Pictures courtesy of my iPhone!
I turned 25 yesterday. To some of you that sounds young – maybe to a lot of you in fact – and I know in my head that it is. But if I’m being honest, this was the first birthday I have ever somewhat dreaded. I always love my birthday. I always make a big deal out of it, and love it when others do the same. This year just felt a little different.
I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the heartbreak we experienced last month has affected everything since then. I thought I would be a mom by now and while Beyond that, I had in mind that I would be somewhere different at 25 – it always felt like such a big age to me growing up. Now that I’m here, it doesn’t feel as big – but it does feel a little more serious and a lot more scary than any other year.
With all that said, though, I can’t ignore how awesome my birthday weekend was. Nathan and I celebrated how we love to – by traveling! Our amazing friends let us use their beach house in Corolla and we braved the snow on Friday night to make it down. Saturday was a glorious bunch of nothing. We went on a few walks, with one involving a cup of local coffee for me, but other than that we spent time with each other doing very little. It was incredible and a much needed break.
Nathan had planned to take me out to a very fancy dinner Saturday night, but for some reason I just wanted to do something different. I know that going to Africa changed me in many ways, and this weekend it caused me to re-think how much we would spend on a birthday dinner. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating, or even with fine dining! But for me, and for us, it felt too strange to eat at such a nice restaurant after visiting a third-world country.
Instead, we went to Whole Foods. No, I’m not kidding! We made an adventure out of choosing a dozen different things to eat and we left happy and full, with good memories, having spent what one dish would have cost at a fancier restaurant. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
From start to finish, this birthday was different from any one before. It has been so bittersweet – I think a lot of things will feel bittersweet for a little while – but at the same time, I have nothing but great memories to look back on. Dozens of cards from family and friends, birthday gifts, amazing coffee, a warm house on the coldest weekend of the year…I could go on for hours.
My birthday was bittersweet this year, but it was perfect. I have nothing but gratefulness in my heart for what’s ahead. And maybe that’s what turning 25 is all about.
Here's our view from the snowy Outer Banks!