A Happy Birthday looks exactly like the one I had on Friday. The one I'm going to show you today. It's one filled with love and lovely people – I am never really counting on mine being filled with people for obvious reasons, but my friends all made sure I saw their faces in one way or another.
I am such a blessed girl.
Of course there is the joy of a birthday on Facebook when all sorts of people send you good wishes. And then I had my post at (in)courage where people absolutely showered me with love in the comment section. All I wanted for my birthday was enough stamina to respond to those comments and really connect with people. I was so overwhelmed that everyone took the time to connect with me and I wanted to make sure they knew how grateful I was.
I had calls and skype moments all day from siblings and Mom, and the next day my Aunt Janella, Grandma and Uncle Ron called and sang me Happy Birthday complete with harmonies as is my favorite tradition. Not to be outdone, however, my friend Nicole called and had her little girls sing to my answering machine, full of gusto. That's a message that won't be soon deleted.
I got to see a real actual person when my friend Candy brought me my favorite treat over her lunch hour:
And then I saw three of my heart's favorite faces on skype as I got my very first Happy Birthday of the day sung to me. I soaked them up and stole a little more time with them as, I'm sure, I made them late for dance rehearsal. And they indulged me because they love me just that much.
Then I got my "window visitors." I don't have a photo of this because I was so busy enjoying them that I forgot to take one. My friends Meg and Susie, and their kids [Taylor, Ben, Jonboy and Tyler] all showed up outside my sliding glass door to spend some time with me.
They couldn't come in because of various colds and sniffles, but they stood out in the misty weather, talking on cell phones so we could hear each other despite our glass partition, and spent part of my afternoon with me. The boys all danced and circled their sweatshirts over their heads in celebration for me and made me laugh until it hurt.
Poor Taylor mouthed the words "help me!" as she's the only girl in the bunch and was so far outnumbered by the craziness. :)
Taylor made the book in the above collage filled with drawings from the boys… it means so much to this Aunt's heart to see all the markers and drawings and love put on paper. They spoiled me rotten.
And then my friend Deb came in and I got a real live hug as she brought me a huge banner with a lovely bouquet designed on it from her 1st and 2nd grade class that adopted me. They knew I couldn't have real flowers, so they made me a spiritual bouquet… each child designed a flower and wrote down how many prayers they were going to say for me on Friday as their gift.
I am convinced that is why I had such a good day… with that many prayers from the mouths of children, no other outcome was possible.
Oh, we're not done yet. This is my sweet friend, Jenny, who – along with her three kids – were all germ free! So we had some time sitting on my bed and being goofy and eating supper together.
Seriously. I got to see that many in-the-flesh people that day… talk about a gift! I didn't quite have the energy to be up and put on makeup, as you can see, but hopefully the happiness of being with my friend is enough to make my face photo presentable. :)
And how cute are my kids? From the left is my goddaughter Bailey, little Miss Ava and the rock star himself, Jonah. They have all called me Frankie since they were little, but Jonah is a big kid now so he shortens it to Frank. And I have to try not to laugh every time is comes out of his mouth because it cracks me up.
This was my funniest moment of the day. I was laying in bed, all propped up with pillows behind my back and a huge wedge under my legs. When suddenly Baily found a mini wedge, propped it under her legs and declared herself "Mini Frankie" – she warms her godmother's heart. I think I'll keep her.
The major moment of the day came in the evening, though. My nephew, Thomas, graduated from high school on Friday and my sister Laura managed to live stream it for me so I could be there in real time.
There are no words to tell you what a gift this was to me. He was co-valedictorian and gave an amazing speech about leadership and making Godly decisions, and I was so proud my eyes couldn't keep from leaking. And then my brother-in-law Jeff, who is a member of the school board, got up to make his speech. And my heart flipped as he read from my previous (in)courage blog where I talked about God having intentions for us… to tell the kids that God has intentions for each and every one of their lives.
I was so honored and humbled, proud and grateful.
And just so you don't think I forgot, this happy guy wished me a happy birthday, too. As a present, he tried not to pee on the floor.