Saturday, February 9, 2013

Turning 26

My birthday morning started perfectly. I woke up to a quiet house and made a cup of coffee. Annie and Maggie had orchestrated my surprise birthday book. They got in touch with dozens of people from different parts of my life and had them all write Top 10 lists of why they loved me. Then the girls compiled all the lists into one journal. It's easily one of the most incredible gifts I've ever received. I knew the book was coming but I didn't know which people would send in a list or who they'd be able to get a hold of.

Some were such awesome surprises, some lists brought me to tears (which I got to explain to Hadley and Mia why I was crying on my birthday), and so many made me laugh. Most of all I just felt incredibly loved. It's easy to doubt that I'm making an impact or that I matter to people--but all of these words made me feel so incredibly validated, encouraged and loved. This gift is something I'll read over and over again. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that sent in a list. You are awesome.

Around the time my grade started college we all experienced our first Facebook birthday-- hundreds of "happy birthday" notifications that fill your timeline and make you so happy. This year was my first Instagram birthday. When I opened my feed in the morning it was filled with pictures of my face and so many kind words and comments from friends. I loved seeing all the old pictures people found. I realize there are a lot.... but maybe you'll want to see them?

After a birthday lunch we came back to the house to make some funfetti cupcakes because they're my favorite. We were all about having fun so we made them tie-dye blue and green to match my shirt. After they were baked we made fun icing designs and stuck umbrellas in all of them.


We wrote Top 10 Ways To Make The World Dance together, inspired by Kid President. Just writing the lists made Hadley and I want to dance around the living room. Writing lists is my favorite.

Natalie and Maggie came over with an awesome birthday cake--funfetti inside, m and m's all over the top and a fence of kit kats. These two brought me birthday cakes when they were in junior high, always giving me such great surprises and being so thoughtful. I'm glad I got to see them for awhile today.

I taught the girls how to play Spot It. I've still yet to find someone that doesn't like the game. We screamed, grabbed and laughed the whole time. Playing games is my favorite.

Being with friends is one of my favorite things too so I'm glad I got to hang out with these girls all day long. Haleigh came over just in time for dinner. Milly showed up with tons of energy like normal. Emma's team won her volleyball tournament and got home right in time to leave for dinner. Mia, Hadley and Libby were all so great at helping me celebrate all day long.

It wouldn't be a birthday without pizza so we planned a dinner with friends at Mellow Mushroom weeks ago. Alli Kenney got to stop by for just a quick second which was so fun. I miss getting to see her all the time. I'm so thankful that Lizzy, Emma, Olivia, Amanda and Courtney could all make it.

Whether it was via social media, thoughtful gifts, phone calls or in person, I was reminded of all the people who make my life so meaningful. I want to keep overlapping with all of them in year 26.

Just after we finished dinner SARAH BRIGGS ARRIVED all the way from Chicago. It meant the world to me that she made the drive all the way to see me today. She was just in time for wal-mart shenanigans with the girls and a necessary Orange Leaf trip.

Sar and I stayed up all the way until my birthday ended getting to have a much necessary heart to heart. I miss when those were an everyday occurrence but now I don't take them for granted.

25 was a great year of friendships nearby and all over the country, leading Young Life in Carmel and HSE, visiting family in MI, blogging and crafting, teaching Junior High, CILTing with another year of amazing Tecumseh campers and counselors and figuring out more of how to be myself and live life to the full. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh! SO MUCH FUN! This looks like a wonderful birthday. You are loved! Enjoy 26 :)