So…yesterday was my 44th birthday. Quite honestly, I can NOT believe I just typed that sentence. It’s a bit surreal. In some ways, I totally feel every bit of 44. At other times, I sit in complete amazement at how quickly my 20’s and 30’s faded.
Each year represents an evolving season and 44 looks different on different people. What does turning 44 look like for me?
Well…for my actual birth DAY, my super thoughtful, youngest daughter (age 11) made (from scratch) vegan and gluten-free pancakes and chocolate dipped strawberries for breakfast in bed. The pancakes were inedible (for real), but the strawberries were super fresh and juicy. She knew the pancakes missed the mark, so thankfully, I was off the hook.
My two daughters got dressed and I took a shower. I handled 3 separate sister-sibling arguments before I put on clothing. Everyone sees me naked. Yea 44.
I took my middle child to the orthodontist to get a poky wire clipped. Our monthly payment for braces costs more than my husband’s car payment. And, the payment plan continues for 28 months. Yea 44.
After the orthodontist, I drove to a podiatrist appointment, where I learned a severe case of plantar fasciitis and a large bone spur is causing my constant and excruciating heel pain. Awesome. Yea 44.
My girls read Harry Potter books in the waiting room while I was in the examination and x-ray room for over an hour.
Side note: As a homeschooling momma, my daughters go everywhere with me–haircuts, errands, gynecologist, mammograms, dentist, podiatrist, etc., etc. I am NEVER alone. Christmas shopping would be non-existent without Amazon. Click here to read 5 reasons why we homeschool.
As for the Harry Potter reading: My girls are VERY late to the Harry Potter craze. At 11 and 13, they show absolutely no interest. The 11 year old HATES fiction and thinks it is silly to read something that is not true.
But, after our most recent Disney vacation, my husband and I decided a trip to Universal Studios would not happen until their brother’s old Harry Potter books were cracked open…hence, the new-found interest. That’s a parenting win, folks. Yea 44.
The podiatrist wanted to administer a steroid injection in my heel. I asked about the pain involved with the procedure, the steroids, and alternative solutions. (I don’t like excessive meds or chemicals in my body.)
She asked if I had children. I said, “Yes, three.” She then proceeded to tell me that if I could endure childbirth, I could endure the needle in my foot.
NOPE…Not interested in going through the same level of pain as childbirth (or anything compared to such) on my birthday. Plus, it’s a no-go on the steroids. I declined the injection.
I don’t think the doctor was very happy.
But, I no longer make decisions based on what other people think. Yea 44.
I walked out of the doctor’s office and took my two daughters to lunch.
We chose a quaint, but popular tearoom because of the delicious, fluffy homemade bread and fantastic desserts. (It was my birthday, after all.) Plus, the restaurant is less than a mile from the podiatrist and my daughters love the food.
I ordered a salad with blue cheese dressing on the side (a BIG treat for me). It was utterly divine. I also ate a super yummy veggie sandwich with spinach, avocado and sprouts. For dessert, I chose warm peach cobbler a la mode. Cobbler of any kind is my fav. DELICIOUS.
My daughters and I stopped at Marshall’s and did a little shopping because my son’s girlfriend is graduating from law school in May and we need dresses. A cute bag and a few tops made it home…but we were unsuccessful in the dress department. My 13 year old daughter said I was too old to wear the one possibility. Awesome. Yea 44.
Once we returned home, my girls started school, while I worked on laundry. A sweet friend sent me a reminder text–she needed something I stored in our safe. Two days before, I stuck a reminder sticky note on my mirror, but I forgot, of course–soooooo thankful for friends and reminder texts. Yea 44.
As I dug in the safe, I came across my most prized possession.
In 1998, I took my son to the mall to get pictures taken–that’s what we did back in the day–long before beautiful outdoor location family photographers and cell phones with fancy cameras existed.
While I chose the pictures I wanted to purchase, my son (age 5) was getting restless. From my purse, I hurriedly gave him a random receipt and a pen so he could doodle and be occupied for a minute. He handed me this:
“I love you Mommy so much that I want to squ (squeeze) the juice out of you.”
(He ran out of room for the E-E-Z-E. lol.)
This piece of paper is my favorite thing. Swaddled within a tiny pocket in my wallet for many years, I eventually placed it in a plastic baggie and tucked it inside a fireproof container. A burglar would certainly be disappointed with the contents of our safe since it is full of memories and photographs. Not money. Like not a dime. Yea 44.
The contents of that safe represent what we value as a family–ultrasound videos, pregnancy journals, thousands of photographs of our children, military medals and awards, birth certificates and our marriage license–our family treasures. Yea 44.
Click here to read everything about my unusual family.
After reminiscing for an hour or so, I returned to the mountain of laundry.
I watched “Scrubs” on Netflix and drank some unsweet iced tea (my fav) as I sat on the bed and tackled the clothing. Yea 44.
My sweet husband came home from work a little early with my favorite tofu spring rolls from my fav Vietnamese restaurant, a ton of fresh berries (my fav) and a box of Milk Duds (my fav candy). My stomach was already “iffy” from the dairy indulgence at lunch and I didn’t want to add to the madness, so I skipped the candy. Yea 44.
My birthday gift this year, you ask? A ton of milkweed plants. My daughters and I are passionately involved in providing food and habitats for the monarch butterfly migration through south Texas and my awesome husband bought all of this for our garden. He is the best.
My 13 year old daughter participated in a scheduled, 1.5 hour-long web meeting with her college French professor from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.. so we planned to stay home.
I put on my comfy PJ’s, finished the laundry and ate my spring rolls while sitting in bed and catching up with my husband’s daily events. We binge-watched several more ‘Scrubs” episodes until it was time to call it a night. Yea 44.
Throughout the day, I received sooooooooooooo many texts, calls, and Facebook birthday messages! I felt like the luckiest woman on Earth. The BEST day to be on social media is always your birthday, right?!?
I even opened my “real” mailbox to find a birthday card from one of my most treasured, lifelong friends–we met in 3rd grade. How very lucky I am to still have her in my life! Yea 44.
As I was closing my eyes to finally rest, I noticed an unfamiliar glow of light coming from the classroom.
Side note: Our 11 year old sleeps on the floor of our homeschool classroom–it’s been 2 years now. Yes, she has a bedroom and yes, she has a delightful bed and yes, she chooses to sleep on the hardwood floor. Click here to read about my life with profoundly gifted children.
From my side of the bed, I can always see her little pile of blankets. I asked her where the light was coming from and she said she was reading Harry Potter with a book light. (This is the daughter that believes there is no benefit to reading fiction.)
She wanted to know what happens next in the story.
I smiled and told her she could read for as long as she wanted. Then, I fell asleep.