I have SO much to tell you about my birthday, that I honestly don't quite know where to start. So I guess the best place would be at the beginning...
The lead up to my birthday was funny. I knew that my family were up to something but each time they threw me a curve ball, it threw me off the scent and I wasn't quite sure what was happening. You see, I had this one secret wish, something I wanted for my birthday more than anything. I was actually in quite a bit of a turmoil because it was a BIG ask, and I didn't want to put anyone under pressure, or financial strain. What I wanted most of all was a visit from my dear Mardi.
The weekend before my birthday I had convinced myself that there was no way Mardi could come here. We were chatting via email as per usual, Mardi was on holidays but busily doing family things. I had myself convinced she couldn't come.
Then on the weekend before my birthday my family started busily tidying the house. They assured me they just wanted everything clean and tidy for my birthday. Inside I was secretly hoping it was because I was getting a special visitor, but then when Mardi was acting so normal and occupied at home, I again wouldn't allow myself to think my dream was possible.
On the Sunday morning before my Birthday, hubby headed off on a secret mission to collect one of my presents. My parents (who were in on things too) told me they were getting ready to hide my present in their home. The kids were madly tidying and trying not to smile or let me in on any of the secrets.
Early afternoon I heard our car pull into the driveway. Then a knock came on the door, and I could see that two people were standing in our door way. I couldn't get to the door fast enough and to my absolutely surprise and delight, standing in MY doorway was Mardi - YAY!!!!!!!!!!
I can't begin to tell you how very excited I was to grab Mardi, sqeeze her tight, then overcome the shock and delight that she was actually here, in my home, with me. I think I talked flat out, asking her how long she could stay and showing her around. The kids were excited, we were all SO thrilled. My birthday dream had come true and Mardi was here, with me.
I was thrilled when Mardi told me she was staying until Thursday, and I knew that time would fly too. We quickly made a cuppa (one of many), and began our non stop chatting and just enjoying being together. We did a quick little OP shop that afternoon and I was thrilled when we found two gorgeous cushions for Mardi (at $1 each). You can read all about them HERE on Mardi's blog.
Monday morning I woke and was excited all over again to see Mardi here, in my home, making cups of tea in my kitchen. It was a dream come true and I did pinch myself a LOT over the coming days just to check I wasn't dreaming.
Late Monday morning we had a visit from the lovely Kim Archer. Not only is Kim a dear friend of both Mardi and I, she is the super talented editor of Etzcetera magazine and Mardi and I have been working with Kim for years. We sat on the couch drinking tea and chatting non stop the whole time Kim was here. I must confess that I sat listening to the chat, wishing that we all could all do this more regularly, it was food for my soul and I am so grateful to Kim for coming out for a visit too. Kim spoiled me with my very first pair of Peter Alexander pyjamas for my Birthday. They are so cosy and warm, I love them. Thank you Kim for spoiling me.
Tuesday morning Mardi came with me to teach my lovely Tuesday ladies. I was SO thrilled to introduce Mardi to my girls. They hear me talk about her ALL the time, so to meet Mardi was like they were meeting an old friend. Mardi fitted right in and chatted away while the girls stitched. It made my heart very happy.
Mavis, one of my ladies brought along a delicious cake and my Aunty brought sandwiches, and together we had a lovely class together.
Tuesday night, poor Mardi was so gracious and sat on the couch near me as I set up 29 blog posts - yep, 29. It was all part of my mega birthday giveaways, and lots of winners needed to be chosen and announced. I was SO grateful that Mardi was here to help me choose the winners and sit by me while I set everything up to go on my birthday.
Wednesday morning arrived, my birthday - YAY!! The kids were pretty excited, my special day had arrived. For those who don't know, my husband and I share the same birthday, so we were up early giving him some presents and saying Happy Birthday to him before he headed off to work. We then got the kids off to school and it was time to head off to teach my Wednesday ladies.
