Sunday, September 6, 2015

Counting to forty.


 Last night, after the candles were blown out, the trash had been bundled, the quilts had been tossed into the washer, and the counters had been wiped down, I lay in bed wide awake counting my tremendous blessings.  I turn forty on Tuesday and my blessings leave that number far behind.

I could make this a post about "how comfortable I am with turning forty" or how "I've made such peace with myself compared to my twenties" or all that personal stuff.  I won't though some of that's true in places.  I want to reflect on what I began with when I first started planning my party.  The people in my life.  My one and only goal was that I wanted to throw a stress-free, casual, easy-come party that would bless everyone that I love.  I wanted them to leave with warm fuzzies.  I wanted them to make memories.  I wanted this party to be one that felt like a big treat.  I didn't want to stress my man out, so I also wanted it to be as inexpensive as possible.  I decided our very own backyard was the perfect and free setting.  The party pit to be exact, with our strings of lights overhead, the campfire pit beckoning a s'more gathering, and the yard-with quilts scattered all over for an outdoor movie.  A wheel barrel held most of the drink options, and my blue mason jar collection housed flowers from our yard and the local farmstand.  Tables were set up for a potluck style dinner that was a crowd pleaser and I put wooden flatware found on Amazon, into little buckets.  A roll of paper towels worked for napkins and there was nothing hard about the planning or the decor.  Grammies hankies made a sweet bunting into the party pit that made me smile and think of her.

The decor was mostly things I had already, dragged out of the house and scattered all around. I wasn't particular, and I wanted a relaxed and sweet vibe.  We hung a white blanket on the side of the house and my friend used her laptop and projector for a showing of the Princess Bride which was a total delight to all the kiddos and possibly my favorite memory of the night.  I had five nieces all cuddled around me on old pillows and blankets giggling over the movie.  After my legs had fallen asleep and I went to sit in a real chair next to my mama, she turned to me and said that "we were all going to remember this night for the rest of our lives- especially the kids," and I knew.  I knew that I had been given the best gift there could possibly have been-  As perfect of a night to celebrate this life I have been given, as possible. 

The friends and family that were able to make it loved on me deeply and those that couldn't make it sent their love via texts, emails, calls and instagrams and even videos that my man put together for me from a few blog friends.  I felt overwhelmed.  I have been given so much. As I nestled under my covers last night, I couldn't sleep because of all the happy thoughts swirling in my heart.

So often, you see photos of parties or events on instagram and blogs and they look amazing and you wonder if they were as good as they seemed in REAL life.  SO often they aren't.  So often, there is a kid meltdown or a family drama, or something that went sideways that we never hear about as we drool over those perfect photos and wish our life was more like that.  For my party, I was honestly having one of those special nights where I didn't even think about grabbing my camera most of the time and it far surpassed what the few photos I grabbed beforehand show.  I snapped a few during the night, but not nearly enough to convey the evening the way it actually was once my people were here.  We got rain for about three minutes and everyone ran inside and laughed but then it passed and cornhole continued and the campfire began with the movie shortly after.  I always wish I had taken more photos.  I will treasure the ones that my people took and I will treasure this night always. 












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