Birthday Bash: Celebrate we will

Happy September 1, friends!!!!

I do love a reason to celebrate, and I do love a birthday.

September seems like a good month to have one, so I think I will.  

On the 26th.  

Like ever year since 1983.  

I am not a "must have party" person, but the joint 8th grade boy-girl shindig still lives in infamy.  I have my cool friend Elizabeth to thank for our happening party at the subdivision clubhouse complete with a sheet cake, pizza, and Oasis jams.  

and this girl jam was put on rotation!!  (still is.)

Actual invitation pictured below. Perfectly preserved in the archives of TKY. 

I have also enjoyed more intimate gatherings including the  oh so 'sophisticated' pack of 10 year olds traveling to Greenville from Anderson to dine on 'international' cuisine at the Kanpai of Tokyo. 

I turned 22 a few weeks after moving to LA, and my very first friend treated me like a movie star.  Instead of aimlessly wandering alone in the San Fernando Valley mall where I worked, Marianna coordinated  MAC makeup makeovers, California Pizza Kitchen, and the comfort of knowing I was connected with someone out there who truly cared and wanted to celebrate life and new beginnings.  

In more recent years, I have used my brithday as a way to practice my developing #intentionalliving goals.  My #30before30 list was a significant part of my journey, and I attribute much of my personal, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth to it.  Chronicling the completion of the list online was vital to it's success.  Many of YOU, were following along then on my tumblr and #inreallife.  So thank YOU for being an #accountabilityally to me! 

As I look to 32, I have had family, friends, and a few of you folks ask if I am doing something special.  A blog project? A party? Trip?  To these questions, I am not exactly yet sure the answer. I am thankful for the heart and sensitivity of my sweet dear community.  My birthday comes just days after the year mark of my father's passing.  And one day prior to his own brithday.  As a child and more recently in the last years living so close and working together, we ALWAYS "birthdayed together."  It was not even a question.  Whether it was a sharing a Skins hot dog meal or toasting with champagne and creme brulee, we loved a daddy-daughter birthday.  Work always made it a blast too---balloons, jokes, cake, and so many laughs. (We had the best team/staff/family.)  

Last year I remember giving myself permission to not go to the office and face the world.  Basically because my body would not crawl out from under the covers.  The next day we celebrated what would have been my father's birthday, and I crawled out long enough to drink wine and eat cheesecake from Sullivan's.  

This year has been life changing, but I still have a gazillion reasons to celebrate.  I have some brainstorming buzzing around about what and how I will share with you how September will look around my internet home.  Thank you all so much for loving me, supporting my blog journey, and especially praying for my family over the last 11 months.  I am truly grateful and so deeply moved by the power of God's people.  Gosh, I am so glad we celebrate birthdays because I want to celebrate each of you!!! So happy happy to each of you!!!

I'll be back to share more, but in the meantime, there is more celebrating going on over at Susan Mead's blog today.  She, along with a party of bloggers, have been posting to honor her late son Kyle.  He would have been 28 on August 27.  Our interview is feautured on her site today.  You can read and watch here. 

And it wouldn't be a birthday without presents right!?  I am happy to announce the TWO winners of Susan's book, Dance with Jesus: From Grief to Grace.  (PLEASE NOTE: winners last names not included on post--you will be contacted directly via email with details on gifting you your prize! YAY!!!!) 

Cheers and Celebrate we will!!!

And my take on this super cheesy saying actually feels super authentic today, so I'm going to embrace it: "Remember, life is a gift, so BE PRESENT!!"