30 is the new 20


Yesterday was my friend Rebecca's thirtieth birthday. (She's a baby.) I've said before that our neighborhood was tight, and Rebecca's mom invited all of us to her house for a surprise-ish birthday dinner. I say surprise-ish because even though we staggered our departures, Tyler gave her the hairy eyeball when she pulled out of her driveway before he did and she was instantly suspicious. Smart cookie, our Rebecca.


It's fascinating to me that people who grow up here don't tend to leave. I've lived in four different states since leaving home for college (and I have friends here who have nearly doubled that), but most of the folks we know in our neighborhood live just a matter of a couple of miles from the home where they grew up. While it's hard for me to imagine living in my old hometown, part of me envies being able to breeze into my parents' home, as comfortable there as I ever was.


Rebecca's parents' house is a real stunner. It's a gracious old Southern house in a gracious old Southern neighborhood. There's a beautiful formality to it that doesn't at all feel stuffy. A lot of these houses make it hard for me to imagine propping open the door with my butt while I flip through the mail and drop my keys on the counter. Hard to imagine my own day to day in such rich surroundings. This house is elegant, yes. But mostly warm and welcoming.


Her dad is an architect, and her mom has a great eye for design and color. Marry that with this uncanny ability to find the most gorgeous things at TJ Maxx and the Dollar Store and you have Jan's house. Sky-high ceilings don't hurt.


Dinner table, set for many.






They have this great wall where dozens and dozens of friends and family, cousins, brothers, aunts, neighbors and dogs have their height measured. Here's Callum showing how he's grown since the last time he was there. This is something else that I have trouble wrapping my head around. Staying in one place long enough to make a mark like this. I'm used to moving every 5-6 years, and when we were childless, I kind of liked it. I feel the tiniest bit itchy even now, just four years in. Will we stay in the little gray house forever? I don't know. Do I want to? Not sure of that either. It's like I have to adapt to long-term thinking. And that feels odd.


Just look at these lovely ladies. Color-coordinated no less. And in heels! Wow. This is something I'm not very good at yet. Dressing for dinner the way the Southern gals do. I wore a skirt, for sure, but with a plain white tee shirt. It's my uniform for summer. Not at all dressy, just cool and comfortable. I suppose I should have put on some lipstick. I wouldn't mind at all pulling on a dress or two. The heels, I'm not to sure about though.


Our hostesses' shoes. She matched the napkins too.


Unveiling, The Rebecca. (Oh my gosh, so flattered that she put it on right away!). Thank you, thank you to Jan and Bill for including us, and thank you, thank you to all of our wonderful friends who make me so happy just by being near. And to you dear Rebecca? Many, many happy returns of the day, my friend.