Tag Archives: birthday

A plastic bag tumbled across the road, and I became ready for 2016. And 32.

A week ago, Seth and I were sitting at a stoplight somewhere between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale on our way to brunch when a white plastic bag tumbled across the road in front of us. When it caught Seth’s eye, he barked at it. A brief fit of barking punctuated by suspicious growls.

To anyone else, this would have been insanity. Random, bizarre, and inexplicable. But to me…

I laughed so hard that tears were streaming down my face and my heart filled to bursting with love for this man and for our little family — me, Seth, and our sweet Curls, whom he was mimicking.

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Seth had been working in Florida for a week and I went down for the weekend to join him as a birthday treat and to attend his company’s end of year party. Besides the Miami-style kiss-kiss greeting, which makes me all kinds of awkward, it was just awesome. We ate good food and enjoyed the warm air. We treated ourselves to Godiva truffles after lunch and a nice view from an upscale hotel room. We went to a movie and found an Original Pancake House. We dressed up and drank good wine. We were together.

And together, we welcomed 2016 and my 32nd year.

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(Or actually, my 33rd year, right? I mean, I turned 32, which means I’ve completed 32 years… so yeah… hello to 2016 and my 33rd year. But to be clear, I’m not 33. Yet.)

I’m not sure what it’s like for everybody, but for me, with my birthday being so close to the New Year, the two weeks between the rolling over of the calendar on January 1st and the additional candle on my birthday cake on January 14th always feels like a time for reflection and reset. A brief window of time where I prepare to take on what’s next. The notion that was on my mind this time came from Dean Koontz’s latest, Ashley Bell:

“Home is where you struggle, in a world of endless struggle, to become the best you can be, and it becomes home in your heart only if one day you can look back and say that, in spite of all your faults and failures, it was in this special place where you began to see, however dimly, the shape of your soul.”

Until I read (well, heard, actually — it was an audiobook) that line, I had been so over 2015 it wasn’t even funny. I had chalked it up as a bad year and I was ready to move on, forget about it, and never repeat it. I mean, 2015 was hard — it started with our last failed attempt at IUI, was characterized primarily by the physical, emotional, and financial hardship that is IVF, and ended with profound pain at the loss of our baby. So 2015? Goodbye and good riddance.

But then again, as my family briefly grew and then shrank, as my body and heart endured things I didn’t think it possible to endure, I somehow in the end found myself more at home in my life and in my body than I ever had been before.

Same as every year, actually.

Every year does that — it gives me another opportunity to struggle, to do the best I possibly can, and to examine my faults and failures in the context of my growth and my place in this world, ultimately making me a little more at home in my own skin, in my own life, and perhaps more so this year than every before, in my own little family.

 

I’m currently taking a semester long e-course by Brene Brown through her COURAGEworks website. It’s called the Living Brave Semester and is based on two of her books — Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. At present, we’re really digging into the idea of vulnerability as presented in Daring Greatly and one of the first exercises we did was to identify the values that light our way, that provide us with the foundation for our behavior and guide us toward the person we want to be. After considerable reflection, I believe that for me, those things are connection, grace, and humor.

Although it didn’t necessarily strike me at that moment, when I later considered the fullness of my heart as Seth barked at that tumbling plastic bag, I thought about how it really represented my own personal value trifecta. Yes, Curly is a dog, but she is also our baby and we love her, weirdnesses and all. And we’re connected enough to one another and to her to laugh hysterically at the fact that an unexpected anything seen out of the corner of her eye is enough to make her crazy — even something as simple as a tumbling plastic bag. When Seth barked, I insta-understood. We were connected to each other, to our pup, we expressed our humor, and we gave grace to our darling girl as we laughed. It was just one moment, but one of millions… it is these moments that fill my heart. They are what make this time and place and space and body that I occupy my home.

Re-framing the new year in this way, I can imagine myself inhabiting a spread in 2016/32 magazine, standing on the doorstep of my metaphorical house, a smile on my face, the door open behind me, ready to welcome others to experience the connection, grace, and humor on which my foundation is laid. I am at home, in spite of and because of this last year and all those that came before it, and home is a good place to be — a place to to grow and to rest, to love and to laugh.

Perhaps most importantly, home is a place to weather the storms that will rage around us… and the very next year becomes the place that weathered the storm.

