Started out rougher than I expected due to the same separation/marriage issues, but I don't know that I've had a birthday in the last decade that didn't include tears for one reason or another--guess I took that oldies song by heart, eh? I was determined to have the day steadily improve as it continued...even if it did end full of sadness for some reasons and yet so full of appreciation too.
I'd come back from the Arizona trip wanting a more simple celebration than I'd originally thought so was glad when my friends agreed to come over for a celebratory afternoon/evening BBQ. There was still some last minute conversation about whether or not to go kayaking in the gorge, but my friend T offered to take me in her family kayaks on the river where she grew up....and since it was closely located, simple, and free, I totally jumped at the chance! I think T was glad too, since she didn't know that I hadn't been before :) She was a great teacher and patiently tolerated any and all splashing I sent in her direction since we were in a tandem kayak. I finally got into the swing of it on the return route and I am looking forward to more opportunities to practice. I think kayaking could be a great new hobby and it was so awesome to again get to do something this summer that has been on my wish list for years now. Very fulfilling and as always being on the water was soothing and beautiful!
I'd cleaned my house the night before, so I came back from our outdoor adventure to take Anna to the groomers, mow, and generally ready the yard and patios. Tall D had agreed to come BBQ and he picked up all the stuff needed to do so. He was an amazing support in the evening running the behind-the-scenes so that I could just relax and enjoy the gift of time with my friends---very, very appreciated and the BBQ flowed so incredibly smoothly because of it. My gals all brought amazing salads, several brought flowers, and my gal N made my favorite carrot cake. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have connected with all of these women, and it was great to have them, their significant others, and Tall D here for an evening. It was one of those simple parties with great food, flowing conversation, and an evening that transitioned into yard games and the eventual use of the fire pit. The fire provided additional conversation and laughter, and it was all so good that it was a total bummer to watch Tall D be the last of them to go home for the evening.
I received so many texts and Facebook messages from friends and family. More flowers had arrived on the stoop from my parents and my gal Brook. The outpouring of love and support this year was more than any other and was both so appreciated...and honestly needed. Tall D gifted me an awesome new sleeping bag for backpacking/camping and I'm hopeful some of the gals and I might be able to plan a trip to put it to use before the end of the summer. As far as actual birthday get-togethers go, this was one of the best!
In the midst of everything else, I continue to realize how honestly fortunate and blessed that I am.