i feel so loved (and some very exciting news)

Thank you for all your incredibly sweet birthday wishes yesterday! Man, you sure know how to make a girl feel loved :)

My birthday celebration started on Wednesday afternoon, so we could celebrate with my dad, where we again got ice cream at the local ice cream store. 

This is what I got...the chocolate bowl. Yum.

I knew my parents had something big up their sleeves. I found out what this surprise was on Wednesday as well, because my dad wanted to see my reaction.
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you already know what the surprise was (I couldn't keep quiet!)...

My mom handed me three packages. The first one was a magazine about Paris. The second one was a French dictionary. At this point, I was still totally clueless. The last one was a maroon folder. A folder? But when I opened up the folder and glanced at the sheets inside...

...I knew. Inside were printouts of two train ticket confirmations for my mom and me. The destination? 

Paris, France.

Oh.yes. I'm going to Paris next weekend!!!!!!!!

(The above photo is extremely unflattering, but that's how excited I was ;))

I'm so unbelievably excited. I've wanted to go to Paris for as long as I can remember. And now? I finally get to go! We're leaving very early on October 1st and returning on October 4th. I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog while we're there (even though the super cute hotel we're staying in has free Wi-Fi), since we'll probably be incredibly busy. So I'll schedule some posts while we're gone...but when we come back, be prepared for photo overload! :)

On my birthday, I got up at the far too early hour of 6:30am so I could come along to the airport to drop off my dad.

(My dad arrived safely last night after a long, but uneventful flight. Thank you for your prayers!)

After taking a late morning nap - Hey! I was tired! - we ate lunch and I opened presents.

My mom made my very favorite baked macaroni and cheese with a delicious salad. Among my presents was a hat very similar to my brother's! You know, the one that I stole and my mom took a picture of me with, and I made it my profile picture? (Run on sentence much?) Yeah, that one. I love it.

After my first class - nope, I couldn't get out of going to class on my birthday :), I took a bike ride around the country side. Weaving through the maze of corn fields and farms, with the sun shining and the wind blowing on my face, it was just what I needed. I could have bicycled forever.

To end the day, I blew out a candle (since we haven't had a cake yet) while everyone sang happy birthday.

It was a good day. And, my birthday celebration will continue in Paris! Eek!