Monday, October 11, 2010

The Gift of Experiences

I want to thank all of you who have wished me a happy birthday over the past week. Sometimes you forget how many friends & loved ones you have until you've heard from many of them on special days. Some people have asked how we celebrated and I want to share a tradition we've instituted in our marriage. If you've known us for awhile, you may already know this about us.
...Terrill & I don't often spend money on holiday gifts....instead we spend money on the gift of experiences. Being transient missionaries makes it difficult to accumulate 'stuff'. If we buy it, I know we'll have to eventually pack it up and take it with us. Do I really want to be carrying around a lot of 'stuff'? We decided early in our marriage that we'd rather travel to new places, taste new foods & make memories instead of buying gifts. This year was no exception and Terrill made it quite special. The day of my birthday was fun and out of the ordinary for us. I had chocolate cake & cappuccino for breakfast, we went to see a movie in a theater and we had lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant. That was that. Celebration complete...or so I thought.

But both Terrill & I turned 30 this year and he wanted to do something a little extra special. On the trip to Nairobi, we stopped for a night in Jinja (close to Kampala). Jinja sits on Lake Victoria and is where the Nile enters Uganda. Terrill's surprise was to take me horseback riding on trails near the Nile. I haven't ridden in years but my family had horses when I was a child and they make me nostalgic of my growing up years. We had a wonderful ride, even with a light rain falling and villagers staring at us. There's nothing like the smell of tropical plants and wet horse hide. ;)

For the night, we were booked into a lodge called the Nile Porch. The river rushed below the escarpment our little guest house was perched upon. As we sat and had our tea while enjoying the surrounding greenery, I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of contentment. Later on that night, I learned why Terrill really wanted to stay at the Nile Porch. They were famed for having some of the best ribs around. So, after some meager & meatless meals, my husband had a proper dinner. I won't tell you how much he ate. The next morning we had our breakfast outside and watched two parrots fly between trees. These are the kind of birthdays I'll never forget. I can't lose these memories and they won't get worn out over the years.


Cassidy said...

Amber, what a special birthday. I have been thinking of you quite often but regret that I did not call and sing to you on your actual day. I love this tradition you began and am happy to say that it is how Christina and I celebrate birthdays and holidays now too. I had a friend once say that "relationships are founded on shared experiences." You and Terrill model this well. Happy 30th to you, my dear friend. Love, Cass

PS- The coat and sweater drive will begin here at 4Oaks in a week. I am working on a catchy promo now. I will send it your way soon. :)

Notinthewild said...

You look ADORABLE, Nakuwam.
"Why Terrill really wanted to stay at the Nile Porch" LOL
How much did he eat? I want facts. Send 'em to me in a separate e-mail.

The Reeds said...

What a beautiful birthday. I'm glad you got to celebrate, and the Nile Porch sounds awesome. Is that part of the Black Lantern? We miss you guys.

Keep celebrating turning 30 ALL MONTH!


ikman said...

Tanaat nyangoli? Leb’ets. Tanaat kaenika? Tomin ekwa ad’e. Tanaat ngaberika? Komata. Tanaat tametesika ni marang? Nta toped’uk’otiti imaares = How many horses? Two. How many years? Thirty. How many ribs? MANY. How many good memories? Impossible to count. ☺. Happy 30th again to you both and many happy memories!
Much love,
Rich and Sally

Anonymous said...

I too love this tradition!!! What a special birthday celebration for your 30th. Happy Birthday sweet friend. I hope you have a whole month of special memories being made.
I will forever remember my birthday spent with you! I don't think it will ever be topped, unless I came back for that is an idea!!! Love and miss you. Mary

Justin and Hannah Gingerich said...

great glad you all are enjoying some memorable experiences together...
Glad you had a wonderful birthday.
We love you lots!

Kelsey and Travis said...

So great to hear that you two are doing well, making memories and enjoying life. Travis and I miss making memories with y'all :) Happy belated birthday to you!!!