TOTALLY AND UTTERLY SURPRISED!!!!!
All photos by Sheila and Jorem Catilo (and I'm sure you already knew that)
This birthday surprise party was truly a validation of GOD's love for me---in the form of my husband, my friends and of course my Laurel and Filart family. Early this year, I was really looking forward to celebrating my 30th--I didn't have a bongga party planned but I wanted it to be special this year. Then life happened, I had some health issues and we had to sort of align our financial priorities for the year. On top of that, I also had a very unsettling feeling about the people back in my mom's province (victims of Typhoon Pablo who to this day are displaced and in need of help) so I prayed about it for days and even consulted Patrick about it. And after a ping-pong discussion, I decided to just abandon whatever plans we had so we could set aside a bit of money for Davao. Sa totoo lang, katiting lang naman ang naitabi ko and I don't even know if it'll even make a dent of change--but hey, it's what I have and what I am able to give at this point so bahala ka na Lord!Hehehe!
A few days before my birthday, I was sort of half-regretting my decision to not celebrate my 30th. I was starting to feel sad just realizing that this was actually a big milestone in my life and I didn't have anything creative or purposeful planned for the day. It didn't have to be a big party--just anything for me to say "So this was what I did when I turned 30!". Though God was kind enough to keep whispering to me that I made the right decision and it made my heart feel happier the more I thought about it.
Midnight came and as I was brushing my teeth I was already psyching myself to be cool about having just a regular day. "It's just a birthday, you'll have lots of birthdays", I thought to myself. "Celebrating birthdays are overrated anyway", I said to the girl in the mirror. Then I stepped out of the bathroom and found a few things lying on the bed. EEP! MY FAVORITE THINGS!!! A Dr Seuss book, a journal, and green tea kitkat---and a love letter!!!! A love letter that I've been begging Patrick for months to make! From my cool "I don't want to fuss over my birthday" attitude I just started bawling and hugging Patrick so tightly!!!! It just made me so happy that he made the effort to get me all those sweet little gifts :) :) That night I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world and the life I had now was the life I've always wanted---regular days are worth celebrating already and I didn't need to have a birthday to remind me how blessed I actually am!
For my birthday we did the regular stuff, we went to the mall, I accompanied Patrick to the barber, had some Pepper Lunch for lunch in a peppery way, moved to another resto for some chocolate cake then went home so I could take a nap. YES. I took a nap on my birthday. It was the best siesta ever! Lolang-lola na ang peg ko!:) I set the alarm for dinner with my parents--which of course turned out to be a surprise party instead.
It must be the hormones--or my old age (hahahaha, 1 day palang akong 30 feeling wise old owl na ako!) but I was completely overwhelmed with emotions upon seeing all the details of my surprise party. ALL MY UTIMATE FAVES were there: Jamaican Patties, Fish balls, Sorbetes, Dunkin Donuts munchkins, Polly's chocolate cakes, Waffle Time, Potato Corner, and more junk food&food cart favorites!!! Isa lang ang naisip ko upon seeing that whole spread of food---WOW, these people actually KNOW ME. Would you believe my buddy, RG, brought the actual Potato Corner kiosk (na may kasamang babae pa ha!) because he knew I was gaga over their french fries! That's what you call a true friend! Sheila made the props, Alessa baked me a cake, each guest actually made the effort to bring something I would actually LIKE! I could enumerate them all but it would take all day. Hahaha! The common trend really was this..my friends KNEW ME. And that alone was such a grand epiphany for me! These people have seen everything and have chosen to welcome me into their lives wholeheartedly without any judgments. If you make the extra effort to keep your friendships genuine, no matter how crappy life is--it'll be ten times less complicated if you surround yourself with authentic connections. Naks, deep tayo. Aba syempre, 30 na ako noh!
I looked around the room and saw all these familiar faces and I was reminded of God's goodness in my life. These people have crazy work schedules, some even have children, yet they made the time for little ME. Sino ba ako?!?! Bakit ako mahalaga sa kanila?! What did I do to deserve this love and affection from these wonderful people? They actually sat down and thought of what would make me, their silly old friend, happy and put themselves out there to make it a tangible experience for me.
So let me close this nobela with a big THANK YOU to my friends and family members who have filled my heart with so much love!!! MARAMING SALAMAT! To Patrick's accomplices our moms, Sheila, RG, Marge, Team Gonz, Jonsy, Ces, Ale and all our other friends---THANK YOUUUU!!!!!! Indeed it was a Happy Birthday for me..all thanks to God's orchestration!:) Where's the LIKE button, I soooo want to LIKE this post already!!! HAHAHAHA!!!