Well folks, it finally happened. I am now officially 1/4 of a century old. Michael planned a dinner at Red Lobster with some Atlanta friends the night before my birthday to celebrate, but other than that the actual day passed by fairly uneventfully. The next weekend, however, I went to a dance event, and a couple weeks later I went to visit my dear friend Sarah in Houston. I have decided that those were the rest of my birthday celebrations….your 25th birthday only happens once, might as well make it last the whole month, right? 🙂
The dinner at Red Lobster was nice, albeit quite low-key. I was originally a little sad because a lot of my house church friends were still out of town, but that just meant that it ended up being a whole new group! Chris and Julia, Michael’s parents, and my mentor from church and her husband were all there, along with several house church people who were still in town. I felt very loved and cared for. We were going to go bowling after, but instead we all went to my house to watch Million Dollar Arm, which had been given to me as a gift earlier that night. I do so very much love having people into my home :).
The dance event, Sweet Side of Swing, is possibly my favorite event out of all the ones I’ve ever been to. The leveled classes making learning easier for everyone, and every detail is attended to with such care that it makes it almost impossible to NOT enjoy yourself. This year was even more special by the “Swing Literacy Development Training” course that I took. This was an add-on that was offered in addition to the regular workshops and social dances….8 solid hours jam-packed with tips and techniques for teaching swing dance more effectively to beginner and intermediate dancers alike. It was a really well-done workshop…I’m very much looking forward to implementing the things I learned at the weekly Atlanta swing dances!
But, as fun as Sweet Side of Swing was, the crux of the month was definitely my visit to Houston. Aside from my brief dinner with her last year while I was in Houston for an interview, it’s been years since I’ve seen my dear friend Sarah. We saw each other a lot while we were in Korea, and keep up regular phone conversations now that we’re both back stateside…but phone calls can’t hold a candle to seeing beloved friends in person. I took advantage of the long weekend around MLK day to go see her…only got to spend a couple of days with her, but a couple of days is vastly better than nothing! Sarah and Donnie are incredible hosts – possibly the best I’ve ever met – and also great friends….the two of those together made for one very happy houseguest! Sarah picked me up at the airport, and then I was greeted at their home with a welcome sign and guest basket. Over the course of 2 days, we managed to pack a lot in – game night, puzzles, church, a tour of NASA (Donnie works there), walking around an adorable little boardwalk and mini amusement park, and even a round of restaurant hopping (messy burgers in a sports bar with lots of character for dinner, and then drinks and cake at a gem of an establishment nestled right on the water afterwards). And yet, somehow, I never felt rushed or overwhelmed. I guess that’s what happens when people who care for each other a lot just get to spend some time enjoying each other’s company. I have decided that, even though they’re short, weekend trips are much better than nothing, and I’ll be making every effort to make more of them in the future! So glad to be blessed with friends all over the world with whom I can pick life back up when I see them, no matter how long we’ve been apart!