My birthday was an absolutely glorious day. It got up into the 80′s and there was a breeze to blow through your hair, birds singing and flowers blooming everywhere. It felt like all the world was delighting in the sunshine.
I spent the first part of my day chilling in the swing by the pool, soaking up the sunshine and reading a good book.
The leaves are starting to color the trees with various shades of green!
My mom and sisters and I celebrated with refreshing cold coffees…
And John and I had a little date at our favorite date place.. Chipotle! I had a buy one get one free which made it even more awesome.
My amazing friends in my lifegroup threw my a surprise party! It was so fun and there was so much delicious food.. and I felt so loved. Annnnd… I forgot to take any pics
The next day we had my family birthday party by the pool!
Grilled veggie burgers, blue bell ice cream, tres leches cake..
So thankful for warmness and sunshine and happiness and family and love.
My sisters gave me a Harry Potter birthday. Rachelle bought me Harry Potter’s wand while visiting Unviersal studios and the Harry Potter world.. ! And Sarah made this beautiful chest for me to store all the books in – and the fun little book, too!
My mom and John’s parents added a few more lovely collectible books to my shelf..
And last but not least.. everyone who gave to my charity:water birthday campaign, THANK YOU! It means the world to me! You are saving lives! Over 800 million people live without access to clean water. Millions of people die every day because of it. But we can make a difference! You can support my charity:water campaign by clicking HERE.
Peace and love, Bethany
Today is my birthday! And this year I’m asking for something a little different. Instead of presents, I’m asking for gifts for the children around the world through my gift catalog with World Vision. There’s a large variety of gifts to choose from: a goat, medicine, school books, fruit trees, clean water, a soccer ball… and the list goes on. If you feel lead to give towards my birthday catalog, please click HERE. Even if you don’t feel like this is the time or place for you to give personally, I have a request. Please share my gift catalog with your family and friends via Facebook, twitter, email, reblogging this or any other social media outlets. The more people who known about it, the more people who get a chance to give! This gifts are literally life changing and not just for the child who receives the gift, but for the whole community as well. It’s life changing for the giver, too.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
often our trips are best expressed through our iPhone photos.. the little moments and the little joys. so excuse the poor quality of some of these photos.. but i just couldn’t leave them out because they so perfectly expressed those moments.
house of joe. we found this coffee shop at the beginning of the trip and frequented it during the week. the owner is friends with our very own bald guy brew of blowing rock and goes snowboarding there, so it made a rather quick friendship. besides the coffee and smoothies were superb and the atmosphere wonderful, so who could blame us for going there every other day?
most of the days were overcast and a bit windy.. but gorgeous none the less. and hey, we didn’t have to worry about sunburns. i actually love the beach when it’s chilly and breezy. when there’s clouds and dark skies. it’s more wild somehow.
ruth’s 21st birthday actually fell on her wedding day, but they threw her a little party at the crab shack we went to a couple nights before. it was overlooking the bay and quite a charming little place with delicious food. she was pretty delighted when they brought her a chocolate brownie for her birthday.
i love storms on the beach. the incredible strength and power of it all makes one feel so small and awed. the howling wind, surging waves and lightning striking on the horizon is enough to make you realize this life isn’t all just about me.
during our spa themed bachlorette party for ruth, the guys went out and got sushi. mmm. look at that? so beautiful. yes i’m jealous.
and the wedding day dawned beautiful with our first real sunrise of the trip. for real. how special is that?
i have too much to say about her wedding.. so maybe i will just not say anything. it was beautiful. and i almost cried during the entire ceremony.
coffee shop again, yes!
goy and i had pinky promised to go and try to see the sea manatee while we were there. so the night after the wedding goy and daryl, andrea, rob, john and i went to this park that was supposedly the best place to sight them. we watched a beautiful sunset, laughed at the clumsy pelicans and admired dolphins lithely dipping in and out of the water around us, but no sea manatees. maybe next time..
afterwards we went to this delicious restaurant with the most curious of names.. “the yellow dog”. i admit we were turned off by the name at first as it revoked images of shaggy yellow dogs shaking off ocean water.. but we got over it and were delightfully surprised at the incredible dinner we ate. i can honestly say i had the best tilapia i’ve ever enjoyed in my entire life.
and with that, the beach trip came to a close. i was sorry to leave. i always am. the beach, as all wild places, is so refreshing, so healing, so rejuvenating. i never want to leave places like that. and for some reason God feels closer. i don’t know why.
we headed over to “the jungle” where john’s parents live to spend an evening with them before heading home. they work at a boy’s camp in the middle of a jungle, complete with alligators and wild pigs and all! it’s an incredible place.
i sat in front of the fire watching the sparks fly around and feeling the warmth against my face and pondered. how this was one of those moments where i realize life will be different from now on. not in a bad way, just different. change. letting go.
embracing the moments that i’m living. with the people i’m living them with. to never take those moments for granted. because they’re gone so quickly. there’s more beautiful moments around the corner, yes, but what of the moments i lived and did not enjoy? they are lost to me. so i resolve to enjoy ever moment. every person.