Birthdays are kind of magical aren't they? Once a year that everyone celebrates you for a day and you hopefully feel incredibly loved. The past few birthdays have been exceptional but somehow this one might have been even better. It's a memorable one for sure.
After my Wyld Life birthday Club on Friday I was already feeling extra special. My plan for Sunday, my actual birthday, was to play with Julia and Brooke but didn't really know what we would do. When they knocked on my apartment door before church I was surprised to see them plus Lucy and Livi. All four of them had huge smiles on their faces and their arms were full of birthday stuff.
Julia and Brooke both made me collages-- one of magazine pictures and words that reminded Julia of me, and one of some of the most fun pictures Brookie and I have taken in the last year. I love both of them-- handmade, thoughtful gifts are one of my favorite things.
The Dewolf birthday breakfast tradition is birthday pancakes and Janelle sent over a plate of them for me. I got to make a wish and blow out the candles. They're normal pancakes but they're iced with this yogurt/whip cream/cream cheese goodness. Brookie helped me devour them.
Then came the biggest shocker of the day. I opened my present and found the craziest, most beautiful Patagonia fleece you've ever seen. A month ago I told Julia about how I thought I was going to get it for Christmas but it was sold out everywhere in the universe. Julia scoured the Internet and ordered one for my birthday... but then it never showed up. But it was a birthday miracle when her mom Janelle found the exact fleece in the perfect size YESTERDAY at REI. Julia did the planning but it was really a group gift from Julia, Alana, Brooke, Olivia, Kara, Genna, KCraig, Allison, Molly, Caroline, Anne, Maddy, Abby and Kaitlyn. So pumped and so excited about this Patty. I never want to take it off.
When the girls arrived they also walked in with several trash bags filled with balloons which they immediately threw all around my living room. Julia write fun things on every single one. The girl knows how to throw a party.
It's hard to remember what birthdays were like before social media. We've all been used to facebook posts for several years now and I loved scrolling through my wall at the end of the day. Instagram posts are my favorite things lately and my feed was filled with pictures of friends and I all day long. I love seeing the old pictures, the creative locations and funny or sweet messages. It's fun and often surprising to see who will post one for you-- Young Life girls, students, Camp T campers and counselors and old friends.
I took Julia and Brookie to church with me at Northview. They're both Catholic so the contemporary service was a shocker for them. We sang "One Thing Remains" which is hands down in my top 5 favorite God songs. The whole sermon was about Joy, one of my favorite things.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Northview meets in my Junior High building and I'd been scouting out the parking lot snow mountains since the middle of last week. They're gigantic right now and too exciting to pass up. We trekked our way to the top and ran to a couple other peaks getting our feet covered in snow along the way. A nice man said he would take our picture and I said, "Thank you! It's my birthday and you just made it even better!" He said, "Happy birthday! Have you hit the big 1-6 yet?" When you're wearing a crazy Patagonia and climbing up a snow mountain people don't think you're 27.
We ate lunch together and then did some more exploring because playing on your birthday is very important. This snow covered playground was the perfect spot to run around in the snow. After having negative temperatures the last few weeks, 20 degree weather feels almost warm... almost.
I love that I got to spend my day celebrating with these two girls that are experts at laughing and singing in the car and playing and being kind and putting others before themselves. They make me feel good about myself every day and especially on my birthday.
We spent the rest of the afternoon inside dancing around the kitchen, working on bracelets, making top 10 lists, responding to birthday texts and eating my favorite foods. Sometimes just being together is the best thing.
Top 10 Most Memorable Birthday Moments
1. Breaking the fast at the 30 Hour Famine when I was in HS with a birthday cake
2. Getting my SIB bid on my birthday eve then going to dinner with Katie and Liz on my birthday even though it was silent period and they weren't supposed to be talking to me
3. When Maggie and Annie put together a book of lists from dozens of people of the Top 10 Reasons why they loved me
4. Birthday pancakes, balloons, collages and the Patagonia with Brooke and Julia
5. My Wyld Life Surprise Birthday Party Club
6. Having my classroom decorated by girls before school for the past two years
7. Playing on a snow day with Achan and Ellyn and then having a surprise party at Jenna's house with all the Young Life leaders and girls my first year in Indy
8. The cat birthday when Sarah Briggs taped 24 pictures of cats all over our apartment as a weird surprise and then had people email me pictures of cats the next year
9. When Bob Goff left me a voicemail telling me I was doing great things
10. When I was in middle school I got to take my three best friends to Indy to play Laser Tag and stay in a hotel
Tonight Katy P and I went to the Worship Night at Northview in Carmel. Singing is usually my favorite part of every church service, Campaigners night or morning in the Green Cathedral. I love song fest at camp and listening to KLove in my car. This event seemed like the perfect event to finish off my birthday.
Katy and I have been friends for almost four years now and I'm glad I got to spend time with her on my birthday. She has such a heart for Christ and I love seeing her relationship with him deepen and grow. We went to a concert in this same church last year and I knew that she would really enjoy this too.
The church was alive and people were clapping, kids were dancing in the aisles and the singers on stage were genuinely enthusiastic about what they were singing and speaking. They played some of my favorites and I learned at least two new songs that I'll see if we can play at Tecumseh this coming summer.
I got to talk to my whole family on the phone day and Linc even said, "Happy Birthday Rarah!" in a voicemail. Melt my heart. I'm glad I'll get to see all of them in just a few weeks.
Trulock gave me a pile of cards written by her 8th grade girl bible study. They're Wyld Life girls and old students and the stack just made me so happy. Their words validate the saying, "People won't remember what you did or what you said, but people will always remember the way you made them feel."
I didn't get on facebook until the very end of the day. When I opened my lap top I discovered that my good friend Hannah Blachly had written a whole blogpost about me. I wasn't expecting it at all and her words struck a chord and blew me away. Thankful for a friend like Hannah that knows my heart and just really gets me.
Last year Julia got Bob Goff, author of Love Does, to leave me a voicemail. Today she commented to Kid President and got him to give me a birthday shout out on Instagram. OH MY GOSH. I think this makes us low key famous. SO COOL.
A huge thank you to everyone that took the time to make my birthday special. Each of you are an important part of my life and this weekend wouldn't have been quite the party without all of you. Year 27 will be an awesome one.