it might be a quarter life crisis, or just a stirring in my soul...

Well, I'm 25. John Mayer says it well. And yeah - man, the weeks prior to and following my birthday have been weeks of...reflection and wondering. I'm not gonna divulge ALL of my incoherent thoughts about being this old on our blog, but I AM going to tell you about my birthday and all the goings-on and festivities. That's much, much more fun.

Chance made me a delicious dinner last Friday night (the 17th) - it was scrumptious. A coconut-crusted tilapia salad with mandarin oranges, strawberries, apples, feta and some wonderful homemade citrus dressing. I wish I could describe it appropriately - it was truly some of the best fish I've ever tasted.

We decided to pop open a bottle of wine and celebrate the bday early. Much better than the Little Caesar's we had for his 24th (still sorry about that one, C). We had a relatively relaxing evening at was nice.

On my birthday (Sunday the 19th), we headed for my hometown of Tyler. We treated ourselves to some Bill Miller breakfast tacos and were on our way. When we got there we dropped off our stuff at my dad's and visited briefly with he and Karen...then made our way to Ming's for lunch with one of my absolute best friends in the world, Daniel Elbert. He's been my buddy since 6th grade - I just love the kid - so it was great to spend some time on my b-day with him. Chance, Elbert and I went to the Caldwell Zoo (which is still one of the best zoos I've ever been to, second to San Antonio). We wandered for a couple of hours checking out the animals...we were slightly disappointed that the painting elephant wasn't painting, and there were fewer monkeys than times past - but it was a good adventure nonetheless. The weather was gorgeous. We also spent a little time out at the rose garden (which was in full bloom) at an arts and crafts fair out there. That may have been a flop, but my dad joined us...and I honestly enjoyed just relaxing and walking around.

We dropped Elbert off eventually (and sadly), and decided to check out our friend Trevor's vintage shop, Blue Owl, which he opened fairly recently. It's awesome to see him doing something so cool - the store setup is seriously awesome - its even got a cool lounge area...and his merch selection is awesome and VERY pleasantly priced.

Following our afternoon adventures we headed to my grandmother Golly's house. We hung out with her for a while until we headed to dinner at Coyote Sam's - a fairly new restaurant in Tyler. Elbert decided to join us for that too - so it was Chance, Elbert, Golly, mom, my sister Luci and my aunt julia who celebrated over dinner. I'm going to TRY not to turn this into a food review blog - lol - I LOVE food, so that's hard. Anyway - their portions were giant and we all ate til we were stuffed, I'm pretty sure. I opened a few gifts and some cards (including an inappropriate one from my sister - thanks Luci!) It was great spending time with everyone, and we ended up back at Golly's house talking to her til 12:30 AM. She's a night owl, even at 87 years old. I just adore time with her - and it was nice to get to chat with her for so long...just the three of us.

We stumbled back to my dad's house...a block away from Golly and got a good night's rest in his California King sized guest bed. Shoot. If I could have that bed, I'd take it. It's such a great bed, it's worth mentioning in the blog. Ha.

Monday was fun as well - we slept in a little and then headed to lunch with Dad and Karen. They were more than willing to take me to probably my FAVORITE Tyler restaurant - Villa Montez.

Mmm. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The food there is great too. I'll let Chance talk more about it in his food blog, but for now, pictures will have to suffice. We shared a delicious Cucumber Mojito -

as well as my favorite appetizer...and some scrumptious entrees.

We went back to their house for cookie cake - then said our goodbyes (ugh, that's always hard)...

...picked Golly up from her house...and headed over to the McMurrey office where my mom and sister work to say bye to my mom and meet up with my sister... I took a few pictures there (I had forgotten to take any at dinner the night before, unfortunately) - *Elbert, if you read this, we NEED a picture over Christmas break*.

Apparently my mom and my sister were both about to pull their hair out, so that necessitated a viewing of some crazily dressed man(?) singing Rio De Janiero on you tube. Seriously. Talk about torture - but at least they think its funny. I'd link you to it but I can't remember the dude's name and I wouldn't want to subject you to that kind of pain.

