My Birthday Tradition + Thoughts on Turning 29

maternity styleToday is my birthday. I’m now 29 years old. Another year closer to 30! 😉 I know a lot of people don’t think birthday’s are a big deal or anything special. Despite being a blogger, I’m actually not one who enjoys the lime light or being the center of attention. I never enjoyed “Happy Birthday” serenades while waiting to blow out the candles being fussed over. I do however think there’s something special about a birthday.

Many of us spend a good chunk of time doing things for other people. I’m a wife, a daughter, an employee, a friend, a volunteer. It’s important to pour into the lives of others, and I might guess that a majority of us spend most of our time being lots of things to lots of people.

Personally, I’ve always struggled with self care and making time to relax, unwind, and recreate myself.

A few years ago I decided I didn’t like working on my birthday. I didn’t like treating it as ‘just another day.’ I decided I wanted to feel special in my own way and take the day to rest, do something fun for myself, and reflect on blessings of the past year while I set intentions for the following year. I wanted the day to be mindful. So, I made it that way. And I’ve been enjoying my adult birthdays ever since.

I thought I’d write a little about what I’ve done for birthday’s past and share what I’ll be up to today. Maybe it will help inspire you to take extra good care of yourself too- if not every day, at least one day a year. 🙂

I started celebrating my own birthday by taking the day off about 4 years ago. Like I mentioned, I don’t like being the center of attention, so I usually don’t parade around town in a large group of people wearing something conspicuous that let’s everyone know I’m the queen for a day. Not really my style.

Instead, I take a vacation day. I usually spend the day alone. Might sound a little sad, but it’s every introvert’s dream (can I get an amen?).

Most birthdays I sleep in a little, attend a morning yoga class, and spend the morning relaxing. There’s an art festival in Grand Rapids that takes place every year over my birthday, and often times I will go downtown and walk around to quietly take in the art, and I might stop for coffee or some other treat while I’m out. It’s really nothing major or extravagant. Just some time to spend alone.

One year I spent the day with my dad, and that was fun. Occasionally, I will make plans with other people, but mostly I just like to be by myself.

I really do spend my birthday thinking about the past year. All the things I have to be thankful for. I also look forward and make goals and set intentions for the year to come.

It’s a day all to myself and I can do whatever I want.

This year I plan to go to church in the morning. I don’t talk a lot about it because it’s pretty personal, but I really love attending daily mass at our church. Spending time in prayer always sets me up for having a better day.

Then, I scheduled a 90 minute massage. You guys. I can hardly wait. Getting a lengthy massage is on my third-trimester checklist of things to do, and I’m excited to have scheduled it for my birthday.

I was going to schedule a pedicure for after my massage, but I decided to play it by ear instead. If I’m feeling up to it, I may grab a quick lunch and get a walk-in pedicure appointment at a place nearby where my massage is scheduled.

I’ve been getting poor sleep lately and have felt so tired as a result. I’m making this year’s birthday really count and I’ve planned a super relaxing day.

Mathew and I have tentative plans to go to the art festival (ArtPrize) after he gets home from work and we’ll probably end up having dessert at Nonna’s Trattoria (they have a chocolate hazelnut torte on their menu that is not only delicious, but also gluten free).

This year, since I’m pregnant and wanted one day to relax and one day to get a few things done, I’ve also taken Friday off from work. I was totally debating not taking any days off for my birthday this year, but one of my wise friends who recently became a mother pointed out that this may be one of my last opportunities in a while to have a day completely to myself. It didn’t take much convincing after that! 🙂

This past year has been so wonderful. Mathew and I had some great opportunities to travel, I left a job that was draining for a new one I really enjoy, Mathew and I spent quality time together, I completely decluttered and reorganized our home, I got to redecorate several rooms in our house, we announced our pregnancy, and we were blessed in so many other ways.

Looking ahead, I am so excited that we will be having a baby next month- it feels crazy to be able to say that now! I know this next year will defy my expectations left and right in ways I can’t currently fathom. I welcome all the sleepless nights, diaper changes, the shift in pillow talk topics, celebrating Mathew’s 30th in January, making new family traditions, and figuring out parenthood. I can’t wait for the next year to unfold.

What are your thoughts on birthdays? Do you celebrate them, go all out, or is your birthday not a big deal to you? What’s been your best birthday memory?

You can follow me on Instagram Stories today, and I’ll try to share a little more about what I’m up to.



You can read last year’s birthday post along with advice to my younger self here. Get outfit details from the featured photo here.