I was also very excited to wear my new Naughty Shorts dress for my birthday, and was thrilled that Mardi could be here to take my What I wore Wednesday photos too. Thanks so much Mardi.
I was looking forward to seeing my Wednesday girls and introducing them to Mardi too. It was during class that my lovely ladies told me I needed to sit down for a minute. I wasn't quite sure what was happening, or what they had planned, but I trust them so sat down. With big smiles, I was handed a very special gift - my very own silver and pink tiara, necklace, earrings and rings.
They told me I needed to wear them for the day (or class at least), so I proudly put everything on and wore them with pride and a big smile on my face. Gorgeous Louise and Maris had also decorated party hats for everyone, so we all wore hats and celebrated together.
After class Mardi and I did a little stitching together, while chatting non stop and just enjoying being together. Mardi made two most gorgeous dresses for her Blythe dolls - they were both so gorgeous and I was thrilled we had a few minutes of stitching together.
Wednesday afternoon, another BIG surprise arrived, but I want to tell you all about that in another blog post.
After the kids arrived home from school, I opened some of my presents. I already felt SO spoiled, to receive even more gifts was the icing on the cake. I will share all about my presents in another post, but I wanted to show you the gorgeous gifts Mardi gave me.
Mardi totally spoiled me by giving me a gorgeous book called Bazaar Style, a little Matryoshka doll, a clock and the most divine cushion that she made especially for me.
I have already popped my Matryoshka doll onto my shelf with two others that I have collected, one of which I found Op shopping while with Mardi in Barmera last year.
My cute little clock is already placed on my dresser under my photo wall, and my cushion, well where do I begin. I think Mardi must have picked up on how much I adored the floor cushion she made using a map table cloth, so to open my present and find this cushion made for me was wonderful. Upon closer inspection, Mardi showed me that she had stitched a little house onto the cushion with an arrow pointing to where she lives. It's SO gorgeous and so perfect for me. I LOVE it so much I don't even want to use it, I want it to last forever!!
After opening some presents and feeling totally spoiled, Mardi and I put together a yummy dinner, with Mardi cooking a roast for Michael's special birthday treat. We all piled into the car and headed to share dinner with my parents. We had a yummy dinner, and my parents presented me a lovely birthday cake too. I was bursting with happiness.
We headed home with full bellies and happy hearts. We girls sat around chatting NON stop, dressing Blythes and doing some Blythe hair treatments too.
Thursday morning arrived WAY too soon. My visit with Mardi honestly felt like it had been about 5 seconds long. We headed outside to take some Blythe photos before Mardi headed back to the airport for her huge journey home.
Here is Mardi's Lottie (left) with my Fawn (right).
Here is Mardi taking a photo of Lottie, all ready to travel in her plaits as the plane flight gave her dolls quite static hair.
Lottie and Gracie, Mardi's two Blythes together in their new dresses that Mardi made. Aren't they gorgeous!!
My kids were just as sad to see Mardi leave as I was, so I let them have a day at home. Emily look some gorgeous photos of Mardi's Blythes before she left as well, this is one of my favourites. It is another free lensing shot of Emily's and I think it's fantastic.
And before any of us wanted it to happen, lunch time arrived and it was time for Mardi to head home. I can't begin to tell you how sad I was (and Mardi was too). We didn't want our time together to end, especially since it felt like we were only together for 5 seconds. However, I was SO grateful that Mardi had come all this way and made my birthday wish come true too.
We took one last photo together, had lots more hugs, wiped tears and waved as Mardi drove away.
Having Mardi come to visit and be here for my birthday was just SO wonderful and I know I will carry these memories in my heart forever. We are already planning a family trip to SA next year so that we can spend some more time together with Mardi and her family - that is keeping us going while this large distance separates us. I am SO grateful to have such a beautiful friend in my life and so honoured that Mardi could spend my birthday with me too.
I have SO much more to tell you about my birthday, including another BIG surprise. I will be back soon, to share more birthday surprises and celebrations. xx Janelle