monday, december 12th, 2005.
Wednesday, December 14 at 12:52 PM

my 27th birthday. (not my 30th, though that's what people like to call it. just to clarify.)

(let me preface this story by saying that birthdays are not a big deal in my family. they are celebrated, of course. and i'm not trying to say that my birthdays haven't been great...but i think that every year i hope someone will make a big deal out of it.)

back to monday...

the day started out completely normal. work. nothing extraordinary. i was actually a little afraid that this birthday was gonna be sorta crappy, to be honest. birthdays have become a big deal for the old crew back in a-town. we always go all out for the special day (like going to the beach for the weekend in honor of mcd's last one.) but i'm not there anymore, so i was trying not to miss that fact or be sad about not seeing any of them. i knew i would get to spend some time with incredible friends in cola, and i was looking forward to that. but still...i was nervous about being in a new place, away from my family and some close friends, with no celebration planned. little did i know i had nothing to worry about...

throughout the day, i got calls from many wonderful people wishing me a happy birthday. one even sung to me on my voicemail. it was glorious. i received the prettiest bouquet of roses, carnations, and christmas greenery at work. it was quite nice. every monday night, the midtown leadership team meets. so, after going home for just a bit that evening, i headed to chris and beth's for what i thought was a regular meeting (and maybe dinner with the crew later).

i get to the browns' place and all the guys are missing. the ladies and i chat in the den and play with ollie. at one point, renie says something to cunningham (who has just walked in) about going to see what the guys are doing in the other room. i thought she was talking to me too. i try to go in, and the door is quickly slammed in my face. so i figure they must be up to something dealing with my birthday (i mean, it'd be a little hard not to think that at this point). anyway...we sit around for a while longer and wait on the guys. eventually, the singing starts and i'm wondering what took so long to get the cake or whatever ready. yeah. courtney covers my eyes. i wish you could have been there when the guys tried to get the present through the door of the den. they sang happy birthday at least 3 times in a row, trying to keep it going until they got this thing in the room. it didn't happen. so i went into the study to see the surprise...

a foosball table!! the perfect present. seriously. if you know me very well, you probably know that i love foosball. and i talk a lot of junk about beating everybody. i love it when people pay attention and give you presents that show it. so, as soon as i can figure out a place to put the table (and a way to get it out of chris and beth's house), i will be challenging you all to a game.

after the unveiling, i was blindfolded. they didn't even let me walk to the car before putting it on. it was quite humorous as courtney and renie tried to guide me up the steps and into the car. we drove for a while. court tried to tell me we were near a lake. i didn't believe her...but i had no idea where we were or what restaurant they were taking me to. we get there, and they lead me inside. still won't let me take the blindfold off. i'm sure i got some funny looks. we sit in the restaurant for a bit, waiting on the table, me with the pink blindfold on. i'm like "y'all, don't you think i can take this off now since we're inside?" no luck. finally, they tell me i can take the blindfold off...

and standing in front of me are lee and karl, two of my very favoritest (that's just for y'all) people in the whole world. i had no idea they were coming down from a-town. it was the most amazing surprise ever! my friends all know me well...they knew just what to do to make this day awesome.

so we eat at california dreaming. yum yum yum. the food was great. the conversation, laughter, and love of friends was even greater. i don't think i've laughed that hard in a while. and then we had cheesecake. cheesecake factory cheesecake, thanks to mrs. renie willis. delicious! karl and lee had to depart after dinner to head back. i still can't believe they drove 2 hours down and 2 back just to have dinner with me.

unfortunately, the evening didn't end at this point. if it had, i would have absolutely nothing to complain about. however, dustin decided we should all go see a movie that looked really good. syriana. i don't know...i hear that some people actually enjoyed this movie. we all HATED it with the burning hatred of a thousand suns. horrible. i'm fairly certain i have never fallen asleep in the movies before, but this one was so bad that i didn't even want to stay awake. the best part was when chris got up and faked throwing up and then eventually just walked out in protest with beth because they hated it so much.

anyway...overall, this birthday was freakin' awesome. full of friends, foosball, fantastic food, and funniness. thanks to all you internet peeps for the love too.

my life in the past year has been such a ride. i never would have imagined on my last birthday how drastically things would change for me. or how ridiculously God would bless me. or how much i would learn from every event that has taken place. i'm excited to see what this year as a 27 year-old will hold for me. as long as it brings me closer to Jesus, i'll be happy.