June 14, 2015
i’ve really struggled with anticipating turning 40. it really just feels “old” – sounds lame, i know – but it feels like a turning-the-corner, round bend … from youthfulness to the inevitable downward sag of skin & gravity. i feel silly admitting to these very trivial, superficial concerns. because i *know* it’s a gift to BE alive, to be aging! it’s all grace and a gift. i get it.
i remember my 30th: i had just married the man of my dreams; the future lay open before us; i felt young and healthy and vibrant and just so happy & excited. i had *zero* turning-30 angst.
i’ve received such sweet wisdom and encouragement from both friends and strangers who describe the 40s as the best decade ever: a time of sweet self-awareness & understanding; great capacity for fitness gains and adventures; settling in to one’s skin, and savoring the contentment of what the season brings.
i wasn’t sure what to expect on my actual birthday (yesterday) other than sweetness from my family – my hubby and daughter are always so attentive and spoiling on my special day. i do love it. 🙂 my mom had called a couple weeks ago to invite me to lunch which was sweet – a bit unusual because for several years she’s had us over on my birthday evening for the whole family cake & gifts. and i wasn’t sure that my hubby wouldn’t be planning some day outing for us, but … i was going with the flow. 🙂
i woke and had a totally contented morning of leisure … long conversation with my hubby as he rubbed my feet (my very fave); calls and texts from family & friends; coffee … just relaxing. i asked maddie if she wanted to join us for lunch (since it would be at a winery i wasn’t sure initially if mom had invited her but i really wanted her to come) and she said she would love to, so we both got ready to go as we prepared for mom and grandma to pick us up at 2pm.
the *only* hint i had that something was up, was a look mike & maddie exchanged as i reminded them of the plans for lunch with my mom. *wink*.
so, mom and grandma arrived … i had thrown together something to wear … we hopped in grandma’s cool air conditioned car and headed to 2hawk winery. as we left, mike encouraged me to have a great time and not hurry home. :0
when we pulled up to the winery, i noticed a familiar car in the parking lot and commented that it was so cool that my friend autumn was here today! still, no clue. we walked to the front door and i looked out over to the far right … on the lawn … and i noticed a familiar face. kristi! then another, ernestine! i seriously was thinking – this is SO COOL that some of my best friends are here today! and, i didn’t know that they knew each other?! LOL.
then i think maddie made some comment that indicated i wasn’t supposed to have seen my friends and it hit me – what!!!??? i ran through the lobby, out the back door and seriously exploded with laughter and tears and hugs!
BEST SURPRISE EVER!
i could not believe it. the complete awesomeness of having some of my very favorite women, gathered together, for me … just too good to be true.
we laughed and ate and laughed and talked and the hours passed so quick. i felt like i had a permanent grin on my face. i texted mike, “am i in a dream??:)” it was just too good to be true. and they brought gifts – what?? just their presence was my gift. i loved seeing the way connections were made; i loved having dear ones that hadn’t met finally meet and connect. it was so good and so beautiful. these gorgeous, lovely, amazing, Godly, fantastic women gathered together under the warm sun on this beautiful stretch of lawn overlooking the valley … just doesn’t get much better.
and one of the most extravagant blessings of the entire day came from my daughter, and the gifts she had taken such time & love to prepare … a letter “E”, decoupaged with pictures she had printed; a sign she painted and framed that said, “i love everything about you” and finally, cards that were individually decorated with colored cardstock and were “40 things i love about you”. OH MY WORD. pretty much nothing in the universe sweeter & more encouraging to my heart, than the words my daughter wrote on those 40 cards.