Another Year Older, Another Year Wiser

My birthday falls on hump day of next week, so I decided to have a fun pre-birthday weekend celebration with Matt. He was incredibly sweet and agreed to drive up to the Cumberland State Park with me to have a picnic lunch and visit with their two resident owls. {Side note – Something you’ll come to learn about me very quickly is that I am admittedly obsessed and fascinated by owls. No, it’s not because I’m trying to be trendy. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with them. I like to think I acquired it from my grandmother as she too had several owl figurines and even an owl afghan that hung in their stairwell for as long as I could remember.} Anywho, we made our way up there by lunchtime on Saturday. We drove around a bit and found the perfect picnic spot. I packed a quick meal for us both.

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Our lunch included Great Northern beans, roasted seasoned yellow squash + zucchini, sliced beets, freshly grated Asiago cheese, sharp cheddar, and pumpkin seed tortilla chips.

After we finished our lunch, we did some sightseeing. I tried to capture the beautiful day and area in a few photos.

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Then we were on to the part I was looking forward to the most – seeing the owls!

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Mackenzie was an absolute sweetheart. She is a barred owl, and her feathers were incredibly beautiful and soft. She had flown into a train by accident, detaching her retinas. This left her legally blind, but she now has an amazing home.

All that I wanted from Matt for my birthday was to visit them with me and to provide a donation for their care, and I am so grateful that he did so for me. {If you would like, you too can donate to their care. I believe donations can be mailed, but check their website. 🙂 } Before heading back home to K-town, we chose to stop at the Custard Cabin for my birthday treat.

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Chocolate + vanilla for me / Strawberry Supreme with peanuts for him

We decided to catch up on the last three episodes of the series Bones, including the season finale. We quickly put together a simple but really enjoyable dinner and later a smoothie for dessert.

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Sliced cuke and bell pepper for crunch / gluten free pasta salad with baked whole chicken I’d made last Sunday, sautéed eggplant + cherry tomatoes and spinach, homemade lemon dressing / berry-peach smoothie with spices & topped with berry applesauce + my homemade spiced nuts for him.

I had such an amazing weekend, the last as a 26 year old. It was a fun way to end this year, and I’m looking forward to this next year. They just keep getting better and better!

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