June 22, 2014

My Birthday (Be grateful and eat it anyway.)

I turned 35 on Thursday. 
35 is old to some, young to others, and just a number to me.  But my birthday is a time for me to reflect each year, on life, where I've been, where I'm at right now, and where I'm going. 
I had a check up with my doctor the day before, and was pleased to tell her I feel great.
I've set some goals for myself for the coming year.  
And, naturally I had a few birthday wishes.
They were:  

1.  A getaway!!  I love home, but I also long to hit the road.  Even for just a day.  It's been a while, and my yearning for a change in scenery has been no secret.
Being whisked away for a special day is probably my biggest wish every year.

2.  It's always on my summer wishlist to explore new waters on our kayaks.  We only had them off the property once last year.  It was on my birthday, and it was simple & wonderful.  A designated evening out on the water is a definite treat.    

3.  Stain the siding / exterior of our addition.   I thought this would be an awesome birthday present, to have helping hands to get this project done after the long winter & spring, so we can enjoy it this summer. 

That was my wishlist, any of those three things would have made me very happy.

Well, none of my birthday wishes came true.  (Please hear me out.. there's a lesson beyond what might sound like a pity party.)
We had a few really beautiful days this week surrounding my birthday, but Mitch had to work on a roofing project each of them.  That was a bummer.  It would have been perfect timing between things tying us down for a getaway.
It was raining on my birthday, the only day he didn't have to roof.  Kayaking wasn't much an option.  And again, on those nice days, helping hands & ladders weren't home.. so the staining didn't happen either.  (Although I did start working on it today on my own.)  And I'll just briefly mention that bat mess & black tar are things I get to scrub when Mitch works on tearing off & fixing old roofs.  With Mason & Eric helping during summer, the nasty laundry & ruined clothing was tripled this week.  I felt glum & kept dreaming more & more of that getaway.

But while the week was not what I'd wished for, my birthday was filled with good things.  A rainy day meant the whole family was home together.  I woke to tea & breakfast in bed, kid-made cards & a few special treats.  Eric gave me Junior Mints and a box of fudge pops in the freezer (this having teenagers thing has it's perks.)  My mom stopped by bearing thoughtful birthday gifts.  I got many kind birthday messages that made me smile all day.  Mitch tried a new recipe for a birthday cake that was delicious.  We went out for a quiet, late dinner date.  I had a good salad.  He opened the car door for me. 

I was reading a book the next night when I came across a line that struck a chord in me:
"Like opening a can of mushroom soup and finding tomato instead;
be grateful and eat it anyway."
  (Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen)

That I did.  Well, mostly.  The food & sweets were too much.  I was grateful, and ate part, and shared the rest.  :)  

My birthday via instagram:
Junior Mints (my favorite candy) from Eric  
My favorite shirt...  so far it hasn't worked.
Mitch's hot fudge spoon cake.  I've promised to track down the recipe & share.

Snuggles & selfie with Beau
The Number of the Day in crayon.
Necklace from my mom.. it has tiny smooth rocks and I love it.

Peace, Love, and Gratefulness,


  1. Being grateful and eating it anyway - life is so often like this.
    Hoping you have many special days away over the next year.....

  2. Happy Dear Amanda . . .
    Oh my . . . those "four blue" best ever . . .

  3. Happy birthday, dear Amanda. You are so lucky to have such a family! But I do hear you about the things you wish happened on your special day. I am wishing you have a chance for that getaway soon. I know how much I love to travel. I am twice as old as you are, but once upon a time, I was 35, too. I wish you many more birthdays. :-)

  4. A big happy birthday to you! Good post - very important to remember, even if things don't always turn out the way we'd like, we should be grateful what we do receive. Good for you for finding the happy in your birthday and being grateful for the wonderful blessings you have! :)

  5. you have a whole new year ahead of you to make those wishes come true. :) happy 36th year!

  6. You have expressed beautifully what "life" entails, with so much of the beauty popping up where we hadn't planned and least expected. Something about your ability to adapt and appreciate tells me you will have an extraordinary 36th year.

  7. Happy Birthday, Amanda! I love the quote of the mushroom soup can, containing tomatoes ... That's how things turn out often - making another kind of happiness & joy :) These photos from Instagram are so sweet . you & Beau, the lovely neckless and the junior mints - not to forget the most cute card with 35 on it! i hope the occasion for a get away will soon be around the corner ... The unplanned, ex tempore- tours have a charm of their own!

  8. Happy birthday! Glad you enjoyed your day even if your wishes didn't come true... yet.

  9. Many more happy birthdays to you and many more happy moments with your family! And who knows...maybe you might even get a getaway , summer has just started!

  10. Ps...love all your presents nut especially the necklace! Have a great day!

  11. It's the heartfelt little things that often mean the most. You did good. Happy birthday, Amanda!

  12. Sounds like you had a great birthday, despite it not going as planned! My son has been working part time this summer with a local landscaping business. So, I feel your pain with the ruined clothes. *sigh*

  13. This post epitomizes one of the things I love so much about your blog...you are honest. It seems like many people maintain a "facebook life" that shows everyone how perfect everything is. And then we read and are envious and get depressed. Then there are people like you who write honest, beautiful posts that show how much they love their family and their lives without glossing over when things aren't all sunshine and roses. Thank you!