Sunday, September 6, 2015

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Joy

Do you remember how old 40 seemed when you were 10? Literally, I thought my grandparents were 40. If you had asked me when I was a kid how old my grandparents were, I would have paused and thought for a moment and then said, "Ummm, I think they're 40." Forty even seemed old to me when I was 25. So how is it possible that I turned forty in July?

It's interesting, how these milestone birthdays are often met with a combination of fear and loathing. I've never felt that way about any particular birthday, but I am beginning to understand as I get older that the sand is running through the hourglass more quickly than it used to. It makes birthdays more special, I think. What a gift it is to have had another year of health and joy and friendship. It should be celebrated.

And celebrate I did! My awesome sister, whose firstborn son was born on my birthday, suggested an intimate gathering for dinner with a few friends after my nephew's trampoline and pizza party. I love this picture of three of my dearest friends.

Greg secretly asked his mother to come to Pittsburgh and watch the kids so we could have a night away. It was a fantastic surprise. We stayed at a new boutique hotel called Hotel Monaco in the city and had dinner in Point Breeze at our beloved Pino's, the setting for our first official date. We drank beers at a rooftop bar overlooking the city, slept in, and had a relaxing breakfast in the South Side before heading back home. It was nothing short of wonderful.

Monday one of my closest friends had asked me to head over to her pool for lunch and an afternoon of swimming. Still trying to figure out how to get around from the house we're renting, I got completely lost and walked in flustered, thirty minutes late, as I heard all my closest friends and their kids scream "SURPRISE!" It was such a shock, and such a blessing. They sang Happy Birthday to me, spoiled the kids and me with all kinds of great food, and forced me to blow out 40 big candles. 

I am grateful for the privilege of the years God has given me, and filled with hope for the years to come.

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes."
-Frank Lloyd Wright