Monday, December 26, 2011

Celebrating Life: My 32nd Birthday Recap

My 32nd birthday was definitely one that I will treasure forever.  When I was on the verge of turning the BIG {30}; I so dreaded celebrating anything over 29.... Now, things are so different!  I am so thankful for this life that God has gifted me with and it is my wish for everyone else to to open the gift of {true life} and experience the goodness of God....

What better place to start seeing this wish come true than with family and friends?  My longtime blog pal Adrienne shared this splendid idea on her blog after she celebrated her birthday this year and I shamelessly {borrowed}it..... I was so touched by it and felt as though it was a great witnessing tool!!!

Instead of having some type of bash I {like Adrienne} invited my family and friends to come to worship with me at church on the Sunday before my actual birthday.  I was overwhelmed by the love and support shown to me by my family and friends... My family drove over  four hours to worship with me!!!! It was incredible... Can you spot me?

God, has answered so many of my prayers this year {more on that later} and this, for me, was the icing on the cake!  It is so good to worship with your loved ones in spirit and in truth! 

After church, my {natural} family joined my {spiritual} family at our annual Christmas dinner... This year we stepped outside of the box and at dinner at one of our favorite local Japanese restaurants, Umi's.  It was entertaining, edifying and efficient!  What a great time of fellowship...

Once we finished dinner, I exchanged gifts with my family members and they headed home... I on the other hand, had a laundry list of chores to complete, gifts to wraps and loose ends to tie for work....

I managed to complete all of my to-do's just in time to celebrate.... On my actual birthday, I wanted the day to be calm and relaxing.... Well, with the exception of my blackberry dinging from the tons of birthday wishes from my facebook friends.  {Side Note:  I made a personal goal to either to "like" or respond to everyone who took the time out of their day to make my day extra special... I did it}!  I actually ended up with nearly 250 facebook birthday wishes!!!  Who needs Hallmark when you have facebook?  LOL!

My boss had given me a gift certificate to a few weeks ago.  So, I found a local spa and scheduled my appointment for the afternoon of December 22nd!  My spa experience was super!  Such a relaxing and refreshing way to celebrate!

 I think that I will do a repeat of all the above next year and add more as I see fit :)! 
So.... there you have it... No bells and cocktails... No hussle and bussle... No stress and no dress... Just a calm, well balanced and meaningful birthday!

What a wonderful way to celebrate!  I think I will hit instant replay next year!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Today is My Birthday and I Celebrate My {Life}

Hi, my name is Melanie and today I am 32 years old! There, I said it... Wow! Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday; I was a naïve college girl bee-bopping around Normal's Hill walking in four inch stilettos and going nowhere fast! My, how the times have changed!
As I reflect on my life today… I thank God for seeing a purpose to call me forth out of eternity and into the earth to fulfill the plan and purpose that He has predestined for my life. My heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness this morning… As I celebrate my 32nd birthday I am so thankful for all that He has done in these years.

Here is an excerpt from my early morning prayer time:

Father, I don't receive another gift, I thank You for the greatest gift of all... I thank You for a second chance at life through Son Jesus Christ! Inspite of all of the bad decisions, wrong choices and numerous mistakes...You loved me, when I didn't love myself... You kept me, when I didn't want to be kept... You believed in me, when I doubted... You trusted me, even when I was unfaithful... and You forgave me, even though I thought my sins were unforgiveable!!! Today I am thankful that I am able to celebrate my {birth} and the {life} that you have gifted unto Me!

This prayer only encompasses a portion of what I truly feel toward His love, mercy and kindness that He has bestowed upon my life… I am blessed beyond measure and I have many more years to treasure!

Thank you Jesus for life! For He said in His word… He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:12). It is because of You that I celebrate my {birth} and {life} on this day…

Happy Birthday to Me! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Disney Adventure: Part Three

I am a frequent traveler, but I must admit that this was one of my most exciting vacations ever!!!  While we were there Mr. Falsetto's father turned 60 and we celebrated his 60th birthday with a private birthday bash at a restaurant called Eleven in Orlando.

During the day the girls went out for a round of shopping while the guys enjoyed a round of golf.  We both enjoyed our day activities, but we could not wait to celebrate this awesome man of God.  He is a great husband, a loving father and great example of what every man should strive to be! 

