Birthday Love

Yesterday was a really special day and I felt very blessed and appreciated by my sweet friends and loved ones. So many loving gifts and messages that I feel truly overwhelmed with gratitude! I have forgotten the source now, but somewhere I read that Henri Nouwen said Christians should always celebrate birthdays because it is like saying, "It is good that you exist. It is good that God made you and I love that you are alive and in this world." It is such a perfect expression of love.

I woke up to some great e-cards in my inbox from Will and Cynthia and my dear Mother-in-love. Angie sent me a gift certificate to spend at my favorite crafty store, eHandcrafts. I am going to love using that! Karen and Dave had already blessed me with a generous Amazon gift certificate on Monday (thanks again, you two!). As if that were not enough I had an email stating that I had WON a drawing I entered at a British stitchy magazine for this fabulous needlework kit! Imagine that! I don't think I've ever won anything, and to win on my birthday was such a delightful surprise!

I spent most of the day in New Jersey as Tuesdays are my counseling day. Mike said, "Treat yourself to some Starbucks on the way in," so I ordered an Orange Mocha and got a bran muffin for the drive. My mum called on the way and sang a jazzy happy birthday to me. :) I also received phone calls from my brothers and sister-in-law Sarah. Mom and Sarah say they have some special treats on the way. :)

My first counselee of the day, a dear woman named Michelle that I care for very much, had very thoughtfully remembered the day and gave me two beautiful jar candles, in Black Cherry and Lily of the Valley. Yum! She also spoiled me terribly by making the most delicious homemade bruchetta and a cheesecake for me to take home.

I spent my lunch hour with Greta, a Mennonite woman I've been counseling for several months. She took me to their Mennonite market which was stocked with beautiful Garden State produce: fat tomatoes, gorgeous strawberries, fresh asparagus and greens, and the most amazing hanging baskets of begonias and all sorts of flowers. I could not resist bringing home a tray full of fresh potted herbs, which now line my windowsill: Sweet Marjoram, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, Sage, and Lavender. This may have been the highlight of my day!

Check out this lavender!

Upon arriving home, I was greeted by all sorts of messages in my email and a few lovely packages. My kind friend Mindy had sent the sweetest sterling silver brooch in the shape of a lovely pair of scissors. Our best buds the Nielsens, who unfailingly remember our birthdays, had selected a book from my wishlist: The Forgotten Sayings of the Desert Mothers. Thanks, guys! I am really looking forward to reading this one.

Dad Vendsel sent another Amazon gift certificate, so I will really have fun selecting some books from my wishlist. All my dear friends in the online stitching groups I belong to had posted messages to say happy birthday, which was very touching.

We got changed and went to my favorite neighborhood restaurant where we had a delicious meal. I ordered my favorite bottle of beer, Newcastle, and fried asparagus with lemon horseradish sauce for an appetizer. Karen told me I should "eat something fattening" for my birthday, so there you go, Karen! We also got my all time fav-o tuscan bruchetta salad and I had garlic-herb cream cheese stuffed chicken breast with rosemary mashed potatoes and green beans! By the time dinner arrived I could only eat a few bites so I have most of that left over for today.
We then walked around Barnes and Noble and I picked out a couple of bargain books I have admired by Susan Branch. One is a pretty book of days, and I thought it would be an appropriate birthday activity to start a private journal about the next year of my life. My mum said this morning that she predicted "29" would be one of the most fulfilling years of my life ... so, we will see, Mom!

Mike's very special birthday gift to me was two tickets to see Harry Connick, Jr. in concert here in Philadelphia. He is coming next month and I am so thrilled. I adore his music and saw him in concert years ago at A&M and he gives a wonderful show. For those who might not be familiar with him, he is an amazing jazz musician from New Orleans. I belive this concert helps to benefit Hurricane Katrina rebuilding.

We came home and watched a movie, and I put the final stitches into a project I have been working on since January.

I received my last birthday greeting of the day at 11:30 pm by my friend Mignon, shortly before turning in to sleep soundly. What a day. Thank you for ALL the love!!!!!!!

20 comments:

Vonna said...

I'm glad you had such a very special day :)
You are a wonderful person and you deserve all the wonderful things people did and sent you on your special day of all days :)

Mary Kathryn said...

I'm glad your day was so sweet! I love your personalization on Home of a Needleworker.

:0)

xstitch.nl said...

Rachel, I didn't realize!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. Happy (belated) birthday!!

Annemarie said...

Happy belated birthday, Rachel! It sounds like you had a truly wonderful day. And to think you will have a repeat next month at the concert!

Margie said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds like it was wonderful.

Wendy said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! And congrats on finishing Home of a Needleworker. It looks wonderful.

Barbara said...

Happy belated birthday!

Thanks for sharing your very wonderful day with us. It sounds like it was perfect. :D

Katrina said...

Sounds like a very nice birthday! Glad you enjoyed the day so much.

Von said...

What a wonderful way to spend a very special day! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your birthday so much!!

Margaret said...

A belated Happy Birthday Rachel. It sounds like you had a wonderful day with special attention from family and friends - you deserve it. Hope your special new journal will be filled with a year of joyful times.

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday to you Rachel! It sounds like you had the perfect day which I know you must be so deserving of. I love your windowsill herb garden. And, what better to end a perfect day than to receive Harry Connick, Jr. tickets? Lucky you!

Nancy

Jen said...

It sounds like the perfect birthday! Happy birthday. I am happy that you had such a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Rachel! I know you'll enjoy the Harry Connick, Jr concert - I love his music. He was so cute in the movie, HOPE FLOATS. Enjoy!

Tanya
THE SAMPLER GIRL

Isabelle said...

Happy belated birthday, Rachel! Glad you had such a good day.

lena-lou said...

Belated Birthday wishes to you and your sampler has turned out great, it looks beautifully neat stitching :-)

Renee said...

Really sorry that I forgot your birthday, but I'm very glad that so many friends and relatives treated you! What a blessed life you have, and I'm thanking God for it. May he Help you to share this love you were given to all those who are less priviledged around you. And as i'm too late to wish you a happy birthday, I heartfully wish you a blessed and happy 29th year.

Shari said...

Rachel,
I haven't checked your blog in a long time. OH MY!!!!!! I LOVE how you changed Home of a Needleworker! WONDERFUL FINISH!!! I also love all of the herbs lining your windowsill. I have been working on my flower beds this am & I miss that. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Sherre said...

Rachel, this is the first comment I've left on a blog--I'm glad yours is the first! What a blessing your friendship has been in my life. You are a ray of sunshine! -- I LOVE how your Home of a Needleworker--the way you personalized it is great! I hope you don't mind--I'm going to have to borrow your idea. :-)

Nivaira said...

Congratulations !!!. The home of a,... is really a very good choice !!!!.
Mi inglés es pésimo,.... muchas felicidades por tu blog

tkdchick said...

Happy Birthday!

Beautiful finish!