*this song is gonna hang around for a week or so...
"Thank You" - Keith Urban
I've been craving a night like tonight for a few months now.
I planned ahead - making sure to sneak in a long nap earlier. As I hoped, it gave me just the perfect amount of energy to enjoy a late night of writing and reflecting.
Tonight, I sit wrapped up in blankets, cuddled in the corner of the couch with a brand new pumpkin candle burning beside me. Krimpy's paw is dangling over my shoulder as I type.
And peace and quiet fill the living room.
Gratitude and love fill my heart.
October is here - one of my favorites.
Still, I can't help but recall September and all the milestones and memories made.
The past few days were so special. And as I sit here and look back at my photos, I'm reminded even more of just how beautiful life is. And how incredible and astounding the people that bless my days are.
There were so many times this weekend where emotions took over and I found myself wiping tears
of such gratefulness and joy.
Whether I was driving and listening to my music, vacuuming dead bugs and cobwebs out of windowsills at the offices, or getting ready for bed...
I constantly had such overwhelming thanks running through me this past week.
Love has spoiled me so greatly...
Thursday, these babes took me to dinner.
We sat and ate and talked and talked and talked. We would have gabbed some more, had the place not started throwing signals at us. Turning the lights down, the music off, and walking by our table a dozen times did the trick. But that didn't stop me from grabbing some photos...
Friday, Steve and I went to a late movie.
I did pretty well - I didn't fall asleep like I expected and I only had a few bathroom breaks.
However, I learned that movie theater popcorn is not this pregnant lady's friend.
I came home on Saturday afternoon to Steve, his friend, Jamie, and the adorable
Parker hanging out - what a nice surprise!
Saturday was a
good great one. I always look forward to time with Jessica. I headed over her place at 3:30. A sleepover was planned. And a walk that never happened. As soon as I arrived, we sat down and began one of our signature chat sessions. Three gabby hours later, we decided to skip the
walk. Our marathon chats burn more calories than walking anyway.
Jessica made the perfect meal, ringing in fall with pumpkin lasagna. We stood in the kitchen and continued our yapping as Jessica whipped up an amazing meal. She even let me crush the cashews (and eat half the container of em'). It was so good...I am gonna try and make it sometime this month - stay tuned for that post - I'm sure it will involve something burnt and mushy and possibly, a fire.
This girl makes an art of gift wrapping and gift giving...presents so pretty you don't want to open them. Presents so thoughtful, they bring tears to your eyes.
I may have woken up the neighbors with my shrieking and uncontrollable laughter when I uncovered this gift.
I wish I could tell you what it is, but I can't. :)
After changing into our pajamas, she had all the ingredients lined up on her kitchen counter for ice cream sundaes.
We filled our bowls and headed back to our perch.
There was more "pretty stuff" waiting for me.
"Another set of gifts?! Are you nuts?!" I asked Jessica.
"It's nothing much, I promise" she answered.
I have learned never to trust her with that reply, as she is always so thoughtful...paying attention to every detail and remembering the little things that mean so much.
Wrapped up, were tons of gifts that brought back memories of our teenage years.
Oh, the memories we share.
I started going through the contents of the bag.
There was our old favorite nail polish, a pink slap watch (that I totally plan on rockin'), Mad Libs and kitten stickers. My favorite - something I have laughed out loud about for the past two days when it comes to mind - a handmade birthday card that included a blackmail photo Jessica has been holding onto for about fifteen years...with the words "Still Got It" stamped underneath. I would post the card, but I'm not sure if seeing me under the covers in a satiny bra with Fashion Bug underwear on my head is appropriate. (No boys were involved in the photo. Promise.)
Richard Marx, Celine Dion and Kenny G cassettes. Yeah, I may have had all of these at one point.
(And I may or may not be breaking out my old boombox to blast these babies.)
And lastly, a handmade best friends bracelet. I cried. Not only did she make this herself, but she stitched on our initials and the year we met...and made herself one too.
We ended the
night morning with a few rounds of Mad Libs. Jessica said it's my calling - to answer these things. Again, I'd post some pictures, but I got a little immature..."bellybutton lint" and "tampons" ain't got nothin' on some of the other words I used.
It was a wonderful
sleepover awakeover and day with "Cinnie."
Sunday, Jen and Kim came over to take me out to brunch.
They told me last week they had a surprise for me and to not ask any questions.
I admit, I was intrigued.
We sat at the restaurant, ordered and then they began telling me a bit of what was going on.
As it turned out, both of them had contacted Steve with the same gift idea for my birthday. Steve gave them one another's contact information and a password of mine
I would later come to find out they needed.
I had no idea what it could possibly be and already was teary at all they were telling me.
Without saying another word, Jen popped a gift bag up on the table as they wished me a happy birthday.
I'm sitting here crying right now because of how insanely beautiful that surprise was...
They took every single one of my blog posts...from the very first one I wrote a year and a half ago,
to the one from last month - the one that was my most favorite to write so far...
and had it made into a big, gorgeous, heavy, hardcover book.
Every single one of my words, thousands of my photos, some of the toughest, yet most magical stories of our journey these past years - all painted on fresh, pretty pages where I could see them. I was so overcome with emotion, I bawled shamelessly for a good ten minutes in front of everyone in the place. I was completely blown away.
Kim taped me with her phone a couple minutes after the surprise.
I haven't been able to put it down...haven't been able to stop thanking them. All the hours they spent...all the love they put into it...I am beyond touched.
The past two nights, I've sat with it in my lap. Opening up to random pages...reading post after post.
I plan on starting from the beginning this week...reading all 231 pages as they come...reliving it all.
From my first entry...
to some of my most dear to me posts...
to the really tough but healing ones...
Each and every one - I want to take in again.
I'm in complete awe of the profound love that graces my life.
And so thankful for all the people who make it beautiful.
I can't wait to live and write the next book.
15 week bump
(Thanks to Jessica for the wonderful photos.)
Just a joke.
Okay, no, but seriously...
Happy October. Happy fall. Happy Tuesday.