I was reading Kid President's Guide To Awesome today and I loved this reflection he had after meeting Justin Timberlake, "Celebrities are called 'celebrities' because society has somehow decided they are people worth celebrating. Let's create a society where we celebrate everybody. Let's live in a world where little brothers, 4th grade teachers, firefighters, and grandmas are treated like they just performed for an arena. Maybe our goal as people shouldn't be to become a celebrity, but to live in a way that makes everyone around us feel celebrated." Don't you just love that? Today I felt so insanely celebrated.
Before I left for school this morning I heard a knock on my door and opened it to find Natty B and Julia on the other side. Nat brought chocolate covered strawberries and Julia brought me birthday pancakes for the 2nd year in a row. They say Happy Birthday and I got to make my first wish as I blew out the candles. They bought Starbucks for me on the way to school and then we waved as they headed towards the HS and I went to the Junior High.
I first spotted this door decoration in the hall and knew that the inside of my room was going to be awesome-- I just didn't know how awesome.
My desk was covered in celebration, the front board was decorated with signs, Happy Birthday messages, balloons and a Taylor Swift cardboard cutout.
BUT THE CEILING. YOU GUYS! I've had streamers from my 26th birthday up for two years but they can't even begin to compare to the awesomeness that is now suspended from this ceiling. It's a genius-hula-hoop-streamer-circus-top-chandelier.This is magical and whimsy and unicorns and party all thrown together and attached to my ceiling.
Do you know what's beautiful about having your birthday at school? You get to see so many people all day long. I'm extra lucky because my Wyld Life kids, bible study girls and so many of my students made me feel extra celebrated. Sarah, Sydney, Grace and Eliza all brought me presents first thing-- a 12-pack of Diet Coke, picture frames, Starbucks, bracelet string, awesome socks, candy and more fun things.
8th grader Taylor Pozzebon showed up during 5th period to give me a card and this BEAUTIFUL BRACELET. She's been working on it for weeks in FBC and today SHE GAVE IT TO ME. I'm so honored. I love it. It's on my wrist now and I can't stop looking at it. So many strings. So many knots. So much beauty. This girl needs to be on Varsity.
All of the decorations in my room from the streamer curtain at the door to the TSwift, the dozens of signs to the crepe paper chandelier were all sneakily put up by my friends Julia Dewolf, Katy P and Grace Andritsch. With Trulock's help, they came to school yesterday afternoon to get everything set up. These girls are thinkers and planners and doers--they make parties happen. I'm so lucky to call them friends.
When a kid ask what I want for my birthday, I always tell them a note or a letter. I was showered with those today. Words of Affirmation is definitely one of my love languages and I was showered with them today. These notes and letters and pictures are the things I will hang on to for years and years and maybe forever.
I got a text from Katie of Red with a birthday sign. Red and Linc are two of my favorite boys--I wish I could have played with them and Katie today. I did get to talk to Katie on the phone for awhile and tell her all about my day. When I told her that Day Camp applicants were starting to find out today she said, "Jordan probably did that on purpose as a birthday present because he knows how obsessed you are with all of that." Could be true. Getting texts and phone calls from newly hired counselors did add to the excitement of the day. In the middle of conversations I would glance at my phone and yell, "Julia Plant! YES!" or fist pump, "Danny Bott!"
Maddie and I had a french fry and Diet Coke date before I had to head off to YL. We sat and talked about Grey's Anatomy like Carev, Meredith, Derek and Christina are real friends of ours. Then we talked all about how Washington D.C. is only five days away! I can't wait to run all over the Smithsonian's and the monuments with this kid.
As if Julia hadn't already done enough, she showed up to YL with a PIZZA BIRTHDAY CAKE! There was no cake involved, but the stack of pizzas were the shape of a birthday cake. Can you even imagine the excitement and joy? PHENOMENAL! A PIZZA CAKE! And because she knows me so well she also gifted me with a pair of nike shorts that I'll wear every week this summer.
Chloe walked up to me with a giant box covered in Christmas trees, "Sorry-- it's the only box I could find." Such a Chloe move. I opened up the box to find my favorite kinds of candy and a 6-pack of Diet Coke. Her little sister drank one of the bottles of Diet Coke so she threw in a can to take it's spot. Hilarious. I love it.
Soon Hannah, Genna, Anne, Kait and Sam walked in with birthday balloons and a birthday cookie cake-- MORE FUN! MORE PARTY! MORE CELEBRATION! I'm so lucky to have people that want to celebrate with me and I don't take it for granted. I'm thankful for these girls thoughtfulness.
I got to finish my birthday in one of my favorite places--the cubby room-- with a collection of Sophomore and Senior girls. Tonight we talked about the parable of the Farmer and the Seeds. Some seeds were thrown on rocky soil, others choked by thorns, some snatched away by birds and then a few fell on fertile soil and produced a great harvest. We dug through the metaphor and connected it back to our own lives.
When I got home I finally caught up on birthday texts and birthday facebook posts and my personal favorite--birthday Instagram posts. I love these collections of pictures that represent so many different memories with my friends. I love seeing which ones pop up on my feed and reading their captions. It's a collection of all the people I love--students and YL leaders and kids and campers and CILTs and counselors and just everyone. SO MUCH LOVE.
I loved that my day was full of awesome friends from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. That's my favorite way to spend my days. After aiming to live the other 364 days of the year like I party, I'm so lucky that everyone else made today into a celebration for me.