My dad sent me some money, which I used to buy myself a cute “birthday dress” and “birthday heels” from the outlet mall. Nothing beats a new, fun outfit on your special day! (I think the orange towel hanging in front of our messy kitchen table really adds to the cuteness of the above photo.)
My mother-in-law sent me an exquisite purse/teacher bag from Anthropologie. She has great taste. I have to admit, when I opened it, I jumped up and down on the bed in excitement. (I mean, I would never buy myself something so nice, so it’s pretty exciting to have someone else do it for you!!) I had a friend comment that, some day, I can use it as an adorable diaper bag. I think my mother-in-law would lobby for that to occur sooner rather than later.
My “Still Life kids” (the club I advise at the school) came over for our end-of-the-year dinner, and they must know me too well…because they brought a Caramel Pecan Brownie cake from Panera! Dessert was delicious, but the company was even better…I truly love those students. It was fun for Ryan to meet them.
My good friends the Majeronis were so kind as to host a spur-of-the moment birthday gathering with a few friends from church. When they found out Ryan and I didn’t really have anything planned, they insisted we come over for cake. (Kristin even made my favorite--double chocolate--for the occasion!)
Ryan gave me the best gifts of all: 1) He deep-cleaned the entire apartment. When I came home from school, he was on his hands-and-knees scrubbing the wood floors. I love that man. 2) He organized a little “surprise” for me on my big day.
This “surprise” deserves to be recorded for posterity: I love to get emails, and Ryan knows this. Often, I ask him to email me during his lunch, just so I can have something exciting to read during mine. (Sure beats opening my email and seeing junk mail from Viagara and UK Lotto in the inbox!) Well…on my birthday, I suddenly started getting tons of emails from friends and family around the country. At first, I was genuinely puzzled and kept saying to Ryan, “How do all these people know it’s my birthday?” I mean, usually I get a few calls or emails, but these were coming from former students and long-lost friends who I haven’t seen in years! After about the 13th email came in, I turned to Ryan, who was studying beside me, and pointed an accusatory finger at him.
“YOU!” I demanded.
“What?” he answered ever-so-innocently.
“You told all these people it was my birthday, didn’t you?? You requested these emails!”
“What are you talking about? No I didn’t!” He insisted—but he is a pathetic liar.
I eventually got it out of him that he had infiltrated by inbox, gone through my contact list, and emailed some close friends requesting special messages on my birthday. I found this to be both adorably thoughtful and totally embarrassing. Begging for birthday mail is a little sad—but I have to admit, opening each message was like a little gift from many of my favorite people.
I have to say, I feel like I am THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD after such a wonderful week of love from friends and family.