Tag Archives: the thirties

Happy Birthday To Me!


Come on! Open your mouth and sound off at the sky!

Shout loud at the top of your voice, “I AM I!


I am I!

And I may not know why

But I know that I like it.

Three cheers! I AM I”

…I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be!

If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

from Happy Birthday To You! by Dr. Seuss

8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: The Rest, Rather Belatedly

Like most things, this little countdown did not work out exactly as I had planned. Over the course of these past three weeks since my birthday I’ve thought many a time about finishing it or perhaps just abandoning it altogether. Better late than never though, right? 

8: College Summers

Yesterday afternoon, listening to my brother talk about his upcoming plan to do summer staff at Saranac Village caused me to wax nostalgic about my summer as a baker at Crooked Creek. For two months I spent the bulk of my day with the Hobart, breaking every afternoon for prayer and popsicles. Best job ever. Two years later I perfected my tan and attempted to hone my French on the beaches of Cannes. I only wish I made it a point to study abroad longer. After college I did the requisite backpack through Europe. Three weeks winding from Madrid to Barcelona through the French Rivera over to Milan and Lake Como and Venice and Florence and Rome, with a brief stopover to take a photo propping up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, enjoying the paintings and sculptures and food and wine every step along the way. Yes. I am quite grateful for those summers.

7: Amazing Women

My grandma

My mom

My sister

My aunts

Friends, past and present

The women refugees I met during my internship

Brené Brown

The Nobel Women’s Initiative 

The women refugees Ben & I taught

Midwives & Doula(s)

The work of women I admire from afar

Great authors and bloggers and people putting their stuff out there

Many, many more that are not on this list but I have yet to meet…

6: Really Good Classes

Thankfully there are too many to name. I am particularly grateful for the third grade teacher that fueled my love of writing…my junior year English class in high school and freshman English course in college…for the history course I took my final year at UT…for every single art class along the way…and for some particularly wonderful courses during graduate school.

5: Really Good Books


Hank the Cowdog

Little House on the Prairie

Anne of Green Gables

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest


Me Talk Pretty One Day

The Brothers Karamasov

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

From Beirut to Jerusalem

The Bible

And oh so many more…

4: Rwanda

Our ten months in Rwanda were nothing like I expected, and I will be forever grateful for that.

3: Leila

I already shared my gratitude for her birth and motherhood, but I am also incredibly grateful for the Leila’s unique life and personality and the ability to witness it unfold!

2: Benjamin

He is not the perfect husband or the perfect father, but he is the perfect husband for me, and the perfect father for Leila (and Wrigley and any future munchkins). As much as I say I question the existence of the romantic genre two souls fated for each other plotline, every day I spend with Ben makes me wonder if we might just fit that mold.

1: Another year

I absolutely cannot wait to see what this year will bring!

13, 12, 11, 10, 9: Lots of Other Things

It’s May. My 30th birthday is on Friday. Wow. I’d be more excited if I wasn’t so tired. I’ve gotten a little behind on the countdown. We’ve spent the past couple weekends at the farm, and in between I’ve opted to go to bed in lieu of staying up to write a bit (see aforementioned sentence referencing my current fatigue). In fact I almost opted to postpone this post for another day, but then I might miss my birthday all together! I’ll keep it short and sweet because A#1) I’m too tired to write much and B#2) I’m sure you’re too tired of my ramblings to read much.

13: Health

Nothing will make you cherish your health more than illness. The list of friend and family battling various and sundry illnesses and injuries never seems to abate. Both recent sad news and today’s glowing report from Leila’s two-month well-baby make me extra grateful for my health and the health of our little family.

12: Good Food

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” (Hippocrates)

I got a little lazy about food the month after Leila was born. Amazingly generous friends and family brought us lovely dinners. However, for the first time in my life sleep trumped food and I sometimes forgot to eat. Then I satisfied my hunger with not-so-nutrient-dense-food such as cake and ice cream. Not the best lunch choice, and I think I’ve been paying for it. For the past month Leila and I have battled an annoying case of thrush. Last Friday I started an anti-Candida diet. I miss sugar so very much, but I am acutely aware of my gratitude for delicious whole seasonal foods.

11: Our Garden

Well, the last time I gave it any attention was last June, but in spite of my neglect our resilient garden is springing up tons of volunteer veggies. Bell peppers, green onions, itty tomatoes, lettuce, kale, basil, sage, oregano, fennel and rosemary are blooming. I am still quite far from being able to claim a green thumb, but I am grateful to feel a little empowered that we can grow our own food in spite of ourselves.

10: Running

I may no longer run but I am quite grateful for the time I did. For years running was a therapeutic escape. I love those memories, and I love the accomplishment of training for and completing a marathon.

9: The Jobs That Didn’t Work

I could probably ramble about this for quite some time. I’ve already shared about Pappasito’s. Suffice it to say that though I look forward to finding one that sticks, I am appreciative of where the many jobs that have not worked out have led me.

I’ll continue tomorrow…

For now I must give my bed some attention.