Monday, September 26, 2011

Finally... 40.

It has been the most wonderful weekend, filled with simple celebrations and surrounded by friends.  I am grateful to have several other luncheons and special things this week.  I feel wrapped in love by all the messages, Facebook posts, cards, and gifts I received.  But the best part, what has set upon me most heavy - is that time is truly the greatest gift you can give someone.  Time to spend with them, time you've thought of them - it is by far the best gift of all.

I could update again from my list of goals for the year, but it feels more important to round this milestone with just THANKS.  Thanks for walking these months with me.  It isn't the end of something, but a great new adventure up ahead. I am thankful for every day I'm alive and sharing life with those friends and family I am so blessed to have.

My cup runneth over.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last days of 39 -

Just a few more days of 39 to go!  Here is the final list update, and then I have a few more things to write about around my birthday. 

31.                  Ride a roller coaster.

Okay, I have ridden some roller coasters this year.  The biggest ones for me were on the October trip to Disney with Taylor.  I hate them, but I rode some good ones that didn't make me want to cry, and that was a big step forward I think.  I have to admit even feeling a little embarrassed when riding Space Mountain, at how beneath all the terror I actually *might* have even liked it.  A little bit.  Only a little bit.  When I was 13 and rode with my sister I cried getting on it and off of it, so I think I've made strides since then.  I'll leave it at that. 

But one of the main reasons I really wanted to ride a coaster this year was to get a photo of me doing so.  I love this song by David Wilcox and have long hoped to have a picture to represent it and my birthday.  Maybe we'll get there in the next few months, where John and I are actually together and he can get the photo I'm wanting.  I don't completely trust anyone else with a camera on a coaster!  :)  Anyway, here are the David Wilcox lyrics I love - the song is called "Top of the Roller Coaster."  Pretend it says "40" not "30." 

Say good-bye to your twenties
Tomorrow is the "Big 3-0"
For my birthday present
I've got a place where we can go
It's a lesson in motion
To ride the wildest ride
We're gonna climb to the top of the roller coaster
And look down the other side

So let me ride in the front car
And you ride right behind
And I'll click my snapshot camera
At exactly the right time
Shoot back over my shoulder
Catch the fear no one can hide
When we tip the top of the roller coaster
And look down the other side
Over the hill

So when the prints come back
We can look at that unmistakable birthday fear
Like your younger days are over now
And its all down hill from here

It was a happy birthday
You surprised us all
So take a look at this glossy picture
I framed it for your wall
It's the moment of truth
It's the top of your youth
The camera don't lie
You might be screaming
But there's a meaning
In the laughter in your eyes
It seems to be saying
"Of coarse there will be fear"
But this is why we stand in line
Spend that time
Make that climb
To finally feel the other side
And it's all down hill from here

We're gonna climb to the top of the roller coaster
And look down the other side

32.                  Ask for letters.  Write some letters.

I didn't fully explore this as I was hoping to do - but I will continue to be conscious of letting people know I love them in writing - I don't do it near enough.

33.                  Be content. 

Every day this is something to keep in perspective.  Perspective - that is a very, very big word with me.  I find that I need a fresh one very often.  Being content and being thankful go hand in hand for me.  When I start to feel resentful - I know I need a big dose of perspective. 

34.                  Plan a big 40th celebration!

After basically a year and a half of thinking I was going to come up with some enormous not to be missed event - I think I failed.  I have a couple of small things going on, though, and turns out that is probably just what I wanted in the first place.  A few things are a little further out on the horizon, but I am really looking forward to spending time with friends and family over the next week or so.  I have plans to hike Stone Mt. with Larry my best college friend.  I have dinner plans with my family.  I have a tea with my mom, aunt, sister, nieces, and kiddos.  I have a painting party with a few close friends.  Some other close friends are taking me for a surprise luncheon.  How blessed am I?  So, while there is no killer event planned after all, there is more than enough of happy to go around for me.  I'm so grateful, and very excited about my big day!

35.                  Stop interrupting.

This may not be possible.  But I'll keep trying.

36.                  Be grateful every day.

See #33.  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Was 13 months... now less than 13 days!

