I'll probably remember that we took a trip to the circus and that we did a little overnight getaway just the two of us while my mom took Raven.
But I'll definitely remember that the Friday after both of our birthdays, we had a huge barbecue with many of our closest friends, many of whom had to drive several hours from all corners of the state in order to arrive (and one friend and her family even coming in from out of state).
You see, I'm one of the (really) lucky ones--
I've had many of the same friends since childhood, and so when we get together to reminisce, we have a whole lot of years that we can draw from.
We giggled over the crazy antics we employed in junior high to try and get our crushes to notice us (everything from Christmas caroling to the boy's house in question to legit stalking them in our cars when we got our driver's licenses).
We laughed until we cried that we were all gathered around talking about insurances and home mortgages like real, legit grownups (although we had all sworn to each other in our teenage years that we would never, ever become "boring adults").
We watched our children make friends with each other and secretly plotted their future weddings.
I felt a whole lot better about all the stupid stuff I did growing up (because apparently we all did).
On the flip side, Matt and I have also had the good fortune of meeting many close friends as adults, and I cannot imagine my life without the blessing of those relationships, either.
We might not have as many years to reminisce about together, but we have the special privilege of knowing that as full-grown adults who more or less know ourselves and what we like and dislike, that we chose them as friends and that they chose us, even admidst all the busy-ness of grown-up life.
And that has a power all of its own, as well--
It's pretty amazing to think that people still want to be our friends even now as "boring adults," when making apple pie and playing cards all night is our idea of a "wildly fun" time.
To outsiders, these pictures won't mean much---I was too busy having fun to worry about getting really amazing shots, and thanks to us being in the thick of autumn, the daylight was rapidly disappearing as the party went on.
But to me, these pictures mean the world.
They show that over 30 years, I've made a lot of friends who love me and support me and make me a better person. They show that even though my life has gotten busy and filled with a lot of responsibilities, and even though I don't always make as much of an effort as I'd like to to keep up regularly on all those friendships, that I can still count on them to come through for me no matter what.
It's said that you can judge a man by the company he keeps.
If you judge me by these folks, I'd say that I would come off looking like a better person than I am.
A big thank you to all my friends for being so willing to drive long distances and carve out time in your weekend and in your life in general to come see everyone and celebrate with us.
A big thank you to my mom and stepdad, who basically set up the whole party and cooked all our food (since Matt and I got stuck in traffic and then stuck at the store).
A big thank you to the chatty balloon-filler at the store because even though he almost made me late to my own party, I now know that Arizona doesn't participate in daylight savings time and I also have six helium balloons that have kept Raven entertained for hours (and hours).
Thanks to everyone for making it so special, including all you readers and other people on social media for sending us birthday wishes.
I'm feeling pretty darn blessed right about now.
P.S. Not everyone is pictured in that big group photo--we had two more of our friends along with their families show up after that pic was taken.