Sunday, October 23, 2011

Birthdays and General Gushing

I was am completely overwhelmed with the response to my last post. Between the comments and shares on Facebook and the seven comments (which does not sound like a lot but when my average comment count is less than one--it's enormous) on the blog itself, not to mention the friends who texted or stopped me when we passed one another on the street on Thursday. You guys--it was touching. It really was. I've always kind of had a fear of death but only because afterwards, there's no you anymore. We spend our whole lives being aware only of a world in which we exist--to imagine that could exist without ourselves is mindblowing when you think of it.
But I think I learned that you're never really gone. My dad will never be gone as long as I'm here and my family is here. As long as there are still people who want to know about him. As long as there are people who have stories about him. As long as I have friends who are not afraid to ask questions and as long as I have the boldness to bring him up. I know that one day after I've died, I'll still be here, too. Because people love me. And if I wondered about that before, I couldn't possibly wonder any longer after this weekend. If you have love, you have infinity.

My birthday was on Friday. I had to work but it was my favorite shift and I also got to eat lunch with Justin. Who could be mad at that? It was a fun day. I told pretty much everyone that it was my birthday. Because I am a child in need of praise. I am 28. Most everyone said that's when they started getting afraid of their birthdays because 30 was so close. Personally, I can't wait to turn 30. I have friends who are in their thirties and those people are awesome. Plus, what with all of the delays in maturity that our generation is experiencing, 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30. So maybe I'll freak out in ten years but I can't imagine that's true. I'm seeing lots of 60 year-old women that I totally want to be when I grow up. I don't think I'll ever tire of birthdays. I like getting older. The key, I think, to enjoying your birthday is to like the person that you're turning into.

So, I got home from work on Friday and before I could even change my clothes, Ryan came upstairs with a present for me. Let's just start a running list of things I learned about Ryan. 1. He's excellent at giving gifts.

He gave me a copy of Bossypants. I haven't read it yet! I know, it's just that I know that I'll get underline-happy with that book so I didn't want to check it out from the library knowing that I'll feel sad to give it back. This man knows that I want to be a Libby version of Tina Fey when I grow up. No, I have not given much thought to what that means at all. He also gave me a bottle of delicious perfume and a pair of earrings. But, you guys, not just any pair of earrings. Let me show you: on my Etsy favorites list, I have this pair of earrings listed as something that I want real bad. I mean, they're only $6.50 but at the time I didn't have a lot of money to go spending on sparkly do-dads. So sometimes when I want new things, I go to the internet and add stuff to my wish-list. It's kind of like online shopping, right? This is why I love Pinterest. It's pretty much the same. Only you can shop the whole internet--even for things that are not for sale. Anyhow, he saw that I wanted these and instead of buying them he made them. He made them, you guys! I couldn't get a picture of them when I was wearing them because it was blury or my neck was huge and washed out or something.
Sweet, huh? I was super freakin' impressed that it even occurred to him to make them, let alone ask people for advice and borrow tools and go shopping in the jewelry section of Hobby Lobby. Anyway, I was in love with them. Still am, I want to wear them all the time always. So far, I have worn them every day. 2. He's pretty good at making stuff.

Ryan said that there was another part to my present that he hadn't quite finished yet but he would finish it on Saturday. But I mostly didn't care because--handmade earrings specifically for me by someone who is wonderful, you guys!

It was decided that we would go get Chinese food. Because what's better for your birthday than the same generic delicious pineapple chicken and crab rangoons that you eat on any given Tuesday night? Right? But first he had to stop at Ed and Angie's house to drop something off. He said Ange had something for me, too, so we should stop by. And we did. And when we got out of the car, I didn't even notice that he didn't grab anything to take inside. I should have recognized that as a sign that we weren't leaving anytime soon but I didn't. I was in bliss and wearing these earrings that my boyfriend made with his own hands!

