My birthday – 2014

This birthday was bittersweet for three reasons.  The first was that friends from past years weren’t here.  That’s no surprise, so I won’t belabor that point.

The second is that two families we’ve enjoyed getting to know here in Texas are moving.  In fact, one of them has already moved… they pulled away two days after my party, and are arriving in their new “home” state as I write this blog post.

The third is that I got virtually no pictures.  I totally forgot to have anyone take pictures so the group shots you will see are the lucky pair that Kari took for me… and I am grateful for them!

So, without any further discussion on why this birthday was bittersweet, I will share the details of my birthday with you now… because I know you’re just DYING to know how I celebrated my 37th, right?!?

I have found it fun to continue the tradition of Frogmore stew as my birthday meal.  I love making it, and so far it’s been a big hit with the friends who have had the opportunity to share it with us.  I have somehow lost my massive stock pot, so I made this year’s batch in 3 pots. In my 12-quart I used the spicy sausage and in the other two smaller pots, I used the mild.  This allowed people to decide for themselves if they wanted a bite to their stew!

For our desserts I had one of the sweet girls from our youth group make pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes and I picked up a medium sized cake from HEB.  (HEB is the local grocery store here, and while it’s huge and sort of overwhelming, their cakes are delicious!  And as a bonus, they sell Duke’s Mayo.  I’m a fan!)  In addition to these sweets I had purchased a package of Pumpkin Spice Oreos.  Yes, I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin and I actually like these!

The families who joined us made me feel special and gave me the opportunity to do one of the things I love most:  open my home and spend time with friends.

The men and children spent some time playing Corn Hole while the ladies oohed and ahhed over the little squishy who came.  We were short one of the the men who deployed last week so we wish him well and are very glad his family was able to come (I haven’t gotten permission to use their names in my blog, so this explains why I’m being a tad vague regarding this.)

At my age (I feel old just saying that) I don’t expect or need gifts to make my day special… truly, just having people over suffices!  But my friends did, indeed bring gifts.  Kari sells Norwex, a product I’m head over heels for, and she used my “wish list” to buy everything I wanted!  I love this stuff, and the color of these clothes makes me happy!  (Orchid, if you’re curious.)_JEN4764Included in the above items are an EnviroCloth, a towel and wash cloth set, SpiriSponge and not shown is a dish cloth.  Loving these!

Heather brought a gift that I didn’t open until after we had eaten dinner and had dessert.  I happened to comment that the kids must have enjoyed the Oreos because I didn’t get any.  Heather’s gift made me very happy:

_JEN4768In addition to the Oreos was a Starbucks card.  Oh, she has won my heart!

The Myers’ gift to me is still gorgeous and keeps getting more beautiful by the day.  I love this fall themed bouquet.

_JEN4794If you look closely you will see Pumpkin Bars in the cake platter behind beside the flowers they brought.  Be. Still. My. Heart.

Matt has an iPad Mini and I started stealing it sometime last month to read some books that we don’t have in our physical library.  He decided that this was a good time for me to receive one of my own.  I think I’ve done well… I’m an Apple fan and I’ve waited all these years to own my own iPad!  I’m really enjoying it and love that if I read a few chapters on my phone, the iPad opens to the right page the next time I open it.  (I thought the phone looked cute next to the iPad.) _JEN4774 And in the mail came a journal and cross that have symbolic references to Wiesbaden, my temporary hometown in Germany.  Aimee knows my heart will always love that place, that time…IMG_0187

As I cleaned the kitchen after the party, Carson and I were chatting about what a fun time we had had.  I mentioned that I was really disappointed that I had forgotten pictures, so he snapped about a dozen or so… of all my gifts, of me washing dishes, etc.  They’re all blurry, but it was absolutely precious!  Here’s a blurry one of me!IMG_0175There were four people who didn’t make it into the pictures, but I’m thankful at the very least for these two pictures.   (Thanks, Kari!)  In the first I’m telling everyone which pot is spicy and reminding them to get two bowls: one for food and one for the shrimp peelings.IMG_0190 IMG_0189The day was very special and I really enjoyed having my friends over to celebrate!  Another year of life.  I am beyond blessed!

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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