not so long ago i celebrated a birthday.

it feels like an awfully big deal to mark the last year i will ever be twenty-something.
my last year to be carefree and frivolous. (or so it feels)
or perhaps my final year (in a last ditch effort) to really mature before the big 3-0.
whatever it is meant to commemorate, it was a celebration!
ryan gifted me with the chance to plan a small event.
(i sorta love this kind of thing)
yep, for the first time in a long time i had a party.
filled with socializing, conversing, singing, eating & drinking,
just as wikipedia dictates for occasions such as these.
it did not disappoint!

the invitations were simply postcards.
and the place cards were little stones i've been collecting over the weeks,
with everyones name stamped on them.
we had originally planned for something similar to this,
but after a gorgeous morning a random wind storm blew up forcing us indoors.
so it wasn't alfresco, but it was lovely!
(if i do say so myself.)

ryan bought me these pretty spider mums.
and - believe it or not - they are still going strong today!
impressive right? i love 'em!

we dined on bbq pork sliders topped with tasty delicacies.
we also enjoyed all the yummy salads that everyone brought - which i neglectfully forgot to photograph.
but they were delicious!
we had fruit salads, caesar salad, pasta salad, and tortilla chips with a hint of lime.
(have you tried these chips? go now! try them!! but consider yourself warned about their highly addictive quality.)

and best of all...
i got to have so much family here to join in the festivities!
this is a rare treat indeed, since they all live so very far away.
it made the day so fun. 
thanks for coming everyone!
and if you're counting - we actually fit 16 people in our townhouse.
if you've seen our place then you recognize the miracle of that!
it was cozy, jolly, and memorable.

don't these little tykes look so sweet?
yes, my cousin makes really beautiful children!
and they're funny to boot.
look at them dissect those cupcakes - it's intense business.
i'm just glad we missed the sugar high that must have followed!
(sorry about that you guys.)

auntie & mother trying to sneak in some kitchen duty.

and then there was dessert!
oh the dessert!!
a smorgasbord of divine sweets.
but best of all? seriously... ryans homemade rhubarb ice cream!
to. die. for.
also on the menu:
raspberry almond cake
berry cupcakes
fresh berries & cherries galore
homemade raspberry syrup

and atop the birthday cake - a lovely little token from our garden.
our very first strawberry of the season!
isn't it sweet?
and as the birthday girl, naturally i got dibs!
it was the tastiest little niblet ever. i think 'cause it was grown with love.

oh, and 28 also saw my first attempt at strawberry jam.
a little thank-you for all our guests!
playing host in our wee of an apartment was so much fun.
and we hope everyone can come visit again soon.

*photos taken by brooklyn, myself, and anyone else i could pawn my camera off to.

thanks hon -thanks everyone- for a beautiful day!!