The most beautiful of birthdays.

on July 14, 2010 in Dreams Coming True, Nash-livin', video blogs with 33 comments by

I’m going to let the pictures do the talking. Because truthfully, I can’t talk about my birthday dinner/party without crying. In fact, I didn’t even make it through the creation of this glorified slideshow without boo-hooing.

Because I am overwhelmed. Still. A week later.

Enjoy the gorgie-poo decor… and the delicious food… and the beautiful hearts of the men who served … and the genuine laughter on the faces of a few girls who really love each other.

The song is Home by the most wonderful Dave Barnes. And when this song drifted from the speakers into my ears during the party, I stopped, listened, and teared up. Because these lyrics say it.

Photography by the dearest Skip Hopkins. He not only captured the beauty, he captured the emotion. That’s a gift.

I’ve tried to write thank you notes, but they fail to tell the depths of my appreciation for what my friends did for me. Even as a writer, the English language is failing me. I just know that my heart was massively moved by this night.

I will never be the same.


  1. Face
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:14 AM  |  reply

    Oh! Crying now. It WAS beautiful. And you look GORGEOUS, Annie, in every way in these pictures. So so glad for you.

  2. Debs
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:16 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful , beautiful ! Happy Birthday (belated)
    May you continue to embrace the love of the
    Father and be the aroma of Christ to everyone
    who crosses your pathway!

  3. Linda
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:50 AM  |  reply

    You are well-loved, Annie. What a beautiful evening!

  4. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:35 AM  |  reply


    What a wonderful way to celebrate your 30th birthday! So glad that God has blessed you with such a wonderful community of friends in Nashville.

  5. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 7:25 AM  |  reply

    What a beautiful birthday party. What wonderful friends. My eyes teared up watching it. Thanks for sharing, and Happy 30th!

  6. Camille
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 7:49 AM  |  reply

    30 has never looked so beautiful. You look amazing. Love from the Slatens.

  7. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:50 AM  |  reply

    That’s what love looks like, Annie D.

  8. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:54 AM  |  reply

    I’m so glad I know you. And I’m obviously not alone in my sentiment.

    You look gorgeous, btw.

  9. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:01 AM  |  reply

    You are so blessed to be loved like that!

  10. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:16 AM  |  reply


  11. Jane
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:30 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful night….no wonder it is in your heart FOREVER! Happy happy day for you!

  12. Katie L.
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:32 AM  |  reply

    Awe Annie!! What a sweet video!! You can see how your friends truly love you!! And I am so blessed to call you a friend! See, 30 is already AWESOME!! Love you!!

  13. jennifer
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM  |  reply

    special people often bring out the best in others. they have that way…i can’t explain it. annie, you have a way of making the special more special. it is only fitting that your sweet friends made an amazing night for you. you deserve it.

  14. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM  |  reply

    wow…beautiful! What a blessing Annie!

  15. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM  |  reply

    what a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday. i know you know it, but you are so blessed to be surrounded by the friends that did this for you! what a blessing they are and i’m sure you’re the same to them.

    thanks for sharing the wonderful memories! you were right…everything was gorgie-poo. i particularly like the gold bottles? and actually drinking out of mason jars? i love it.

  16. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:49 PM  |  reply

    hooray for family and friends.

    welcome to the fab 30’s =]

  17. Laurie
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 3:20 PM  |  reply

    Happy belated birthday!! Just by reading your blog often I can tell you are an incredible friend and what a special way for your friends to make you feel so special and very much loved!

  18. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:42 PM  |  reply

    You truly are a blessed and fortunate woman. This was so beautiful!

  19. presh
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:27 PM  |  reply

    what a fabulous night! you deserve the very best and I am so glad you felt so loved and celebrated b/c you ARE!!

  20. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:46 PM  |  reply

    Simply beautiful.

  21. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:57 PM  |  reply

    Thank you for sharing your birthday celebration pictures. You are blessed to have so many friends celebrating you!

  22. posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:57 PM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie, I want to move to Nashville, too, and be friends with all your friends! What a fabulous celebration! So glad you’ve found the home you never knew you always wanted.

  23. Logan
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:58 PM  |  reply

    Happy late birthday, I can’t imagine how loved you felt/feel. (Actually, I wish I could) I like the idea of this…. I also like the idea of men serving 😉

    ps- I don’t know who did it, but thank you so much for deleting that 1st comment from this morning.

  24. Ashley Thomas
    posted on Jul 14, 2010 at 10:01 PM  |  reply

    Someone told me a long time ago that it was not just luck that brought them friends, it was work, and making an effort to be a friend. You obviously must have put forth the effort. It has come back to you ten fold. Happy Birthday!

  25. Merideth
    posted on Jul 15, 2010 at 7:52 AM  |  reply

    OH Annie! You are such a fortunate person to have such amazing friends. As you know, I cant’ see the pictures, but I don’t need to in order to know how special that night was and how much your friends loved on you. What a great way to spend your 30th birthday! Wish my 30th was that great.
    I love that song, by the way! I need to go in search of it on itunes. Thanks so much for sharing. And don’t ever forget how much you are loved by many all over the place!

  26. posted on Jul 15, 2010 at 8:01 AM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie. No words only joyful tears.

  27. posted on Jul 15, 2010 at 6:40 PM  |  reply

    Annie, I thought when I hit 30, it was all over 🙂 But I’ve found, just turning 31, it’s really all just beginning 🙂 Happy Birthday- thanks for sharing this beauty- inspires me to love better!

  28. marybeth
    posted on Jul 15, 2010 at 10:12 PM  |  reply

    annie i loved this.

  29. posted on Jul 15, 2010 at 11:20 PM  |  reply

    I love that this was not only a beautiful example of how well your friends love you, but also of how Jesus loves you! So beautiful. Love that by seeing how faithful God is to you in your life I am reminded that He will be faithful in mine too.

  30. posted on Jul 16, 2010 at 3:42 AM  |  reply

    Gorgeous! That was a beautiful song. Now I have to go download all his songs . . .

  31. posted on Jul 16, 2010 at 7:26 AM  |  reply

    boohoo boohoo. that was beautiful! such a special day for a special person. glad you were showered with love!!

  32. posted on Jul 21, 2010 at 12:54 AM  |  reply

    WOW! Happy Birthday Annie. What a blessing you must be to so many. God bless you!

  33. posted on May 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM  |  reply

    since i am new to your blog i had not seen this… how very special you must be to your friends for them to plan such a special day for you. very sweet indeed.

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