The days are ticking to the end of 39... 

A few more updates:

26.                  Read 50 books or more.

So, I completed this goal a few months back, and I haven't updated it lately, so I'm not posting all the regular links and information, but here are a few other books I've had my nose in lately.

Bossypants by Tina Fey - Laughed and laughed and laughed on the plane to Boston.  Laughed so hard the poor woman beside me asked me what I was reading so she could get it.  Later, other parts weren't as funny, some even lagged, but since I don't laugh nearly hard enough or often enough, I completely enjoyed giggling with Tina Fey.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares - Loved all of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, so I was excited about a new release with these characters.  All I am going to say is, this was the opposite of Bossypants.  I cried and cried and cried.  And, it was very satisfying and lovely.

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin - I wish I hadn't read this.  While the different storylines of the female characters were interesting, I finished the book and felt really disgusted with the main character, her choices, and her outcomes.  Ugh! 

27.                  Get our finances in order with a set budget.

Good for us.  We can always do things to improve, but I'm proud of our work.

28.                  Complete my gratitude project.

Elizabeth and I had wonderful ideas in mind while considering writing a photojournalism type book on gratitude.  But then our notes were accidentally throw away by someone else, not us, who didn't know what they were.  And then - life happened, and we have both been busy.  Hope we are both at least 'practicing' gratitude, which I am thinking is the case!  :)  Hope we get to work on something else together or that there is still hope for this project.  Check out Elizabeth's beautiful photography at

29.                  Have a physical.

Check!  Did it last November!  I sure hope it doesn't mean I need to do it again...? 

30.                  Face my fear of water.

My friend Sarah doesn't call me Elphaba for nothing.  I hate water, at least if it requires putting my face in it.  Love to drink it, be near it, listen to it, shower in it - but who am I kidding?  Despite how easy others make it look to dive into it, I'm out.

Only a few more updates to go... before the big day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Getting close!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  September has begun, which means the clock is ticking pretty quickly to my birthday on the 24th.  I've gone from 13 months when this blog started to just 22 days left.  Wow.  Time for a few more updates.

21.                  Say YES.  But only to what is right to say YES to…

I have done really well with this over the past year - and, I have to say, there have been some pretty big things to say NO to, which has been a struggle.  I'm proud of the decisions I've made.  No regrets yet.  And, after a very busy year last year of volunteering, I've cut back dramatically and appropriately this year.  With children now in two different schools again, it was necessary.  Good efforts here. Check!

22.                  Make a regular practice of prayer and meditation.

I have had several great resources this year that I have used - although not regularly.  One of my favorites has been the latest book by Jan L. Richardson called Sanctuary of Women.  I bet I have bought 10 copies of it to share with friends.  If you don't know about Jan or her work yet, you must check out her website:  She is one of my favorite spiritual writers.

I must admit that prayer and meditation are not my strongest gifts, so this area continues to be a work in progress.  And, perhaps, that is the way it is meant to be throughout your life.

23.                  Stop using bad language. 

Damn it – I forgot about this one!

24.                  Drive with full attention.

I think we all have moments where we catch ourselves not fully engaged, but driving needs to *not* be one of those places.  Having this as a goal this year has reached into my reminder mode when I catch myself zoning.  It is easy to get on auto-pilot - which is a scary realization of how many OTHER people ARE on auto-pilot while I am out driving, running, walking with my family... Makes me hyper-sensitive these days!

25.                  Spend time with people I love.

What a beautiful year of opportunities to spend time with people I love!  I could recount so many great times over the past year, new friendships, and fun with my family.  Hooray for all those gifts!

Thanks to Sarah and Temple, who last October (during a particularly tender conversation) gave me "permission" to stop playing life hostess.  My efforts at focusing on *some* friendships, in particular those who were not being returned, had become very taxing.  While letting some of these efforts go has caused me to also stay less regular even with other relationships, it has also been freeing.  I'm grateful for that conversation last year.  It has allowed me time to spend with other people who WANT to spend time with me, and has helped me see more clearly where I was wrongly investing.  Thanks Temple and Sarah - you are two people I definitely DO want to see.

More updates coming soon...