Annie, my bestie, took me out for dinner and she was uncharacteristically jittery and falling all over herself, which was making me laugh--and a little nervous. This night was all planned and she was finally at her rope's end with keeping in the secret. We cozied up at Second Cup after the restaurant and she drove me later to our greenhouse where almost a hundred amazing people in my life, or from my past, were waiting to surprise me.
I couldn't decide on which photos to choose so enjoy scrolling through the many lovely faces of those who grace my life with so much love (for those who aren't represented in photos, I'm sorry, this is what I was given by my talented sister. She tried to capture everyone--except herself!).
A little embarrassed by all the attention :)
The man who made it all happen (apparently way back in June!).
My excited girl.
My mom's very first public appearance since her accident almost three months before.
My in-laws--love this photo--so happy :)
My husband announced that someone had flown from New York just for this night... and then the crowd parted and she walked toward me.
My dear, childhood friend, Tara, whom I only see twice a year! Not enough, considering our rich times together.
Terry made some more announcements about how he'd chosen people to give speeches (oh my) and that he had hired Jacob Moon for our entertainment! (Double oh my!)
Amazing friends who are there through thick and thin. Love you!
Sentimental friends with whom I have so many memories. Vitamins, both of you!
Inspiring conversations always with these amazing people who inspire me to live intentionally.
Kindred and her husband (my husband's kindred :)
We can break into "Anne-speak" at any given moment.
"Cousins, Auntie and Uncle" who are always around to celebrate (and have a cup of tea and meaningful conversation).
Gold friends and silver (old and new).
My "other Heather" who has always been there and always will.
My camp buddy from my teens years who waltzed back into my homeschooling world and I'm EVER so grateful. Her gentle beauty leaves me wanting to be the same (and her great hubby!).
My fiesty, loveable, childhood friend, who is so happy to be pregnant!
My fellow Costa Ricans! LOVE spending time with these friends who are committed to similar goals as we are.
Long-time friends and co-workers when I spent 5 years serving in a group home for mentally and physically disabled people. So surprised and happy to see you all! Patricia, I don't have a photo of you but I'm thankful you were in attendance. I love you!
Bubbly and joy-filled friend on the right and her cool neighbour who drove her that night! Thank you! It was great to meet you.
More fellow Costa Ricans! Highschool friends--many good memories with these two!
Left: fun and endearing friend who even taught my kids French for two years!
Right: Church friends who never let us forget our purpose on this earth. You two are such an example to me.
My up-coming retreat partner (again), and my highschool and university friend (and roomie!). Also, our other roomie and highschool friend, Deb (no photo).
Miss you girls!
Cousin and his wife! He is a great staff worker for my husband and she is a talented pianist and teacher.
Left: my friend who flew from New York--connected hearts since we were twelve--in each other's weddings.
Right: Prayer partner and spiritual mentor who reminds me there's more to life than what meets the eye.
My mom and step-dad--always there for me and my kids, demonstrating God's love and healing power!
My spunky sister-in-law who inspires me to be a better homemaker and my new and dear friend (right) whose wisdom I could sit and listen to all day.
My head-counsellor at camp (Circle Square Ranch) and fellow prankster. Our conversations never fail to make me laugh and think long and hard.
My long-lost neighbour (miss you) and friend who came every Monday to "Mommies' Group" in my home.
My husband who rocks my world and my fabulous sister, who shared she's pregnant again! Yay!
My kiddos and their friends coming for some free food and hugs at the party :)
My very cool neighbour and meeting her invisible boyfriend (cut off in the photo), who feeds our cat while we're away. Love you!
Friends whose daughter has been in dance with Meghan since she was three. We've driven everywhere together and endured competitions and had great conversations. Lovely people!
Jacob Moon! I photographed him and his wife and boys and discovered his amazing talent. Since then, we've been fans and concert-goers! Thanks for coming, Jacob! (click onhis name to check out his website).
I was called up to give a speech (yikes!) after several friends had gushed on and on about me (very humbling--don't feel like the person they were talking about, but thankful!).
Highschool friend, now our music pastor, and his wife. They make our church a better place!
My two awesome brothers-in-law and my nephew. Love you guys!
Kim and Ed (brother and sister-in-law) were there too! Love you!
Missing Linda (not feeling well). Praying for your recovery.
Two more brothers-in-law (on my side) who are full of fun, jokes, and are super dads too!
Fabulous husbands of two of my friends who are also great fathers. These guys have a passion for helping other men through tough stuff.
Church buddies who spend a lot of time with my husband and I like them too!
Foreground: long-time friends (married) from church and the husband is a buddy and spiritual mentor to my husband.
Church girls (and my mom).
First and third: Always laughter in our conversations--you make me want to know you more.
Second: my single and wonderful girlfriend (anyone in this area know of a great godly guy?)
Trying to "catch up" in the crowd! Not enough time!
Two sweet couples from church who mean so much to us.
Left: Our closeness over the years has been a blessing.
Right: Our connection to these two is God-given! Will miss you guys!
My hairstylist, whose fun-loving personality cracks me up.
You're so great.
My fellow homeschooler and deep thinker. No photo of her husband but we love these guys. Also, Costa Rica pals.
We met in the dentist's waiting room about three years ago and have been great friends ever since.
My prayer partner and fellow story-teller :)
My crazy (and amazing) brothers-in-law (yes I have more of them!). You make family gatherings fun! And my hard-working sister-in-law, Leanne, of whom there is no photo because she was constantly dashing around working that night--I love you. You mean the world to me.
More of Jacob Moon.
The sign at the nursery, right on the highway for the whole town to see :) LOL!
Still feeling quite overwhelmed and beyond blessed. Thank you to my unbelievable husband who worked like crazy to make this night happen. Apparently the emails back and forth were hilarious! I'm so thankful for you! XO
Phew! Annie and Terry, you can relax now :)