I just love birthdays (in case it wasn't completely and entirely apparent based on how many of my posts are devoted to birthday tributes or celebrations). I love the fact that there is a dedicated day every year to properly recognize the value and meaning a person's birth into this world has had on their friends and family - how their life is a gift and how the uniqueness of them has made the surrounding lives richer and fuller.
I also LOVE planning birthday parties and making birthday cakes. It is one of the greatest joys in my life. My affinity for these activities probably dates back to my childhood years as my dear mama bear always did a real bang-up job in making sure our birthdays were special and complete with all the hoopla necessary to make one feel loved and properly celebrated. To this day, she still busts out my "welcome home" sign that was made for the day they brought me home from the hospital as a wee infant. I cannot believe she has saved it all these years...I digress...
Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I helped my dear friend Crystal celebrate the completion of 29 years in her life. This was such an honor as it marks around the 20th year I have participated in her birthday festivities - tis a rare blessing to have such a loyal friend for so many years and I am truly grateful.
Sap aside, we had a little shindig for the birthday girl at Meagan and Bryan's humble abode. It has seen quite a few parties in its day, but it's still going strong. There were snacks galore, a bevvy of wine and of course, birthday cake made by yours truly. (If you must know, it was a traditional yellow cake with chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.)
The night was particularly special as Brooke and Freeland were in town and able to join us. The four amigos were back together, so of course, we had to replicate our famous piggyback tower.
Moving right along, before the grandiose surprise birthday bash for the pops, we had a little family celebration that was practically perfect in every way. We kicked off the night with a little takeout and some oldies tunes.
Apres dinner, we presented him with our super-special gifts: dates with his daughters. Michelle will be taking him to a Rangers game and I will be treating him to a steak dinner at The Old Warsaw. The restaurant is of particular importance as he took the whole family there in a limo when I was around 11 or 12. It will forever be such a fond memory and I look forward to our time together.
After he was gifted, it was time for my mom's infamous chocolate on chocolate cake. This thing is beyond rich: devil's food cake filled with chocolate chips and iced with a thick chocolate fudge buttercream icing. Suffice it to say, Haylee and Mere had no trouble finishing every last crumb of the sugary concoction.
The night ended with an all-out marathon dance session to the Beatles greatest hits. We twisted and shouted until we could twist no more. It was such a joyful time and it really was a beautifully simple birthday celebration. Our time was rich with the love and presence of Christ. It is in Him we will be united forever beyonds our years in this life and that is by far the greatest gift.