This past Saturday I celebrated another trip around the sun and it just might be one of my favorite birthdays ever!!
My day started with running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (more about that next week), which was absolutely extraordinary. I finished the race in time to run home, shower, and zoom off to teach a couple of hours of violin lessons. This might sound crazy, but I do love my job, so it was a treat to be able to teach some awesome students on my birthday. After, I grabbed my birthday drink from Starbucks and zoomed home and got ready for my Celebration of Life dinner.
If you use the word “party,” it provokes a lot of pressure on the host. I typically use the word “gathering,” but I realized that it might be too casual for a celebration. Thus was born “Celebration of Life” for my birthday.
When I turned 30, I started the tradition of making a lovely dinner for my dearest of friends. A sort of “thank you” for being there for all of life’s journeys the previous year. This year, with it being my sister’s 40th birthday on Halloween, I wanted to be sure we celebrated her too.
On the menu we had bacon wrapped stuffed chicken, sweet potato and chickpea cakes (both from Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky’s Run Fast East Slow cookbooks), roasted asparagus, and a side salad. We toasted to birthdays and great races run with some Moët champs and my famous New York Style Cheesecake (Martha Stewart’s recipe, but I use Neufchâtel to make it lower calorie/fat yet full of flavor).
As I looked down the table, I must admit I was overwhelmed. On each side of the table were some of the people I love most (my table needs to be a bit bigger to accommodate EVERYONE I love, near and far, but I did my best). These people stood by me at my wedding, encouraged me through career shifts, marathon training and so many other big moments this year and years previously. The vision as I looked in front of me filled my heart to the brim.
Cheers to another amazing trip around the sun. Happy trails!