this year was exceptionally hard because i didn't have my best friend here to celebrate with or even a trip planned to see her in the near future. charla has been there through many bad birthdays but she has always been able to salvage them and make them special. that's why she's my best friend :)
so this year not having her around i was worried it was going to be a nightmare. we spent the hours before my birthday struck midnight on the phone planning irrational trips to the middle of california covering the miles and miles between us so we could spend at least spend seven hours with each other on my actual birthday. but common sense, a school test the next day, and depleted funds kept us from the crazy, stupid, amazing adventure we both so badly wanted to take.
but all in all my birthday ended up being the best yet because of all the people i have in my life that are so wonderful to me. i think the best way to break down my birthday festivities is by day :)
although this starts a little before my birthday it was still included in my pre-birthday celebration. on friday i was feeling kinda bummed out and sorry for myself over a dumb boy situation (why are us girls so silly about boys?). i got a call from my best friend around 4pm after sending her a text that i hadn't gotten out of bed all day. we talked, she made me smile, and got me out of bed and showered (something i hadn't planned on doing. self pity is so flattering haha!) throughout the day i had been texting one of my good friends from work jeff about my "boy problems". he was giving me advice and encouraging me all the while making me laugh. around 8pm he text me to "get my ass outta bed, ready, and up to auburn". i quickly obliged and met him and his older brother 30 minutes up the road in a little town nestled in the beginning of the mountains. we ended up going to the auburn country fair which was SO much fun. i missed the state fair this year so seeing the festivities, cotton candy, and ferris wheel i was already out of my woe-is-me state of mind. we quickly grabbed some ice cold beers and started watching the country band play and the old couples dance together. the thing about jeff is...he is ridiculous. he was making fun of people, shouting out things to the band, and cracking me up. after a few more beers, some motorcycle races, a few fair games, two won gold fish, and a delicious cloud of cotton candy we parted ways around midnight. it was the perfect dose of friendship, fun, and happiness. everything i needed.
after working all morning with jeff and his ridiculousness i headed home to get ready for my big birthday party. a good friend of mine rob was throwing me a themed birthday party and since i was the birthday girl i wanted to look my best. i pampered myself all day, spent two hours on my make up alone, and felt beautiful, flirty, and fun. my theme for my party was "hunt or be hunted" so attendees could come as a hunter or poacher or an animal. i dressed up like a leopard and ended up being the only animal! my party ended up being me and one other girl and about 15-20 boys all dressed up as hunters, poachers, hit men, and other weird boy-like costumes. we listened to music, socialized, drank, and had a good time. the boys even complimented my make up :) i felt like a superstar.
sunday i spent the morning recovering from exhaustion and the night before. i watched patriotic movies on youtube and tried to appreciate the day for what it stands for. in the evening i went to robs to help him clean up from my party and we got mcdonalds and vegged out and watched jumanji. a few other guys came over and we relaxed and enjoyed a simple lovely evening.
after school and some serious text book reading i frantically was trying to figure out my plans for my birthday the next day. i talked with char for some time (that's when we made our crazy across the state plans) and enjoyed her ability to make everything seem okay even from 500 miles away. on a whim i went and picked up my friend nigel and we went on a little adventure across town. we started in a town called folsom and we walked across a bridge that has held some dear memories to me. as a boy though he didn't fully appreciate all the bridge offered. we then took off for the mountains driving down windy roads and backstreets that led to dead ends. in the middle of the street i saw a golf course that had huge sprinklers that were shooting into the sky and decided that i need to run through them. nigel was a chicken and wouldn't go with me so after calling him a fuddyduddy a couple times i took off into the sprinklers. i got pretty drenched but luckily had a spare change of clothes in my car. after that nigel couldn't stop laughing at how excited i was about my sprinkler excursion. the rest of the evening i let him drive because i was exhausted from the windy roads and we drove all through the mountains and hills in gold country. i brought in my 22nd birthday overlooking a huge valley with a full moon piercing the sky. it was beautiful, relaxing, and perfect in many ways. after a late night bite i headed home to sleep my way into my birthday.
i woke up on my birthday to three of the most precious happy birthday text messages from my best friend and a few others wishing me happy birthday. i took a long time to get ready since i had no plans for the day and went and met my mom at work for lunch. on the way back i called my friend rob up and asked if he wanted to go to the thrift store with me to find some vinyl treasures. $4 later and two records sweeter i made my home to get ready for the evening. bree is a lovely girl i work with and she told me that on her watch i WILL have a good birthday and that she was going to take me out to dinner for my birthday so i wouldn't be a bum by myself. jeff, carrol, and bree are my closest work friends and we usually all go out together. but jeff told me he had family friends coming into town and carrol had already made plans so it was going to just be me and bree. i was excited she was willing to hang out with me and i met up with her to head to the new restaurant in town, yardhouse. when we got to the restaurant she said she had a table reserved for us and we walked right in. she walked all around the place looking for "our table" and seemed really confused. just as she was trying to say, "im sorry, i ruined it" jeff pops out of the aisle right in front of me and hugs me! they had tricked me and planned me a surprise birthday party! so we had the whole gang there. me, jeff, bree, and carrol. i couldn't get over it. they planned me a surprise, something i have always wanted. i wish i could tell you how much it means to me but words on paper will never do it justice. i excused myself to the bathroom and had to call charla to tell her. she of course was ecstatic for me and kept telling me how much i deserved to feel special. halfway through the meal jeff excused himself to the restroom and five minutes later comes back with my intern we had at my work (who i absolutely ADORE) and a box filled with cupcakes from her bakery lit with 22 candles. they loudly sang me happy birthday and i couldn't even speak i was so happy. we spent the evening laughing, taking ridiculous pictures with the waitstaff at yardhouse in exchange for a cupcake, and enjoying each others company. it was the best time i have ever had. all i kept thinking was, "thank you God so much for these wonderful people you put in my life to love me." i will never be able to tell you how much that evening means to me for as long as i live. it was the best.
