More than that, actually. My mom’s birthday is today, my sister’s is next week, and nearly every day I get a birthday notification or two on Facebook. But on Friday night, we gathered to celebrate these four ladies:
Gerilyn, Abigail, Katie and Kelsey (from left to right above) all have birthdays this month. When we discovered this fact at our New Year’s party, we decided to have one big birthday bash. And it was a hit, if I do say so myself. (Birthday crowns courtesy of Abi’s class of preschoolers.)
There were two kinds of enchiladas, spicy tortilla soup, pulled pork, a big bowl of guacamole, three different birthday desserts, a pot of mulled cider, and plenty of tea. There were hilariously awful first-date stories and flickering candles (birthday and otherwise). Later, there was a truly incredible game of charades. And all night long, there was so much laughter.
Since moving up here two and a half years ago, J and I have often felt isolated, lonely and far from home. We miss our families, and the community of friends we built in West Texas. (We are ever more thankful that Abi and her husband Nate, old and dear friends, ended up here with us.) We are working to build new friendships, but it is often a slow process. Forging community takes time and effort, and it’s difficult in a city where many people don’t stay long.
But on Friday night, our apartment rang with voices and footsteps and shouted guesses during our charades game. We hugged and snapped photos and sang “Happy Birthday” and told stories and laughed and laughed some more. And when we fell into bed after midnight, exhausted but happy, J and I agreed: it’s wonderful to have friends in our home. It’s wonderful to have community here. Our circle is small, but precious. And we are grateful.