I decided to ex-ney the friend party this year for my bday and only do a family thing on the weekend, but because I wasn't doing anything with friends, they all just went over the top and blessed my socks off anyway! Every year around the time of my bday I seem to run into the same problem. Who do I invite? Do I do something with my church friends, my school friends, my longtime girlfriends or just family? Well, I usually invite everyone, thinking it would be so great if they all became friends, but it never works out quite like that. Everyone kinda sticks to their own peeps and I end up way stressed out trying to spend time with each group to make everyone feel welcome. So that's why I stuck to celebrating it on the weekend with my family.
My friends on the other hand had a different idea :
It all started on the day of my bday (Wednesday) when 3 of my girlfriends took me out for a surprise evening : ) We began with an traditionally amazing car ride in Jade's white stallion, followed by dinner at the "Cliffs" in Laguna Beach. Of course, we had some time while waiting for our table, so we took full advantage of a sweet leather store and hat stand near the restaurant.
Dinner was accompanied by the HILARIOUS & priceless gifts of a Venus Fly Trap, a juggling kit, a desk calendar called "Useless Information," a giant bathtub tea bag, an orange colored pencil, my new favorite children's book called "I Like You" and a box of 12 new journals (1 for every month of my 22nd year). And THEN to top the night off even MORE we headed down to Newport for some lifeguard tower time : ) with the absolutely necessary sparkling cider toasts, some prayers of thanksgiving and direction & some stomach cramps from laughing so hard : ) What a night! I am so grateful for these times and these gals.
And that was just Wednesday! Thursday came with an additional set of peeps to praise God for : ) I call them my SFSP-ers... or my second family. The summer school class that I blogged about before brought with it 10 beautiful people that have poured into me in a way that no else ever has or ever could due to unusual circumstances. This group of peeps along with several divinely annointed profs and their families have been with me during a pivotal new direction in my faith. God brought us together and created the most ridiculously vulnerable and safe space in our midst where the Spirit of God has taken a whole new meaning as He has used us in each others' lives to proclaim TRUTH and pour out LOVE!
Well, 6 of these beautiful people threw me a little shin-dig on Thursday night that just blessed my soul. They got together and home cooked me some of my favorite things : ) shrimp pasta for dinner and chocolate dipped fruit with whipped cream and ice cream for dessert! It was so fun to see everyone in the kitchen at once all working together to cook, clean and serve each other. This group just naturally works together like the church should : ) I completely forgot to take pics though. Oops.
Friday night came around and I just planned on hanging out with fam, eating pizza and playing cards, but they too had a little more in store for me. My dad, Joey and his friend Nate set up a pretty legit woofle ball stadium in our backyard. They lined the outfield by tying from tree to tree that rope that has colorful triangles of plastic material hanging from it and put about 5 or 6 flood lights up in different trees to light up the field, because it was dark by the time we played. They made the backstop with large pieces of lattice and had frisbees on the ground for bases. Josh had put speakers outside for the movie we were watching later, so in the mean time we used them for music during the game. It was soooooo fun!!! And then we did one of my favorite things: made s'mores outside while we watched Top Gun on the barn doors with a projector (while cuddled up in quilts). It was the best birthday I can ever remember having with my family.
This series of days was almost difficult to take in, because there was so much happening and it didn't stop there! For my last surprise, my sister (Lindsey) and 2 of my longtime girlfriends (Katy & Kelly) took me PARASAILING in Balboa! I had soooo much fun! You go almost 500 feet high and you stay so still! I thought I'd get blown all over the place, but it wasn't like that at all. It was really peaceful... and I saw 7 dolphins!!! It was unreal! These girls spoiled me rotten!
This year was one of the strangest bday years, because I have never had so many surprises! I'm typically a very hard person to surprise, because once I know something's coming my curiosity runs wild and I usually cheat to find out what's going on : ) I'm not sure what held me back this time, but I think it was good : )