And just like that, I'm another year older. I've been ruminating some big thoughts as of late, and I hope to sort them out into some kind of logical post soon. But I did want to share a bit about my birthday this year, since its a tradition of mine to write a birthday post. If you're curious, here are previous years:
On Friday night, the day before my birthday, I went out with my dear friends Jessica and Molly to our favorite Thai restaurant (if you're local to Austin, Thai Fresh is so dang good). Then we stopped by Radio Coffee, my favorite coffee shop to visit after dark, because they have so many twinkle lights. Apparently, it was National Coffee Day, so we had to have some, ya know? Although I'm almost certain that national coffee day happened a few months ago....I won't turn down an excuse for coffee.
On Saturday morning, I woke early and easily. The windows were open, sunlight coming in slants of pink and peach. We had a simple breakfast: eggs and toast and French pressed coffee.
Later that morning, I attended a sewing class at my local JoAnn's, with just me and two other students and it was so fun. I picked out my fabrics to fit the materials list for a quilted table runner, hauled my machine in, and just started making. I generally put a lot of thought and planning into my making (whether it's knitting or sewing) and it was refreshing and incredibly fun(!) to just begin. I was the youngest class participant by a good amount, but we passed the morning talking about the communal focus of makers; so many of us knit and sew in a solo setting, but it's so fun to do it with others. I didn't finish the table runner during the class, but left feeling excited and motivated to finish it.
Saturday afternoon at home, I sewed a bit more on the table runner, Nicholas and I had fika together, and then we tidied up the apartment and got ready for a birthday dinner downtown. I wore red-tinted lip balm, a new-to-me thrifted navy cotton tunic, and my green pants (an outfit I felt completely like myself in) and he wore a henley and his navy chinos. He needed a haircut, so as is our usual routine, I dropped him off at the barber, then walked a few blocks for an iced latte and talked to my parents and brother on the phone. Then we walked over to The Backspace for arguably our favorite meal in Austin. We always order the same thing(s) and we're never disappointed: house-made mozzarella with basil and balsamic, pepperoni pizza for him, margherita pizza for me, and a chocolate hazelnut mousse with two spoons for dessert. My especially camera-shy husband even let me a take a few photos of us. :)
We headed home, opened sweet, thoughtful gifts from a few faw-away friends and family (thank you, everyone!!) and put on our pjs and got comfy for a few episodes of Downton Abbey.
On Sunday, I baked birthday cookies, as I wasn't craving cake this year, but definitely wanted my usual almond-flavored treat. I made my Almond Shortbread Drizzle cookies and we simply had to have fika after my sweet friend, Maeve gave me a fika tray(!) for my birthday.
I can't remember a recent birthday where I felt more loved, celebrated, affirmed, and encouraged. I felt joyful, a heart full of praise to God for such wonderful people in my life (and that my life is indeed redeemed).
And also, as a way to document, here's a snapshot of life right now, as a newly twenty-seven year-old:
- I've felt an incredible need to not care about unimportant things, like having the absolute best of everything or being snobby about coffee. I want to show up for my life and not let my little unimportant preferences get in the way. I'll write a post about this soon.
- It takes me (what feels like) three minutes to open plastic produce bags at the grocery store
- I love precepting new nurses at the hospital
- We're still on a huge smoothie kick—peach + mago + OJ for him, and berries + spinach + almond butter for me.
- I'm feeling more and more confident with the sewing machine!
- I still make PB oatmeal several times a week for a yummy, reliable, protein-and-carbs breakfast
- We've had the odd day that was cool enough to wear my birthday flannel shirt from Nicholas
- There aren't any big, new things in our life right now, but I'm consistently praying that He provide for us in the future, but also that I'd see His provision for us in the here and now, right now.
- I've been feeling more creatively motivated more than ever. Knitting, sewing, using my old beading supplies—you name it, I'm excited about creating things. Speaking of which, I need to get started on Christmas gifts.
- God is good and He knows what He's doing.
P.S.— I wanted to share some recent wise, incredibly encouraging and timely words from a friend on a hard day:
Just keep thinking about Zechariah [...] your's is NOT a day of small things! God wants you to remember that. He doesn't ever want His people to feel like their lives are unimportant or that God is unwilling to work wonders for you. Stay hopeful and keep trusting Him!
And also this verse, that another wise friend shared with me (paraphrased in The Message)
If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends . Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Philippians 2:1-4 MSG
I feel so thankful. For this life, for challenges that push me toward intimacy and trust in Him, for a husband I adore and who loves me so well, and for deep-spirited friends. Cheers to another year of His faithfulness.