Sunday was my 27th birthday. To be honest, heading into it, I had mixed feelings. Something about 27 sounds old to me. Not old-old. Just old. And, I was painfully aware of the fact that it's my last birthday at home for a while. Or, as my brother says, "When you come back from Africa, you're going to be pushing 30!" Nice, Aaron. Really nice.
The birthday festivities actually began Friday, when my co-workers had a pitch-in lunch for me complete with my favorite dessert. I felt quite loved, for sure.
Sunday, my actual birthday, I woke up to this in my bathroom: (just like old times)
After church, my friend Mandy took me out to lunch. I came home from lunch to the smell of a freshly baked cake, which was a surprise because usually we go out to eat for our birthdays. My mom had baked a cake and decorated it all cute with candy and frosting and love. :) Sunday evening, my brother (Aaron) and his girlfriend came over for dinner.
The birthday festivities continued on Tuesday. My friend Kelsey had mentioned that my Bible study friends wanted to take me out to dinner for my birthday. So, they made plans to pick me up at 6:15 on Tuesday. That's all I knew. So, I was picked up at 6:15 to head to a restaurant in an undisclosed location. The entire ride there, I kept thinking, "Wow...these girls must really like me to drive this far away just for dinner." We get off a certain exit, and I realize we are going to the restaurant where my brother (Bryan) is assistant manager/sous chef. As we walk in, my friend Caitlin said, "We're here for the huge party." And the hostess said, "Party of 25?" I said to myself, "Last time I checked there are only 7 people in bible study." As we approached the table, even now words fail me to express what I felt. 25 of my closest friends and adopted "family" had gathered almost 30 minutes away to celebrate my birthday. I was floored. Shocked. Surprised is the understatement of the century. Here are just some of the pictures from the night.
Me with Jon and Kelsey. Dear friends.
Beth, Faith, and Ken
Joann and Tom
As my friend Caitlin dropped me off that night, I walked into the house feeling so full. Full of life. Full of love. From Friday at lunch all the way through Tuesday at dinner, family and friends went out of their way to show me I am loved. Deeply. Not because of anything I do, but simply because I was born. There's something about celebrating birthdays that brings you back to the basics. It disarms you. Suddenly, you stop trying to "be" something as people surround you celebrating who you are. This week, even to say "I'm thankful" doesn't seem to be enough. "Thank you" just seems to fall so short. I am undone. Blessed to the uttermost.