My birthday was on Monday, the 25th of January and it was my big 3-0! I was excited and hadn’t really planned anything because Scotty said he’d pulled something together – nothing major but we’d have fun. So I was fully expecting something to happen on Monday but then he said that he wanted Saturday to be the day when the two of us celebrate. We were going to do the things we like doing on Saturdays and would spend the whole day together – just the two of us. I was really excited about this and so when Scotty told me on Friday night that his academic advisor needed him to meet up with a prospective student I was bummed. Scotty said that some guy from Florida was coming to look at New College and it would be really nice if the two of us could meet with he and his wife. Fine. Not exactly what I was expecting to do on our day together but not a big deal – just inconvenient. Anyway, we had a great morning and early afternoon together – sleeping in, Farmer’s Market, wandering Edinburgh neighborhoods. At 4:30 Scotty said we should head over to the Wash (our favorite pub/coffee shop) by school to meet up with the prospectives. We went into the Wash, ran in to our friend Sean who said that there was an American-looking couple upstairs. I think I kinda sighed and then went up stairs only to find a big group of my Edinburgh friends all shouting “Surprise!!!!” at me.
It was amazing. I was completely taken aback and it was so fun to see all these faces that have come to mean so much to Scotty and I in our time here. Then, I noticed a movement at the back of the gathering and I see my dad’s face peeking out from behind a post. What!?!?!
And then I see my Mom!
This was the biggest surprise because I had basically come to the conclusion that my mom would never visit! She hates cold weather and would rather meet up in a place where all of us could relax and hang out by a warm body of water. So to see her here in Edinburgh in January was a huge shock. And completely wonderful.
And then just as I was getting a bit adjusted to three huge surprises (Party, Pop, Mom) my brother, Solomon walks out from behind the crowd of people!
He said “That’s it. I’m it. There’s no more!” Which was good because I was completely overwhelmed with all the surprises and the idea that all these people were here to celebrate my birthday with me. Scotty had arranged for there to be wine for everyone along with amazing cupcakes.
And from what he said this party was a group effort. My parents had bought their tickets months ago and everyone in my family knew that they were coming along with Solomon but everyone kept the secret perfectly. Scotty had friends running around blowing up balloons, stringing up decorations, picking up cupcakes. I never heard or suspected anything.
It was such a special evening. I loved being able to introduce my family to my friends here. I think that one of the most difficult things about living so far away from family is the inability to really explain what your life looks like. I can tell my family about my friends and life here but until they’re here and able to see it for themselves, it’s so abstract. It was good to have these two world converge.
The people above where the first to arrive – they put up streamers and balloons, brought cupcakes from across town, and kept a lookout.
I want to thank everyone for such a fun surprise. Thank you to my parents and Solomon for making the long trek out to Edinburgh to be here for this monumental birthday. Your being here completed it and made it perfect. Thank you to Derek and Katie Brown for taking great pictures and putting up decorations. Thank you to Sean and Leah for also taking amazing pictures and making the effort to be at the party despite having had a baby two weeks earlier. Thank you to Sean and Meghan for some amazing cupcakes. Thanks to Joe and Amanda for picking the cupcakes up and dragging them across town and helping with party set-up! Thank to Yve, Steve, Graham, Nathalie, Jeremy, Katy, Melissa, and everyone else who made this day so special by being a part of it! And, finally, thank you to my wonderful husband, Scotty. You put so much time and effort into making this day perfect and I so appreciate it. Every day with you is wonderful.