i had the absolute best 21st birthday ever, hands down.

i am spoiled beyond belief by friends and family who know me better than i know myself sometimes. they-who-know-that-the-way-to-my-heart-is-through-pretty-glassware-comma-coffee-comma-and-mexican-food set up an entire day full of my favorite things. and it was perfect.
my best friend came down from des moines in the morning so that she and i could spend the day together. in a weak attempt to set free our friendship's inner serena van der woodsen/blair waldorf dynamic duo, we strolled through the ped mall downtown iowa city, feeling glamorous while simultaneiously window shopping and catching up because two weeks is far too long to go without seeing your best friend. we jokingly cursed baby alyssa for not being 21 yet, preventing us from going completely serena + blair on DT IC and dropping in a local bar for martinis (like we would have if she really were 21... not), so instead we went with sweets and each picked up a molly's cupcake for breakfast while we decided where we wanted to have lunch (it was already 11:00 a.m. but i am a firm believer in dessert coming first on birthdays and the importance of consuming as much of it as your little heart desires before wasting tummy space on anything else. plus i'm indecisive so choosing a birthday lunch spot took a while). we settled on brown bottle, a classy italian joint and, in fact, one of my favorites (they have the best italian vinaigrette dressing and marinara sauce! oh and this happens to be the same place that offered me a kid's menu on the day of my high school graduation) and skipped on over to eat as we were licking up our sticky frosting-covered fingers. :)
after lunch, we went to the mall and drooled over all of the hot trends our expensive fashion senses crave but our wallets can't afford. after a couple hours of perusing, trying on fun clothes, sipping on coffee, and splurging on (at least) one impulse buy each, we made our way back home so i could get to jenna's dance recital dress rehearsal. after jenny's performances, they-who-know-that-the-way-to-my-heart-is-through-pretty-glassware-comma-coffee-comma-and-mexican-food and i headed to carlos o'kelly's for some late night enchiladas and a celebratory margarita. ;) they later surprised me with a beautiful assortment of an entire kitchen's worth of matching dishware in my favorite mexican/aztec print design, matching decor, a sparkly statement necklace, a framed print of graham 27 (from my dad! he's the best gift giver), and a delicious marble cake (my favorite). each of my family members is so incredibly thoughtful. thank you thank you, my crew.
proof! which is probably highly unnecessary but 100% legal so why not.
and that was all she wrote for may 29, 2014. i couldn't have asked for anything more. thank you again to my family and friends for making it such a special, memorable day. (and i'm proud to say i do remember it!) cheers to 21 years! 

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