Oh my goodness, this birthday was one for the books. Very possibly, the best birthday of my life.
Ellyn was so sneaky and got a crew of CILT girls to send me birthday cards in the mail-- "Don't open till Feb 9th!" was written on the back of them all. I had them in a pile waiting so I could open them first thing this morning.
SO MUCH LOVE. Hand written letters are totally my love language.
Ellyn wrote a list of 30 of our memories together and actually had me laughing out loud...
Anna Morgan was super sneaky and got so many pals to sign a birthday card for me at Young Life on Monday night without me knowing.
I was completely shocked when I first woke up this morning. Boyfriend Justin told me he would text me at 5:35am, when I was born, but the surprise came when I texted him back. He responded, "If I were outside your door with coffee and donuts would you be a) mad because you don't like surprises... b) be happy! or c) somewhere in the middle? Hurry! The candles are burning!" And there he was with a birthday party to start the day! What a guy. I'm such a fan.
Then I was off to Big Apple Bagel for a birthday breakfast with my gal pals Lexi, Line, Maddie and Fudge. I'm so thankful for these HS girls who have been such a consistent part of my life and my story.
One of the perks of being a Junior High teacher-- the very best birthday celebrations. I walked in my classroom door, turned on the lights and found 12 girls screaming, "SURPRISE!" and they filmed it for Snapchat. My room is a party of streamers, balloons, notes, gifts and birthday signs. I LOVE it and all of their thoughtfulness. These girls make me feel so special.
Then I actually burst out in laughter when my friend Jeanne walked in the door looking EXACTLY like me. The scrunchie. The FBC shirt. The boots. THE BRACELET TAPED TO HER LEG. Little did I know, there were more Sarah Wright's around the building for my 30th.
Wolf shirts, leggings, socks with Birks, Wyld Life, FBC and more scrunchies. I work with some really fun people.
These 7th and 8th graders kept the fun rolling with birthday cards and presents all day long like Ellie's huge bag of Diet Coke, a canvas from Grace, bracelet from Mary, cross-stitch from Katie...
Before first period Ms. Lippe said, "I know our kids, so I'm guessing your room is filled with balloons right now. I'm just worried about the latex..." I confirmed that no one in first period had an allergy before we had a good ol' balloon toss. Then the kids popped all of the balloons in the trash so we wouldn't have to worry about allergies the rest of the day. SO FUN even if it didn't last long.
Liz Maher, an old Tecumseh counselor, and I have been birthday buddies since about 2004. But we added two more pals to our day this year. David and Tyler are two of my current 7th grade boys. I knew my room would be crazy today so I wanted to share some birthday fun with both of them.
BUT THEN Tyler showed up to wish me happy birthday with chocolate cake! He gets the prize for the nicest 7th grade in the history of the world.
My teacher friends were all in cahoots, bringing me sets of 30 things every time the clock was at 30 minutes (i.e. 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, etc)
30 prayers rocks...
30 marbles, 30 paperclips, 30 beans...
30 Sour Patch kids...
30 popsicle sticks and 30 things of string...
30 cards, 30 rubber bands, 30 staples...
30 Jolly Ranchers...
Senora brought her Spanish class in every period to sing Feliz Cumpleanos to me and I had to remember to yell, "Treinta!" when they would ask how old I was.
Liz Koch's birthday has become one of my favorite days of the year for the last two years. She's in CO, so we couldn't be together today, but she made me feel so loved and known. Liz collected birthday videos from 22 dear friends and sent me a link to the finished project. I got tears in my eyes when Liz's face took the screen and then smiled for the next 22 minutes. So much creativity, love, thoughtfulness and kind words. The grand finale that I wasn't expecting was a video from Alaina and Hannah, my Wilderness guides, that made me cry one more time.
Just before 5th period ended, KCraig and Johnna stormed through the door. These two are a force and two of my very best friends-- I'm so lucky to have them in my life. I knew they were coming today to be with me for lunch but I didn't know about all the fun and presents they'd bring along.
