Saturday, November 26, 2011

Birthday Blessings

Yesterday was my 25th birthday. This is strange to me because I hardly feel like an adult, yet I've been here for a quarter of a century (people really like mentioning this fact on your 25th birthday).  One great thing about being 25 is 25 is divisible by 5 and is a divisor of 100 so it is very easy to calculate percentages relative to my age {nerd alert}. Besides the aforementioned 25% of a century, I have known my friend Sara since we were 5, that is 20/25 or 80% of my life {crazy}, I have known my husband for 10 years or 40% of my life {yes, that means we met when we were 15}, but I've only had a sister for {(25-18.5)x4} 26% of my life.

We celebrated my birthday with my family and my husband's family Thursday while we were visiting for Thanksgiving. It was one of our lowest key thanksgivings in many years. My brothers, Brock, Shane, and Colin were each with other family and were missed. Since my birthday falls on or near Thanksgiving each year, gooseberry pie is my version of birthday cake. My sister, Grace, age 6 was the pie crust roller and top of pie decorator this year. You can also see a sliver of her in action as the photographer in this shot.

After both pumpkin and gooseberry pie, we played some Just Dance on the Wii. Jeremy even danced one song {first time ever, no photographs allowed}.  My youngest brother Marty loves dancing, knows the words, and can sing along to some of the songs. He also realized for the first time that he loses every time, but quickly didn't care and was happy because he earned points.
Marty was also very congratulatory to his winning family members, which was evenly balanced between me, Grace and Mom {all the Bailey ladies know how to shake it - exhibit 1(see left )}.

After my parents', we went to see Grandma (Jeremy's maternal grandmother) who is in the nursing home recovering from a broken hip. She is feisty and funny and should be heading home in the next couple weeks. Then we went back to Jeremy's parents house and hung out with them and Jeremy's brothers, Ryan & Chris {Chris is Jeremy's identical twin - just to help you in pictures later}.

On my actual birthday I got to go to work. No, that's not sarcasm I really think it is a blessing to have a job I love to go to every day. Since Black Friday is a holiday for some but not others I heard a lot of "I had to go to work," "Did you have to go to work?," but each day we are blessed to get up and do a task to earn money. We are blessed to have this opportunity {I will step off of my soap box now}. At work I was able to design a couple bridal bouquets and meet with several brides with upcoming weddings. Anyway ... when I got home my front door looked like this{---->} and my house was filled with balloons! The workings of my amazing friend Amanda. I love it, but I love her more!
We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner with Amanda, {her husband} Patrick, {Amanda's sister} Cynthia, Tyler {a friend of Cynthia}, Andy & Amy {a couple from our small group}, and Ryan {remember he is one of Jeremy's brothers}. That was fun, delicious, and loud. After dinner Andy & Amy headed home but the rest of the crew [now augmented by Chris {twin}, Sara {friend since age 5, c'mon you should've remember that}, and {Sara's hilarious husband} Simon] came over to our house for the game of Things.

From the front left: Ryan, Patrick {Row 1}; Tyler, Cynthia, Me, Amanda {Row 2};
Chris, Simon, Sara {Row 3}, Jeremy {Top of the Pyramid} [year book style]
It was so fun! I was loved...
.. and tortured. Ha... can you take Chris's face? Pure evil. And Ryan is enjoying himself. Jeremy is just sitting idly by and not rescuing his lovely wife from his evil twin. Such is the hard life of the only girl in the family. Only kidding I love my brothers {in-law}.

So far 25 is great! I feel amazingly blessed with a great family, awesome friends, and the best husband.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hope for the Holidays 2011

Remember when I told you I was a small group leader, for some wonderful girls in our high school youth group? Well yesterday I had the privilege of working along side these lovely ladies to serve our community!

It all started when someone donated 50 trees to be distributed by our church (FCC) to areas families. The  lovely young ladies our small groups had a vision to do something more! They held bake sales, decorated ornaments, got the rest of the youth group involved, found "Turkey Sponcers", made flyers and announcements at church and by the end had collected enough money and food to provide each of the 50 families with:

a tree, a tree stand, ornaments, lights, 4 hand made/decorated ornaments, WBGL water bottle, Christian music CD, a lovely heartfelt letter, turkey, gravy, stuffing, broth, cranberry sauce, baking mix, brownie mix, 10 lbs of potatoes, butter, a dozen eggs, a bag of frozen veggies, a jar of apple sauce, a reusable bag full of Chinet products, a gallon of milk, rolls, and at least 10 other house hold grocery items! Praise be to God!

We were all  amazed at the way God turned our small effort and meager plans into amazing Kingdom work. God has called us to serve, to feed his sheep, to be his hands and feet, and we were blessed to have this opportunity to impact our community together.   

Thank you Lord for choosing me to do your work. Thank you for blessing me with wonderful co-leaders and sweet students.