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Saturday, May 12, 2007

turning 30, finale

At home, Jessie and I chatted and caught up while Darin was off Doing Who Knows What. (I'm pretty sure my kids were being taken care of by my dad and Beans.) At around 5:45 or so, I got a phone call from Darin: "Get the kids ready."

"For what?"

"Dinner. I'll be there soon to pick you all up."

A mad rush ensued, to get everyone dressed, clean, etc.. I had expected a dinner somewhere, but I didn't know where.

When Darin got home, everyone at my house climbed into various vehicles and we headed east on Center Street. Darin made me promise to close my eyes, which I did. I kept my head down. At around 700 East, he made a phone call and this is what he said: "Hi, I have a reservation for 6:30. It's under Eckton, first name Darin. We're just a few minutes away, so please don't give our table away."

This was beyond confusing (which I think was the point) because there are no restaurants where we were driving. We turned left onto 900 East, and then I lost track of where we were (side streets). As we slowed to a stop, Darin told me to keep my head down but to open my eyes to read my last clue:

While it may not be Bombay House or even Tepanyaki
The food you will eat was catered by a different company
There is not one perfect birthday surprise
Rather the entire day for you with many highs
So off with the blindfold you have arrived at the last place
I can't wait to see the look on your face

Not Bombay House or Tepanyaki? I could tell that much from where we were. My thought was, "Holy crap, Darin somehow got Johnny's Lunch out here!" (Johnny's is a food joint from my hometown in NY, which I love, but the thought of it traveling 2,000 miles is a little gross.)

I looked up.

Cjane, my own personal greeter (I totally stole those two photos from her blog)

my lovely birthday banner, a-la oh, judy!

completely and utterly overwhelmed

HUGS! from oh, judy!,

compulsive writer,


the lo down,


and a look at suedonym's princess's new braces

I got to say a few words, and gave some very sincere, very emotional thank-yous friends listened... friends mingled... seester read one of her homemade poems, loaded with inside jokes...

...and, yes, it's true...

...I sang a duet with cjane!!!

(for some reason, people quickly disappeared after our song)

my brother shared some very beautiful words... did Jessie...

You KNOW my friends love me!

(yes, it's the 7-pounder from Costco)

presented with perfection by suedonym

casual guitarring with Jessie

Now, more than a month later, I'm finally finishing this post. It has taken me a while to do because I was afraid that I wouldn't do it justice -- and I haven't -- but I'm glad to have shared it with you. I wish I could print out the vision in my memory of when I was sitting in my van and looked up to see all of those wonderful people who I love. I won't soon, or ever, forget that. It's as if Darin cracked open my mind, pulled out a dream, and made it happen.

Things I've learned from this birthday celebration:

~Not to wear those grey shorts in public

~Always wear a belt and keep my shirt pulled down in the back

~Always be at-the-ready to sing a song with Courtney

Having this party meant, and means, the world to me. The only flaw was the absence of those who could not be there. Thanks to EVERYONE who was there and had anything and everything to do with planning and helping out: Sue & Family, Christopher & Courtney, Tiffany & girls, Dalene & Family, Shannon & Family, the Clarks, Kristen & Family, Suzanne & Tom, Azu'car & Family, Lorien & Family, Angie & Family, Meta & Boyfrennd, Kuulei & crew, Dad, Beans, Jessie, James, Monica, Ellie, Sarah Asay, Coral & kids, Nicole & Aubry, The Crippen Family, The PearTree Family, the Sethuardo Family, Suzanne & Family, and most especially Darin. Looking around, I realized that my 10 & 1/2 years here has not been transitory, as was the original plan; I'm home. This is my home, and there were my friends, not just random people I had met and liked along the way.

That night, when all was said and done, I kissed Darin, thanked him, and said something to him that, if you know me at all, is a huge thing:

"I'm okay with staying in Provo."


kiki said...

I'm glad you had such an awesome birthday, and I'm jealous that you have so many amazing friends who are nearby to celebrate with. Good times!

Carina said...

Provo rocks. En serio. Now, we just need to figure out how to get everybody who has left to get back here (and I think home prices are crazy now!)

I will NEVER forget the look on your face, it was complete and utter shock. Every few seconds you realized that someone else you knew was at the party. It was so fun. Sue, Lisa, cjane, and CW and EVERYONE organized such an amazing event.

Hey, you only turn 30 (for real) once. Welcome home!

Anonymous said...

It was just so much fun! And I was bawling like a baby over the expression on your face and how overwhelmed you were with emotion. It was beautiful day. And it couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

QueenScarlett said...

Thanks for sharing this...absolutely fun to follow you on your birthday. Amazing... and... you are BEAUTIFUL.

ps. I hope D got more than just a kiss... *snicker* (because I can be a high school boy sometimes)

sue-donym said...

A truly wonderful day for a truly wonderful person. Thank you for being my friend.

wendysue said...

What a fabulous day! And you didn't have to say much because the look on your face said it all! Love the pictures!! Wish I could've been there!!

sue-donym said...

I should have wore a slip

Anonymous said...

I just love Sue, don't you?

~j. said...

kiki - why, thanks! I wish you could have been here to party with us. Will you be here near us any time soon?

azu'car - yes, that feeling was incredible, realizing that THEY were here, and turning around to see that THEY had come, too! It was awesome.

cw - thank you so much. I'm glad you were there.

queen -- tee hee. I think we ALL, occasionally, have the sense of humor of a thirteen-year-old boy. Makes life funner. (Yes, funner.)

sue - thank you for doing most of the planning with Darin and for doing such an amazing job of keeping it all a secret! and slip, schmip, I say -- we all know that we all have legs.

wendy - I would have loved for you to have been there, your kids playing in the park with all the others. I hope to see you again soon!

Tori :) said...

What an awesome party. I'm still so bummed I missed it. You are definitely loved!

Sister Pottymouth said...

I sit here with a huge grin on my face as I read your post. What fun pictures, and what a fabulous surprise for you! I only wish I could have been there as well to wish one of my favorite people a hearty welcome to the 30's!