Friday, December 23, 2011

Another Year Older . . .

. . . But thankfully not deeper in debt!  ;-)  Michael asked me earlier this month what I wanted for my birthday.  My answer?  These people celebrating with me!

My beloved, our friend Arnold, our sister Allison (in the blue), & her friend Catherine (who we really like & were so happy she could join us) 

Michael had a hard time catching me with my eyes open.  Apparently, I close them when I smile or laugh.  Which I did a lot this particular evening.

 Sweet T & Angie - such precious ladies!

Lynn (you should visit her blog) & Sweet T (whom you've heard a lot about!) 

Leslie - pretty in pink (you should visit her blog, too!) 

Amber & Brett - proud new parents of a handsome baby boy!  One of Michael's favorite words to describe me is "feisty"; Amber's feisty like me!  ;-) 

Is this not the most precious couple?!  This is Jon & Sommer - Yep!  That Sommer!  One of my absolute favorite people in the whole world.  Nice to put a face with the name, huh?  She's just as pretty on the inside, too.  And her husband is absolutely as nice as he looks.  They are such a great, godly couple!

And this little fella?  Why, he's "my nephew" Josiah, Jon & Sommer's little boy.  I adore him!

Now, I thought that I was clear when I asked these precious people to come celebrate with us that I did not want presents.  They brought them anyways along with some very sweet cards.  I was grateful - & felt so loved - but really just them being there was present enough!  However, I did love my cards & gifts!

Allison got me these beautiful little bowls, even making sure to get one in my favorite color!  Sweet girl!

Our pastor & his precious family.  This past summer, they took a family photo & posted it on Facebook.  I told Michael - & later Sweet T - that I wanted to print it out & put it up in our home.  I love them that much!  So, Sweet T surprised me with this Christmas family photo!  I didn't even have to pirate it!  It's already in a frame next to our sofa.  It's a blessing to have a pastor's family that you love so much that you want to have a picture of them in your home!  (Sorry my picture of it is so blurry; to see a better version - & fully appreciate it - visit Lynn's blog.)

I fairly squealed when I opened the envelope containing this little gem!  See, one thing I haven't told you yet is that Lynn is a very accomplished photographer!  So, for her to give us this gift, is truly a treasure indeed!

Where exactly do you hang your first-ever scarf (& first-ever houndstooth piece of clothing - Roll Tide!) to photograph it?  Let me tell you, doorknobs don't work.  And I don't like pictures of myself if I can avoid them (which, in this case, I can).  So, lamp it is!  A dorky position, perhaps, but a lovely present, don't you think?

This picture & the next one have a special story.  This is Michael's gift to me, one for which I have yearned for years.  He's never had a reason to buy it before now, though.  The other day, we went to Cracker Barrel, & as he paid the bill, I strolled over to the Willow Tree display & proceeded to sob over all of the pregnant mama & baby figurines.  I wasn't vocal about it, but the tears were flowing freely!  Michael came over & said softly, "You can't stand in the middle of the store & cry!"  ;-)  So when I walked into our bedroom to find this & a homemade birthday card, you can bet the tears began again! . . .

And then, that evening, I opened up Sommer's gift to me last to find this figurine - one of the very ones that I stood in Cracker Barrel & boo-hooed over!  She had conspired with Michael to get this for me, even chatting with him through her husband's Facebook account!  I don't really have to tell you my reaction, do I?  I felt very loved that she would care enough about me to do this.  Aaannnddd, just before I opened these gifts, she asked me what Michael got me & was regaled with the above story . . . all of which she already knew, unbeknownst to me!  Sneaky girl!  ;-)

This hasn't been the easiest year of my life - dealing with Ginger's death & grieving over infertility - but it has been a year in which God has shown me His all-surpassing grace & mercy.  And He has brought great joy into our lives by giving us the precious gift of our little M&M!  He has also given us the gift of all of these wonderful people, people whom we love & are so grateful to be able to share our lives with.  All in all, another year older has meant another year of experiencing God's loving presence & another year of getting to love others & be loved by them.  If I do say so myself, we live very good lives!  Soli Deo Gloria!


Lynn said...

Thank you for letting us share in your birthday celebration. We're so thankful for you both and for the story of grace that is unfolding in your lives.

Lisa said...

I'm jealous!! But I am so glad that you had those dear friends and family to celebrate your birthday with you - especially since we weren't able to celebrate with you. It warms my heart to see you loved by many! Love you! Mama

April Hollingsworth said...

I like John and Sommer too!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day - practically perfect in every way. Thank you so much for all of the photos of precious people & most thoughtful gifts. And I loved seeing the lovely birthday girl all smiles - hugging you in my heart.