With an upcoming birthday I had come to the uncomfortable realisation that I didn't particularly enjoy celebrating my birthday, well not my actually birthday, I have no problem getting older or any of that business, I just don't like the fuss or the pressure (yes this is in my head) on other people to take time out of their lives to focus on me, hmmm, yes, some issues there, but it does make me squirm. As my friends asked about what I was planning on doing, I pretty much steered the conversation away from doing anything, I was counting the days until my birthday had passed on by.
Anyway, my lovely had planned the perfect thing for me, an intimate dinner for two in Coffs followed by a surprise (which turned out to be seeing Arj Barker perform, wonderfully hilarious), it was perfect and easy, especially since my parents and sister were up and they had put up their hands to care for and hang out with Poe and Ilo for the evening. I love one on one time with Scott, once a week we have date night at home but it is always extra special to get out and spend some time together talking and talking and eating delicious food and drinking yummy wine.
Feeling quite carefree and relieved that my birthday was only one sleep away, I thought an easy and very relaxed picnic by the river would be lovely, Scott laughed as I called up a couple of friends, confounded by my seemingly contradictory position on birthday celebrations. I reasoned that there was no pressure it was simply a relaxed picnic and if a few friends could just casually drop in, great. Makes perfect sense, yes?
And so on the morning of my birthday I felt pretty loved up and relaxed as I hopped into bed with my mum, my dad, my sister, Poe, Ilo and Scott who managed to squeeze in at the foot of the bed. I opened a few beautiful and considered gifts, enjoyed a delicious breakfast at no. 5, then proceeded to do some gardening whilst my sister and mum cleaned out our kitchen cupboards, sounds pretty much like an ideal birthday, yes. Then garlic toast was rubbed, garden pesto was made and we donned our swimmers and loaded up the car with food and floatation devices.
Scott surprised me as he suggested we pick up a canoe from Ben and Victoria's, hooray, I thought, wow, he really took on that chat we had last night about canoeing down the river, oh how I love my dear. So we convoyed first to Ben and Vic's house but then as we pulled up I noticed some cars that I recognised and a verandah heaving with some dear dear ones, oh my.
Yep, a surprise party for me, thrown by some dear dear friends, who decided to ignore my protests and force their celebration on me. Obviously that meant lots of tears, oh yes, I was sobbing. Sobbing because when I realised what has happened I also realised that a lot of my reluctance around my birthday celebration was not wanting to force people to focus or celebrate me, especially I guess because these lovely folk are newish friends and it is hard to actually know how people feel about you sometimes, I guess especially since some weird stuff has happened with some old friends since moving away and that kind of stuff shakes your understanding of what friendship actually means at times.
I sobbed like a big release, like my heart opened that bit more and let their love in.
The table was heavy with all sorts of delicious homemade delights, flowers picked from Cath's magnificent garden, fairy lights twinkling, bunting blowing and all these beautiful people with smiling faces looking at me. And what a celebration, talking and laughing on a big wide verandah, looking out to the mountains as the sun streamed in. Eight and a half hours of varying degrees of hilarity and ridiculousness and deliciousness (with four, yes four scrumptious birthday cakes), which ended well into the night with a grand finale of all the adults dancing in the loungeroom to some pretty random tunes.
Thank you, thank you to my beautiful friends and family who created this very special surprise, I honestly had no idea and I feel so incredibly lucky and full of joy to have you all in my life.
*warning, this is an extremely photo heavy post, be prepared.
* thank you Suriya and Ellie for taking hold of my camera and adding even more photos of me to this blog, the drought has well and truly been broken
*thank you also to all my dear, dear old friends, for all your love, support and joy that you have always brought into my life, i feel so rich to have you in my life.
* thank you also to my mum, dad, sister and aunt, who all made the effort to be here to celebrate and who were so amazing helpful with pretty much everything. love you