I know many people don’t like to acknowledge their birthday as they get older, but I’m not one of those people. In fact, I am a huge believer in birthday MONTHS! I think you should be happy that you made it another year and that you have another one to appreciate and live to the fullest. On top of that, it’s the only day (or month) out of the year when you get to celebrate the amazing person YOU are. So I say live it up, pamper yourself and have fun!

I totally get it from my parents. Like all holidays, birthdays were always a big deal growing up. My mom and dad always woke my sister and I up with breakfast in bed, flowers and a gift on our birthday, and followed it with a fabulous birthday party, dinner at our favorite restaurant, our favorite home cooked dinner, homemade cake, or whatever we decided we wanted to do to celebrate. On top of that, we were treated like princesses that entire day, from sun up to sun down. I’m not exactly sure when I decided we should all have a birthday month, but all I know is it’s been that way for many years …. and I think we’ll keep it that way :).

I thought birthdays were supposed to get boring and celebrating it became obsolete as you get older, because … well, how could they ever compare to spending the afternoon jumping in bounce houses and ball pits, playing laser tag with 12 of your coolest friends, a surprise dance party in your parents’ garage, or riding around in a horse-drawn carriage wearing tiaras and princess dresses looking for Prince Charming? (Yes, these were a few of my actual birthday parties. Now do you understand why birthdays rocked?!) But I was happily mistaken. I turned 26 on Tuesday, March 5 and didn’t have any plans for the day. I was prepared to have just another ordinary day with a few birthday wishes here and there. Wrong! My fabulous boyfriend was sure to make it another one to remember.
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It actually all started on Friday when I invited a few friends to join us for dinner and cocktails. And by a few I mean 19. I didn’t even know I knew that many people in Jacksonville! We all enjoyed dinner at Black Finn, one of my favorite restaurants.

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Most of the crew, but still missing a few.

One of my old college roommates was able to come down for the weekend, so it was even more special getting to see her and having her here to celebrate with me! (Hooray for having my dancing buddy back!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After dinner we all headed to a neighboring bar, SUITE, for a fashion show, cocktails and dancing.
After a while, we decided to walk next door to 90’s Throwback Night at Whiskey River. It’s a good thing I wore my hot pink shirt!
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Yes, 90’s Throwback night rocks. But what could make it better? How about having our picture taken with Screech??!
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The night ended with non-stop dancing and a few throwbacks of our own. Like the Fishy and Fishing Pole…
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To keep the party rolling, Saturday night consisted of a bachelorette party for my best friend, which also happened to be her birthday. She and I celebrated our birthdays together every year growing up, so it was very nice being back together this time of year.
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Tuesday rolls around and I am woken up with nine text messages and Facebook notifications galore! My mom sang “Happy Birthday” to me every time we talked on the phone (she was singing “Happy Birthday Eve to you” and now it’s “Happy Birthday Month to you…”), and then she posted this on my Facebook wall …
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Oh. My. GOSH! Do you get more emotional the older you get? This started the birthday tears … then they were triggered by calls from my family, posts from friends, and two of my nieces singing to me. I guess it just made me realize how lucky I am to have so many great people in my life.

My only birthday wish was to not have to make any plans for the day. I plan events non-stop, so this one day I didn’t want to have to think about planning anything for myself. And the best part of not having plans is that you don’t have any expectations to live up to! Besides, spur-of-the-moment times are always more fun. Jimmy and I headed out to the beach for happy hour and he’d arranged for a few of our friends to meet up with us, so we enjoyed margaritas and Mexican dinner at The Pier.
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After dinner we all decided to head down the road to a new bar, The Shim Sham Room, for one more drink. Which turned into two more hours and karaoke! Oh yeah … and several photo shoots withΒ  Shimmy the Bear.
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The next morning wasn’t too great, but it was well worth it. It was honestly one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a while! It really sucks not having my family here to celebrate, but all of my incredible friends really know how to make a gal feel special. Thank you all for helping me kick off #26 the best way possible, and for proving that birthdays don’t get boring as you get older!

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Posted by:Blakeley

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