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Birthday (not Birth-Day)

February 3, 2016

Since early last summer, today’s hovered on my mental calendar as an exciting unknown: February 3rd. My 32nd birthday, and the day before my baby’s due date. Celebrations were in order, of course, but would they be for a girl in her third decade or a baby in her first days?

Would we be a family of three or a family of four?

Knowing there’s little use making concrete plans during such an up-in-the-air season, I didn’t really anticipate what today would look like until it arrived…but now that it’s hours from over, I can happily go on record saying it was just about perfect.

No baby (yet), but so very many favorite things from this life I love.

To kick off the morning, Lucie and I stopped in at Coquine for a latte and my favorite chocolate chip cookies in all of Portland.

(She was dressed for dance class and already full of wiggles. Sit-still pictures were out of the question.)

We made it to her final dance class at Laurelhurst Dance Studio. (A pretty fantastic accomplishment at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I’d say.)


(Lucie and her friend Penelope have been hanging together since her mom and I were together in prenatal yoga during 2013. It’s pretty adorable watching the two girls sprout up side by side. The picture below is from Lucie’s final dance class in the fall, and they’ve already grown so much since then!)

Then, unpictured (because there’s no juggling a toddler, a pregnant belly, and a camera in the middle of a huge hot tub): a leisurely midday spent with friends at the Kennedy School soaking pool.

I tell myself it was kinda for the baby…she keeps squirming into a posterior position, and I keep trying tactics to spin her back around. (A little extra buoyancy can only be a good thing, right?)

And finally, tonight, after Lucie’s late nap and Ted’s early arrival home from work, we ventured out for a little family dinner date at Burrasca: authentic Tuscan cooking worth getting excited about.

We hadn’t eaten their food since December 31st, 2014, the last day their then-top food cart in Portland was open for business before shutting down to open a brick and mortar shop.

After a lot of squirming at the dinner table, blowing out the candle (thanks to the server for re-lighting it), and devouring an order of crescentine (puffed fried bread) meant to tide us over, we launched into our shared plates of crespelle (baked spinach and ricotta-filled crêpes with tomato-béchamel sauce) and the night’s topini special (housemade potato gnocchi with slow-cooked beef ragu and a fistful of parmigiano-reggiano).

I think when Lucie heard Ted read “crêpes” off the menu, she thought “grapes” and got overly excited. When the crespelle arrived, they weren’t anything like fruit…but thankfully she still cleaned her plate.

After dinner, Ted went for the classic espresso shot and gave Lu a taste. Thank heavens it was decaf. That’s all I can say.

No birthday cake this year, but…Fifty Licks sits just across the street from Burrasca.

Too convenient to resist, you know?


And with that, a car ride home in the drizzly Portland rain complete with family sing-a-long covers of such classics as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Round and Round the Cobbler’s Bench, The Monkey Chased the Weasel.” (Oh, this girl cracks me up.)

Then bedtime routine with a toddler. A few more practice contractions. A leftover Coquine cookie. Sweet birthday messages from family and friends.

And a thought that by this time last pregnancy, I was holding my baby in my arms.

Tomorrow’s 40 weeks.

And then, who knows?


Can’t wait to meet this little Hazelnut! We’re having a little fun over on Facebook…guessing when she’ll arrive, gawking over belly photos, and generally trying to face the coming mayhem with brave faces. Thanks for all the love and support along the way!

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