I moved to Gainesville a week after I turned 25 – it’s been home ever since. But I’ve never had a birthday here. Last year I was in Malaysia for work (hard life) and the year before I was in Ohio. Those were lovely birthdays, but since moving here I’ve wanted to celebrate my birthday with the people who are in my everyday life.
This year = jackpot.
Before I go on, I need to clarify something. I’m not one of those people who declares a “birthday month,” nor a birthday week. I merely call dibs on my birthday… like they used to in the olden days. Call me old fashioned.
Since I knew I was having my birthday in Gainesville this year, I started dreaming about it months ago.
In the last few weeks I realized my expectations were too high and I would probably be let down. Like my first kiss – big expectations, disappointing results (another blog for another day.)
I’m happy to say this birthday exceeded my high expectations (cue “Everything is Awesome” song from The Lego Movie here.) How often does that happen??
It started with yoga at 8am. Note: I do not prefer working out in the morning – my body is creaky, like the Tin Man. I need oil (aka water. and breakfast. and a few hours to digest that breakfast) before I am ready to push myself physically. But the only time I can go to yoga is Friday mornings at 8. So I went.
This time, I wasn’t creaky. I was practically an Olympic gymnast. Happy birthday to me!
After yoga I picked up my friend Kate and we went to the Georgia Aquarium, aka the largest aquarium in the world. You get in fo freeeee on your birthday! I found myself ooing and ahhhing like a little kid. Dolphins! Otters! Penguins, oh my!
Oh and I touched a stingray. That was gross.
After the aquarium I drove a few minutes and picked up my dad on the side of a road in downtown Atlanta. He happened to be there for a conference (he lives in Ohio) and skipped one of the sessions to hang out with yours truly.
We went to a bubble tea shop (based on Kate’s recommendation and my love of bubble tea) and talked about casting out demons. Naturally.
I dropped off my dad on the side of the road again and drove back to Gainesville with Kate. It poured on us for a few minutes – we prayed prayed prayed it wouldn’t rain during my outside dinner party. I’ve been praying all week (40-60% chance of rain booooo.)
We met my roommate Bethany at a hair salon in Gainesville – the salon was having a promotion for missionary-types during the month of May. Free haircut & style! We all went in to get our hair styled fancy for the dinner party. Felt like celebrities.
We went to my house, where friends and roommates were preparing the dinner party I asked my girl Renee to plan. I told her I wanted it to be a surprise, so I hid in my bedroom while they finished the last minute touches.
I walked outside to THIS…
For a second I was like… is this my wedding?
The rest of the evening was amazing. Good food, good company, NO RAIN!
Instead of rain I was showered with presents that show how well people know me – nail polish, candle, tea, bath salt, sparkling water (my favorite kind), The Music Man circa 1962, more tea, books (The Alchemist and Love Illuminated), a gift certificate to my new favorite spa, and Flarp Noise Putty (makes farting noises.)
I felt so loved.
That night I fell asleep next to Kate (sleepover!) and woke up to a clean house because other people cleaned up. LOVE LANGUAGE FULFILLED.
My birthday ended, but the rest of the weekend continued to rock. We spent a lazy Saturday morning eating leftovers on the back deck in our pajamas. Then we changed into bathing suits and went to the lake. And so on and so forth.
ALL this being said…
I can only imagine what the rest of 28 has in store!