Home sweet home.
Home sweet home.

 

***Earlier in the week, before I headed to Miami, I talked to my niece Emma via FaceTime. Midway through the conversation, she demanded to talk to my boy. “Auntie Rachel, where’s your boy???” My boy? She got frustrated with me, like she couldn’t believe how dense I am, and explained: “Uncle SEF-Y!” So that’s what Uncle Sethy is to me — my boy. Ugh. That girl gives me a million moments too!

A Pinterest-Worthy Birthday Bash in a Church Basement. Also cake.

Of all the months on the calendar, April, May, and June seem to be the biggest months for birthdays and such in my year– my sister, my dad, my mom, my husband, my sister-in-law, several friends plus Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and I feel like I’m constantly falling behind on cards and calls and celebrating. (Also, I’m bad at mail and phone calls and such. Real bad.) Fortunately, all those people know how much I love them (so so much!) so I don’t think it’s a problem.

October was kind of like that this year too… not the norm, but when you turn 90, it calls for a big celebration. And a big celebration turns HUGE and relatively difficult to coordinate when it’s a Stankowski-style celebration, so my grandmother-in-law’s birthday party was moved up from December 17th to a weekend in October. We celebrated in Halder, Wisconsin, the same day my Grandma Rita celebrated her fourth annual 73rd birthday (how nice that she stopped aging at 73 years gorgeous!) in Lansing, Michigan, and my friend Krystal and Aunt Susan had some celebrating to do shortly after that.

So, as you can imagine, October became a month for celebrating some seriously amazing women… although, I’ve got to admit, that first party in a church basement in Halder was mildly panic attack inducing (yes, it’s an oxymoron and I know it) because I looked around at 90 years worth of a life well lived and thought “wow” followed shortly by “crap! I am so behind!”

Rational me: “Behind at what?!”

Crazy me: “Ummm… life! Obviously!! I should have at least” [pause for mental math…] “four kids by now if I want any hope of my 90th looking anything like this!”

Rational me: “Good point.”

And it was all over from there. Crazy is always more convincing.

You see, my father-in-law is one of 12 children, 10 boys and 2 girls. Not to take anything away from any of the boys because they are very talented at many things, but the two girls are absolutely reee-dic-u-lous at throwing meaningful and gorgeous parties. (Also they both try to give the other all the credit, but I have a sister of my own and I know that they are synergistic as a pair. That’s how sisters work. Btw, did you know that the term synergy was originally coined based on combining the words “sister” and “energy” into something even greater?! Seems reasonable, right? Maybe it’s even true…)

All 12 Stankowski sibs with their parents... just two of twelve girls. Good looking bunch, eh?
All 12 Stankowski sibs with their parents… just two of twelve girls. Good looking bunch, eh?

So Nancy (left of center) and Margie (right of center) did their thing and when I walked into that church basement I was absolutely floored.

Each table was decorated with a centerpiece carefully selected to represent some part of Lucille’s life.

From left to right, top to bottom:
From left to right, top to bottom: cookbooks and a hot pad, gardening tools, a rosary and favorite hymn, hummingbird nectar and canning rings, clothespins and clothesline, cookie cutters, buttons and a zipper for repairs, canning tools, lemon drops and a deck of playing cards, and denim for patching.

A childhood photograph of each and every one of Lucille’s nearly 30 grandkids was made into a flower.

Love, love, love these sweet pictures! Is this not the most Pinterest-worthy decor you've ever seen?! But it gets even better!
Love, love, love these sweet pictures! Is this not the most Pinterest-worthy decor you’ve ever seen?! But it gets even better!

Handmade Happy Birthday bunting.

The color scheme, the handmade-ness of it all, so in love!
The color scheme, the handmade-with-love-ness of it all!

Streamers, balloons, photos, food…

It's a big family-- hence the church basement.
It’s a big family– hence the church basement.

So much good going on!

Except, amidst all that good, I got a little sad, because like my crazy brain said, what on earth would my 90th look like? I’m (sniffle) not going to have any of that. It’s hard to have grandkids and great-grandkids if I can’t even manage to have kids. And spiral.

