Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shock and Awe

I'm turning 30, and I'm totally cool with it. I wouldn't say that I'm overly excited, but I'm content with a new decade.

Yet because I've had a lot of other junk on my mind, I haven't given my upcoming birthday much thought. So Friday night when I walked into my parents' house and was greeted by over 30 of my dearest friends and family members, I was absolutely and completely shocked. When they yelled, simultaneously with the exception of my always-one-step-ahead mother, SURPRISE, I was beyond overwhelmed. As my body proceeded in slow motion and my eyes gradually moved across the room and I discovered friend after friend after friend sitting before me, I was blown away. As the reality of the situation sunk in, I was completely in awe. All of those beautiful people had come together to celebrate me. Holy cow. I am so not worthy. God, are you serious?

Shock and awe.

Absolutely and completely.

Shock and awe.

I can honestly say that Friday night was one of the best night's of my life. I was surrounded with precious, precious friends and my incredible family - people who mean the absolute world to me.

And as the night went on, I was struck by the love that filled the room and busted at the seams. Seriously, the room was vibrating in laughter and joy. Many of the folks in that room have cried together and loved together and been devastated together. And to think I was the common thread. Blows my flippin' mind.

I cannot begin to express my gratitude. Never will words express how loved and blessed I felt as a result of that party. Never. It's been five days since that party and I am still completely overwhelmed.

Ali shocked

Taking it all in.
*Check out this video of my initial reaction.

Ali surprised

Discovering yet another loved one sitting before me.

Morgan stressing out

My always fun and often goofy, sister, Morgan. She was one of the masterminds behind the evening.


My handsome son delivering balloons.

Ali's family

The Nameth/Hooper girls (Harper, me, Morgan, Sharon)

Vista women

My Vista gals

Happy 30th, Ali

The insanely beautiful cake created by my genius mother-in-law. And yes, it's all edible.

Thank you, Gabe Taviano, for the amazing photographs.

Shock and awe. Who knew it could be so heart-warming?


  1. yeah, love it! you deserve it!

  2. Happy Birthday and you deservie it you are such a warm loving lady.

  3. You are so precious! Wish I could have seen it in person! Still think the cake is too beautiful to eat. I turn 30 in two years and I really am already dreading it...sad!

  4. Denise - Don't dread it. God will continue to amaze you each year of your life. And count each day that you are alive as a blessing and you'll be excited for the next decade!

  5. Happy 30! the pics and the cake look amazing. i love the surprised hand over the face :)

  6. what an absolutey fabuous evening! you are so loved!!!!