blah blah blah life list

Life List: Have a Big Party for a Birthday – Check!

Who let me drink and then use a big knife?!

It turns out that 30 isn’t so bad.

I headed to my favorite bar the night before around 11:30 and counted down to midnight there, surrounded by a handful of friends who all wore goofy party hats, bought me way, way too many shots (fuck you all), and made elderly jokes. We stayed out pretty late, and I got this text at 9 am:

There is a direct relationship between how much I love you and how much I hate today. Happy birthday, old girl.

At the spa they booked me with Richard, the world’s hottest masseuse. He introduced himself by asking me, “Are you ready to feel good today?”

Why yes. Yes I am. Richard.

Whiskey & Salt is a quirky supper club run by my friends; they told me I could pick whatever food I wanted, which was easy: soul food, the kind my grandmother (the black one) used to feed me. Fried (organic, free-range, humane certified) chicken, collard greens, green beans, yams, biscuits, corn bread, sweet tea (with vodka – my grandma left that out, but I thought it was a splendid addition), and the best goddamn mac and cheese ever. Plus four cakes. (Conversation post dinner- Me: Am I supposed to be able to bend? Kathryn: No.) And then they went Pinterest on my backyard with the decorations.


photo from Lara

photo from Christina

They showed up with supplies at noon and served dinner at 8, and while they bustled around my kitchen all day, I did the following: had a nap in the hammock, had a nap on my bed, fixed my hair, took my annual birthday photo, and occasionally wandered into the kitchen to get in their way and stick my finger in whatever was around that looked good. Usually frosting.

Friends arrived at seven – there were 16 of us at dinner all told –  bearing wine, balloons, cards, gifts, flowers, and sweet toasts that made me cry into my cake. It is an amazing thing to be loved.

This is my 30’s? I’ll take it.


  1. Smedette

    15 March 2012 at 9:29 am

    Happy Birthday, Amber! So happy to hear you were surrounded by such love.

  2. Patrice

    15 March 2012 at 9:52 am

    Single. Thug. Tear. You managed to get a table full of eulogies without being dead.

    You crying was probably the highlight of my year. There’s something I never thought I’d see!

  3. Roobacca

    15 March 2012 at 10:29 am

    You have awesome friends. Also, the first time I read this, I thought you said “who all wore goofy pants” and I thought, huh. That’s kind of fun.

  4. emily

    15 March 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Even though I was a jet lagged hot mess, I was so, so, SO happy to be a part of your birthday, Amber. Ugly crying with so many of my most wonderful friends around the table was a highlight to the night. <3

  5. Biana

    15 March 2012 at 2:38 pm

    How soon is too soon to invite myself over for leftovers of cake and mac and cheese?!

  6. Heather B.

    15 March 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Happy Birthday, you lovely lady! You will rock your 30’s. I am sure of it.

  7. Ben

    15 March 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Happy birthday, Amber! Looks like a good way to turn 30…

  8. jerilyn

    16 March 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Awesome. Welcome to your 30’s!!

  9. Jennifer

    17 March 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Wow. To be surrounded by so much love and care.
    Hold on to your friends; they certainly can change over the years.

    Love your boobs; they will certainly sag over the years.
    Keep taking those great pictures; they will make you happy over the years.
    Make the best of thirty; it will provide a nostaglic memory over the years.

    Ok, so I’m feeling all sage-y today. All I need is a plaid throw or a porch. :-))

  10. Kerry

    22 March 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Amber! I just listened to your episode of The Because Show and I LOVED hearing about your life list! I just started reading your blog, but I already find it super inspiring and beautiful. Happy birthday and I hope your 30s are fantastic!


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