(Please note that I completely recognize the self-centeredness of the above. For real, my husband’s grandmother is amazing and she is the matriarch of an incredible crew– I’m super lucky to have been welcomed into the clan and I was really happy to spend the day celebrating Lucille. Unfortunately, my own truth has to be based in self-centeredness (see this post) so it’s going to sound that way for a little while… but I think we’ll get to a happy (and delicious) point and you’ll forgive me for the pity party, k? k.)

Later that month, Seth and I dropped our crazy fur baby off at my in-laws and headed to Green Bay for the weekend to celebrate our friend Krystal’s birthday and to meet their sweet new baby girl Amelia Mae and see her sister Charlotte Jean (I use their full names here mostly just to brag about what pretty baby girl names my friend Krystal picked). We had a blast with our friends basically doing nothing, as per usual. Their girls are incredible and so so so much fun and we always have a super relaxing and generally hilarious time when we hang out with the Kussows here, there, or wherever. But I have to say, and self-centeredly so (see disclaimer paragraph above), that the highlight of that weekend for me was the puppy chow.

Me, Seth, Krystal, and Justin… we have a problem with puppy chow. A delicious problem. Justin had made a big batch for us to munch on when we got there and when we finally got around to singing to Krystal and cutting the cake, here’s what she found:

Did I just learn how to make collages for Instagram? Why yes, yes I did...
Did I just learn how to make collages for Instagram? Why yes, yes I did…

A puppy chow pinata! Yessss!!!

So we ate and we laughed and we drank and snuggled Amelia and played with Charlotte and her puppy (and some of us got mani/pedis and went shoe shopping because it was Krystal’s birthday, after all) and basically just had a good time.

And that’s when this blog post started writing itself. Because I’m pretty sure that Justin and Krystal (they’re younger than me) and Charlotte and Amelia and Charlotte’s and Amelia’s someday babies will all come to my 90th birthday party!

They may not be blood, but family often isn’t. It’s nice when it is, of course, but family can be so much more. I blurred the lines between family and friendship just the other day, albeit in the other direction, but today I want to point out that the opposite can also be true. It’s what happens with in-laws, and you know I wouldn’t trade my bro-in-law Stuey or Uncle Ed for anything, so what’s the difference here? Not a thing.

On my Grandma’s previous 73rd birthday, I told you about how amazing she is and how welcoming a place her house always is, even on big “family” holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving. There were always friends and neighbors and other people amongst the crowd. I always thought of them as other people though. I imagine that my Grandma probably does not. To her, they’re probably just more family. Because family is a choice and can be built and blended in any which way.

So, when I turn 90, I want tables decorated with mason jars full of things that remind you of me (oh look, I’ve already got one full of rocks to get you started)… you’ve got 60 years to be my friend and make more babies for me to love and then let’s celebrate just like the Stankowskis did one recent weekend in October.

 

Isn’t that just like me? Bootstrapping my way up out of a pity party day after day? (And she’s humble, too…) You should consider filling a mason jar with bootstraps at my party. What are bootstraps anyway? I’ve always imagined them as boot laces, but then why bootstraps? And why is boostrapping suddenly a genomics/bioinformatics term too? I really don’t even get the concept. I ought to stop using the word. Maybe wiki can instruct me… huh… that is enlightening… the intro is worth a read if you’re interested. Idioms are hard.

Happy 205th, Abe and Chuck!!

On February 12, 1809, two women became mothers to two of the most interesting men who have ever lived. At least in my opinion. Because on February 12, 1809, Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born.

Is it common knowledge that Darwin and Lincoln share a birthday??? I’m kind of floored that I didn’t realize this until today! (Thank you IFLS on Facebook and the note about “Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday” on my Packers-themed office calendar.)

Abe and Chuck's Birthday

I’ve been kind of into Lincoln lately… or more than lately, really. I was a Lincoln Railsplitter from the day I started kindergarten to the day I graduated high school, after all. And not a whole lot of schools have a giant president’s head as their mascot. (Go Splitters!!)

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{Source— you might have thought I was kidding, but this is oh so real. Wishing I could have found the mural of Lincoln in a speedo from the high school pool, but it eludes me…}

Then I got really into Civil War history (have you read the Jeff and Michael Shaara books?!) and was moved nearly to tears the first time I visited the Lincoln Memorial after visiting Gettysburg itself. I loved the movie Lincoln and really liked reading Mary: Mrs. A Lincoln as our recent book club book. He’s just such an interesting man! I’m sure many elements of his life are romanticized, but there’s no denying that he was a spectacular orator and a forward thinking, justice seeking man. I kind of dig all those things about him.

