I turned 36 today.
Certainly not the most exciting number, but since I lose track of how old I am so frequently, it was a pleasant surprise to realize I had been only 35 all this time. I was a little ahead of myself. I have also realized that if you carefully choose most of your friends to be older than you, turning older is really no big deal.
Hey, I'm still in my mid 30's. Sort of.
I had a lovely day. I went out to dinner with Dan and relaxed. I got a new charm for my bracelet with my birthstone on it. I carefully packed away the children's baptism pictures- my most prized possessions in this world-and taped up the box of frames, ready to be hung in a place of honor in our next house. In an incredible stroke of luck and serendipity, I literally stumbled upon a piece of furniture in a store that is a very close replica of a piece of furniture the current owners of our new house have but were (understandably) unwilling to part with. We will very soon be the proud new owners of this piece of furniture and possibly the table and chairs that go with it. Then at the end of the day- right after I gobbled up not one but two pieces of Carvel ice cream cake at my parents'- I found out that a friend of my brother's, whom I have known for many, many years, became the dad to a healthy baby boy today.
I was really touched by how excited Michaela and Jenna were for my birthday; they made it fun. And of course every time I held Alec or kissed him, all I could think of was how he wasn't even around last year on my birthday and what a blessing he is to me. And our family.
I spent most of the day thinking about my blessings and counting each and every one. Some of them twice. It has been a wonderful year, full of growth and real change and the prospect of change. We added to our family, sold our house, and raised our girls for another year. And there were sobering moments, too. A friend of mine- a real peer- was diagnosed with a terrible illness and I worry about her and her family and cannot help but think of how I would feel in her position. There were lots of sleepless nights with a new baby that tested my patience and stamina, and lots of wondering if we are doing the right thing by moving. It was a rich year, a full year, a year of both exhilarating highs and at the same time lots of mundane-ness.
I feel older, wiser, and more ready to be a grown up.
It was a lovely day.