Harmonious Homestead
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An Outstanding 30th Birthday Weekend

My birthday weekend was fantastic.  Or as fantastic as it could be with me still suffering from this damn sinus infection but I really can't complain.

origrami dollar billsOn Friday afternoon, I was presented with my second to last 30 before 30 gift: 30 dollar bills folded into origami.  My sisters and parents worked for HOURS folding each bill into a unique shape.

pink flamingos in front of house

Saturday morning, my birthday, I was greeted with 30 hand-cut pink paper flamingos on the lawn. Thanks Trisha Dehnbostel for the photo! My Grandma Joyce has a 'thing' for pink flamingos, my in-laws have featured them in several artworks and I have several flamingos adorning my garden.  It was the perfect final gift, or so I thought.

Alex made homemade waffles for breakfast on Saturday.  He and Lil presented me with handmade cards, a rolled-by-Lil beeswax candle, a purple shirt and a chicken scrap bowl with sweet hens on the rim.  Family called to wish me a happy birthday and check in on the flamingos.

mary lynn and rachel

My good friend Mary Lynn called too.  We are 20 years plus 9 days apart and we always share birthday greetings.  She related a fable that reminded her of my sister's 30 before 30 gifts: a man walked miles to pick and retrieve a simple flower as a gift.  The recipient asked 'why walk so far for this simple flower?' 'The walk is the gift,' answered the man.

I had to cut the conversation short when Mary Lynn asked about my plans for the rest of the day.  I'm a terrible liar and didn't want to spill the beans - our plans were to drive to Dayton for HER surprise 50th birthday party!

When we arrived at Marion's Piazza (seriously good crispy crusted pie!), Mary Lynn was shocked.   She had no idea that a party was being planned.  Friends from Columbus and family from around the country kept secrets for months to pull off a surprise for her.

Sunday started with me doing a demonstration at Oakland Park Nursery.  Their newly renovated education center is a treat to work in.  I made apple pie jam (recipe coming tomorrow) for a small group of interested folks.

Family pitched in to throw an afternoon birthday party at Wild Goose Creative.  Alex made buffalo and mushroom mini wellingtons, another recipe I need to post soon.  They are so good!  My pastry chef sister Heather contributed desserts of mini apple pies and chocolate mousse in phyllo cups.  We drank grape champagne cocktails and munched on veggies, fruit, cheese, and crackers provided by other family members.

handmade purple birthday quilt

Having already received 30 gifts for 30 days (that's 900 gifts!) I already felt well-presented.  Apparently friends and family had other ideas and I was showered with more presents that suited me perfectly.  My sisters and mother had one final '30' gift, a handmade purple quilt with thirty squares.  I was shocked!  I can't wait to repay my three sisters when they turn 30 in 2, 6, and 7 years.

Not only was I given beautiful thoughtful gifts for over a month, my amazing friends and family have really walked the miles this birthday.  What a fantastic way to begin a new decade!