As of this past weekend I am officially a "quarter century" years old...and Michael and I have officially celebrated our first birthdays as a married couple!
I got off easy this year because his birthday took place during our honeymoon in Belize. We needed space in our luggage to bring home souvenirs which meant he didn't really want me to bring a gift...but I still like to pretend that the cave-tubing, zip-lining, and fancy dinner at our resort that we already had as part of our package that day were something I planned specially for him. When you think of it that way, I did a pretty awesome job! In reality, though, I didn't actually pay for any of it, but it's the thought that counts, right? If we hadn't been in a beautiful foreign country going on thrilling adventures together I would have made sure he had some sweet gift to open, obviously.
When all is said and done, though, birthdays are the most meaningful (as are all holidays, in my opinion) when shared with people we love. Maybe it's because I'm a newlywed, but I tend to think all things are better now that I'm married...because it means I automatically get to share everything with someone I love very much. Birthdays are no exception.
My husband and I made plans to spend my birthday 'day' exploring the quaint town of Frankenmuth, Michigan - home to the world's largest Christmas store as well as many German foods, shops, etc. For my birthday 'night' we planned a dinner date followed by a gathering of friends for some cosmic bowling. Before that, though, Michael surprised me by arriving home from work on Friday carrying beautiful, long-stem roses and a sweet card in which he wrote lovely things for me.
He always complains that he can "never surprise" me, but I happily reminded him that somehow he always seems to manage to do so for my birthday. Because of our plans on Saturday I certainly did not expect any sort of flowers or surprises...but what can I say? He is a keeper.
The only unfortunate thing about my birthday is that I had come down with a nasty cold and felt miserable most of the day - but this did not stop us from having fun! Our excursion to Frankenmuth and everything with friends somehow managed to far exceed my expectations and I had a great time. Maybe it's because I was sick, but even the pizza and pretzel I ate at the food court in Bronner's (seriously the largest Christmas store in the world) was both the cheapest and most delicious meal ever. The sheer immensity and overwhelming options at Bronner's also managed to distract me from my cold as we explored Christmas decoration after decoration.
They really seemed to have something for everyone. I mean, they had Our Lady of Guadalupe, several Holy Family ornaments, St. Patrick, AND countless pandas. That is my kind of Christmas store. Who else has all of that?
Thankfully my cold symptoms subsided long enough for me to feel healthy as we bowled and I miraculously bowled a 125 and 105 (unheard of, considering I rank anything over 75 as a really good bowling game for myself). Now that it's been a few days and the worst of my cold is over, I can more fully reflect on how wonderful everything about my birthday was...and I feel beyond blessed.
Every couple is different and each person likes to celebrate their birthday in varying ways, but for me this was perfect. I tend not to ask for much, but the love and happiness I experienced was bountiful. All I can say is that I thank God for my husband, the adventures we have together, and the friends we were able to celebrate with. If our birthdays this year were any indication of how our future birthdays as a married couple will go, I have much to look forward to. Again, maybe it's because I'm a newlywed, but I'm fairly confident that all my future married birthdays will manage to surpass any previous birthday celebrations...even if it's simply because I forever (God-willing) get to share them with my husband.
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."