The morning of my birthday this past July started out like this...

Very sweet, considering it meant Ryan waking up early to run to Starbucks and grab some breakfast and coffee.  Getting ready in the morning with that was much more enjoyable than the usual.  After that it was off to work since turning an age in your mid-twenties means life pretty much carries on as usual for the day.  Except for that wonderful little wake-me-up :)

That night we had a mini-celebration with friends, my dad, and my brother.  Where was my mom, you ask?  Well, she was in Florida with her mom.  She came back two days later and we had an amazing dinner thanks to her, but the little fact that she missed the day of troubled her to no end!  You know what though?  That is the FIRST and ONLY one she's missed in the past 26 years.  Awesome track record for a parent if you ask me.  Plus, she was taking care of her mom, my grandma, watching her while she really needed it.  She needed to be there and she has the biggest heart and it really shows.  After all, it's about celebrating with family that matters more the specific day.

As for the loot?  Here are a few of my favorite things:

"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte from my mom.  Recently finished "Jane Eyre" and loved it, so I'm excited for my next classic.

Fig Balsamic Vinegar from Williams-Sonoma from my brother.  Pure deliciousness.

The Baker's Assortment form Penzeys from the hubs.  Cinnamon and cocoa and vanilla?  Oh my!  Time to get my fall baking on.

The one thing I did ask for... coupons from the husband.  A few years ago, Ryan made some of these and they are one of the best gifts I've gotten.  This year, I asked him to save some dollars and splurge some favors!  And he really did such a cute job... even getting little paper holders and sticking not one, not two, but three(!) foot rub ones in there.  Major points scored.  They were very creative this time too... one for a night of my TV shows, one for a night on the town together, one for a home-cooked meal, my choice.

I also got this awesome perfume from my parents, who got it in Florida.  It's all natural and smells wonderful.  I don't wear actual perfume very often, so this little case of the good stuff is perfect for me.

Now... look at these earrings!  They are the sweetest things I've seen in awhile.  I actually spotted them about a year ago and have been pining over them ever since but wasn't planning on getting them for myself.  My mom had no idea about any of this - I guess they were meant to be.

Also got these fun and festive margarita stirrers and charms.  I love the little cactus ones... I also love an excuse to make margaritas.  Perfect.

Overall, my birthday celebration was very nice, it was the people who made it.  Another year in my mid-twenties!  Weird stuff...