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When hope comes along

Updated: it appears giveaway #3 lost its comments. Blogger you are on my naughty list. 
Please re-enter the giveaway if you are so inclined. I’m sorry! Also the What I Wore Wednesday comments are gone and I know there were 17. Ha. Well I had fun reading them when they were there. Also it will be late Sunday before I post giveaway weiners; going to a wedding.
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My thirtieth birthday will go down in history as my favorite.

My most favorite one of all.

We had a regular day, Wilder, Story and I, with trips to the post office and beauty supply store. The weather was a beautiful 70ish with a sweet little breeze in the air. Shawn had let me know a couple days prior that he wanted to meet us in one of my favorite areas of town for a birthday dinner. Naturally, I began to wonder if there would be other dinner guests, too, like friends!

I was wrong. And that was okay. I had had such a great day so far, and the Lord confirming a lot of things in my heart (including both of my sisters giving me the same scripture verse on my birthday, without knowing it). I had had all the gifts I needed that day.

Our food was delicious. Oh my. I had the Josephine–turkey with walnuts and a special cheese (I forget the name). Then I ate 1/2 of W’s grilled cheese. I stepped away to use the restroom and came back to see Shawn frantically texting. Before then, I had wondered what was up, because he was just acting like his mind was elswhere. But his mind could’ve been on a busy day at work.

He and Wilder decided to go outside for some fresh air because he’s about to have a meltdown, Mindy, while I finished Story’s bottle. Wilder was nowhere near meltdown mode. So I began to wonder if maybe there wasn’t a card table over by the fountains, with a few friends gathered round, maybe some sweets to share. We passed by the fountains.

No one was there.

Then Shawn says, we better go to the agency, Wilder has to poopPlus he wants some M&Ms(Shawn’s workplace is in that area of town and they have a huge bowl of candy in the reception area). Now I was really suspicious. Such suspicions were confirmed when I a) saw my friend’s SUV in the parking lot b) heard the faint sound of children’s voices emanating from the breakroom. We trapsed on.

I thought there would be just a couple of people there, maybe 2 other couples, children in tow. I stopped dead in my tracks. Completely unable to move.

Emotion overcame me.

Hands to mouth, I nearly dove toward the first person I could lean into, Shawn’s dad.

I couldn’t believe it.

Tears.

Okay gotta regroup.

Everyone was there. Everyone.

My family made up of so many non-blood brothers and sisters. My sisters in the Lord. Those I’ve known for years, others not as long. People who have held my heart and loved me despite my faults. Who have allowed me to vent, have allowed me to help them. Have let me hug and kiss their babies. The family I will hold close to me forever. They are everything.

It’s everybody.

We talked until 9ish while the kids ran circles. I forgot about the cupcakes and punch. I just wanted to soak in each conversation, express my gratitude to each person there. I kept thinking, you did good, Shawn, you did good. And, oh my they are out so late with their kids; what a sacrifice. Thank you, each and every one of you, that came. If you missed the invite, don’t hold it against Shawnie; he had only a couple days to plan.

Someone will be holding against him alot anyway:

Jenna, thank you for these pictures. They capture the memories I will forever hold dear.

When we become parents, the spotlight turns to our children. I dig/get that. I celebrate my children every day. When I got married, there were showers and parties. When I had my babies, there were showers. I had plenty of time to be loved on my many.

But what all of my friends, the guests of this party, didn’t know, is that their presence in one great big room at one great big time, for me, gave me renewed okayness with myself. It sounds really selfish (we should never doubt who we are, when we do that, we doubt God), but there are those of us who occasionally struggle with self-worth. This party heightened my awareness that people care about me, that I’m worth their love.

Thirty is fine. Thirty is great.

In fact thirty may have saved my life.