How many of you read that with the tune going through your head? :)
Yes, Friday was my birthday! And it was gloriously, beautifully, perfect.
Because this year I finally decided to quit trying to make it seem like I didn't care, like I didn't want anyone to do anything, like it was no big deal. Because the truth is, I wanted people to sing, hug me, laugh together, and just be joyful... with me. Because of me. And you know what? That's not selfish, self-seeking, arrogant, or prideful. I LOVE blessing other people, loving my friends well, and celebrating them. When they tell me not to, it kind of hurts, a little bit. Know what I mean? So this year I didn't want to shut down my friends that way... I wanted to let them bless me, and in that, I was blessing them, too.
And it was perfect! Not too much - because too much would have been just that. Too much. No, this was simple. And that's one thing that I absolutely love about ship life and life in Africa - how the simplest things bring me so much joy.
My lovely friend Maryke came by with "A South African's attempt at peanut butter cookies." - she wasn't sure what would happen if she took the foil off the Hershey kisses, so she left them on. :) The cookies were delicious!!
Then Erin came by and asked if I wanted to walk to the bakery we run by every morning that smells so delicious. Sure, why not? Work had calmed down and I could surely spare a half hour or so for a chocolate croissant.
When I got back to my office, there were more blessings to be had! The Davies family gave me cherry coke and peanut butter m&ms. SO special, yet so simple... and I was in heaven. (You can't get cherry coke on the ship!)
People stopped by all throughout the day and wished me happy birthday! A few more bags of peanut butter m&m's were delivered, some pretty post-it notes, and several cards with the sweetest notes of encouragement for me - lovely!
Then, crew mail was delivered - and my Christmas cards came! Two letters from Mom, one from Nana and one from Meg!! Thanks my loves!!
There was talk of 'us' (gateway group) going out for my birthday, which is what alot of people do... which would have been okay, but ultimately, not what I really wanted. What did I really want? I finally just made it known, and then it happened. I just wanted everyone to gather in the Cafe for cake and chips and guacamole. That way we weren't limited by money or the number of people who could fit in a taxi or car, and parents of children could come too! And so it was... and it was so perfect. I looked around at all the people I love and call my family here and they were chatting, they sang for me again (The whole crew had sung for me in the Dining room at dinner) and I felt so very blessed. (I also didn't take any pictures except this one of Emma eating cake - what a cutie pie)
I mingled and hugged and chatted and loved on my friends for a good hour or so, and then I joined the Cash family to watch my number one all time favorite movie ever - The Sound of Music!! Emma climbed into my lap and I was in heaven. :)
SO, there you have it. It was a very simple, yet special day. It just showed me again how incredible this community is, how much it has become my family in just the few short months I've been here, and how much I'm looking forward to this next year.
31 was awesome, too - bring it on, 32!! Huge thank you to everyone who made it so special. Much love to all - Krissy