Tuesday, December 06, 2011

My 30's are turning out to be my favorite

It's my birthday and I'll blog about it two months later if I want to. That's how the song goes, right? I am still all sorts of jazzed about Christmas, but since I still haven't decorated our tree or house and am seriously stressing out my husband by my lack of motivation and therefore have no pictures to show for it this birthday was extra special I couldn't let it go by without a blog post of its own. Settle in, y'all, this is going to be a long one (and if you just muttered "That's what she said," WE ARE SO BEST FRIENDS).

To start things off, Allie surprised me with a sisters trip to Atlanta and tickets to see Sugarland and Sara Bareilles in concert. Hooray! After making a quick stop at the outlets in Calhoun to pick up my birthday present from Jason (dreamy tall brown boots, thanks hon!), I met Allie at Ikea. This seemed as good a place as any to start the early birthday weekend considering that I had never stepped foot in this much talked about ohsotrendy spot. 

We headed upstairs to the restaurant first so I could try their famous Swedish meatballs. Can I tell you a secret? Lean in....real close now....they're just meatballs. Tres anticlimactic.

Armed with a map and the free measuring tape, we headed off into the vast realms of prefabricated glory. 

I managed to find the couch of my dreams (hello, Hovas couch, you lovely thing you) but as we neared the end of the top floor, my head was swimming. I made it about halfway through the bottom floor when I finally turned to Allie and said, "I don't care how cute or affordable this stuff is, I'm on sensory overload and I WANT OUT." So we booked it to the exit only for me to realize that I'd forgotten to look at a kitchen table, as I'd promised my NYC bestie, Robyn, that I would do. So, back to the top floor went we.

After a fruitless search in the table section, I was ready to turn around and go against the grain of the Ikea-imposed one direction maze and get the heck outta Dodge. My military rule-following sister would have none of it and so we walked through the entire top floor. Again. Have I mentioned I was already on sensory overload and my new anti-anxiety meds had yet to kick in? GOOD TIMES.

We'd gotten to the middle of the stairs leading to the bottom floor when I started looking for a quick exit out. The conversation between me and Allie went something like this:

Allie: There isn't a quick exit. We have to walk through the bottom floor again 


Allie: Well, they don't. They want you to have to walk through again so you buy more stuff.

{Sidenote: I may have actually stamped my foot at this point. I am nothing if not completely mature when under extreme duress.}

Allie: Well, get over it, Lu, because that's what we're going to have to do. 
{Another sidenote: There was much rolling of eyes at this point.}


Annnnnnnnd, scene.

At this point, the angels smiled upon us and I looked to the right and saw a shortcut exit right next to their childcare center. Hallelujer. Crisis averted, we headed back to the hotel and then over to Phillips Arena for the show. It was, of course, awesome.

This was actually the very last show of their Incredible Machine Tour and so there a few pranks that night (see here and here), but one of the coolest parts of the show was a surprise that a local radio station put together. The last few months of tour took a tragic turn when Sugarland's stage collapsed in Indiana killing some of their  fans and crew members. To give them some encouragement and show support for the band, the radio station gave everyone a sign with some relevant lyrics from their song "Little Miss" and asked us to keep them hidden until that song was performed.

It was pretty cool to see all those signs go up at once.

The obligatory mid-concert shot, of course.

Sugarland always manages to work in cover songs so you never really know what's coming. All you Young Life folks, make sure you listen at 1:11 where Allie and I pay homage to our Mount Tabor YL roots.

Our weekend in Atlanta was pretty fantastic. Allie has a strong record of giving me amazing experiences for my birthday gifts and this one was right up there. Thanks, seestur!

Next up was a fabulous pseudo-slumber party hosted by Christine and Sarah. Hooray for girly time!
The birthday cake? Oh, they nailed it. Well done, friends, well done.

Hand crafted touches were everywhere...

I requested a menu of breakfast for dinner, one of my favorites. And you know what beverage goes perfectly with breakfast?
M'more mimosas, please!

Homemade quiches, Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit seemed to make everyone happy.

And this?

This photo is a tangible answer to a prayer I have prayed for three years. It's missing a few more beautiful faces, but the women here have loved me, cried with me, walked with me, prayed for me, we've laughed together, crafted together, worshiped together and they've allowed me to step into their lives in a way that is such a rich blessing it brings tears to my eyes every time I look at this. They help make Chattanooga home and I am beyond grateful for them all.

Other highlights from the actual birthday...

This hilarious note from my mom explaining why she signed my card with her first name instead of "Marmee". Lordamercy, I love that woman.

Cupcakes from my work study students. Aged to perfection? I'll take it.

A birthday gift from my new friend Renee and a new favorite snack- Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms.

And best of all? Coming home to the love of my life, a decorated living room and a delicious home cooked meal.

My cup runneth over.


  1. Holy crap. Has it really been TWO MONTHS since your birthday? How is that even possible? Time is flyin' by!

  2. shut. up. you call your mom marmee, too???

  3. What an AWESOME birthday!!!!

    I <3 ikea!!! BUT I always have a plan. . .first thing- make it an ALL day trip. Get there in the morning do first floor until lunch. after lunch plan buys. . .then go down stairs and begin grabbing accesories and know where to go in stock area from the plan! LOL hubby and I had to make an ikea trip last less than an hour once though so I know how time consuming that place is when you are trying to get in and OUT fast!!!!

    YAY for Sugarlan I <3 them!!! the sign thing is awesome!!!!

    Your sleep over looked like a BLAST!!!

    Happy Belated Birthday!!!!

  4. Aw, I made it in not one, but TWO blog pics! In pajamas, but still... Good thing I wore the sexy pajamas.

    So glad you are in my southern world. And not abandoning me anytime soon like some *other* people.



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