I get my love of parties and people from my parents. They have always been really amazing at throwing parties. Really, get-togethers of all sorts…Monday night football parties, weekly Sunday lunches, Fourth of July cookouts included lots of our close friends, yummy food,and memories made. Because of this, they were always so willing to humor me when my birthday came around and all I wanted was to party hard with my favorite friends. I had a flashback this morning of a childhood birthday party when I turned 9. My mom made clay ice cream cone beads for us to paint and to string on ribbon and wear as necklaces. All of my friends brought their Barbies and we set up camp for them in the living room, making them “sleeping bags” like ours, out of our clothes, towels from the bathroom, and whatever else we could find. My dad was busy making the thickest, most delicious Bobali pepperoni pizzas. My little sister was only 5 and had barely started Kindergarten. She got to hang out with the big girls and I think I treated her pretty awful, but have hopefully since redeemed myself. From 16 on, I had themed parties, complete with dancing, awesome food, and Rice Krispie treats. My friends would humor me as well, and dress up to match the theme. When I turned sweet 16, we rented out a hall and went with a 70’s theme. I wore a floral blouse that my Grandma Viv’s brother had made years before, when he was an apprentice for a dressmaker in Chicago. My sweet friend Byron showed up in a full on disco getup, complete with large afro wig and white bell bottoms. Birthdays have always been an excuse to have the most fun possible with my most favourite people. This is always my goal when throwing a party. Life should be celebrated! My big birthday parties were never about me wanting it to be about me. I was dead set on making these parties something people looked forward to and talked about in the years to come. I wanted people to savor these moments and to have a total blast. To enjoy life.
This morning, as I was contemplating turning 31 today and wondering how in the HELL I got here so quickly, I was feeling nostalgic and thanking Jesus for a full, well-lived life, up to this point. This past year alone has held:
My first new years with my husband, Two Friesen sibling weddings, a move into our first house together, a trip to Seattle and to the ocean, a road trip to Canada, my first real canoe trip, our first time hosting a major cocktail party together, seeing my Seattle girl Brandi Carlisle at Red Rocks, 4th of July in Rocky Mountain National Park, experimenting with more cooking and baking, making my first every homemade apple pie from scratch! Joining a small group with church and diving in deeper. Starting a book club with close friends and reading more. Learning how to care for house plants! Waking up every morning to a man that is more than I could have imagined for myself. Dreaming about what the future could hold for us as individuals and together.
Some people complain that they are another year older – I have never understood this. It feels like a notch in your belt; another year completed and a fresh slate-of-a-year ahead. I’m thankful that I get to live life with my amazing husband, a large troop of incredible family and friends, and to adventure into new things. The chance to throw more parties and to take life by the horns! I realize that this is one of my life missions: to have the most fun possible and to invite others to join in! This next year will hold many parties, I guarantee, with many new adventures as well. More details will unfold shortly, but for now I will just say that I am quite excited about what lies ahead and what I will be able to report on my 32nd birthday. I think the thirties will be some of my favourite years. Instead of fearing the aging process, I will embrace it and pull all of the goodness out that I can. The moral of the story? Surround yourself with amazing people, celebrate the every day and all the little details, and don’t forget the amazing times that have already been. Counting your blessings makes for a pretty amazing birthday <3