Charles Darwin was also an exceptionally forward thinking man. His Origin of Species is the foundation of evolutionary biology as we know it today and examples of his and other naturalists’ work truly inspired me as a little kid. I was always picking up specimens from nature and experimenting, observing, and tasting (yes, tasting… add enough sugar, and even acorns become pretty delicious– my parents are kind of cool).

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It’s probably not the case at all (and I think Sheldon of TBBT would be a little bit annoyed with me right now for saying so), but for some reason, shared birthdays seem highly significant to me. The fact that my favorite cousin Spruce and my husband share the same birthday?! That’s got to mean something, right?! And while I was having my first awful ultrasound related to infertility stuffs, the ultrasound tech shared my exact same birthday and had just gone through something remarkably similar. Those things… they’re somethings, right?!

Regardless, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were men who dealt with significant adversity in their lives. Yet, they were both incredibly open minded and willing to explore new and radical ideas. They were also determined to do what was right, regardless of what it meant for their popularity, and that’s a rare and beautiful quality in a person, don’t you think?

So, happy 205th birthday to you, Abe and Chuck!!

(Pretty sure we’re on a nickname basis, I really dig these two!)

 

 

Update on my Curly girl: We got a call back from the surgeon in Madison this afternoon. He and his team have come up with a plan for surgical repair and we’re bringing her back to the vet school tomorrow afternoon. After a quick ultrasound and test for infection tomorrow, she’ll be set for surgery on Friday. Two faculty surgeons will perform the surgery, which will involve release of the quadriceps to lengthen the muscle, movement of the patella back into correct position, and repair and reattachment of the patellar tendon either with her own tissue or with a synthetic replacement, depending on the condition. While that’s complicate enough, the surgeon doesn’t seem to think that’s going to be the problem– the problem is going to be keeping the patella in place once it’s back. And to do that: external fixators for at least 2 months to immobilize the entire leg followed by either a custom orthotic or splint from toe to hip until no longer needed (more months). Whew! It’s a plan, anyway! Curls will stay in the hospital until Monday and then we’ll pick her up and bring her home to us!

A 30th Birthday Recap: The Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How

Dang!

Dang! Dang! Dang!

(Dang! That’s what the back of my Lymphomaniacs softball jersey said… I suppose there’s a reason for that.)

Nothing quite like a birthday to make you feel L-O-V-E-D loved! And that is how I felt every second of the entire day yesterday!

There were cards, balloons, flowers, texts, emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, chocolates, a stuffed purple monkey (!), cookies, Tweets, songs, and more!!

Birthday Flowers and Balloons

And it just keeps coming! I got a message from my brother, who is the worstbest this afternoon…

Birthday Texts from Tom
Muppet Treasure Island reference for the win!

My niece sang to me in her absolutely, ridiculously, so-cute-I-can-barely-stand-it words…

Emma girl
She calls me “ee-chel” and tells me she “lubs” me… I melt.

And on Saturday, my mother- and father-in-law are coming over for dinner and CAKE! (cake! cake! cake!)

No photos yet, but it's going to look a little something like this.
No photos yet, but it’s going to look a little something like this.

Thirty?! Kind of awesome!

But the really cool thing about yesterday (and today and the rest of this week not to mention probably the rest of my life) is that I truly have AWESOME (awesome, awesome, awesome!) people in my life! And that makes me want to ask some serious, reporter-style questions!

The who, what, where, and when– that’s not quite so tough.

WHO You guys! My family, my friends, my family’s friends, my co-workers, my husband’s coworkers and their families, my friends’ friends and their families, internet-only (so far!) friends, and everyone in between!

WHAT A crazy amount of love and support! Well wishes, happy memories, good times… LOVE!

WHERE EVERYWHERE! Literally, everywhere I have ever been… from infancy to now, and even people I only really “know” in the virtual world. Truly, ev-er-y-where!

WHEN Obviously on my birthday, but also every other day. I had a happy thought about every single person that wished me a happy day yesterday– a specific moment in time, imprinted in a neuron (have you read about what scientists at MIT found about how memories are stored? so fascinating!) and recalled upon contact to bring a smile to my face and to make 30 that much better!

