I celebrated another year this weekend, and while you might be expecting to read a bitter lament, my feelings about the whole deal are quite the opposite. I came to the conclusion that birthdays are funny because right when you are in the midst of celebrating your own life, you are forced to think about the things you want but don’t have. What do you want for a gift? What do you spend your check from grandpa on? What do you wish when you blow out the candles? Did last year’s wish come true? Apparently I’ve had a good birthday list in proper order for a while:
But this year I didn’t a have wish list. Heading into the festivities I felt an overwhelming sense that my life is really great simply because I am loved by an incredible family and group of amazing friends. They really are all I need or could ask for.
This birthday post came at an ideal time because I’ve been struggling to find a way to integrate joy into my blog without coming across as braggy or boring. There are tons of bright spots that I keep to myself figuring you’d all prefer to read about my funny mishaps or struggles. But my ultimate goal isn’t to make you laugh. It’s to be honest with you. And if I am to paint an accurate picture, I must include the parts that show I’m one of the luckiest girls in the world and I have a lot to be grateful for. Love comes from all kinds of sources and I have far more than I deserve. So this year, instead of a wish list, I decided to do a “Thanks List”. Here are a few things that made the list just from the weekend:
1. Lexie brought me balloons to our small group. I had no idea helium balloons could make the adult me so happy but they did!
2. I Skyped my little brother Matt in South Africa. I miss him dearly! He’s working with an orginazation called Aleph. Give them a look.
3. My grandma made me a special birthday breakfast complete with a game of cards:)
4. I can’t tell you the last time I had a birthday party as I tend to opt for a quiet evening with a few friends at a restaurant. But this year I got it in my head that I wanted an outdoor fall dinner party. You should know that when I get something in my head I tend to make it happen. This has been the source of some of my worst days- convincing my friend’s mom to perm just my bangs in 5th grade. The result was faux-pubic hair on my forehead, and my best days- this past Saturday.
It was the perfect evening thanks to the help of many. My friend Christine worked tirelessly all day helping arrange and clean. My older brother Tim spent his entire Saturday stringing lights and getting his backyard ready (plus he made those benches b/c he’s cool like that). My mom shopped and ran errands the whole day before and lent me all her pretty entertaining supplies (remember, I have not had the coveted pleasure of registering for real cookware yet and own next to nothing). People brought food and my friend Morgan did all the table decorating and planning! She has a great sense of space (that also happens to be the name of her business) and a true eye for beauty. The end result was a magical night with good friends over delicious wine and food. It was everything I had dreamed in my head and more!
5. And if I weren’t already blessed enough, I still got my quiet dinner. My parents took my siblings and me out for a special meal to wrap up the weekend. We had a wonderful time and there were happy tears and laughter. The tears were my brother Mark‘s. He is a big time crier. We also ate more delicious food which has now caused me to start P90X for the first time. Consider yourselves my world-wide web of accountability. Maybe if I tell you I’ll actually do it.
6. On my actual birthday I gave a talk to our Young Adult’s group at church about how much I love Jesus and what He has been up to in my life. It was the perfect reminder that He loves me and I’m never alone. I felt like it was His way of celebrating the day with me.
7. I had a good hair day at my party. So did Morgan. Here we are, sans bangs disaster, looking very posey in front of her pretty pumpkin and floral creation.
8. T. Swift’s album Red released! Seriously, I think we live parallel lives (minus her success, famous boyfriends, and millions of dollars. Did you know she is dating a Kennedy? That’s like our version of royalty, making her the new Kate Middleton (whom I love). Taylor says exactly what is in my head… Which could indicate a problem because she might be 22…