Birthday // 21

October 3, 2013
A family tradition every year for our birthdays is having a nice family dinner at our parents' house. My dad (the chef) will make anything we would like and my 21st birthday was no exception. So, when my dad asked  me a few days prior what I wanted to eat for dinner on my birthday, I said, 'spring rolls and ice cream cake', and in a way only my dad can, he smiled giddily, then said 'sure!'

(blowing out the candles on my ice cream cake)

Let me quickly note that my family had never made spring rolls prior to my 21st birthday. So, you can understand my amazement when I arrived at my parents house to see every possible ingredient needed for a killer spring roll all laid out on the dining room table. Plates of julienned carrots and cucumbers, bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, vermicelli noodles, poached shrimp, thinly sliced pork and butter lettuce were laid out beautifully, making my tongue salivate instantly. In addition to all the ingredients to fill the spring rolls, my dad whipped up both a sweet-and-sour sauce along with a hoisin peanut sauce to dip our rolls in while we ate.

As my family sat around the table, each taking turns putting the rice paper into the hot water to soften and then filling up our spring rolls, I remember all of us smiling and laughing. They had all embraced my crazy dinner request with open minds and made it fun.

(ummm... I guess I was surprised by something?!?!)

If the night could not have been better, one of my favorite desserts, dairy queen's ice cream cake was pulled out of the freezer to light up with candles. I remember having the biggest slice of cake and saving the layer of gooey chocolate fudge and crumbled cookies until the very last bites. Most people associate their 21st birthday with a crazy night on the town having way too many drinks but mine was surrounded by my family, delicious food and an odd request being fulfilled without question. 


  1. Sans your hair, YOU LOOK ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME!!!

  2. This is the sweetest post!!! Such a proud daddy you have!


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- Jaime