It's My Birthday I Can Shop If I Want To

So I seriously considered suspending the spending fast on my thirtieth birthday-- and by saying considered I mean that I decided to suspend it for weeks beforehand and most of said birthday.

Big Mike read my mind (aka heard the incessant hints I kept throwing his way) that his gift to me could be a little shopping spree for some new fall clothes. It was legit! He took me to the mall and because I had scoped things out ahead of time so he wouldn’t have to sit on a bench and blank stare at me while I tried on clothes and deliberated over sweater colors, we were in and out of J.Crew in less than 15 minutes. Budget spent. Shopping trip done. New clothes bought. Joy, joy, joy!

This amazing little shopping outing was 3 days before my actual birthday and because I was groomed by my doting mother to be a spoiled-little-birthday-princess, I did have to keep myself in check on my actual birthday. We spent the morning in the car with the little’s driving from Chicago to Iowa and the second half of the day I had to be a contributing parent even though everything in me resisted! With every diaper change and counter wipe-down, I fought against sending Mike evil looks because I have been trained since the ripe age of 12 months to think of that one day as “all about me.” 
My nickname was "Queen Elizabeth." It was well-earned.
Growing up, we had a birthday song sung via Mommy Darling over the intercom first thing in the morning (Did you have an unused intercom system in your house growing up? I think those things came standard with houses built in the late 70's) followed by a cinnamon roll for breakfast with a candle, lunch of our choice (with a candle), dinner of our choice, gifts, cake, ice cream (candle, candle, candle), and a day free from chores where we basically got to do whatever we wanted because HEY, IT WAS OUR BIRTHDAY!

Getting married was the rudest of awakenings. I had ignored all the warning signs like Mike’s belief that his birthday shouldn't be made much of because “It was just another day” (say what?!) his shut down of my three months out what-should-we do-for-my-birthday-this-year-discussion, and his dislike for dessert of any kind (yes, this is an actual thing).

So it may not surprise you that on my first married birthday, I bounced out of bed, realizing he had already left for work but just knowing in my heart of hearts there were gifts and sweet sentiments left for me downstairs. And I seriously ran to the kitchen and saw a note on the counter, feeling cemented in my belief that I was the most loved and cherished human being on the planet. I started wondering what kind of wild goose chase scavenger hunt I was about to embark on only to stop in my tracks upon reading the words, “WE NEED BREAD.”

This seems like a made-up story but it's not, actual life experience coming at ya here. 

And of course because it did not mention my birthday and did not contain a smiley face nor an exclamation point (the audacity!) I called my husband and gave him words. Unkind one's.

Different pages people, Mars and Venus in it’s form truest over here at my house. So every year on my birthday Mike becomes slightly more intentional and celebratory and I try to be slightly more forgiving and flexible. We both fail and there are always sometimes a few tears (Mike is a weeper) and I usually conclude the day realizing that there is much to be grateful for and I am the most dramatic person. Ever.

So this year, after our car ride, I gave myself permission to run some errands alone and considered letting myself off the hook for ONE day and getting a pedicure. A new infinity scarf. Some yoga pants. A leather hand bag. Artwork (don’t laugh). Leopard print slip-on shoes (are these appropriate for thirty-year-old's? I'm in new territory here, I have no clue). Mint green Chuck Taylor's. Pajama pants. Yes, all of these things were in my hands at one point or another!

I am faithful to this project (besides that one time, I still need to write about it) and even though I could definitely have justified cheating on my birthday, I decided not to because hello it is just one year and my husband had just taken me shopping at J.Crew, get yo self in check woman!

So I ended up at Target and this is what I came home with:

My man smoked me some ribs on the grill and my children were precious—as precious as children who had been spoiled all weekend by their grandparents can be—we watched on of my favoritest movies of all time, 13 Going on 30, I regretted my decision that “I did not want a huge party or anything like that” only twice, and I truly felt loved, loved, loved and grateful, grateful, grateful. 

So maybe the steps of self-denial I am taking today will help me be a relatively normal functioning person by my fortieth birthday, Maybe. 


  1. Yes, leopard print slip-ons are appropriate for 31 year-olds. I tried them on and didn't LOVE them so I put them back. But I know the ones you mention and think they're cute stuff!

    1. Of course you know which ones I mean you fashion-forward-mama, I didn't try them on though so that makes me feel better that they did not pass the test for you. Did you see the TOMS sale on Zulily? That was a hard one to pass up, I think I filled and emptied my cart 3 or 4 times but I wasn't creative enough to justify buying myself anything!

  2. Ally you are so hilarious and I can definitely resonate with being the most dramatic person ever. Love you and please keep writing!!

    1. Aw Kitty I miss your dramatic sighs and the sweet hugs that came with listening to your stories. I miss you thank you so much for the encouragement!

  3. did you buy yourself vitamins on your bday? lol!

  4. Betsy I did! It still felt special, and so did the candy corn too haha I take what little indulgences I can get!


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