Happy Birthday, Shanna!

Tonight was a night of memorable firsts—the first night all the Gardner grown-ups have been together since before Shanna’s mission and the first night we’ve all been together with Jared, the newest Gardner-to-be. (Or is Shanna a Bridegan-to-be? Both, I guess. . . . )

It was a great birthday celebration (Shanna’s real birthday was yesterday, but we celebrated tonight). Shanna chose the restaurant—Tsunami, a Japanese sushi restaurant. Those of us who like sushi all ordered different rolls, and then we shared. (Those who aren’t sushi lovers ordered the chicken.)

We pooled our resources and gave Shanna a birthday gift of cash, which is much-appreciated as she heads into this new phase of her life. And we had a wonderful night of conversation and getting to know each other.

I wondered if all 12 of us on one long table might be too many to have meaningful conversations, but we had some great large-group talks, and smaller chats as well. I’m hoping we didn’t overwhelm Jared too much, but he seemed to take it all in stride. We’re all looking forward to getting to know him better, and we hope he’s looking forward to getting to know us better! (smile)

Happy birthday, Shanna—we love you!