back in america: yosemite + a birthday + the best surprise

the day after we landed in san francisco, my parents landed in san francisco! and the day after that, the boy’s parents landed in san francisco! we were all gathering in the bay area to celebrate ian’s graduation from stanford with his phd.

my parents came a few days early so my dad could play in a tennis tournament, and it was so fun to reunite with them and tell them about our adventures over dinner one night and breakfast the next morning.

ian’s parents came a few days early so we could take a little celebratory trip with them to yosemite national park! we had such a good quick road trip with them.

we love both sets of our parents so dearly and feel unapproachable gratitude towards them.

i was soooo picture-taking-weary after our around the world trip, so i just snapped a few photos in yosemite. but we had such a fantastic time together! our first day in the park happened to be my birthday. the boy was so sweet in making every effort to make the day special for me. and i was really happy because i got to celebrate twenty nine years of being alive on this awesome earth in one of my very most favourite places, doing some of my very most favourite things, with some of my very most favourite people. yosemite is just outrageously, ridiculously, stunningly beautiful.

^^ one random thing the boy did for my birthday was give me this colorful sweatband and request that i wear it – i guess as a type of birthday crown? haha! he brought all of my favourite treats on our road trip and rallied several random crowds to sing me happy birthday throughout the day. ^^
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^^ this is a terrible quality iphone photo, but we had such a good time biking around yosemite valley together! ian and i think this is the best way to see the park if you don’t have a lot of time – it’s too big to see by foot but too gorgeous to see by car! ^^
^^ sunset at glacier point is just the best thing ever. last time ian and i were there was almost exactly a year before this, one even more sunsetty evening last june when i told the boy that i was ready to move forward with getting engaged and getting married! (yep, i was even wearing the same sweater, haha!) a special spot for sure. ^^
^^ sure love mom and dad wright! ^^
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^^ we stayed at such a fun, old-timey hotel near mariposa grove. and had a couple of failed attempts at a good picture of me with cupcakes and candles to end off the birthday sweetness. ^^

we drove straight from yosemite back to our favourite bay area restaurant, where we met my parents for a celebratory dinner on graduation eve. it was so fun to be together, the six of us, to commemorate all of ian’s hard work and tremendous learning at stanford. {more on graduation in the next post!} we all stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house in fremont and had another happy graduation/birthday meal there, all eight of us!, after all the festivities at stanford on sunday.

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ian told me that night that he wanted to take me on a surprise date the following tuesday. he often plans something fun and enjoys not telling me what it is beforehand just to keep it exciting :) so i didn’t think much of this and agreed to the time he had in mind to head out on our date. he kept telling me we’d need to be on time, but that i might not like the activity very much. when the time came, we drove to palo alto from fremont and ian said we needed to pick something up from our friend brittany’s really quick. i suggested i hop out and grab it while he stayed in the car, but he insisted we both needed to go in. when brittany answered the door, she said she’d run upstairs to get what we came for, but suggested we look on her back porch first because she got a new table. when i pulled open the drapes and stepped outside, i saw the most lovely, lovely, lovely sight and heard “surprise!!!”

i have always wanted to have a surprise party, and brittany made that dream come true in the most lovely way possible. she invited my dearest friends, set up her new table so perfectly under bistro lights, and made some of my very most favourite food. melinda helped make everything beautiful, and made me the most delicious cake i have ever tasted in my life, really and truly. it was coconut cake and she served it with a side of homemade blueberry ice cream.

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i was totally in an outrageously happy daze the entire evening, and couldn’t stop smiling all night until i fell asleep. i can’t believe this surprise actually happened! i was completely shocked and absolutely enchanted and tickled pink. it was such a perfect way to spend one of our last nights in palo alto. looking back at this now my heart is just mushy. thank you, brit!! that evening is really among my top happiest of life.

and one last picture to end off this post – here’s the boy with some of our boxes (we stored them in my aunt and uncle’s gym!) right before they got put into a truck to get packed into a shipping container to sail on over to the united kingdom. at the time of this writing, they were shipped off over ten weeks ago, and we still haven’t received them yet – there have been all kinds of random delays. we are so excited for our stuff to arrive! it will be like christmas in october (yep, we still have a few weeks to go).

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we loved spending a few days in palo alto when we returned to the usa. we stayed at my aunt hedy and uncle chris’s house, and also with two different families that we had become really close with due to ian’s church calling. it was just a really sweet time for us, reflecting on how much we will always adore and cherish the bay area – the place we met, fell in love, and started our life together.

what a great week full of celebrations, loved ones, beautiful places, surprises!, and lots of cake :)

1 comment:

  1. that headband! haha, sometimes i forgot how weird ian is and then there's something like that to remind me. he's the best. and you too! love you!