Better Than Words

I’ve only got a short post for y’all today, if that’s alright. I just want to express how much I absolutely adore my friends and my job.

I have never felt more loved and appreciated than I did at work yesterday. I showed up a little before 8:30 (so I wouldn’t go into daily overtime) while everyone else arrived at 8:00. As I pulled into the parking lot, a balloon was tied to each orange gate piece. Oh dear, I thought. Then I walked into the gym and more balloons were attached to the climbing ropes and in the lobby and a big “Happy Birthday” sign hung over the window. Stephanie told me to go look in the kitchen for a special surprise: she and Ally made me rainbow cupcakes!! I was in love.

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Seriously, how cool is this?!

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It was so exciting! All my co-workers wished me a happy birthday and I got a biiiiig hug from Stephanie and my friend Taylor, my two favorite co-workers (Ally is no longer working this summer).

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One of my co-workers (who just happened to be the ex-boyfriend I am so conflicted about) made his whole group run and tackle me with hugs and “happy birthday” exclamations. I felt so special. Even though it was my birthday, he had been being shockingly friendly to me–was the trash talking from last week purely drunk thoughts? It was like we were actually friends. Weird, but I was kind of okay with it.

At snack time, the guy that sets up the water slide on Tuesdays and Thursdays arrived and put up the massive blow up contraption. Maybe it was because this would be the last time there would be a slide this summer, but the thing was ginormous. And it had dolphins on it, so I was glad I brought my swimsuit that day.

Also during our little eating break, all of my favorite kids gave me cards they made–Steph had given them all the job the day before while I was on break. The cards were colorful and each one said “I love you.” I was so touched by it because these kids meant so much to me. It warmed my heart when they presented them to me one by one.

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During my break, Grace and Edie surprised me with Starbucks! A grande caramel frap with extra caramel was just the thing to make my day better. We talked for about a half hour before they had to leave. I loved seeing them even though I had just been with them twelve hours prior.

By the time we went out for water play, I was so ready for that water slide. Almost all of the kids in my group wanted to ride with me and so did quite a few of the kids in the older group. The ladder was rather slippery and I almost slid down more than once! I was relying on upper-body strength I did not have, which was probably not such a good thing. Regardless, I kept climbing anyway!

And man, did we really fly down to the little pool at the end. I am serious: I am pretty sure I got some air. It was the most fun I had had during water play the whole summer! It was also very refreshing after being in the hot, hot sun. I did not regret ruining my flat-ironed hair one bit.

All week, I was in charge of the extended care part of camp. We were confined to the small movie room, but I had a bribe to fix everything. On Monday (and the rest of the days so far) I told the kids that I would make brownies and bring them on my birthday. If they were extra good, then I would share them, but if they were bad or misbehaved, I would eat the chocolatey squares of delight in front of them and not share. It was good enough to get them to mostly obey my rules. Each of them about died when they ate the delicious, gooey brownie I handed them.

Finally, I went home, changed, and fixed my hair and make-up.

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I adore this dress from American Eagle ❤

It was time for dinner at Islands with my family and Stephanie! I ate a wonderful Chicken Club Wrap–bacon, avocado, chicken, and BBQ sauce? Hell yes! Then our waitress brought us their famous Mocha Lava Cake and by golly, it was to-die-for. I shared it with everyone who wanted a bite. I couldn’t eat all of it because I knew we would walk to Cold Stone afterwards for ice cream. They have a special Shark Week recipe that I just couldn’t go without. It had blue ice cream–it is sweet cream flavored with food coloring–crushed graham crackers, and gummy sharks. Even without chocolate, which is a must-have in my eyes, it was oh-so-good.

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Steph fits right in, doesn’t she?

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I went home and face-timed Natalie, saying hello to her family. I just adore them all. We talked about my birthday (obviously) and college and the fact that we are moving into our apartment in one month from today. I love that we can go days and weeks without speaking and then we have conversations for hours. She really is my best friend in the whole wide world and I do not know what I would do if she never walked into my life.

I cannot believe we are finally going to go to the same school again. To see each other every day. To not live hours upon hours apart. I am just so darn excited.

This birthday was one to remember, probably my favorite in a while. I have never felt so undeniably loved in my whole life! It proved that people do care about me and I am worth putting in this effort for. Thank you, Steph, for my wonderful, fantastic, fabulous, indescribable day ❤ Here’s to my last year as a teenager!

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That’s Wayne, our personal fix-it mastermind, photobombing me. Love that guy!

Up next, my official reviews and reactions to Shark Week 2014, so be prepared!

Peace and love and blessings and happiness to you all! 🙂 🙂 -A

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