welcoming 40

yep today is the day...fabulously forty!  and i hope it's ready for me because here i am.  it's been an amazing 39 years and i'm thankful to be alive and healthy (i've certainly had my fair share of moments that i'm surprised i lived through). in my 20s and early 30s, i was afraid of getting older. dreading it actually. but not anymore...i look forward to each and every year, grateful for the previous, as each year we are blessed with, is truly a gift. i woke up this birthday morning to a breakfast of eggs and bacon and a fabulous forty fritter (see pic below).  i also had a number of cards waiting for me, a birthday message drawn by the kids on the kitchen window, 40 roses (see other pic) and a second bouquet of beautiful flowers at my desk (the place where i spend most of my day).  yep...absolutely fabulous! not sure what is in store for the evening; however, i do know we're "going out".  steve's parents are in town from NV, for a couple days, and i'm thankful to spend this time with them.

in anticipation and celebration of 40, i began working on a bucket list a few weeks ago--40 things that i hope/wish/want/long/desire to accomplish.

so, in no specific order, here we go. my bucket list... 1. teach my children what is really important in life 2. sponsor a student 3. sail the Americas 4. backpack through Europe 5. have a solo exhibition 6. ride a train 7. go on a roadtrip with no predetermined destination 8. take a cooking course 9. run a half marathon 10. learn to play the guitar 11. go white water rafting 12. go to oktoberfest in germany 13. study a foreign language 14. visit all 50 states 15. attend and graduate of fine arts program 16. volunteer, together as a family 17. build a habitat for humanity home 18. give back at every stop as we sail the Americas 19. don’t ever forget to say thank you and I love you 20. visit and help maggie doyne in Nepal 21. photograph an orphanage or children in need 22. watch my children grow up and fully support their doing what they love (no mater what that might be) 23. own an mid-century modern home 24. keep in touch with my kids (at least once a week), after they leave our house 25. start a parent support group 26. present at a national DHH convention 27. make a difference in someone’s life (i mean really make a difference) 28. celebrate each and every day 29. heal my past 30. get dreadlocks 31. embrace aging 32. make a video for my children 33. read for 30 minutes every day 34. learn about all the different religions 35. tell my husband how much I love and appreciate him each and every day 36. never go to bed angry 37. send a handwritten note to each person that has inspired or supported me 38. take sign language courses with kiele 39. remember and recognize birthdays 40. truly and deeply appreciate

and i leave you with this beautiful message written by erma bombeck...

if i had my life to live over i would have gone to bed when i was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day. i would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. i would have talked less and listened more. i would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. i would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. i would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. i would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. i would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. i would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life. i would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. when my kids kissed me impetuously, i would never have said, "later. now go get washed up for dinner." there would have been more "i love you's." more "i'm sorry's." but mostly, given another shot at life, i would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, live it, and never give it back. stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us. let's think about what God has blessed us with. and what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually. life is too short to let it pass you by. we only have one shot at this and then it's gone.

ETA:  look what i just opened.  the kids made me...a camera!!  such a treasure!  iphone pic of sky and my new camera.