Today I woke up with two pimples on my chin.
Happy birthday to me.
Thankfully, I had a hot pot of coffee and fun DVDs waiting for me from my husband, and dozens of Facebook notifications in my e-mail Inbox. Friends were already wishing me well, and I had barely rubbed the sleep out of my eyes.
What's that Bible verse in 1 Peter that talks about love covering a multitude of sins? In this case, it distracted me from my vanity and wrapped me up in a warm embrace.
In fact, I found myself simultaneously laughing and crying most of the day, as I checked my e-mail and phone every hour to discover more words of kindness and encouragement, inside joke references, and funny videos ranging from a singing pug dog to animated cake and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Humor and love is everywhere. Today I felt like it was all for me, filling up my heart and Facebook Wall.
When my hubby got home from work, he whisked me away to a new vegan restaurant in Akron I've been dying to try called VegiTerranean. It's owned by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and has received glowing reviews online.
Oh boy, it did not disappoint! Our dinner started with a glass of prosecco, truffled wild mushroom & caramelized cippolini bruschetta, a cup of butternut squash puree with an apple cider gastrique, and a plate of delicious foccacia bread with garlic & rosemary oil, and ended with two dinner specials: the harvest risotto for me, and the spinach fettuccine with hedgehog mushrooms, roasted artichokes & tomatoes, and vegan sausage for my beloved.
I'll just let you soak in that meal description for a minute.
I am reminded of an expression Garrison Keillor always says about his Powdermilk Biscuits, "Heavens, they're tasty and expeditious!" While our food was lacking in the speed department (not a bad thing on a romantic date), it was high on the flavor scale.
After our gorgeous dinner, we raced back to our house to find the surprise Chris had been teasing me with for most of the week. Our friends, Anna & Steven, baked me a cake in our kitchen. Not just any cake, a red velvet cake. It was still slightly warm when we cut in to it and was covered in cream cheese frosting. Yum. We devoured our portions and headed to the theatre to see the new Reece Witherspoon/Owen Wilson dramedy, which was not short on laughs.
Following our goodbyes, Chris and I polished off most of the dessert, while watching one of the DVDs he gave me.
(Can you tell we like movies.. and cake?)
As I sit here and reflect on this day, this year, and who I am becoming, I can't help but smile. Sure, I'm thicker around the middle than I'd like, my skin still produces pimples, and I am plenty aware of my brokenness. Yet, God continues to speak to me, refine me, and show me the best parts of this life.
How can I not smile out of delight and gratitude?
Even with the blemishes and broken hearts, there is beauty and there is hope. Plus, I relish the adventure.
Happy birthday to me!