25… a quarter of a century… mid twenties… I was getting old. Although twenty-five isn’t really old, it did feel a little bit like a milestone in my life. I had reached my mid twenties, I was freshly married, starting my second year in my career, a new homeowner. I felt like a grown up.
I always look forward to my birthday, and I can sometimes be a bit of a “birthday brat”. I start a countdown to my birthday a few weeks out, I share with everyone I come into contact with that it is approaching, I can’t wait to rip open gifts, and I want to be pampered on my big day. Although I was still looking forward to this birthday, I really wasn’t expecting much. Nick and I had just tied the knot, bought a house, and our bank account reflected that. I told Nick that we could just cook something in, hang out for the day, there was really no need to make a big deal about it.
I wasn’t expecting much. However, on my birthday I woke up to homemade breakfast and a pile of presents. After opening a couple, and with great difficulty convincing Nick that I should save some to open later that day, we headed out for my next birthday event. We met my best friend, Elly, and our friend Ben at the Atlanta Zoo. I hadn’t been since I was a child, but the excitement was the same. I felt slightly giddy as we walked up to the entrance. I oohed and ahhed over the different animals. Like the children surrounding me I leaned over the fences, begging the animals to come closer, or get up and move around in general. I loved seeing the monkeys bouncing around their cage, the giraffe eating leaves from the tip top of the tree, the panda bear rolling around in it’s hammock, there wasn’t a single part of the zoo that I didn’t enjoy. No matter how old I get I believe I will revert to a five year old in the presence of an animal.
Once we wrapped up the zoo, Nick and I headed home to open more presents. I finished opening them, and sat amongst my many books and video games. I had more than enough things to entertain me for the small remainder of my summer, and many weeks beyond. I planted a big kiss on Nick, and thanked him for a wonderful birthday, only to find that the day wasn’t over yet. He was taking me out for Japanese, a birthday tradition. The first time my parents took us to hibachi we were in elementary and preschool. We were hypnotized with the tricks and fire the chef used to prepare our meal. I will never forget the last, very large fire the chef created, which was promptly followed by my preschool age brother shaking his finger exclaiming: “Don’t EVER do that again!”. Since that first time I have been hooked and we go every year for my birthday. Every restaurant we go to the chefs do the same tricks, but I always respond with the same, surprise, excitement, and awe. I was excited that my birthday tradition would continue with my husband, and I couldn’t wait to see the same old tricks done over again, a perfect ending to the perfect birthday.
Nick and I enjoyed our dinner out and spent the rest of the night at home watching a movie. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday, spent with my friends and family, doing the things I love, and eating the things I love. Nick always takes the time to think through every detail in order to make my day perfect, and it was. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my birthdays with my amazing husband.
- Visual Journal
- Rubber cement
- Zoo brochure
- Colored pencils (Prisma brand are the best)
- Book pages
- Thin sharpie
To create this visual journal page I layered cut up pieces of the Atlanta Zoo brochure and my own drawings of the day. One of my goals with this new visual journal was to rely less on magazine images and to draw and paint my own. I looked through the pictures I took throughout the day, and referenced them to create my own drawings. I drew them on white paper using a pencil first, then went back in and added color and detail with colored pencils. I cut them out, making sure to cut right up next to the drawing in order to create a more unified collage, and began layering them. I wanted the page to reflect the progression of the day, so I placed the images of the zoo on the right and the images of dinner on the left. I wanted to incorporate the words in a more interesting way, so I decided to glue down a drawing of chopsticks at the top, and write my words in between them. I was very satisfied with my page when it was all finished, but unfortunately sharpie bled through from my next page onto this one, which caused me to go back and glue down ripped up pieces of book pages to cover the sharpie. Remember if you ever incorporate sharpie into a page, glue two pages together to prevent it from bleeding through.