Saturday, January 8, 2011

25th Birthday.

Well friends, it's official.  I'm a quarter of a century old!  Yikes!  Turning 25 forced me into a lot of internal reflection, and I've decided that I've had an excellent first 25 years of life.  I realized that the first 1/4 of a lot of peoples lives is really crappy, and they have to spend the last 3/4 of that life trying to make up for, redeem, and stop the cycle of the pain that was inflicted on them during that time.  With that in mind, I am so thankful that my parents worked hard to give me a great life thus far, setting me up so that the last 75 years of my life (I am optimistically aiming at 100 haha) will be successful and joyful.  

Anyway, I LOVE birthdays.  They were always a big deal in our house growing up, so I'm thankful that Josh has learned that, and acts accordingly and appropriately when my big days come along :-)  (Because he's really not a big birthday celebrator like I am haha)  This year was extra special because he put together a little birthday surprise and completely fooled me.  Completely.  I thought we were going out to dinner somewhere fancy that had reservations.  But on the way to the restaurant he was all: "Ok Leslie, I have to confess, I waited too long to get reservations at the fancy restaurant I wanted to take you to and they were booked... and then I tried to call another fancy place with live music and they were booked so now we aren't going any place fancy... but you'll still like it... it's just not what you were thinking and I feel bad so I had to tell you".  Being the understanding and flexible wife that I am (ha), I didn't care at all.  We were going out for my birthday!  I knew it would be fun.

So, we pulled into the parking lot at our destination and we were at Texas Roadhouse, where we went on our first date.  I thought it was a super cute idea and they have great food so I was pretty excited.  But then he took like 5 minutes to park because he found this one spot that he just had to have.  It was a squeeze but he kept trying, while I was pointing out other spots ("so hey, what about that one right there?  Two spots down?")  After the fact, I realized it was because he didn't want me to see anyone else's cars haha.

So we walked in to the restaurant and the hostess says, "Just the two of you?" and I said "Yep!" and then Josh said, "Well no, actually, McCracken".  She then goes, "ohhh ok, are you with the large party?" (Silly girl.  Silly, silly girl) and that was when I knew Josh had planned my first ever surprise birthday party celebration!  I turned the corner and almost started crying because so many of my friends had come out to celebrate with me.  My blogging friends Emily and Cortny even came, Emily from Ann Arbor and Cortny from Lansing!  Isn't that crazy?  They were just here last weekend and they drove ALL THE WAY back to this side of the state to be there.  I couldn't believe it. 

Several highly amusing things happened during dinner.  First, as we were waiting for our food, all of the waitors and waitresses started coming our way clapping and singing a birthday song so I thought, "Oh gosh here they come..." which is what you would've thought too, right? Right. So I decided to embrace the silliness of the moment and in a very excited way started clapping along... only to have them make a sharp turn to the left and completely ignore our table and sing "Happy Birthday" to someone else!  I laughed so hard I almost started crying because it was so ridiculous and kind of embarassing but mostly just completely ridiculous hahaha.

When dinner was over, they finally came over to sing to ME.  Except they brought this weird saddle thing that I had to sit on (side-saddle, like a lady of course!) and then they sang me a birthday song.  Our waitress asked me my name and how old I am now (I replied, "Leslie, 25) and she then yelled, "ALRIGHT EVERYONE, WE'RE GOING TO SING LINDSAY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG! READY? GO!"  and I started laughing.  Again.  and so did everyone else.  When will I ever get out of my big sisters shadow?!  (Just kidding Lindsay!)  It was hopelessly funny and I felt so sorry for the girl who had no idea how embarassed she should have been at her mistake.

After dinner, Brian and Kyrie came over to our house to finish out the night.  I was so happy to get to see my twin brother on our birthday, since we didn't get to last year.  Several other friends also came back, and we played a couple of rousing games of Apples to Apples to finish out the night!

Also, if I may share a few more little things with you.  I was blessed with so many creative, fun gifts this year!  The best kinds of gifts are the ones that say "I love you" and "I know you".   One gift in particular I'm saving for it's very own post (Thanks Suzanne!)

Josh gave me a beeeautiful locket.  I have been wanting a locket for a while, they are just so elegant and classic and meaningful.  He picked this one out for me on Etsy and it's perfect! I love how the clasp is also a lock and key.  Perfect.  He even put a little picture of himself in it :-)

Joshua also got me this 5 year journal.  Each day of the year has a simple question on it to answer.  Questions like: "The best part of today?" or "Was today typical? Why or why not?" Over the course of 5 years, I will be able to look back at my answers from each day and see how they compare with the years before.

Emily made me this cute little ipod case!

Braden and Stacy made me Alice's necklace from Twilight.  It's got the Cullen Family Crest on it haha!

My friend Kate found this bag.  She thought it would be perfect for our time overseas.  We won't be able to bring a ton, but this bag folds up so small that it will be easy to carry anywhere, and is big enough that I could take it and fill it at a market or shopping!  Isn't that so thoughtful? 

 I also got cards from my Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Sue!  It was a day when I felt lovely and loved, and that is a great combination!


  1. Happy belated birthday, Leslie! :) I'm glad you were able to celebrate with so many people you love!

  2. Hey Leslie! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I find that the internet is a great way to "meet" other ministry wives.... WE NEED EACH OTHER! Hahaha!

    I love your outlook on turning 25! I am turning 21 in a couple weeks and I am so sad to get older (I know it's still young but I loved being 19 and I love being 20...) but it is so true that I have been blessed with a pleasant 21 years of life and I can only look forward to seeing what God is going to do in my life from this point on!

    Thank you for your encouraging words! I can't wait to read more of your posts!


  3. Sounds like a truly wonderful birthday! You are blessed and we are blessed to know you :)

  4. Leslie is 25!!!! You are a wonderful woman whom I love and am so proud of. Need I say more?

  5. How the heck did I become anonymous? Better work on this comment thing. MOM