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A very merry [un] birthday

July 18, 2010

I am the youngest child in my family, alas, I was the attention-seeker of the family from a young age. Unlike my older siblings, who never quite made a fuss, my birthdays were always big celebrations (as per my demand). My mom was always good when it came to making you feel special on your birthday–a cake of your choosing, your favorite meal prepared, a gift awaiting you on the table when you woke up, and, in my case, putting up with my undying need to plan over-the-top celebrations year after year. I was always a party-planner at heart–organizing my own birthday basement parties, to club nights with party buses, to backyard keggers, to drinks and canapes on downtown patios, to being responsible for booking all limos and booth reservations for my girlfriend’s (and even my boyfriend’s) birthdays, to helping out with wedding planning and even to planning two very successful fashion shows benefitting Princess Margaret Hospital (which ended up seating an audience of 1,000).

Yet it seems that as I grow older, I am slowly retreating. My desire for nights out are extremely rare. My love for the nightclub and nightlife scene has dwindled into an appreciation for the sun, for the energy that it brings me when it’s out, and how it always seems to gently put me to sleep as it too retreats for the evening. That is why this year was a no-fuss birthday celebration year for me (I’m sure my mom was thankful, after years of her saying “this is it, Liana, the last one”, I finally listened)

But even without all the frills, my birthday was filled with all the simplicities that I realize have made it special year after year. Being an early riser (not by choice, but due solely to being plagued with insomnia), I woke up to a few surprises my mom had left out for me the night before: birthday pancakes left on the counter (complete with birthday candles), birthday cheesecake left in the fridge (complete with birthday candles), a birthday balloon left in my bedroom (featuring none other than one of my faves, Tinkerbell, and yes I am still 12 years at heart and no I am not afraid to admit it), and messages left on my cell phone from friends who were awake to celebrate promptly at midnight (despite me being in my fourteenth dream by then)

Chilled white wine accompanied with a beautiful sunset...

I had a great birthday-day of getting my hair done (finally, after weeks of waiting to get a spot with the ever-so-popular Forts), followed my a great evening of great wine, cheese and amazing new company at the Ontario Riesling Tasting event. Much to everybody’s surprise, I had no weekend birthday celebrations planned…instead, a BFF, EC joined me for a low-key eve on my backyard terrace–with a relaxing glass of white wine, some treats fresh off the magazine stands, Banana nut Cheerios,(and an amazing birthday dolce surprise consisting of travel stories and a beautiful Italian cookbook) we toasted to our past unforgettable summer travels, secretly both thinking that they would not be our last.

EC's Birthday Surprise...which I would put to use promptly the following day

And to myself, I made my own personal toast, to 23 years of setting goals, reaching them (and sometimes surpassing them), to always being a dreamer and not giving it up, to being strong, even when it hurts, to being one who is always known for perpetual smiles…to many more years of becoming everything I want to be and more. Because sometimes we are our own toughest critics (and this is true for me especially), and most of the time, we deserve a little bit of self-praise.


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