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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How Do You Capture Happiness In Words?

I have labored over how to write a new post about my 30th birthday weekend since getting back to New York. I haven't been able to come up with anything because I have no idea how to capture in words how incredible my time at home was. I suppose the easiest thing to do is to just write a basic re-cap of the weekend because I can't possibly fit in all the wonderful details if I tried. 

I started the trip out by visiting with Erica and baby Gia:
I got to see them on my actual birthday on Thursday which was such a gift to me. I'll never stop saying how sad I am to be away from them and how much I wish I had that time together more often. Regardless, that was such a treat to spend the day together! That evening, mom and dad took me to the greatest local Cajun restaurant for dinner. We had such a terrific time tasting new beers and stuffing ourselves on shrimp and grits and bread pudding. It was a good thing I ran that morning:
Come Friday, Michael and Allison arrived in the morning and I went for another run while dad went to get them. We visited for a while before it was time to get ready for my party weekend to begin, wooo! Mom wanted to do something special for all my friends and family since I was honored enough to have three friends and my sister, Stacy, from New York fly in. I swear, it was like a wedding weekend with all the coordinating and 'out of towners', hehehe. Anyway, she wanted to cater BBQ and have a party at the house so my New York and Georgia worlds could come together. I can't even explain how awesome that was for me. It was honestly overwhelming in the best way. All of these people who are so dear to me, friends AND family, were there together at once to celebrate ME:
I mean, how flattering! It was so perfect. I also had my first (peach!) birthday cake in about 15 years thanks to Mom and Allison. I'll drool for a long time thinking about it:
On Saturday, I was thrown a second party downtown which was just as awesome. All the same people and more came out for that as well and I swear, I held back tears a dozen times. I'm very sensitive when it comes to relationships and they are dear to me. I put a great deal of my heart into the people in my life and to feel just as loved in return is so powerful to me. I wish I could post all the photos but here are a couple of my favorites:
Just when I thought the weekend couldn't get better, Allison told me on Sunday that she had a surprise gift coming to me at the house. I had NO idea what in the world it could be. It turned out that she had been in touch back and forth with my dear friend, Claire, about commissioning her to do a painting of Brando for me. It brought me to tears:
To receive a gift like that from my sister, painted by such a beautiful friend, is just priceless. Claire is so talented and pours her heart into her work. Please visit her website here and check out her pieces. She is terrific! 

I honestly lead such a blessed life and I'm surrounded by salt of the earth people. (Matt, if you're reading this, you and Brittany shot up to the top of that list. I'm so glad I got to spend time with you!) I know in life that it's so hard at times to focus on the things that matter. We get caught up in pain, heartache, anger, frustration, what is "fair" and not; we simply lose sight of what is grounded, real, and lasting. We're human and we make mistakes but I'm at a place in life where I'm committed to keeping perspective. I may not have things that others do but you know what? They may not have what I have, either. To me, my life is deeply rich and I know that god has blessed me abundantly. My biggest prayer for people is that they would just open their eyes and see the goodness all around. I pray that I always do as well and that I will never take for granted any moment I've been given.    

Thank you so very much to the people who made my birthday (and make my life!) so extremely special. I love you so much and I am so grateful for who you are. I can't wait to celebrate together in another 30 years...and I love that I can say that and know the same people will be around. :) What a joy!

2 comments:

Nick said...

Awesome!!!

Claire Dunaway said...

I am so far behind... THANK YOU again for allowing me to be a part of this weekend. You are precious and Georgia misses you in a big way!