Bryan is not one for huge parties. Nor is he one for shallow friendships. He prefers smaller groups and deep, meaningful connection. I'm totally with him on the meaningful connections, but my circle of friends could eat his circle of friends for snack (we're talking quantity only here). If given the opportunity to create a guest list, you'd better fetch me a couple of sheets of paper and brace yourself for an eclectic group.
However, this year I really wanted to do something that focused solely on Bryan and would bless his socks off.
I knew he'd love a date night with his closest friends. And I knew he'd love one restaurant in particular. So, I sent the invite...and waited a few weeks before calling the restaurant. Bad idea. Bad. When I called four days in advance, they were already booked for Friday night.
You can see how experienced I am at this.
So, I moved on to another restaurant. Then another. Then another. I even reached out to my foodie brother and friends for creative suggestions. And ended up at Houlihans.
It's a fine restaurant, but not what I was aiming for on this special occasion.
The good news is... We were at my back-up restaurant's, back-up times ten. But were with first rate friends.
As I glanced around the dinner table, milestones, memories and inside jokes coursed through my brain. Schooling, baseball, graduation, weddings, divorce, babies, miscarriages, infertility, adoption journeys, promotions, lay-offs and countless entreprenurial ideas. Suffering, sick parents, death. Worship, Bible study, tears shed, hands held, prayers whispered. A sibling found, vacations taken, retreats attended, ministry served. Hospital visits, family dinners, holiday celebrations, spontaneous get-togethers, nights out. Babies first words, cheering on kids' sports, preparing boys for their freshman year of high school. Exchanging encouragement, advice, and a listening ear. Hours long phone calls, coffee and lunch dates. And unexpected, no-reason, gifts, cards and flowers. These are people we've done a lot of life with. People we count on. People we trust. Our go-to people.
Eric and Kellee
Robert and Lynne
Brian and Emily
Aaron and Christina
As I thought about all that we've been through over the course of our friendships, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. And my heart swelled out of an abundance of love. These are brother/sister-friends. Dear people, without whom our lives would be so very different.
On this morning-after, I'm still basking in the glow of a great night celebrating my man (who is now in his 40's - gasp!) with great friends and the many calls, texts, and birthday wishes from countless people I'm blessed to call friend, family, brother and sister.
Happy birthday to us, indeed.
As the vase says... So very grateful for simple blessings. My girl Lynne brought the flowers to the party. Of course she did.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord,
he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and
the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his
courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.