twenty-four.

My birthday was absolutely fabulous.

I have spent the past 4 days celebrating the fact that I'm now 24... and I didn't even know turning that age merited such a wonderful celebration, but I'm not complaining.. I have been left feeling filled to the brim with love and happiness. If it's any indication, I think 24 will be a wonderful year.

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It started on Thursday. I met up with my mom after work to go shopping for the food and decorations for my party on Friday.... only to find out that we were actually going out for dinner with Josh. SURPRISE!

I thought it was a little suspicious when she packed a change of clothes and make-up for a trip to Wal-Mart, but hey, you never know who you may meet at Wal-....okay, no. Now you understand why it was suspicious.

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We were originally going to hit up The Cheesecake Factory, mostly because it's right next to a mall that has a photo booth, and taking pictures in a photo booth is on my 23 things list... and time was running out!

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Luckily we squeezed in #22 with only a day to spare and I didn't have to settle for our original jaunt in a photo booth... thank goodness!

(you can view a video of our photo booth experience here if you'd like... it kind of explains our faces in the last photo. a random little girl opened the curtain and tried to get in the booth with us just as it snapped the last picture!)

So after that we went to The CCF, but after a storm (that apparently only hit on that side of the river because I was unaware of the major power outages and trees down) their power was out so the wait was going to be awhile... so PF Changs it was! Oh, except their wait was even longer. So I remembered I had a gift card for Macaroni Grill, so that's where we went. Thanks for my birthday dinner, Adam! It was delicious! ;-)

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dinner

Friday was my actual birthday. I ended up having to work, so #19 didn't get crossed off as planned, but that's okay... it'll happen one day.

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I have to say, one of the coolest things happened on my birthday... Josh and I WON 1st place in the photo contest for the resort we stayed at in Jamaica!!!!! I couldn't believe we won... and ON MY BIRTHDAY. Pretty cool, right? First place wins 4 days, 3 nights free at any of the resorts in Jamaica (they have a few). Here are the photos we entered... not sure which one was actually the winner yet though but the consensus seems to be that it was probably the jumping photo.

That night I had some friends over for a little birthday cook out...

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It was a perfect evening with hot dogs and hamburgers and a HUGE ice cream cake (that wouldn't fit in the freezer) and good friends and Wii playing and girl talk and pick-up lines courtesy of Ariel... I loved every minute of it. And THANK GOODNESS calories don't count on my birthday (week) because between all the celebrations we had ice cream cake, regular cake, cupcakes, and cheesecake brownies... and TONS of leftovers!

Saturday evening we ventured up to North Vernon for another little cook out at Aunt Kathy's house. We ate some delicious kabobs and then played bubbles with Gabrielle.

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bubbles
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We also got to meet Brad & Merideth's new baby Asher.

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He had the saddest little face when he cried, but I thought it was so cute!

AND we had cake with the most delicious cool-whip icing!

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Thank you for inviting us up, Aunt Kathy! We had a great time!

Today we went over to Josh's parents' house to hang out with Gage.

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We had fun coloring, playing with trucks, and doing puzzles. He picked out my birthday card and made me some of the famous cheesecake brownies! I've been hearing about them for almost a year now, so I was glad to finally get to try them... delicious! We tried to get Gage to tell us the secret recipe, but all we got out of him was that there was sugar, butter, and eggs in it.. not sure that those 3 ingredients mixed together would quite create delicious cheesecake brownies, but maybe?!

Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate turning the monumentous age of 24 (I think I made up that word). I love you all.