Sunday, July 29, 2012
the best birthday. ever.
That? Is How I feel. In the best way possible. Today is my birthday, and this weekend has been the BEST birthday weekend I have ever had.
Sam and I got to Indy in the late afternoon. Our first stop was at the runners forum to pick up our race packets for the color run the next day. It was a little chaotic, but we managed to get out of their with our color run tshirts, bracelets, sunglasses, and color packets. Next stop? JP and Sara! We made it to their beautiful home and were greeted with hugs and smiles. The four of us headed out to the mall (Indy has some fabulous shopping) and to BJ's for dinner- mmm apricot beer. We shared stories and laughs, enjoying our time together. Hung out a little bit back at their place before crashing on couches.
Wake up call was 6 am. Got dressed into our white clothing and headed downtown to line up for the color run. We ended up in the second wave (10 waves of 1,000 people each). I told Sam to go ahead of me, I decided pretty much right away I was going to be power walking/jogging a little. The course itself was great- minimal hills. Lots of space. The color part was cool, it was fun being blasted with colors. Pink was the toughest, because I decided to just jog through the middle rather than go on the side like normally, and one of the volunteers through the corn starch- directly into my mouth. Um, yuck. Anyways, I finished the race and there was Sam, waiting for me right over the finish line. We hung around the "color festival" a little bit, where I got blasted with purple. Color run was fun- no pressure, lots of laughter and smiles along the way.
We got home, jumped in the shower (color came off immediately) and passed out for a little bit. Soon it was time to get up and get dressed up for dinner and Melinda's cabaret. We headed out to Fugiyama, a Japanese restaraunt. We met up with Maria, Des, Gem, Barb, and Gem's sister Betsy. Such a fun dinner! Our chef was hilarious, cracking jokes with each of us (he asked if I was turning 15)...and the food was phenomenal! Oh my goodness!
After our wonderful dinner we headed downtown to the Columbia Club. I love that place; it is the same venue where my brother got married and it has a special place in my heart. We got our table, ordered some drinks, and sat around to chat before the show started. Got a surprise- SARA! One of the backups I haven't seen since 2008! I was so excited to see her! Just LOVE that girl, she is so sweet and down to earth.
So, Love 101 (the name of Melinda's cabaret show) is, seriously, out of this world. Melinda ties in personal stories with the songs. She sings some of her well known Idol performances (Home, MFV, I'm A Woman), some old school love songs, a few original songs that she has written, and a top 40 medley. It's just fabulous the way it all fits together, and almost everything she said related to my life. She looked like she was having the absolute time of her life up there. Very much out of her shell, interacting with the audience. And her voice- every SINGLE time I see her live I am blown away. It's so hard to explain the quality of that girl's vocals, but it gives me goosebumps and I feel it down to my bones. Just amazing. If you ever get a chance to see this show, do it.
After the show us backups sat and chatted for a few moments- again, so great to talk to Sara. Then we went over to Melinda as she was wrapping up her picture and autograph line. I approached her with a big hug and we talked about my color run (she checked my ears for color).
Was also there to witness Melinda receiving a gift from Gem and throwing it on the floor. Gem had made a necklace out of locust shells, she spray painted them gold. Melinda literally threw it on the floor, screamed "WHAT IS THAT" and jumped back. The reaction was priceless, I don't think I'll ever forget the look on her face.
Saturday was seriously SO MUCH FUN. I loved seeing everyone again and witnessing Love 101 live in person! We made plans for the next day, said our goodbyes to each other, and got our cars to had back home.
Sam and I hung out with JP and Sara for a little bit before bed that night. At midnight they all shouted happy birthday to me in their different ways- so cute. I had almost even forgotten it was my birthday.
We met up with Melinda and the backups for breakfast at Le Peep downtown. It was so darn special to spend my birthday breakfast with some of my absolute favorite people in the entire world. I just loved it. I sat in between Melinda and Sam. I honestly don't remember every conversation we had at breakfast, because I was in such a state of bliss. (General topics of discussion: Idol tour, idol judges, check ins with everyone) I will tell you this: Melinda is such a genuine, gracious person who really, really cares about all of us. You can just tell. She radiates with friendship and love. And she is hilarious. After breakfast we spent a few more hours with JP and Sara, and then we got on the road to go home. Sam and I were both exhausted, delirious, giggly. I'm not sure how we both made it home, but we did.
I have so much gratitude and love flowing through my body right now. I made a stop on my way home to pick up thank you cards because I want to thank all the people who were a part of my very, very special day. I've been scared about turning 25, scared about getting older with more responsibility, more pressure, more everything. But after this weekend I am sure: I am exactly where I need to be, and I am surrounded by some of the most wonderful, beautiful people. I love you all so much, and I wish I could hug every single person in my life, because you make such a profound impact on my heart every single day of my life.
Here's to 25.
"We will endure what life has in store.
Have faith and believe, like the air that you breathe-
Love will stand when all else falls."-Memphis