But then the tougher ones…

WHY Seriously, you guys, why?! I mean, I’m a nerd. I’ve always been a nerd. And there are so many things about myself that I’ve always disliked and struggled with. I’ve been made fun of, teased, picked on, dumped, and basically broken in so many ways… and I carry all of those things around with me, in a metaphorical hump on my back that some days makes me feel completely, 100%, Quasimodo-style unlovable. But then again, even the Q-man had himself an Esmeralda. And like Esmeralda, there you are! Loving me anyway. Why indeed? Emily had heard my tantrums from down the street since I was 2 and she was 3… but she texted me yesterday, 28 years later. Kelly watched me eat myself sick every day after school from like sixth through eighth grade… but she remembered an inside joke from high school and used it to wish me a happy “brithday” on FB yesterday, nearly 20 years after all of that. Aimee got escorted out of the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga on my 18th birthday… but she sent me an awesome email yesterday, 12 birthdays later. Jess had front row seats to six years worth of spectacular grad school meltdowns… but she sent me a message first thing yesterday morning. And my co-workers survived a complete disaster that I managed to bring down on all of their heads… and they still decorated my office and brought me balloons. Dang. Truly, why?

HOW So, yeah… how did I do it? How did I get Emily to look past the tantrums, Kelly the food, Aimee the security guards, Jess the tears (and mouse poop), my co-workers the drama? I have a feeling it has a lot more to do with all of them and their amazing, incredible, hearts of pure gold (or fat hearts, maybe???) than it does with any spectacularly redeeming quality I possess. (This isn’t about my square jaw, is it???) So how do you guys even? I don’t know… but I certainly hope that I have the “how” part down of being a good friend like you do!

 

So anyway, thanks a ton for all of the happy birthday wishes! It was a good one! (And you’re welcome for the hard hitting investigative journalism.) Now that I have prepared for 30, turned 30, and thanked people for the well wishes, we can certainly talk about something else for a while. No sense beating a 30-year-old horse, you know?

 

PS: Do you remember reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle? Tell me you read it, pretty please! It’s just so good! But so are all of Madeleine L’Engle’s books. I recently re-read many of them as an adult… still so good!! Anyway, in A Wrinkle in Time there are three women– Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit. This post reminded me of them. And reminded me of sweet Charles Wallace and his sister Meg, who always hit so close to home. And of the twins, Sandy and Dennys, who got themselves into such biblical-style trouble in another of the books. Seems like it may be time for another L’Engle binge!

And then I turned 30…

It’s 1:00 am where I live– in Wisconsin, we’re on Central Time. (Ugh, Central Time… I honestly never thought I’d live somewhere where the CST of the “Tomorrow at 9 PM EST/8 PM CST” from my Cartoon Network watching days of yore would actually apply to me. But here we are!!) I was born in Michigan in 1984, on Eastern Time, somewhere around 2:00 am. This is pretty close right? (Thank goodness for scheduled posting! I’m 30 now, my bed time comes way before midnight!)

My parents tell me the night I was born was a pretty icy night. When I first learned to read, I thought I-C-Y was pronounced “icky” and that made for some really confusing road signs, but at the same time, it’s fitting. It’s an icky icy night here tonight, Mother Nature promising another 5 inches or so of the fluffy white stuff. History repeats itself, eh?

All of that was 30 years ago now and despite all the fanfare, I’m feeling quiet tonight as I welcome the big three-o. I spent my Advent for Thirty reflecting on hope, peace, joy, and love. What started as an exercise targeted toward generating blog material and a time for making jokes about turning 30 ended up being something really, really good for me. And it really did ready my heart, mind, and soul for thirty. How very advent-ageous, if you will. (Bahahahaaaahaaa! Oh, puns!)

Now it’s here. Thirty is upon us. Well, me. And some of you, no doubt. But mostly me right now. I’m looking forward to the flood of Facebook love (seriously, Facebook really makes birthdays a thousand times better, doesn’t it?!), phone calls and text messages, and some birthday cake (tomorrow and on Saturday when Seth’s parents are coming to celebrate with me!).

