If Wednesday was one of my most difficult days in a long time, Thursday turned out to be one of my best. It began with a morning and afternoon with one of my best friends since Kindergarten, crafting and catching up for hours - a rare treat on a weekday during nursing school. She's a nurse, so she completely gets what I've been going through and loves me well through it. It was so refreshing.
In the evening, we headed to my parents' house to celebrate an early birthday (it's on Saturday). I had this gut feeling that a surprise was involved - I just read them too well, I think - but it totally threw me off when I arrived and it was just the four of us. We headed upstairs to see some new furniture, and when we came back down, two of my favorite people were staring in the windows near the front door. :)
A few more arrived and we shared the most delicious gluten-free dinner. Mom made a completely gluten-free meal of chicken alfredo, vegetable pasta, gluten-free garlic bread, and salad. It may have been the first completely gluten-free meal I've ever had outside of my own home, where I didn't have to avoid one thing. It was heavenly. We even had gluten-free cake from a bakery... a first for me!
Let me just say, I love the people in these photos. Every single one. The fact that they all made time to come celebrate me is such a privilege. Whitney even drove down from Bowling Green, Kentucky just for the evening which was such a sacrifice and made me feel so loved.
When we went to bed last night, I thanked Shawn for his part in putting this all together and whispered, "My heart is so full." It is, and it's such a good feeling to know you are loved by these amazing people. I am so, so blessed.