Today is my birthday!  I look forward to this day every year.  You’d think most people do, too.  But the other day I overheard a woman tell her friend, “Ugh, today is my birthday.  And my husband celebrated with a dinner party with friends.  I wish my birthday would go away!”  I was so sad to hear this!

Of course, my favorite parts of my birthday have changed over the years with maturity.  When I was little it was all about the kind of party Mother would plan, the cake we would serve and the presents.  I remember about a month before my birthday, Mother would take me to the Hallmark card store to select our theme and then we would take the napkin to the Cake Boutique to order my cake so that it matched the napkin design perfectly! It was always so fun to go with Mother to pick up the cake on the day of my party.

Since I was born in the summer before school started, the guests at my party were by bestest friends and family.  One year we all piled into our motorhome and Daddy drove us to Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner, then we had cake and Cokes on the way home.  The cake was a big motorhome with all our faces hanging out of the windows. Another year, while I was at my bestie’s house playing, Mother transformed the living room into an Italian restaurant  She had set up tables with red and white checkered cloths, wine bottles with wax melting down the necks, and Dean Martin on the HiFi.   When we got home, everyone yelled surprise!

My mother worked so hard making me feel special.  Every year she would tell me the story of the day I was born.  And, every year, I acted like I had never heard it before.  I knew this was important to her to share this with me.  It’s what I missed most the first birthday I celebrated without her with me anyone.

I still love the cake every year — white with white frosting (my work birthday buddy got me exactly what I wanted this year!), but what I love most about celebrating my birthday now that I am in my 50’s, is looking back on how much I have grown as a person.  Grateful that God gave me another year to try and “get it right” in His eyes.  To strive to be a good wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend.  To work on myself physically and emotionally.  To continue to find a balance of playing hard but also to take time to rest (I still LOVE my naps).  To take care of my body so I am around another year to enjoy life.  I have so benefited from working with a personal trainer this year.  She has helped me to challenge myself to do things I never thought I could do.   Isn’t that what life is all about?  To step outside of ourselves and make things possible regardless of the doubt, pain or uncertainty.  I have learned from hardships over the years that life is too short to wait for what you think you deserve.  As the saying goes — “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”

Thank you to each of you for taking the time everyday to read my blog.  I sincerely appreciate it when you say to me, “I love reading your blog!”  It means the world.  And, I look forward to August 29 next year to say the same thing.  God willing.  Be sure to eat a slice of cake for me today!