Last week was a big one for us over here! It was my birthday, I got baptized, my parents were in town, the kids were out of school for Fall Break, Abreham (our almost 17 year old) got both his first job and went to State for XC. Oh! And Anton (9 years old) won first place at his BMX race!
So basically, it was a whole lot of insanity...and a whole lot of celebrating!
Though I was only five years old when I asked the God to be Lord of my life, I never made the plunge to get baptized (pun only mildly intended, haha).
It's been on my heart since college, but really wanted to do it in the Jordan River, like Jesus was. Years have obviously zoomed by and I've realized that I won't likely get to the Holy Land anytime soon.
What I did realize though, is I didn't want to be dunked into a hot tub type vessel in front of the sanctuary. I love being outside, you guys. I wanted this to be more than simply a quick immersion into water. I wanted to really make this into a celebration. A ceremony. A communion between myself and my Lord.
I wanted a body of water, one where I'd feel a chill and feel some discomfort, because to me...this was a big deal.
Since my parents were in town and the weather was still warm-ish, I asked our pastor (and dear friend) Nirup, if he'd baptize me during my birthday week.
I'd long since given my heart and life to my Heavenly Father, but this felt almost like renewing my vows to Him. This was an occasion where my family and friends could enter into an experience with me as I outwardly showed my commitment to God and He bathed me with grace and love and forgiveness.
And I wanted to celebrate His Goodness, His Mercy, His Faithfulness, and Holiness.
So that's what we did. And it was amazing.
(Per usual I forgot to take photos during the party. So all these were taken during setup and cleanup. Bummer!!)
I thought I was turning 38 this year...but surprise! I'm actually 37. It's been years since I've paid attention to my age, but the closer I inch toward 40 I realize I'm not quite ready! So that was a present in and of itself. (Feel free to roll your eyes. I don't blame you, haha.)
As a mom, I've long since given up on the idea of sleeping in on my birthday and having a full day at the spa or something. Not that that doesn't sound like heaven...I'd just rather not miss the fun stuff going on with our kids.
Anton had a BMX race where he won 1st place in his division (and a trophy about as big as he is!)
Abreham also had his State Cross Country meet and got his first job at our neighborhood grocery store!
We of course still did some celebrating that evening though, and since they know my love language is a pretty table and dining outside, my mom and the kids set up the most fantastic Ethiopian Dinner for us all to enjoy.
We were out there 'till way past their bedtimes as Gram and Grandpa told goofy stories about me as a child and two sweet guys just didn't want the night to end.
I'm truly just not a fan of Halloween at all. The only thing we really do is go trick or treating and the only reason we do that is to get to know our neighbors.
I had told the kids toward the end of summer that I wasn't buying costumes this year. Money is tight and I just can't justify $30-40 x 6 kids. I was surprised by how little they actually seemed to mind.
We obviously have a surplus of costumes from years past and our kids love being creative so some made their own costumes, some did wardrobe changes throughout the night, and others just decided they didn't want to take part and didn't dress up at all!
We set up a table in our front yard and made enchiladas and moscow mules. Friends brought homemade guac and chips, and before the dads headed down the street with the kids, we just spent time of chaotic fun together.
Neighbors came by and chatted for a bit since we decided to camp out at the table, rather than head back inside, only opening our door when kids came by for candy.
We met tons of neighbors we didn't yet know and caught up with many we already did. I'm so glad we stayed outside. Conversations ensued that never would have happened otherwise!
I think this may become a tradition. Dress up or not, come by for food and drinks. Hang out under our cozy blankets by the outdoor heater if it gets too chilly.
We had such a fun week of celebrating so much.
And PS once again, I got NO "during the actual festivities" photos!! I've gotta get better about that!