A few minutes later Ellyn joined the party and took the laughter to the next level. Having Ellyn in Indy this year is one of the best things.
BEST BIRTHDAY LUNCH EVER! I get to spend C Lunch with Brandi and Haley every day but today Ellyn, Johnna and KCraig joined the party too. We had Chipotle, Chik Fil A, neon funfetti cake, cookies and Diet Coke. My stomach is so full and my heart is so happy.
SOAR was just straight up nuts-- all my regular kids, kids coming back to work on their Board Game with their group plus some extra friends who showed up. I worked with these gal pals to make locker decorations for our friend Erin's birthday tomorrow.
By the end of the day my desk looked like this. Love exploded right there and I don't think I'll run out of Diet Coke until my next birthday.
This year I was lucky enough to have my birthday fall on a Thursday which meant I got an FBC PARTY! I gathered all the gals into a circle and just like the feeding of 5,000 with fish and loaves, we fed the FBC with cake and cookies.
This is my friend Rachel who brings Coloring Club to FBC on special Thursdays. She's also responsible for so many of the "30 Things" that showed up mysteriously on my desk all day long. I'm so thankful for how we laugh together.
Little did I know, as we were eating all the cake, the Cass, Erin, Kaylee and Maddie, four YL girls, would be showing up to play. "Are we going to play one of those fun games you all play?" Cassidy asked right away. What would FBC be without a really fun game?!
Dutch Auction Backpack Style-- one of my top favorites.
I'm so thankful that on this 30th birthday I got to hang with these 7th graders...
and YL girls (plus Ellie)...
BUT THEN IT GOT EVEN BETTER! This crew ducked outside for a minute and came back with a pepperoni pizza! Did you know that my birthday is also National Pizza Day?!
As we were outside enjoying our pizza, my friend Mindy Kelly showed up to pick up her daughter Molly. SO MANY FUN PEOPLE! I LOVE BIRTHDAYS!
I finally made it home and my mailbox was stuffed with more birthday letters from CILT girls-- if I can't be with them in person I'm so grateful that they showed up like this.
The grand finale to the whole 30th birthday celebration was a surprise birthday party at Maddie's house. It was the best-- a whole eclectic gathering of so many of my favorite people in one place.
We had Kathryn, Claire, Brynn, Brooke, Mall and the Myer's, Maddie, Smelko, Ellyn, KCraig, Hannah and Riley...
Elise, Kegs, Cass, Hools and Genna...
Nick and Zach, Riley, Kibble, Caroline and Wash.
Quality time is my love language, so having all of these people show up for me means the most. I was so happy to just sit around the table and be together. Of course they made sure we were eating all of my favorites: pizza, salad with Olive Garden dressing, more funfetti cake, zebra cakes and Diet Coke.
The thoughtfulness that went into their gifts went off the charts-- these people know me and they know what I love. One of my favorite things was this little book of fill in the blank love. We've done them for Liz Koch and Ellyn's birthdays so I was thrilled when I got one today filled out by so many of the greatest humans I know.
And without question, the most popular gift of the day was Diet Coke. Between what I got at school and what I got tonight, I don't think I'll have to buy Diet Coke again until my 31st birthday.
I've got a lot of best friends, I'll be the first to admit it, but I think I've been pretty lucky in finding some of the greatest people on the planet. Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to make today a party. Pals like Ellyn, Maddie, KCraig and Johnna who showed up all over the place all day long.
And you know it wouldn't be a complete Sarah Wright birthday without a really great dance party. So we danced like we were 30 and thriving.
This birthday was beautiful. Silly. Fun. Thoughtful. Overlapping. Intentional. Creative. Surprising. Full. Kind. Delicious. Relational. I feel so loved by so many people-- thank you, thank you, thank you.
Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"Sarah Wright skipped school for the sake of friendship. Be like Sarah Wright."
"They told me you were turning 30 but I didn't believe it. You're way too cool to be that old."
"First of all, you're so hard to surprise and that's annoying."
"Congratulations-- you're finally 30, flirty and thriving."
"Without you, this world would probably have a surplus of Diet Coke."