It is days like this that remind me how grateful I am for the people in my life. Yesterday, I turned 20 years old. Tuesday’s aren’t necessarily an ideal day for celebrating, but my friends and family still managed to make me feel special and loved.

The night before my birthday, my grandparents took me out to dinner at Farmers and Distillers, a restaurant near Gallery Place Chinatown that I love for its extensive menu and homemade bread, donuts, and noodles. This place has something for everyone ranging from sandwiches, salads, and burgers to dumpling, hand-pulled noodles, steak, seafood, pizza, and pasta. It even has a good number of vegan options like the acclaimed “impossible” burger. My grandparents seemed to enjoy the food a lot. My grandma ordered the fish and chips which came out steaming and perfectly cooked. My grandpa chose the pasta with muscles and I selected the chicken curry noodles. We started the meal off with lamb dumplings as an appetizer and ended it with a homemade donut each and a shared hot fudge sundae.

When I got home, later in the night at 12:01 am, my roomate came into our room with brownies and cookies she had baked herself, a lit candle, and a card. She sang to me and gave me a hug. I was so touched that she had remembered and taken the time to do something so kind for me. It put a smile on my face and started my birthday off right.

The following morning, my best friend: Maddie texted me a beautiful message thanking me for years of friendship and we FaceTimed for about half an hour. I received a flood of texts, snapchats, Facebook posts, and instagrams from friends from home, at school, or far away alike. Throughout the day, different friends surprised me with tokens of their love. I got iced chai lattes from Jordan and Ariel, a box of birthday goodies from Olivia and anying, candy and cards from Alice and Emaan and more.

The morning was a bit stressful because I had to attend a city council meeting for my reporting class that ran long. That was followed by 3 classes. However, at the end of the day, I was able to relax for about an hour and unwind. My friends surprised me later in the night around 7 with a cake and a milkshake movie night. I got a delicious chocolate milkshake from Z burger and we watched classic Disney channel original movies. I was so touched that they all took the time out of their day to celebrate me. Their presents were thoughtful and showed me that they really understand what I love and what is important to me.

Today continues a wonderful week, since it is my siblings’ 17th birthdays and I’m flying home to see them for the day. I feel so blessed to get to celebrate as a family and be with them in person.

Below are a few pictures summarizing my birthday and the past few days 🙂

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