the thing about birthdays

I am deeply humbled by all of the love and praise in response to my birthday post.

I want to live life to the fullest. I want my life to be a story that I can recall with great satisfaction and little regret. When I’m old and gray, surrounded by kids and grandkids and maybe even great-grandkids (God willing), I hope that I can look back on my life and be proud of the way I lived it. Of the lives I’ve touched, of the places I’ve been, of the children I’ve raised, of the way I’ve loved. 
Never before have I had the courage to recap, or relive in a sense, a year of my life. But after the success of the recap of ages 20-25, after your encouragement and praise which made me feel confident and happy and whole, I declare it a birthday tradition. Each year, I will take a moment to remember the highlights. This sounds like a small task, and it is, but it is also profound. There is no better motivation to make each year count than accountability to yourself. At least for me. 
That being said, I cannot and I will not take credit for my life so far. I am lucky. I have been blessed with many opportunities and much love. Supportive parents, loyal friends, a loving husband. Accomplishments are nothing but a culmination of inspiration. And I am inspired by my loved ones. I owe everything I am and everything I have to them.
So, here I am one year older and one year wiser. On Friday, I learned something new. About birthdays. 
The thing about birthdays is that some of us (myself included) approach them with expectations. Usually these expectations are not met. Not because we are not loved and appreciated, but because life happens. Babies are fussy. Husbands have to work to bring home the bread. Parents, siblings, friends have their own busy lives. Celebrations will be early or late. Usually not on time, and that’s ok. 
If you treat your birthday like the other 364 days out of the year, there’s no room for disappointment. So as long as someone sings you happy birthday at least once, you’re satisfied. As long as your special day is acknowledged, there’s no room for disappointment. And if you happen to be lucky enough to go out to a gourmet dinner and come home to savor a rich and decadent chocolate dessert, like I did on my 25th birthday, you feel like a princess.  
What do you like to do to celebrate your birthday? Do you have any traditions? Do you find yourself with expectations? If so, are these expectations usually met?
Now it’s time for some picture love! A few memories from my early birthday celebration at my parents’ house:
my brother is off to the side making Giovanna laugh 🙂

with my friend, Sally, and her son, Mateo

Emile and Mateo

A photo of Giovanna before my birthday lunch with my mom:
notice the baby leg warmers?
On my birthday:
this is the wall in our kitchen
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