Tonight, we’re staying in. I’m making salmon (it’s a new recipe and I’m using dill I dried from my friend Aimie’s garden and some cabbage I froze from my mother-in-law’s! so exciting!) and we’re going to snuggle up with our pup and watch some Harry Potter. Seth got me ALL EIGHT MOVIES on BluRay for my birthday (whaaaaaaat?! you know your husband loves you when…) and I’m pretty pumped to see them on our enormous tv downstairs. On one hand, I kind of want to start with the first, but given that I won’t have enough time to watch them all tomorrow, I’m kind of tempted to start with The Goblet of Fire (that’s number four for those of you who are not Harry Potter maniacs like me) because I loved that one so much– it was so… intense! Regardless of where we start, my in-laws (and all of them conspired on this one!) got me HERMIONE’S WAND from Olivander’s Wand Shop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for Christmas when we were there back in October and you know I’ll be practicing during the movie. (Bob says he’s always wanted to levitate so it’s important to me to perfect that spell before they come over on Saturday to eat cake with me– it’s wingardium leviOsa not wingardium leviosA!) That’s a reasonable way to spend the day you turn 30, right?

Thanks a ton for sticking around with me for my Advent for Thirty series and for being here tonight as 30 strikes. An especially big thanks for joining in on my Whoville-style chorus of welcome 30:

Fahoo fores dahoo dores

Welcome 30, bi-irth day!

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Enjoy some cake today– the calories are on me!!!

PS: I recognize that the “bi-irth day” part is a stretch. Not quite enough syllables, dang. But whatevs, it’s my birthday, I’ll do what I want!

A new and personal kind of advent… or here comes 30.

According to Wikipedia (omg, a venue in which I can legitimately cite Wikipedia! hold on for a second while I savor this moment……….. consider it savored!), advent is “a season observed in many Western churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.” Clearly, Wikipedia knows what’s up!

I’ve always liked advent, probably because of the candles, but have really latched on to it with greater fervor in the last year or two. Apparently, someone picked up on that because the day after I frantically scoured all of Marshfield looking for 3 purple candles and a pink one, my mother- and father-in-law dropped off a beautiful advent wreath as an early Christmas gift. (How did they know?! Seth swears he didn’t tell them…) Since I absolutely couldn’t stand the thought of candles that didn’t match, I had settled on four white, vanilla-scented glass votives clustered around a poinsettia. The advent wreath my in-laws gifted to me was much more beautiful and included its own little Nativity scene. I’m in love with it.

Advent Wreath

I have to be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t actually get to light all of the candles, and certainly not at the appropriate time. It just didn’t feel right to leave my kennel-bound puppy in the other room while we had a nice candlelit dinner (and she cannot be on linoleum right now without doing the whole Bambi-on-ice thing) so we mostly ate near the kennel as we waited for a miracle for the knee-that-simply-will-not-heal.

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Even though I didn’t get to light all the candles in my own home, I was still able to reflect on what they mean and how important those things are to this beautiful season.

Hope.

Peace.

Joy.

Love.

And lastly, on Christmas day, the Jesus candle, which is in my mind all of those things (hope, peace, joy, and love) wrapped into one.

I had a truly lovely Christmas, enjoying a brief time (marked by an unfortunate ice storm) at my parents’ house in Michigan and a day of gifts and food and warmth at my in-laws in Mosinee. But with Christmas come and gone, my thoughts, as usual, turn to my birthday, which is coming up mid-January.

On January 14th, I will turn 30. And I’ve had lots and lots of feelings about that number, which I plan to discuss later. Thirty feels like it should be something of a big deal. True, there are no new privileges connected to it, like a driver’s license or the ability to rent a car, no major milestones, like your sweet 16 or “adulthood” at 18. (Perhaps you reached the maturity of adulthood at the age of 18; I personally did not. Hence, the quotation marks.) So I’m going to have to do something else to make it a big deal– to reflect on those years between 1984 and 2014 and to decide how I want to enter this new phase of my life.

To use the exact advent imagery might be blasphemous or heretical or something like that (though that’s certainly not the intent). So I think I’ll write some blog posts instead.

This week, I will write about my hopes for 30.

During the week of December 29th, I will write about making peace with 30 and finding joy at 30.

During the week of January 6th, I will write about love at 30 and I will highlight 30 years of silver linings in my life.

And finally, on Tuesday, January 14th, I will welcome 30 with all of the hope, peace, joy, and love it deserves!

30!

And cake.

Because I love cake.

And I can’t imagine that 30 is going to change that.