That is me on my first birthday. Look at dem cheeks.
It's my 24th birthday tomorrow which sounds a bit grown up and at the same time like a child. I'm not doing anything particularly exciting this year, spending time with my niece and having a meal with family. The older you get I feel like celebrating birthdays becomes more and more difficult. My friends are all over the UK, my family and boyfriend have jobs, my brother and his family don't live with us anymore....it's difficult to get everyone together.
With that in mind it got me thinking about some of the best birthdays I've ever had;
Yes that's right I had a half birthday. I obviously don't remember it and it wasn't an actual celebration or party but my Mum was too excited to make me a cake to wait until my first birthday so I had a half one the April after I was born. My Mum used to make cakes as a living, she supplied a local coffee shops and did commissioned birthday cakes and even did her own wedding cake so safe to say she's a bit of a whizz. Photo evidence tells me my half birthday cake was a mouse and though I have no knowledge it ever happened, the thought of her being too excited to contain herself to one cake a year is too cute.
At least, I think it was my fifth. I'm a little hazy on the year but it was a fabulous birthday because of my cake. Sense a running theme here? When I was 5 or 6 ish I asked for a Forever Friends (remember them?) cake which I'd seen in a cake book. It was two of them hugging sat on a pink sofa and it was INSANELY complicated. My mother was up till 3am making it for me and it was incredible and exactly like the one in the book and I loved it. I was so excited the night before my birthday that I couldn't sleep so my parents let me come down from bed which in itself was even more exciting. My Dad stays up late every night normally watching horror films so I had to stay in the kitchen with my Mum so I used to sit at the table and draw and on this occasion she was making the cake. I don't remember anything about the birthday day itself but I remember the feeling of staying up late with my Mum the night before and the excitement.
Again, I think. I'm not sure on some of the years but I can remember the parties and roughly how old I was. I had a lot of homemade birthday parties when I was little, held in my house with the girls from school and often revolved around a tea party and some kind of homemade party bag. When I was 10 ish I had a craft birthday where my parents moved all the furniture out of the living room and laid down sheets and we created pictures with a LOT of glitter and dried pasta shapes and paint and then played in the garden. I remember loving this one so much because obvs I was crafty and everyone joined in and one of my friends who lived away and never came to my birthdays (hi Gab if you're reading) managed to make it so I always remember that.
Being an October baby I am one of the first birthdays of the school year so turning 12 meant the first opportunity to have new friends from Comprehensive school at my party and I had my first swimming one. It was the done thing to have a swimming party at the local leisure centre and I attended LOADS for about 2 years including my brother's 10th birthday just 5 months before. Having a swimming party meant block booking the pool which meant however many people you wanted (unlike what we could accommodate at home) so I had all my new friends from my class, friends from home, family and my brother got to bring a few pals too. Sassy AF.
Again I can't remember how old I was or what year these two parties were but they're interchangeable and were probably consecutive years. Following on from the swimming party, me and my brother used to quite often have similar birthdays booked one after the other so one year I took a few friends to Quasar which is like Lazer Quest and one year we went to Hollywood Bowl. Both excellent ways to spend a birthday in my opinion.
I actually don't know if I had a birthday party for my 16th. I must've done something but it absolutely escapes me but I remember this as probably the best birthday I've ever had. It fell on a weekday and I was in my GCSE year at school and I just remember being absolutely spoiled at school. My best friends made me badges and cakes and homemade gifts, friends I didn't think I was even that close to got me presents, I had about a billion cards and I think I even had a cake. I remember going home with three extra goody bags than I went to school with and I remember them just making it SUCH a good day at school which I think when you're 16 is a feat in itself.
My 18th birthday was the 'big birthday' in our family. It was the one my parents saved for and the one they made a special effort with and both me and my brother got one expensive present to remember it by. My present I decided was to go to Alton Towers so about 10 days before my birthday my parents booked a mini bus and they paid for about 16 of us to travel to Alton Towers and paid for us to get in. They didn't even come with us, we were at that level of grown up by then. I bloody love Alton Towers and that day was even better than my 18th itself, on which I had a lovely party at home. My friends all came round with drinks and my Mum laid on a feast and all my neighbours and family turned up and my Mum made me a scrapbook which was inspired by one I made her for her 50th. It was filled with photos from my life and excerpts from her diary about stuff I'd done and 2 hilarious poems my Dad had written when I was born and when I turned 18 and then all my family and friends wrote messages in it on the day.
My 19th was a scary prospect for a while because it was the first birthday for a long long time away from my friends at school who were all away at uni. I had started my Foundation course about a month before and wasn't sure if I'd have made any friends. Luckily I happened to make some of the best friends of my life and they arranged for a Frankie & Bennys meal and put a surprise cake behind the counter which was brought out much to my embarrassment and much singing. My friends from school all surprised me too with lots of cards and presents in the post which considering most of them were in the throws of Freshers, is quite the accomplishment.
I didn't realise how many cracking birthdays I have had in the last year till I started writing this. My itself was spent at home on a trip back from university but before I left I had a tea party with my flatmates, like a proper childish one with princess stuff and party bags and then on the weekend a whole bunch of us went to Alton Towers (twice in 2 years ain't bad huh?). We went for scarefest which was soooooo good and minus a little visit to The Tower Of Terrors which was horrific, it's one of my favourite memories of university.
I said my 18th was my 'big birthday' but I remember my flatmate being astounded about the amount of presents I had for my 21st too. This was the only birthday I actually spent in university because I had university lessons I couldn't get off but it was SUCH a good one. The day itself started when my flatmate took me out for breakfast and then I had a day in class with my pals. And then in the afternoon my parents, grandparents and boyfriend came to stay for a few days and we had a meal, I had the surprise of my life when my Uncle sent me an iPad as my present (I nearly fainted lol) and we spent a lovely few days exploring Wrexham and having fun.
Twenty First #2;
So yeah I had two 21st birthdays. Kinda. Me and my group of school friends decided for our 21st's we'd all put in a certain amount of money and everyone would get a snazzy present to remember the birthday by and because we were all at university still, we couldn't celebrate or swap presents until we could all be together again. So at the Christmas holidays after my 21st we celebrated 4 of us who'd had birthdays that term and we held it at my house with a lot of our other friends. We put 21st banners up in amongst the Christmas decorations, my Mum made a birthday cake, we swapped presents and the four of us blew out the candles together and we ate A LOT of food. It was gorgeous.
Last year wasn't particularly exciting and I didn't do a lot but what was cute was the day before my brother and his (then) girlfriend and her family were going out and they needed the baby cared for until late at night so me and my Mum did it. The baby was poorly, I think she had a cold if I remember and she wouldn't go to my Mum so I paced and paced and had her sleep on my chest all night like a little frog and when they all came home I opened my presents one handed with her in my arms snoozing. It was my first birthday as an auntie and I nearly cried when I got a bracelet with Auntie Gwennan engraved in it which she handed me herself at 5 months old and a card with a kiss she'd drawn. So cute.
Let's hope this birthday is just as fun!