So we walk inside and you know where this is going--SURPRISE!! My friends were in there!! At first I just saw Joshua sitting on the couch and I was like, "neat--Josh is here." But then everyone yelled and after they'd finished, Amos popped up from the sofa and yelled, "Surprise, Bibi!!" Katie and Kristin were there, Adam and Arryn and all their little ones were there, obviously Ed and Angie were there and there was a banner that read:
Can you tell, yet, just how cool my friends are? Angie cut all of those letters out by hand, outlined them in glitter and then strung them up. Not an easy job. She also made me a chocolate mint birthday cake. PS Doug and Staci and Justin and Kasey all showed up a little bit later. They were all having a photo shoot and being generally awesome. Lynnette came, too! As seen in this photograph. Kind of.

So we hung out and listened to Ed's great taste in music and drank beers and sweet-tea flavored boozie things and talked and said, "that's what she said" until it wasn't funny anymore and everyone trickled out slowly. It was fun. It was exactly my favorite kind of thing. Ultra low-key. No one getting ess-faced and breaking dishware. No one making absolute fools of themselves--unless you count the way that Justin danced me around the dining room. A little bit of me was still really craving crab rangoons, though. One day. Everyone complimented my earrings and I kept gushing, "Ryan made them with his fingers! Can you believe it??"

I did kind of forget that birthdays get parties and presents. I got presents. I'm going to show you what I got for my birthday but it's not because I'm being a Braggey Braggerson. I'm saying, look at how well these people know me. Ready? So I got those things from Ryan and I got everything in this video from Sarah Beth and Alyssa. And then I got:
This apron from my mom. She made it out of the same fabric that I used to cover up the stains on the back seat of my first car. I took several other pictures but, this was the only one to make the cut. Sorry, apron, I know there's a lot more to you and so does everyone else. But you don't need to show off completely right off the gate--give 'em something to want to get to know.

Mom also gave me this little bag-thingy. I'm super pumped about it because I've been looking all over tarnation for an adequate make-up bag and keep coming up short. This is doing it for me.
Something else I've been scouring the world (yes, the world, it's called the internet--look into it) for and coming up short is a new purse. I have been looking for a cool cross-body bag in a neutral color with several interior pockets. I'm ultra-picky about my bags. Arryn got me this. It is not a cross-body bag but it does have straps that will go over my arms without getting stuck or riding up too high or making me feel weird. It is made of a recycled coffee sack! Yes, I'm going to put all of my stuff into this and carry it everywhere with me. I adore it.
Well, Doug and Staci know me all too well. There's little I love more than drinking insanely cheap, insanely sweet white wines.
Joshua gave me one of his paintings. This photo cut off a lot but I love everything about her. The colors and the shine and the wood and how she sits on my mantle. I'm developing quite the JM collection up there. I want to call her Alice, maybe.
Ange let me keep the banner. I want to use it for all of the birthday parties that are not for children.

So after we left the party, it was time to hit the hay and lay in bed and count all of the things I'm grateful for and fall asleep before I could think of them all.

Saturday was a lazy, lazy day. I had breakfast with Ryan and then pretty much sat around the house thinking about all that I should be working on but instead I just took a nap. When I woke up, Ryan came upstairs with the rest of my present. The part that I said I didn't care much about because I was already so happy. But let me tell you--I care about this.
Kate Szabone is my favorite jeweler on Etsy. She has gorgeous stuff that is never too shiny and the diamonds are rough and beautiful colors like grey. Grey diamonds, you guys! Anyway, I found a pair of earrings on there that were absolutely breathtaking and at $285.00, a steal! (Not really a steal, that's an enormous price tag for a girl who has trouble justifying a $6.50 purchase.) So I sent the link to Ryan and said, "I want those for my birthday, k? Thanks." I was kidding but as long as I'm kidding, I should be throwing in something I'd actually want just in case it really happened, right? Right. And he said, "Yeah, that is never going to happen." Or something to the effect. And it's true. He did not buy them for me.

He. Replicated. Them.
Do you understand what I'm saying?
It's basically impossible to take a good photograph of jewelry but I want to tell you that these are gorgeous. I might have cried a teensy weensy bit. 3. He hits the right notes.

And after this weekend, I feel absolutely adored.

I love you and everyone and everything else.


Katie Hurl said...

I'm looking at your birthday present. It's on my bedside table. I'm an awful friend. (I WAS SO DANG EXCITED ABOUT YOUR PARTY THAT I FORGOT THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Ani said...

all this delicious birthday squeeing has been good for my soul.

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