This past Friday, Alex threw me a 35th birthday party. He invited friends over for wine and Prosecco, and we ate our weight in Trader Joe’s appetizers. It was so much fun! And I also had two big revelations…

1. Do you have a scary age? I don’t usually get nervous about birthdays, but turning 35 was throwing me for a loop. It just felt so adult, so official. Although I’m still figuring things out—work/life balance, how to stop worrying so much, how to layer eyeshadow—35 felt like an age where I should have it firmly together.

But then I got a birthday card in the mail from my mother-in-law, Joyce, who is turning 80 this summer. It was one of those lovely Hallmark cards with flowers on the front and a scripted poem inside. And on the bottom, she had written, “Happy Birthday, Joanna. 35. What a wonderful age.”

And suddenly I felt really lucky and excited to be 35. Through Joyce’s eyes, 35 seemed so young and full of adventure. It completely changed the way I had been thinking about the age—I realized that we’re actually living “the good old days” and I should stop worrying and enjoy them. :)

What about you? How old are you? What’s your scary age, if you have one?

2. Alex’s other brilliant idea: The evening of the party, our kiddos spent the night with their beloved babysitter! We loaded them up with travel cribs and backpacks, and they were SO excited. The next morning, Anton got to chew on his very first bagel, while Toby and his sitter did yoga to soothing music…

Go, Tobes!

Meanwhile, Alex and I got to sleep WAY in and just hang out quietly that morning. It was surprisingly romantic and wonderful to have our apartment to ourselves—like it was before we had kids! It felt like a mini vacation for all of us. Thank you so much to Alex (and our sitter)!!!

Have you ever farmed your kids out to their babysitter’s house for the night? :) Or a relative? Did they enjoy it? Thank you also for your sweet birthday notes!

P.S. Gold candles, and birthday cheese.

(Thanks to Jason for the photos)