I've always loved my birthday.
From the beginning of March I start counting down to it, I try not to be too annoying about it to all my friends, and I think about all the things good and bad that have happened over the past year.
But the last few years, my birthday has had to come and go without major celebration.
Last year my husband was sick, so after helping out at a job he was too ill to go to, I then went with the baby to dinner.
The year before I was extremely pregnant and had school all day. After all my classes I went to get an oil change and Nathan and I grabbed dinner. That was the year my mom was so excited that she would soon meet her grandbaby that she actually forgot it was my birthday.
I had come to accept that getting older meant that your birthday was no longer a special day, and I was okay with that.
But this year, that changed.
This year I felt special, loved, cherished and blessed from the time I woke up until I went to sleep.
Actually, it went beyond that, I've felt the birthday love for four days now.
Friday, I received flowers at work from my in-laws. Beautiful tulips that I'm staring at as I type this because they look so lovely in the sunlight.
Saturday morning I woke up to run my first ever 5k. I was so nervous, because this has been my big goal for about 6 months. I didn't lose all 40 pounds that I wanted to, but I've lost 27. I've trained hard. And as a result I ran it in 35 minutes. And I placed first in women age 20-24. Shocking, but in the most wonderful way.
Then I was taken to lunch of my choice by four (okay, three and a baby) very dear friends that just wanted to spend time with me on my birthday.
And that evening, after taking me out to dinner and getting me a cookie dough blizzard cake, my husband successfully snagged the last DVD copy of Frozen from Redbox for us to snuggle up and watch.
Sunday morning brought "Happy Birthday's" and congratulations for my 5k, as well as cards with sweet words appreciating me for being, well, me. Accepting me: the introverted, refuses to drink coffee, thinks in a weird way, sometimes talks too much person that tends to be rather insecure.
And today my bosses remembered my birthday, so in addition to bringing me Starbucks goodness upon arriving at the office, they took me to lunch anywhere of my choosing.
The undeniable love I've felt over the weekend is how I believe everyone should feel on their birthday: and I hope to return this feeling to all of my friends when it's their day.