18 December 2015

45 on 45

one week ago today, I turned 45. it's a strange age, 45. strangely weird and wonderful and maybe a little bit painful. for weeks now, I've been thinking about it, about how I wanted to celebrate, how I wanted to mark the occasion. because, it is an occasion. sort of like turning 40 but with a little more wisdom and a pinch more panic.

aging aside, the truth is that december birthdays are hard. the calendar is crammed with more obligations than anyone ever knows what to do with and people are mostly tired and grouchy. there isn't ever any extra money, not really, because what little there is has been squirreled away for christmas and whatever bills are overdue. blah blah blah, it's all very first world woe is me.

but I had sleeves with tricks, I did. and a pocket with a few dollars, a few of my favorite people, a good twelve (maybe thirteen) hours and the whole freaking city of atlanta. and so I decided to see if I could do 45 things on my 45th birthday, 45 actual things. and you know what? it was a pretty good way to celebrate. it didn't cost me very much and I will never, ever forget it. and really, that's all I wanted.

here are 45 things I did the day I turned 45:

1. bought a bag of party horns and a package of confetti on our way into the city.

3. tossed a little confetti out the window as we flew down dekalb ave.

4. had a cup of tea at dr. bombay's underwater tea party, browsed the one dollar books, left a party horn behind.

5. took a polaroid of a favorite scene.

6. threw a penny in the fountain at fellini's, made a wish.

7. picked a camellia up off the sidewalk, left a pinch of confetti behind.

8. taped a party horn to a favorite book and left it in the little free library in my old neighborhood.

9. did a little indie craft window-shopping.

10. sprinkled confetti on the steps of my very first apartment.

11. flipped through albums at criminal records, bought myself a little birthday vinyl.

12. hopped inside criminal's digital photobooth for a strip, left a party horn behind.

13. drove through momo's rainbow tunnel, jumped out and taped a party horn to it.

14. photographed the year I was born.

15. sat in the sun at lottafrutta and had the lulo, a drink made with a fruit I'd never even heard of before.

16. left a party horn taped to the plastic neck of a pink flamingo, took the little orange paper umbrella as a souvenir.

17. sampled the watermelon soda (tasted like liquid candy necklace). 

18. decided I'd make an okay carmen miranda.

19. chickened out of photographing a most spectacular stranger.

20. hit the swings at the noguchi playground in piedmont park.

21. flew down that rad noguchi slide too.

22. left a little confetti in front of the old black iron gates of the apartment we lived in when we were first married.

23. photographed a few people I love jumping in front of a mural I love.

24. taped a party horn to the big yellow dot on said loved mural.

25. taped a party horn to the little orange dot on a favorite HENSE mural.

26. walked the beltline at magic hour, scattered a little confetti along the way.

27. sprinkled a smidge of confetti in front my favorite tiny red door.

28. tucked a party horn inside the string installment that covers the footbridge over ponce.

29. left a party horn behind on our way into ponce city market.

30. sampled a little hops biscuits and gravy, watched the sun go down over ponce.

31. bought a piece of cherry mash and a packet of cherry pop rocks at the candy shop, let the pop rocks crackle in my mouth as we wandered around outside.

32. tried on a few hats at the hat shop, fell in love with a scarlet cloche.

33. wandered the aisles of the art supply store, bought myself a beautiful new fountain pen.

34. found out what it's like to wander the high museum of art at night.

35. photographed my people in front of the anish kapoor piece.

36. spotted the flashing neon HOT NOW sign at the krispy kreme on ponce, had to stop. it's practically the law.

37. watched hundreds of doughnuts on a conveyor belt pass through heavenly sugary showers of glaze.

38. consumed exactly one hot doughnut, let it melt in my mouth.

39. stopped for french fries and cokes at the beloved majestic diner, tucked a party horn between the salt and pepper shakers.

40. stood on the jackson street bridge and looked out over our fair city, threw a handful of confetti at it.

41. tossed the last of the confetti onto ponce on our way out of the city.

42. listened to my family sing happy birthday.

43. blew out all the candles, made one last wish.

44. devoured a piece of red velvet cake.

45. collapsed onto the big green couch, fully and wholly 45.


  1. What a fabulous day, I love all of your 45 things! Taping party horns and sprinkling confetti as you traveled the city, genius. Of course your gorgeous photos make the whole thing even better. Happy Birthday for last week. x

    1. thank you! thank you so much! xo

  2. Wonderful wonderful. Birthday joy to you.

    1. thank you! it was a pretty good day. xo

  3. I love how you celebrate and capture life. You are so inspiring to me and the one blog I always hope is updated.

    Keep being rad!!!

    1. thank you, friend. that means a lot to me. xo

  4. beautiful! love it, andrea. happy birthday to you! xo

  5. I turn 35 this year and I'm definitely stealing this!

    1. oh my goodness, please do... and I'll hope you'll share it with me when you do! xo

  6. I. Love. It. Happy belated birthday!

  7. You are the master of lists!

    1. I do what I can, lady. I do what I can. :)

  8. Happy 45th! I turn 40 in October. I hope you don't mind me stealing this idea for my own birthday, including 40 party horns, because that idea is just all kinds of awesome! I'm going to start making a list now :)

    1. oh gosh, please do! I'd love that! and please report back! xo

  9. I am 12.12.80 and I always love seeing your birthday images. thirty five kinda weirded me out but mostly I am happy to be around. thanks, as always, for writing--and happy belated.

    1. happy belated to you too! and I remember being totally weirded out by 35 too. must be something about the mid-decade birthday. but yes, just happy to be around. yes yes yes. xo

  10. So glad you had a marvelous day!

    1. thank you! I feel incredibly fortunate! xo

  11. what a wonderful idea...may have to try this next year~

    1. yes, you must! it was more fun than can I even express here! xo

  12. You are my hero!! Happy 45th! You celebrated like a champ. I will be 45 in July, feeling a little anxious but ready to take it on with a smile :)

  13. Visiting by way of Helen's Weekly Findings. So glad to find you. Love this list - and Happy belated Birthday.