20 years young, 4th of July festivities, & Looking Back…..

I’m 20 years old now…

Where did the time go?

Here’s a recap of my birthday activities and 4th of July festivities 😀

My birthday falls on July 2nd. My mom was kind enough to take me out to lunch at a new sushi place called Sushi Choo Choo (the reason I say it like this is because she doesn’t like sushi but don’t worry she ordered something cooked! 😉 ). It was so cool!!! There is this conveyer belt that goes around the entire restaurant carrying plates of sushi! 😀

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I have to say my favorite was the Smoked Salmon (bottom left picture)<3. I’m still dreaming of it to this day!

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After lunch, my mom and I went to get mani pedis 🙂 I hadn’t had a manicure or pedicure in a while so it was quite the treat 😀

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Later my parents took me to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Houston, Adair Kitchen 😀 Think farm fresh ingredients made into classic and Southern inspired dishes with a modern twist and you have Adair Kitchen 🙂 We ordered ceviche and tostada chips for an appetizer and then I ordered a House Vegetable Plate for my entrée. It was delicious, as always 😉 When we got home, we sliced up the strawberry filled angel food cake that I made. I’ve been making it every year for my birthday since I turned 18, so its become a favorite of mine 😀

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The next day (July 3rd), I prepped some food that I wanted to take to the 4th of July picnic in my grandma’s neighborhood. I made Greek Yogurt Potato Salad and Strawberry Angel Food Cupcakes 🙂

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On the 4th, my parents and I headed up to the Big D to go to the picnic. My grandma’s neighborhood has been having this picnic since my dad and his siblings were kids. It’s pretty much become a family tradition for everyone to come up to Dallas on the 4th of July! In this picture is me (back row center) and a few of my cousins (just to give you an idea…my dad is one of five kids soooooo I have A LOT of cousins! :D) with my grandma 🙂

Because I was so busy with my family, I forgot to take more pictures of the food and festivities of the picnic 😦 But rest assured, there was LOTS of food consumption (this holiday is almost like a second Thanksgiving for me 😉 ), family story telling, and firework watching 🙂 Going to this picnic and seeing my family is always one of the highlights of my summer! 🙂

So while I was at the picnic, one of my cousins whose birthday was earlier in June, also turned 20. She asked me if on my birthday, I experienced a “20 year old mid life crisis” like she did the day she turned 20. I told her I didn’t but when I  thought about it, I understood what she meant. Like I said at the beginning of this post, where did the time go? It seems like not that long ago that I was still a kid and now all of the sudden I’m 20? Craziness. Absolute craziness. But to be honest, when I woke up on my birthday, I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t feel any older or some how more mature. I just felt like….me.

However, if I look back at my life so far, I can see how much I’ve grown not just physically but also mentally. In my short 20 years so far, I’ve overcome a lot. I’ve overcome a long battle with my mind. And while not everyday is perfect, I’m learning to love myself as I am.

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I’ve learned that I am stronger than I think I am. I am learning to take more risks and to face my fears head on and learn from my experiences.

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I’ve learned that instead of feeling ashamed about my experiences with an eating disorder and trying to hide it, I want to share my experiences with others. That’s part of the reason I started this blog. I want to inspire people to love themselves just as I am learning to love myself. I want them to know that it is possible to be healthy and happy.

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Most of all, I feel free to be me. I used to be so self conscious about what other people thought of me. I didn’t want to appear out of place or become an outcast. But the truth is, by doing that I was only pushing myself away from people. I’ve finally realized that its okay to be myself. Do what I love, speak my mind, express my feelings….show everyone me.

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Here’s to 20 years and may there be many more 😀

Have a fantastic week everyone 🙂

❤ Marlee

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