Today was Sarah’s seventeenth birthday. First of all, where did those years go?


Well, they’re gone. And here we are.

Boyfriend Elijah and best friend Anna wanted to have a bona fide surprise party for her. Last year her friends gave her a minor surprise; a birthday cake at a sleepover that was close to her special day. This year, they wanted to do it right.

Such stress – from keeping it a secret, to getting the food together, to getting the people together…we had dinner at my parents’ house to give the friends time to gather, and Sarah looked over once and said, “Mom, what’s wrong? You look…tired…”

But it was a huge success. She never suspected a thing, was totally shocked and extremely pleased. At one point I overheard her say, “I feel so LOVED!” Her dad came, all her friends showed up, they gave her great gifts, and we had a wonderful time. A few snapshots from the evening:

Talk about a clean-cut, wholesome group of kids; at one point they said, “Let’s sing!” We moved to the piano and did Christmas carols, including ‘Silent Night’ in German, thanks to Claudio, the foreign exchange student who came to the party…

They danced, too; put on a few fun songs on Jayne’s iPod dock – thank you, Jayne! – and they did some funky line dancing. My girls are in the front – pink, red and white shirts.

They played cards; there’s Shannon and Katie, our VCU Art Student friend.

These are a little out of order – but here’s the birthday girl right after she walked in the door.

Anna planned the party and made the cake.

Here is Sarah reading Elijah’s gift to her; the receipt for a SKYBUS plane ticket for a trip to Ohio in January. He’s going with her, on her first plane ride! She’ll be flying into COLUMBUS (hello, Bill!) and driving to Cleveland to visit her old friends back home…

“I’ve never been on a plane!!!”

Sarah and Shannon with their buddy Miles, who they met through their dad. He came up with Lonnie for the party.

The mastermind and the birthday girl.
Sometimes life just seems very, very good. I’m so happy today – seventeen years after this young woman made me a mother for the first time. I never imagined the riches her birth would bring to my life.

The One Who Knows
Time it was I had a dream – you’re the dream come true
If I had the world to give, I’d give it all to you
I’ll take you to the mountains, I will take you to the sea
I’ll show you how this life became a miracle to me
You’ll fly away
But take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job’s done
You’ll be the one who knows
All the things you treasure most will be the hardest ones
I will watch you struggle on before the answers come
But I won’t make it harder, I’ll be there to cheer you on
I’ll shine the light that guides you down the road you’re walking on
You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job’s done
You’ll be the one who knows
Before the mountains call to you before you leave this home
I want to teach your heart to trust as I will teach my own
But sometimes I will ask the moon where it shined upon you last
And shake my head and laugh and say, “It all went by so fast”
You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job’s done
You’ll be the one who knows -Dar Williams



Add yours →

  1. What a wonderful surprise you all pulled off for Sarah! Looks like she was just beaming. I am sure she’ll remember this for a lifetime. Glad the dock came in handy! Love and hugs to all!


  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Sarah! Enjoy your trip…FLY!Beth, reminds me of Gina’s teen years. Her sixteenth was uneventful but her friends and I worked to throw a surprise party for her on her seventeenth, too! Remembering those photos of her party and looking at Sarah at age seventeen, they are so young… Yes, where does the time go?


  3. What a wonderful celebration….. and what a guy Elija must be to buy Sarah the greatest gift of all…..A TRIP TO OHIO!!! Lets talk about the date and time. Pat and I would love to meet and greet them at the airport, take them out for a meal and send them off to Cleveland if it can be worked out. My Virginianbeauty will be here this Sunday!


  4. Crying and laughing my way through getting to know you on your blog. We have so, so much common ground! I look forward to more reading!Peace–Jill


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