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Birthday Kitchen Table

*Boring Birthday Blog Post Alert!* If you are not into boring birthday blog posts, please hold the handrails and exit the screen safely. However, if you like to read about birthday traditions and some updates on what’s been going on around here via the ramblings of an old lady, stick around.

You’ve been warned!

I turned 34 yesterday. For the past few years on my birthday, I have been taking photos of my kitchen table in what’s become an unintentional tradition. Since the kitchen table is at the center of our home and sometimes doubles as my workspace and now kid-space, I think one year I just looked over at the beautiful chaos on top of it and thought I should snap a photo to remember what was going on that year. And the idea stuck.

My kitchen table is messy in the morning, probably not much different than yours, with things on it like coffee or tea cups, finished breakfast bowls, and scraps of paper. To the average person it is nothing special. But to me, it tells the story of my life as it is right now. The table is a canvas and those messy elements are the beautiful brush strokes.

You might be thinking this is just me trying to find a way to make beauty out of my personal mess, and you are right. Isn’t that what life is, anyway?

Behold, in what is clearly my most fascinating post to-date, I’m going to share three photos of what my table(s) looked like on my birthday yesterday: morning, noon, and night.

This is the morning table:

birthday table 1

On it is my finished bowl of oatmeal (the “Spiced Oats” recipe from the What a Good Eater! cookbook project), and a cup of coffee I downed. My notes and my Real Deal Bridal Bible book are out, because I was a guest on the Debbie Nigro talk radio show yesterday morning (where I probably sounded like a maniac because of that downed cup of coffee). You can see Marcus’s paw there on the left, because whenever I am in a room sans children, he seizes the opportunity and glues himself to my side. (And yes, he has thumbs.)

What this table really means to me is that I’ve gotten to a place where my freelance is starting to pay off. I am making enough to hire help with the kids a couple of mornings out of the week so I can focus on work. I created and launched the RealDealBrides site, which is up on my screen in that pic, and I’m really, really proud of it.

Here is the noon table:

birthday table #2

Greg took off of work and we had lunch together, just us, which as you know if you have small children pretty much never happens. And while I love them like crazy, it is sometimes nice to have a meal out where you can actually talk to your significant other uninterrupted, eye contact and everything, without yelling “sit down” and “stop that” and “Let’s play ‘eye spy’!” while you wait for your food. Instead we played “let’s drink champagne and eat macaroons like we don’t have responsibilities for an hour”. It was glorious.

And here is my table #3:

birthday table #3

Play-doh time, with me and Miss P, in the late afternoon. You can see her little hands there just off to the left, and her Doc McStuffins Play-doh molds. Also on the table is Ciro’s bib, because yesterday was the first day we fed him solid foods (Simple Sweet Potatoes – another recipe from the cookbook)!


If you can’t tell from the pic, he liked it!

And that concludes the most boring blog post ever! YOU MADE IT THROUGH. In all seriousness, if you stuck with me until this point, know that one of the best birthday presents ever for a writer is to have you, a loyal reader, reading my words. And for that, I am thankful.

Now tell me: do you have any weird traditions you do for your birthday every year?


Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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