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October was full of wonderful birthday celebrations, and I loved it.

Miss Hannah had a wonderfully themed party.  She likes argyle (brown and pink to be exact), and asked us all to show up in our best threads that sported her cherished design.  I had the pleasure of designing the invite and baking her a lemon cake, her favorite.  It was a great time of celebration and eating delicious pizza at Mellow Mushroom.

The following weekend was the much anticipated surprise party for my dear friend Jerene. Jerene is one of a kind, and I hope everyone has a “Jerene” in their life. I know I am so thankful she is in mine.  I thought it was about time her life and home were celebrated, and that she was told how incredible she is, how much she is loved, how huge of a blessing she is, and that she heard the words “thank you.”

So I rounded up a bunch of helpers and kept a huge secret for months.  I never thought this day was going to come.  But it did, and it was a huge success!  I am so thankful to everyone who played a part; it would not have been so great without them.  And they did such a wonderful job, with decorations, supplies, cake, punch, taking pictures (thank you Joe Gomez and Sue C!) and providing words about her to put in a scrapbook that we gave to her at the party.  I think our goal to bless Jerene was greatly exceeded!

Then the following weekend (Yes, three celebrations in a row.  Almost too much excitement to handle!) our wonderful friend from college, Miss Mary, came down to visit.  She wanted to get away for her birthday, and she chose us to stay with. What an honor!  We took her to Cozymels (a favorite), to Pumpkin Fest in downtown Franklin (so charming) and to The Hermitage (incredibly fascinating).  For her birthday, I took her to one of my new favorites, Sips ‘n Strokes.  It was a total surprise for her.  I was pretty sure she’d like it (she’s a music teacher, and thus has a great right side of her brain), but after spending the afternoon gawking at beautiful pictures and crafts in Franklin, I knew it was going to be a huge hit.  And it was.  I felt like I was reliving my childhood, her giggling throughout the whole thing and showing so much excitement (and her painting was amazing!).  Jeff and I’s life is definitely not as full with laughter since college, because we do not see her enough.  She’s one of those people that not only always has a smile on her face, but a laughter, too.

October was beautiful, because it was full of celebration and celebrating lives.  There is not enough of that going on.  And a great book (beware of corny plug coming) that does this well is Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist.  It should be a must read on your list!  It is also a great gift idea.  I have gifted it several times, and everyone has had wonderful things to say.  I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Shauna’s next book to come out next Fall.  Hopefully, I can stand the wait.