I did not post this right away, thinking I would remember a couple of birthdays, but it’s become obvious that I don’t have time to look into it right now, so I’m just going to post this now! My birthday was the 18th.

I had a fun birthday this year! Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate and wished me a happy birthday. Joe really went all out and Saturday was full of lots of happy surprises. Joe’s parents and sister also drove up from Houston to surprise me. (At Gattiland, Joe’s sister Emily won the jackpot on the stop-the-light-on-the-jackpot game – something like 650 tickets!)

We started out the day driving down to Katy Mills (a huge mall near Houston), and so I was reflecting on past birthdays as an “adult”. Here’s some of what I remember:

18th birthday: I was on the second day of “Fish Camp” – an introduction to life and traditions at Texas A&M, where I was about to start college. I only knew two other girls from my high school, and they weren’t in my camp so I didn’t see them much. It was a lot of fun, even if it was with strangers. I had met Joe less than two weeks before.
19th birthday: I spent the first half of the day in Dallas (where I was living / working that summer) with my family, then I drove down to Pasadena (far side of Houston) to visit Joe and his family. Joe and I went out to dinner, and he gave me a promise ring for my birthday.
20th birthday: I was in Thailand on a mission trip. We taught English at a public secondary school and at the church we were working with. Joe, Tom, and Jeff were also on the trip. Since it was about 5 weeks in to the trip, lots of people there knew me, and I received tons of beautiful gifts and flowers. Many of us (about 25) went out to dinner, where I learned it was custom for the birthday girl/boy to buy everyone else dinner! It was a very adventure-filled birthday. Joe and I were engaged.
21st birthday: My first birthday with Joe as my husband! We went to Dallas that weekend and went out to lunch with family friends that I hadn’t seen in a while (the McMurray’s). Turns out I did not have any alcohol.
22nd & 23rd birthday: This will require a little more research. I can’t exactly remember, and need to look at some pictures to be sure. I think both these years we went camping (our vacation) in Texas, and Joe took me shopping for my birthday.
24th birthday: I had been applying for jobs in town and even had a three interviews in the last week. Two of them looked like I had a good chance at getting the job. I was still working part time (my old student worker job). I got asked to return to the interviewer for the job I had liked the most, so I took a break from my job to go upstairs (where the new potential job was), and I was offered the job on my birthday! We had two things to celebrate over dinner that night!
25th birthday: We were at camp! Our church goes away one weekend every year, and my birthday was the first night of this camp. Some friends brought a big cake and surprised me with it. :) Joe gave me a nice pair of earrings that I’ve been wearing almost every day since.
26th birthday: (This year!) We went to Katy Mills and had fun with family and friends at GattiLand. Joe gave me a book and CDs to learn Chinese!

Yikes. I did not realize until just now that it’s been NINE BIRTHDAYS since I’ve been an adult! I just now remembered a diary that I hardly kept growing up. I was maybe 8ish when I got it for my birthday, and then I’d write in it randomly after that. It seemed that I often remembered to write in it on around my birthday. I should try to get a hold of that!


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