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Marilyn Monroe, born June 1, 1926 // My half-birthday buddy!

Marilyn Monroe, born June 1, 1926 // My half-birthday buddy!

Is there anything particularly special about turning 24?

I was in Australia for my 13th birthday, and I was in Taiwan to witness the Taipei 101 being built on that same trip.

I spent a handful of birthdays in New York City, and this weekend over a delicious snapper entree at Dante, I fondly recalled my favorite entree from Barmarche in Nolita.

I’ve been to Disney World more than 20 times (can you say best grandparents in the world?), but only once — for my 22nd birthday — was I ever there to witness the splendor and joy of Disney at Christmastime.

Other than making sure I got plenty of napping and nomming in (I can officially say Fire is one of the best places for brunch in Cleveland), I didn’t do a whole lot this birthday weekend.

But maybe it’s not about what you’re doing or where you are for birthdays and holidays. There’s a reason they say, “Home is where the heart is.”

Having my birthday fall right after Thanksgiving and on what I like to call the “First Day of Christmas,” December 1 is a good time for me to reflect on the people who make my life wonderful and my memories precious.

This season, I’m thankful for the amazing food I’m able to eat. I’m thankful for being absolutely in love with my hometown (Cleveland rocks!) and being a mid-twenty-something who can still happily live with her parents (alright, I swear I’ll move out this spring).

Most importantly, I am so fortunate to be surrounded by a loving family, hilarious friends and generous acquaintances. It’s the people in my life that I am most grateful for.

Happy Holidays and Happy 24!