We love to celebrate in this family... and we love to make it special.... this 60th birthday was no exception!  We had to make it exceptional!  So we made mad dash to a TJ Maxx nearby and purchased some pieces to set the atomsphere for this special celebration...

Here's the a photo of the tablescape that we created...  The cracked glass and candlelight made an excellent combination for the warmth that we wanted our space to exude...

He was so excited and suprised that we were able to create such a warm and special celebration even though we were miles and miles away from home!  Here are a few snapshot of us before we went into the restaurant....

The food was delish and the cake was delectable! 

Happy 60th birhday!!! You are the greatest!!!!!

Up next, our day adventure at Magic Kingdom!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Disney Adventure: Part Two

Shhh!  It's no secret!  I love Thai Restaurants!!!  Prior to leaving for Orlando.... Mr. Falsetto's sister and I planned the events for our arrival night!  Thai Food it was!!!  So, the whole family packed up and headed to Thai Thani in Orlando!  It received raving reviews on trip advisor! 

We arrived at the restaurant in record time and proceeded to indulge in fun and laughter after we placed our orders!

Finally, our food was ready.... and we were ready for it!  It was delish! 

After we finished dinner, we walked around in the shopping center... It so was hot there!  They did manage to get a little snow though!  LOL!

As were neared, we realized that it was not make shift!  It was bubbles and they were having a blast!  We continued our journey and we saw Mr. and Mrs. Claus.... We also saw this huge Christmas tree!  A family of two was kind enough to take this group photo for us!

We completed our walk around the outdoor shopping center, visited a Wal-mart nearby to purchase snacks for the week and figured out how to avoid tolls on the way home!

Up next, a day of golf for the guys... outlet shopping for the girls and a 60th birthday celebration for one of the greatest men on earth!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Disney Adventure: Part One

Yes, Thanksgiving update and we are less than two weeks away from Christmas!  Life has been extremely busy for me.... Actually, it has been quite an adventure!  I will start from the beginning and bring you up-to-date...

Almost every Thanksgiving I take a trip with Mr. Falsetto's family!  This Thanksgiving...they chose to go Disney World and my oh my was I excited!  I had never been to Disney before and this for me... Well, it was a dream come true at almost 32! 

We left for Orlando on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving... I checked Mr. Falsetto and I in online and to my amazement, we were given the opportunity to upgrade to first class for less than $100 for the both of us!  Yes, that was only $10 more than the baggage fees... And once we upgraded, our bags were free!!!We were off to a good start!  My first trip to Disney, our first plane ride together and our first time flying first class!  God is good!

Side Story:  Okay, we had a little mishap on the way.... I bought a PINK track suit from Victoria Secret in Arkanas and I shipped it back to home because I wanted to take it with me on my trip.  Well, it was the morning of our flight and I still did not have it!  So I decided to be proactive and contacted FedEx.  The driver agreed to meet us at a gas station that was on our way to the airport!  Score!  We met him... I packed up my PINK outfit and we were on our way!  Mr. Falsetto was a little annoyed that I was making us late for an outfit and he wanted to make up the five minutes that we lossed by stopping at the gas station and he speeded up a little... It started to rain heavily and just as we topped the hill...the blue lights went off... Yes, we were stopped in the rain by the police...  We were praying that he was merciful... but the time kept ticking away...He was not merciful, but God is!  We still managed to get to the airport on time, board our flight and take our seats in first class together for the first time ever! 

We listened to music, ate snacks, laughed, talked and before we knew it we were in Orlando!   The sun was shining, the weather was beautiful and I was only days away from visting the happiest place on earth! 

Mr. Falsetto's mother purchased us a house in The Villas; so that is where we resided for the week!  It was gorgeous!  Here are a few shots of our arrival!

The home was beautiful and tastefully decorated... Here are a few shots from the home!  Mr. Falsetto's mother did an excellent job!  We were all so thankful!

We were all so full of excitement!  Excited to be there... Excited to see one another (Mr. Falsetto's sister and brother-in-law currently live in LA and they met us there).... and excited just see the glory of God manifest before our very eyes...

We took a few moments to wind down and unpack.... We managed to unpack, but we never winded down!  LOL! 

Up next, we found an awesome Thai restaurant to have dinner our first night in Orlando!