We hung out there for a little bit then headed out to Logan (my nephew)'s school Brook Hill to pick him up and say hi to him (we hadn't seen him at all yet and I needed to - those kids grow so fast)! We talked to him and he showed us his classroom - I'm so impressed with all they're teaching him. He's in 2nd grade and learning things I learned in 6th. Seriously. My amazing friend Kameron (who was also a roommate in college) happens to teach at Brook Hill in the high school so we saw her classroom and went to grab some coffee at a cute little shop in Bullard on our way out of town. Talking to her was so nice - we've both missed her a ton. When we left I was super satisfied with our time in Tyler, even though we'd only gotten to spend about 27 hours there, and we didn't get to catch up with everyone...but still, it was nice.

Just when I thought it was all over...Chance pulled a fast one on me. We were over halfway home when Chance decided he was hungry - and we happened to be relatively close to Highway 6 (you know - the road that takes you in to College Station) he decided we'd take a little detour for dinner. I instantly called our friends Robert Adam and Casey (I tried miss Chalyce too, but no answer). We were able to meet them at Blue Baker (which Chance and I crave ALL the time)'s an awesome sandwich shop - they've got amazing bread...and cookies! Yum! It was SO refreshing to spend time with those two kids - I love them dearly. R.A. is one of my closest friends from college and his wife Casey is seriously awesome - once I met her she quickly became one of my good friends. We got back on the road pretty late - but it was totally worth it all. Spending time with my family and friends was all I REALLY wanted for my birthday - and I totally got it.

The celebration continued into this past week - my homie Jen made me a beautiful kahlua birthday cake (which I wish I had a picture of)...and the small groupies sang happy birthday to me. Haha. Good times.

Basically - all that to say...I had an awesome 25th birthday (despite my continuing quarter life crisis). Thanks to Chance for making all that happen - I'd better kick things up a notch for his 25th!

Sorry this blog was kinda' a doozy...but I wanted a record of our adventures. If you actually read it all, then kudos! Seriously! And THIS was me trying to keep it SHORT! (:


urban | initiative said...

haha, by my standards id say this was a nice easy read ;]

glad you had a great 25th! i honestly cant remember if i wished you happy birthday or not, so happy birthday! [just in case]

glad you kids are having fun. [i know we are...] love getting to hear all about it, keep em coming!

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday Claire! Looks and sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate.

I have to ask what's up with this?
"...about being this old on our blog.." Old? 25 is old? haha! Wait till you get to 27 going on 28! :)

Claire said...

@ Chris - haha. I guess compared to your novels....(: I love reading them though, so don't stop!

Thanks for the wishes. You rock.

@Liz - Okay, okay. By most standards I'm not old. But I've never FELT so old. And that's part of what I wasn't gonna talk about, so I won't. It has to do with where I am in life and where I imagined myself at 25 = NOT the same place. Lol. That's all I'll say here. (:

R.A. Ray said...

Older than me >: )

Seriously didn't know it was your birthday. Seriously.

Claire said...

@ Robert Adam - That's WHY you need facebook - it tells you when everyone's birthday is. Although, sometimes that doesn't even help. Kris totally forgot (although, I can't blame her - I forget people's birthdays all the time). In fact, I'm not entirely sure I have yours memorized - although I have it written down somewhere. I know its in the other half of the year (not the fall half). (:

It's okay. I love you anyway. I'd rather people not remember - then maybe I wouldn't feel so old.

Brooke said...

oh claire... i'm so glad you had a great birthday weekend! i wish i coulda been there - it sounds like you guys had a blast. miss you!

R.A. Ray said...

No, it's why we have a calendar. NOTED.

Casey said...

Sounds like a really nice birthday weekend. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Happy (very very belated) Birthday. I'm so glad yall stopped by and had dinner with us - i love seeing yall and wish we could see yall more.

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