since i hadn't celebrated with my parents yet on wednesday my parents and grandma took me out to dinner at the old spaghetti factory. it was nice having time with them and we ate yummy salad, spaghetti, and dessert and enjoyed the company. i actually stayed home in the evening and my mom and i watched a documentary on teenage models trying to make it in new york city. i got in bed before 1am (cant remember the last time that happened) and got a wonderful full night of sleep.
one of my new friends annabel who hangs out with the same group as me wasn't able to make it to my birthday party the saturday before because she got sick. she said to make up for it we should have a girls day since we are always around boys. i excitedly agreed and thursday morning at 8am annabel picked me up for our little adventure date. we went up to placerville which is about 30 minutes away and went to an old gold mine. we got to wear little orange miners caps and had narrative headsets that walked us through the mine. it was so amazing to see what miners really went through and to walk through the wet, murky, muddy, grounds they did. we also went to a stamp mill that had the sweetest old man running a demo of the way they stamped the rocks to get the gold out. it was so nice to be around someone who actually likes nerdy stuff like museums and stuff! the funny thing is me and annabel both thought the other person was completely different. but within an hour we both figured out we love country music, america, are religious, and are republicans! we are the only ones out of the 30 regulars in our group that are like that! and we are the very limited girls too! it was such a relief. after the mine we went to apple hill and went into the apple orchards and had a picnic in the breezy 75 degree mountains under a tree. it. was. perfect. we sat there for hours talking about our dreams, our struggles for an identity as a woman and being feminine, God, boys, and everything and anything else in between. it had been so long since either of us had a real girl to talk to in the flesh that we forgot how wonderful that fellowship was. we spent the rest of the day eating, walking around, talking non stop, and relaxing. we ended the day at her gorgeous house with a bottle of wine we bought together and more talks about everything. we shared common dreams and interests and talked into the early hours of the morning. she also told me she was looking for a roommate and i am praying hard on it and feel like it might be an amazing opportunity. plus her house is gorgeous and breathtaking and everything ive ever wanted in a house! (please pray for another job opportunity and if its right that it will work out!) it was definitely one of the best days ive had in what feels like forever and i am so excited for a new friendship!
my engaged friend nick and becca picked me up for my birthday celebration without telling me where we were going. we ended up going up to apple hill and exploring all the little mom and pop shops around i have never been to. i sampled apple wine and beer and had fudge and a picnic packed lunch. we enjoyed each others company, got fake glitter tattoos and laughed and joked the entire afternoon. it is so amazing how after all the years i have known them individually and seperately how friendships can still be so tight and close. they are two people i am beyond blessed to have in my life. after they brought me home i planned on spending time with my brother who didnt show so i headed on over to nigels with my six pack of delicious apple ale and we went on a walk with his dog around our old high school and park. we looked at the new murals and buildings and talked about high school days. we went back to his house, made some dinner, and watched law abiding citizen (which is crazy!). it was a nice relaxing night and i had to wake up early for work saturday morning way more exhausted then i should have been!
after almost a week of crazy festivities i was excited to finally have some alone girl time. my friend tara came over to the house i was house sitting for and we spent a few good hours talking and catching up on the others life. she showed up at the door with an adorable happy birthday balloon, gorgeous sunflowers, and two presents in her hands. tara loves JFK so she got me this cool interactive book with copies of hand written letters, pictures, and documents all about his life. i cant wait to get into it. she also got me this book called 5 years and its a fill in the blank book that has inspirational quotes and helps you figure out what you really want out of life. i started on it already and i urge all you out there to go pick up a copy. i absolutely love it. after we spent hours getting ready together and laughing and talking we went to go get dinner at the cheesecake factory. ive never been there before and OH MY GOSH it was the most delicious meal i have ever had! ahh. we also got two huge pieces of cheesecake, one classic with strawberries and the other was a reeses cheesecake, literally, ah. totally worth the 4 million calories they were backed with. after dinner we went back to the house and started watching the princess diaries 2 but unfortunately my last few weeks of intensity started to catch up and about 30 minutes into the movie i fell asleep! luckily tara fell asleep too and around midnight we called it a night. it was the perfect blend of girl time and good food and company. i was perfect.
after a full night of sleep (i forgot what that was like) i woke up feeling refreshed and alive! i got dressed up in a sundress and went downtown to meet my old friend kelsey for brunch at her work. i hadn't seen her in almost three years so it was so nice to catch up! we got breakfast platters and mimosas and laughed and talked and enjoyed the others company. it was really wonderful. the perfect wind down to a long birthday week and a half!
whew! now thats a lot! a weeks worth of amazing times somewhat summarized! bottom line is i am unbelievably blessed for all the people in my life who made this the best birthday year i have ever had and i am so thankful for each and every one of them. i cant wait to look back on these moments and pictures and remember this is the year i knew i was blessed beyond measure.
i love you all <3