Wednesday, January 19, 2011

for the love of january 14th!

my sweet husband had a stack of thoughtful gifts for me that started on january 1st.
i got to open one a day (and sometimes two!)
he knows i love unwrapping things, 
even teeny somethings, and my birthday.

we started out the day susannah-style. i took my time, and sat on the couch awhile drinking coffee and reading blogs. then we headed to tartine bakery for some amazingness. yum. 

the food and coffee was so good, but with a toddler and a baby, i was feeling very unwieldy getting in and out of the bakery (a small, crowded spot with little room between tables) and felt like our little family was getting lots of assorted looks of annoyance. oh well. one of those moments that just is what it is. between our clumsy arrival and departure and our squirmy, opinionated children, it was not a restful breakfast time, but, again, it sure was delicious.

we headed over to sfmoma to look at art.
more space, but same squirmy, opinionated children, so we made our visit brief.

on the way home, m stopped and assisted by her daddy, bought me a flower. 
she sacrificially got me a pink one, even though purple is her favorite.
not so sacrificially she held onto that flower with both hands and sort of forgot that she was supposed to give it to me. when i tried to remind her, she went into hysterics, so we knew it was naptime all around.
maybe that's one way i know i'm getting old- a nap is a highlight of my birthday.

fast forward- i had multiple fun visitors swing by with birthday love & fun birthday mail to open!
for instance, brother aaron & sis-in-law sarah stopped by!
and then my two dear friends, amy & nancy, came by for dinner.
i had requested that matt make a meal for the three of us so we could just sit, eat and relax.
no boys. no babies or kids.
and so matt made us an amazing meal.

starting with this delicious cocktail: the ginger smash.
as pretty as it was yummy!

we happily drank our ginger smashes & talked & giggled. 
nancy says i never put pictures of myself on here, so here you go. 
i think it pretty much sums up the evening.
appetizer: homemade (seriously, matt is no joke in the kitchen) bread topped with two of my faves- 
goat cheese and caramelized onions. 
so freaking good.
next up- roasted mushroom soup with homemade croutons of amazingness.
blood orange, grapefruit and avocado (straight from nancy's mom's avocado plantation she hides in her backyard) salad? yep. that's you, being all beautiful and delicious.
bubbly after the smash.
cause i love bubbly.
waiting on our next course and happy as can be.
take away the bubbly, the sparkling water, the matching candles, and the old, and you pretty have the same scene you would've witnessed when the three of us lived together back in our post-college youth.
sitting. talking about the profound and celebrity trash all in one conversation.
it was exactly what i wanted for my birthday.
matt cooked the entire meal AND shared some of his good wine with us.
(i felt very spoiled)
made from scratch ricotta gnocchi and pesto.
pillows of perfection, i'm not kidding you.
bay area kids, have you ever been to the restaurant a-16? you can channel their food via their cookbook, if you are ever so inclined. our friend steve rocked their meatball recipe at a bookclub a couple of years ago, and i could have eaten them for days. thanks to steve (for the cookbook) and luke and jennifer (for the meat grinder), matt was able to make them for my birthday dinner. 

so good. when i say so good, i don't think you quite understand. i mean so good that when amy wanted to take a couple home to her husband, i let her take a couple. as in two. i kept the rest (an entire pan full) for leftovers for me, and didn't even offer any to nancy. i feel like i finally understand that part in the wedding singer where crazy old lady pays for her piano lessons with meatballs. this must be her recipe.
don't get me wrong, i am a pretty awesome wife in my own way (most days,)
but husband and his dinner of champions makes me swoon. 
finally, birthday cake!
yum, yum, sweet adeline's!
matt had made everything else from scratch, 
so he finally got a break from the kitchen 
& got to enjoy this part without baking it.
are you jealous?

happy birthday to me.
one year older, and hopefully wiser.
one reason that i love my birthday is because it is a marked moment in which i can be grateful for the people in my life who have shaped me, gifted me with their friendship, and known me. it is a day that i can celebrate and think about the last year and anticipate the newness of another year stretching out ahead of me. it is a day for me to say thank you to my own mom for giving me life. it is an opportunity to be with people i love. and obviously, a day to eat well. oh, and open presents!


  1. thank you for letting me relive that dinner with photos. my mouth just watered. it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. and i love you soooooo much. such an incredibly perfect night.

  2. fantastic and i'm extremely jealous.
    i really wish i was there!
    happy birthday, love.

  3. wonderful.
    may this next year be full of wonder.

  4. Everything about this post and your birthday-day makes me so happy. What a beautiful day for a beautiful person!
    (And well done, Matt!)

  5. what did you get in those cute little packages tied up with string? what a fantastic idea!

  6. a) LOVE your dining room table!
    b) LOVE all the food pics
    c) LOVE the final pic of you two!

    (and i have the same red bowl matt has in his hand, except for in grey)

    looks like you had one fabulous day!

  7. um, ginger smash!? this girl needs that recipe. stat. happy birthday again!

  8. I am *SO* jealous. Gifts, amazing food, and SFMOMA!?!??! Sounds like heaven.

  9. Getting old is only in our mind.
    Age never prevented people from doing things:

  10. i think you're getting funnier as you get older. that's a plus. that comment can be last year's card. i still have high hopes for myself on this year's card. and i figure it's still january so i have a week and a few days

  11. Loved everything about the night. I keep thinking about it.

  12. so. jealous.
    so glad you had such a lovely day...complete with squirmy opinionated kidlet charm, delicious food (ALL day) and time spent with good-for-the-soul friends!

    p.s. the table looks fantastic!!

  13. Happy Belated Birthday. I love that your cake is from Sweet Adeline's. When Addy was born I tried to see if they had any posters to sell for her room. Alas, they had none. Hoping to make a pilgrimage there some day.

  14. Loved looking at your wonderful day :)

  15. hmm. in those bday packages? so many lovely treats-multiple books, lipstick from MAC, foot massage lotion (yay), some gift certificates to dinner (yum), a blank journal, and was so fun!

    and i hope to post about that diningroom table soon!


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