscent mood. Maybe I wanted to celebrate in a grandparent-friendly establishment. Maybe I had my kick-ass 10th rollerblading birthday at U.S. Blades on my mind or the one that followed when my parents rented out an entire ice arena and I made my friends skate with me (watch me skate).
I wanted cake. I wanted to wear a dress. I wanted balloons. I wanted toasts.
I wanted my home-based family around a table.
My dad made reservations at our favorite Russian restaurant (the only food grandpa said he would eat). My grandma took me shopping to purchase a new birthday dress. My little sister spent the morning picking out her most appropriate soon-to-be-a-teen ensemble (sweatpants and over-sized shirt).
The day was everything I hoped it would be.
It was nothing fancy or extreme. But it was special.
Dad pre-ordered all of my favorite Russian dishes. Each family member took a turn at a toast. We took pictures. We laughed. We reminisced. We ate cake.
I felt blessed to be celebrating quietly (loudly) with my family (possible sign of oncoming maturity).