January 18th has been a day that I've looked forward to with giddy anticipation and excitement for the past 24 years of my life. It is the one day of the year where I get to celebrate my life with friends and family. This year I wouldn't have been too disappointed if the calendar just skipped over that date completely.
I have to be honest, since that's what I'm best at :), and say that this year I just wanted to take off work, go into my room, lock the door, crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep the entire day away. I took my sweet Psychologist's advice and avoided that scenario. :)
The weekend before Josh went on a hunting trip with his friends. He returned on Sunday and told me that his great grandfather had suffered from a heart attack over the weekend and passed away. At that time Josh didn't know when the funeral would be held, so we made plans for my birthday and hoped that everything would work out. Monday afternoon he was informed that the viewing would be held on Tuesday night, January 18th and the funeral would be the following day. So we cancelled our reservations for Texas De Brazil, our Birthday tradition, and he left Tuesday afternoon to make the trek to Ore City with his family.
We discussed whether or not I would be going with them. I felt like a terrible wife when I told him that I simply didn't think I could muster up the strength to go to another funeral so soon, let alone on my birthday, add to that the 18th was only 1 month since my Dad's funeral. So, I opted to stay home while he spend the next two days with his family.
My birthday morning rolled around, I was in the bathroom getting cleaned up before work when the doorbell rang, I was shocked when I heard, "Happy Birthday to YOU, Happy Birthday to YOUUUU, Happy Birthday dear NICKI! Happy Birthday to YOU!" being sung by my sweet mommy. She had balloons in one hand and a beautiful gerbera daisy plant in the other. I bursted into tears, overwhelmed. She handed me my Birthday card, I opened it and read through the tears, "It's your Birthday! Hope it's hand picked with love to celebrate wonderful you!" and then signed, "Happy 25th Birthday. I love you Nicki. Love, Mom and Bug." As I read the signatures I couldn't help but look up at Mom and cry. It was the first birthday card of my entire life that didn't read, "Love, Mom and Dad." Changes like this come out of every corner every day so unexpectedly... But I am thankful to still have my loving mother to dote on me and show me how much she loves me :) .
Somehow I made it through the day (thank you God for the strength) and after work I drove over to my brother and sister's house for dinner, dessert and games. Melanie was such a sweet sister, when she found out I was coming over she threw out their original plans of tacos for dinner and put together a healthier menu to accommodate for my newly established healthier eating habits. It was my birthday however, so I did indulge in a brownie (and a half ;) ).
Before heading over there mom asked me to stop by her house, that she had something for me. She had already given me a few birthday gifts, so I figured a few cards had made their way to her house and she just wanted me to pick them up. I walked in and she looked like a little kid at Christmas... She said to me, "Now you can't be mad at me, promise before you get it..." I looked at her with one eyebrow up and a slight grin on my face, "Okaaaaaay?" She says, "Look on the couch." I inched my way up until I could just barely see over the back of the couch and I saw a white box with a little grey apple on it. my eyes widened as I looked up at Mom then back to the couch, then back to mom, to the couch... Hands over my head I asked, "is that mine?!" She smiled through tears and said that she wanted to make my Birthday extra special this year. It was a Mac Book Pro!!!! Of course, right on que... bring in the tears. I hugged her jumping up and down and then ran to the couch to pick up my brand new laptop. She even picked out the most perfect carrying case for it. Overwhelmed I jumped into her car and we drove to Tony and Melanie's.
We ate our yummy dinner and then we played a game of Settlers of Catan (shocker!) in which Tony kicked all of our tails and took the win in record time. After that we thought it would be fun to try out a new game, it was my first time playing and this time I took the power and showed them who was boss :).
It was a wonderful Birthday despite the odds and I give God all of the glory for that.
Friday night we invited some of my close friends and family over to our home to celebrate. Typically we would all go out to eat and then have a fun and crazy night, this year however, I wanted to be with those I could be relaxed and comfortable around as my emotions aren't the most stable thing these days. We made fajitas and ate beautiful cupcakes decorated by Angela. We played the Wii, Apples to Apples, and enjoyed our time shared together. It was such a wonderful night and I was glad to spend it with those who made the trip over.
The following are some of the wonderful gifts I received for my Birthday, God truly has blessed me with some fabulous friends.