Thanks to everyone the kind words for Sarah on her birthday. It meant a lot to her . . . and to us!
So what did Sarah request we do for her 18th birthday? She asked to be taken to the nearest Barnes and Noble (almost two hours away) to spend some gift cards she had saved up.
Yep. Book shopping. What a great way for my book-loving girl to celebrate 18 years!
But first things first, right? Before she even got out of bed, her very own personal maid, chauffeur and cook served her breakfast in bed. (Eggs-in-a-hole—one of her favorites.)
As I came down from serving the breakfast, I became aware of a strange man out in our front yard. He seemed to be doing something suspicious with . . . plastic forks?
What exactly he was doing became very clear when Sarah and I left the house an hour later for our book shopping expedition. Turns out he had written her a message! With the forks!
Sarah was unable to read said message upside down so Steve escorted her around to the front of the house so that she could read his words from the proper direction.
It took her a minute . . .
but she finally figured it out.
It said, “Sarah is 18!”
After the fork-deciphering had come to an end, we embarked on our Road Trip to Chesapeake, VA. The visit to Barnes and Noble was followed by lunch at Fazoli’s, one of our favorite restaurants. We then stopped at Target for a last-minute school backpack purchase before heading home for pizza and a movie. Nothing like a simple birthday!
Sarah had requested Oreo cake for her birthday and since I was gone all day, Steve made it for her. He then purposefully put the candles on in the wrong direction and instantly aged her a few decades. (And yes, I know it’s horrible, but we forgot to put the Birthday Hat on her while we sang.)
So. That was her actual, official birthday. Saturday night, we had her actual, official birthday party.
Unfortunately, I was running way behind on prep. We’d had a large funeral at the church on Thursday and I’d spent an extra dozen hours preparing for that. And with our trip to Virginia all day Friday, I woke up Saturday feeling just slightly overwhelmed. I hadn’t yet planned a menu, shopped for food, cleaned, or decorated and I also had a couple of hours of work at church that needed to be done in preparation for Sunday.
At the thought of 30 people arriving at our home in just a few short hours, I did the only thing possible. I plopped down on the couch at 8 a.m. and gave up. And that’s where Steve found me a few minutes later—holding the dog, gazing into the middle distance, looking stricken.
Steve has been married to me long enough to recognize when I’ve reached the end of my rope and this was one of those times. He gave me a pep talk, told me he would help me all day (he even gave up the morning at his RC Flying Club) pulled me to my feet and got me back on track. (He’s a keeper!)
The first decision we needed to make was what sort of centerpiece to put on the serving table. I had been thinking about it and had gotten a small bit on inspiration; however, I wasn’t exactly sure how to proceed with it.
So I explained my nascent idea to Steve and before I knew it, he had made it happen! (I always knew there was a reason I loved that man.) My idea was to make a display (with an old fashioned vibe) that featured all the things Sarah loves: writing, reading, hats, Narnia, Sherlock Holmes, music, etc. It turned out really cool!
Those are a collection of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales which Steve’s parents purchased in 1961. They got them in Denmark from Hans Christian Andersen’s actual home which had been turned into the museum pictured on the post card. Isn’t that a cool story? They gave the books to Sarah a few years ago and she has treasured them ever since.
A woman in the church volunteered to make Sarah’s cake which looked and tasted fabulous and matched the décor perfectly.
Here’s Sarah arriving downstairs just before the party. Earlier on, she’d been down there with me cleaning and doing a huge pile of dishes even though my goal had been to make it through the day without her help. However, I finally had to cave in and ask for her assistance. She was very gracious to do so much work in prep for her own party. (She also put together a video loop of pictures of her life which we played on the TV all night.)
After the guests had arrived (ranging from age 3 to 80) and eaten some sandwiches and goodies, Steve lit the birthday candles.
Before Sarah blew them out, a few people shared some special things about her. One gentleman in his 70’s who has just been through a tough bout with cancer said how much Sarah had inspired him while he was taking chemo. That brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
Then we sang Happy Birthday and cheered and smiled for our grown up girl . . . a miracle girl whose whole, sweet life is stretched out in front of her. I can’t wait to see where her journey will take her.
Happy birthday, dear Sarah.