charlotte | celebrating 25.

this weekend was my birthday celebration and also six weeks after my last visit, so it was a weekend i'd been looking forward to for what felt like months. even though it was, you know, only six weeks.

on saturday morning, i woke up before luca, that's how excited i was. there have been six-week gaps between visits before, but this six weeks felt the longest. maybe because the last visit followed a short, two-week gap after the previous visit? or maybe it was just that luca grew a lot in these six weeks and i was ready to witness and experience the changes myself, in person.

it wasn't technically my birthday, but we celebrated like it was and i feel overwhelmed by how much these people love me. on a regular basis, i can feel how much they love me. but this weekend it felt so specific, almost tangible.

first things first. we had a dance party. a little bit of t-swift, a little bit of sia. these are our dance faces.

lady date. starbucks + mani + pedi.

at one point, T and i were discussing nail polish names and how someone, somewhere, gets paid money to come up with those names. i commented on how disappointing some of them are, considering it's these people jobs to be clever and yet they still fail occasionally. T responded by saying, "i guess they can't nail it every time." and i died laughing, because not only was i about to say that exact thing, pun intended, T had no idea she'd even used a pun.

so obviously, she's just naturally funny and maybe she should be paid to name the nail polish colors.

luca eats cheddar bunnies for a snack, which is great (hilarious) because cheddar bunnies are my snack of choice at work. fortunately, he couldn't have been more thrilled with the idea of hand-feeding them to me. i wouldn't have eaten his snack otherwise, but he wanted me to have some! you know?

the photo on the right was to capture how cute his face looked each time he'd put his whole fist in my mouth to feed me a bunny. i wasn't trying to get lee's face in there. that was just an added bonus.

he does this thing now where he tilts his head and looks at you, usually when you're not looking at him, and it's my most favorite thing. it sort of feels like he's looking back at me the same way i looked at him when i held him as a baby, and still do when he sleeps. no words, just pure admiration.

it blows my mind that i'm turning twenty five. like how is that even real life? it took me almost the whole year to come to terms with it. twenty five. i guess that's why i keep saying it. and why, when my mom asked what kind of cake i wanted, i told her i wanted cupcakes in the shape of "25." i mean, partly because i really enjoy cupcakes, but mostly because 25. i don't want to be forever mind blown about it, i want to own it.

i don't know if she had the idea before or after that cupcake request, but she bought me 25 presents, and then wrapped them and laid them out on the table in the shape of "25."

another unintended pun: right before i opened my gifts, i was on my phone and T asked if i was going to be on my phone all night or if i was going to be "present." i just stared at her, as she stared back,  probably giving me that look like i should feel apologetic or something, and then i explained why she's funny.

RED VELVET. because why eat any other kind of cake when you can have red velvet?

it turns out, colony house was in charlotte on saturday night. or, sunday morning, i should say? their set started at 12am. it was crazy, and it was late, and there's never very much sleep on my weekend trips to begin with, but why not. (i so love T for her willingness to do this stuff with me.)

if you say, "do you want to read this book?" luca will crawl into your lap and your heart will melt with all of the cute. he's really into trucks and cars and motorcycles, and likes reading about them too.

T has been saying for a while now that luca will sit and listen while you read an entire book to him, but i had yet to experience this. he sat in my lap, but not for an entire book. with him sitting on his own, i just started reading the book elementary school teacher style and that seemed to do the trick.