Chapter 37. Thirty things I loved on My 30th Birthday

Well, it’s official- I’m old now! It was my thirtieth birthday on Friday, February 23, and I thought I’d use this list as a summary of the amazing weekend I had to celebrate. So here goes….thirty things I loved on my 30th birthday (weekend!).

  1. The fact that Marc took the day off work and we were able to walk Murphy together in the morning. I love these family times!
  2. The weather ….blue skies and crisp, cool air. It reminds me a little of Canada in the autumn (it’s definitely a lot warmer than Canada in February!) and that was always one of my favorite times of the year.
  3. The fact that we live down the road from the Bois de Boulogne. What a stunning place! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. FLOWERS in February.
  5. The fact that Murphy reminded me how important it is to stop and smell the flowers.
  6. The happy side effect of the clear, chilly weather – no more mud in the Bois, and therefore a clean dog and MUCH cleaner floors for me! It’s such a treat to not need to be scrubbing them every day.
  7. The fact that we are a 10 minute metro ride away from the most amazing city in the world….PARIS!
  8. Lipstick. I’m late to the party on this one, but since I’ve moved here I LOVE wearing lipstick- it makes me feel fancy and put together. fullsizeoutput_131a
  9. Lunch dates. Marc asked whether I’d prefer to go out for a nice meal at lunch or in the evening, and lunch was the easy winner….I am starting to prefer having a big meal in the middle of the day and then having time to walk off that full, heavy feeling.
  10. Grand Cœur. I love this restaurant. We first happened upon it during one of our reconnaissance visits to the city, and it was a really special memory for us. We had been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the city and the prospect of moving here, but after a great conversation over a perfect meal at Grand Cœur, we felt ready to face the challenge together. Ever since then, it’s been such a special place for us. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  11. My handsome lunch date. Enough said. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  12. THE FOOD! I had a broccoli soup to start, slow-cooked lamb as a main course, and then creme caramel for dessert. It was beautiful, hearty, and delicious. Marc started with a squash and scallop soup, had pork as a main course and then a pineapple ‘crumble’ for dessert.
  13. Two hour lunch dates. I completely buy into the notion that good food shouldn’t be rushed. We stayed so long at the restaurant, savouring our three courses and then lingering over wine and coffee. It was perfection!
  14. Shopping in the afternoon. Marc wanted to buy me a necklace, so we spent the afternoon wandering around the city and visiting some really unique jewelry stores. We walked around Le Marais and then all the way up to Place de la République, where we ended up finding the perfect necklace. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  15. They did personalized engraving at the shop- I could put up to 2 letters on the pendant. Happily there was only need for one….does the ‘M’ stand for Melissa, Marc, or Murphy? You’ll never know!!! I’m not even sure I do….
  16. The fact that there was a giant, fluffy dog in the back section of the jewelry store!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  17. The FaceTime call we received from Marc’s nephew and nieces….they sang me Happy Birthday and showed us how they were roasting marshmallows in their fireplace. It was adorable and so good to see them all again- I miss them so much!
  18. The beautiful cards and gifts I received from friends and family-  I’m so thankful and overwhelmed by how thoughtful people are!
  19. The fact that my 30th birthday wasn’t just limited to one day….the celebration continued all weekend (and will keep going into next week).
  20. Long morning runs in the sun. Marc and I have our Half-Marathon next week, so it was important to squeeze in a long run. We thought Saturday morning would be ideal as we were hosting a party for friends in the evening and would have a lot less guilt stuffing our faces if we had run in the morning! I did 15km and it felt great- Murphy joined me for the first 8km and he was pretty tuckered out by the end. fullsizeoutput_132c
  21. My husband who went out to do the shopping and came back with flowers.
  22. Our beautiful apartment. It definitely has it’s share of quirks and frustrations (mold growing in the closets, for example), but it’s beautiful and bright and I love it so much! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  23. Friends. I never would have dared to hope that we would make so many wonderful friends in our first year here. Of course I forgot to take photos during the party, but we invited over some of our closest friends and had SUCH a wonderful time together.
  24. Church. This is a continuation of the previous point, as we wouldn’t have all these amazing new friends if we hadn’t stumbled upon (quite literally) an absolutely amazing church. Thank you to Emmanuel International Church for welcoming us so warmly into your amazing community, for challenging us to grow in our faith, and for supporting us in so many ways throughout our first year here.
  25. Presents. Well, it wouldn’t be a birthday without them, right? For the party, I asked the guests to bring me one of my favorite things….either a book, a bottle of wine, or some cake! They all rose to the challenge and now I am well stocked up on wine and literature for our coming trip- I am so excited.

    New books!
  26. Long FaceTime chats with my family. They have booked a trip to come and visit France in May, so we have so much planning to do!
  27. Hearing from friends that I’ve lost touch with. I’m a terrible communicator, so birthdays are always a great opportunity/excuse to get in touch with good friends from back in Switzerland/Canada/America and touch base.
  28. Holidays. We leave on Wednesday to go to Megève, a town in the French Alps. We are staying in an amazing cabin a little outside of the town, and I can’t wait for the combination of mountains, snow, adventure and relaxation.
  29. Murphy. I feel he’s been mentioned a couple times, but he is the cutest and I love his squishy face. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  30. And finally- the last thing that I loved about my 30th birthday was the opportunity to  chronicle it all here and have it read by all you wonderful people! This blog has been such an amazing way to keep in touch with friends and family from far away as well as to reach new readers and encourage me to step up my writing and photography skills. I love you all and thanks for reading!!!

Next week’s blog will feature our holiday in Megève and hopefully lots of snowy pictures of our adventures.

Until then,



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