Does anyone else feel like the older we get birthdays become sort of anti-climactic?
Not that they aren't good. They're great. Its your day. But they also seem like just another day. Another day with bills to pay, laundry to do, and dreams to chase.
My birthday was great. Soft and quiet, happy and relaxing. Nothing monumental happened. June 7th came, and just like any other day, it went. I had a delicious lunch with my girlfriends, started watching a new show, and drank a yummy bottle of Becker Vineyards wine with my hubs over dinner (thanks Kash!)
But what happened leading up to June 7th? What did I learn? What did I fall in love with on my trek to turning 29?
Here's the grit, the laughter, the excitement of my life.
1. Sometimes, you have to dive head first into murky, choppy waters. This past year saw me quitting my job, my career, in order to heal my head and my heart and chase this dream of writing. Of sharing my words. It's been a whirl-wind roller coaster that I wouldn't change for anything.
2. A bath caddy is pretty much the best invention of our time (okay, okay, I'm being dramatic). But seriously, I got this for my birthday and am planning on being ridiculously pruny for the rest of my life. And probably a little drunk.
3. Drinks out for your friends' birthday sometimes end in tattoos and piercings. And guess what? Again, couldn't be happier with the small ink now marking my side :)
4. Planners are LIFE. So are pens. But really, I am beyond happy with my Create 365 Happy Planner. It's colorful, and purrtty, and keeps me on track. See more of my take on planners here.
5. Summer is the time for reading! Stay in doors out of the blasted heat, sip a cocktail by the pool, feel the sand between your toes on a beautiful beach. But do it with a book in hand. This is one of my faves. Ooh, so is this one. And this one. You just don't know when a book will change your life.
6. A cheeto was named President and this lil Canadian citizen doesn't know what to make of the world. Sometimes it seems like a scary, hateful place. But sometimes, the person in front of you in the drive-thru line pays for your coffee, and you realize there is still good in the world. Then you pay it forward. I think there is a lot of love out there. Let it shine, folks!
7. I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it.
8. And this one...(hopeless romantic)
9. Watching my niece and nephew grow has been one of the best experiences of my life. Oohwee, they are sassy, smart, and loveable. I miss them every day. My little squishies.
10. It's important to get an annual skin check. I've had many a scary mole removed, and I've been verrrry bad about getting burnt this year. Bad Kelly, BAD!
11. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is still a dirty motherfucker wreacking havoc on my body. I'll always have it, and I'll always struggle with the side effects. Some days leave me broken, angry, and frustrated. But I'm trying my damndest to not let it break me. Making small life changes to combat the hairy (ha!) bastard. More on PCOS here.
12. Going Gluten Free has been hard, but necessary. I've been GF since March 1st about 95% of the time. I've had some mistakes and cheats here and there, but have really stuck with it. I feel better. My stomach feels better. Now, I just have to stick with the dairy free also (AGH).
13. Two years ago, we almost lost my fluffy boyfriend, Gus Gus. He's got the Wobblers Syndrome, his legs are weak, and sometimes he falls, breaking my heart in the process. But, he's chugging along. Barking at every animal and suspenseful moment on TV, chasing bunnies and squirrels in the back yard, and remaining top cuddler in my book. I heart him forever and ever.
14. Take the time to travel, even if it's just a road trip. Since June 2016, I visited (in order): Hunt, TX, Fredericksburg, TX, Paris, Prague, Krakow, Poland, Los Angeles, Denver and Boulder, Breckenridge, Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada), Kyle, TX, and Cabo! Holy moly, that's a lot of places. #blessed y'all. But really, I love to travel. I love to see and experience new places.
15. Taking the time to cook, plan out recipes and weekly menus has been surprisingly fun. Last year, when things were hard, stressful, and tiring, Jimmy and I got in the habit of some not very good eating. But the first half of this year I think we've been a lot better about cooking and eating at home. Here's a quick, yummy dinner recipe!
Quick and Easy Stir Fry
1 cup broth (I've used beef or chicken, low sodium)
2 Tbsp soy sauce or alternative like Liquid Aminos (GF, and I've never used soy sauce again since discovering this!)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp corn starch
Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl. In a hot pan with oil cook meat-chicken, shrimp, beef (if wanted)- until cooked through. Add stir fry veggies (my favorites are broccoli, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and sugar snap peas) and stir fry sauce. Let simmer 5-10mins. Eat as is or serve over starch of choice, like brown rice.
16. Some great documentaries I've watched as of late: I Am Jane Doe (Netflix and to buy on Amazon)- A gut wrenching story about the victims of child sex trafficking in America and the people taking the fight to the Supreme Court. A must watch! The Keepers (Netflix)- the story of a murdered nun in Baltimore, 1969 and the disgusting coverup behind it. What's With Wheat? (Netflix)- a look into how the wheat plant has changed over time and why so many people are becoming gluten intolerant. Fascinating information!
17. Here's a lovely quote!
18. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum- Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down. Self-explanatory. Oh, and go watch The Handmaid's Tale. Now.
19. A little paint can brighten up the smallest of spaces. This past year I redecorated our study and our living room. It didn't take much, just some paint and decoratives, but as soon as the rooms were done, I was immediately at ease. At home. There's nothing better.
20. Its ridiculously fun to watch your friends fall in love and then get engaged. Leah! Caitlin! Christine! Brittney! Love you all :)
21. It's also fun to watch your friends have babies of their own. And both named Eleanor! Love you Katie and Linds.
22. With life comes the hardship of death. This year in February, we lost my Pampie. He was a quiet man, but kept a happy smirk on his face almost always. The distance from Texas to Canada is vast, and I didn't get to see him nearly as often as I would have liked. His funeral was happy and lively, and the time with family soothed the deepest cracks.
23. An adult coloring book can lessen even the worst of anxieties (and no I don't mean coloring boobies). Sometimes when life gets to be too much and I need a little break, I whip out my markers, or sharpies, or whatever and get to coloring. Who said adults can't color? I love these!
24. While we're on the topic of childhood, get lost in it! The new Beauty and the Beast just came out on DVD (or Amazon). Watch it! Swoon! Sing the songs of your childhood! I promise it'll put a smile on your face.
25. Lean into the hurts and cracks of life. Feel them. It's okay to cry. It's okay to be sad. Depression is real. Talk to someone. Write in a journal. Feel, talk, breathe. And every day, keep going.
26. Wine is great. With lunch, while cooking dinner, in the tub. That is all.
27. If you're questioning your path in life even in the slightest, check out this book. Changed my life! 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
28. Hold on to the ones you love. Your family, your friends, your boyfriends/girlfriends, your spouses. I wouldn't have made it through this last year of insane transitioning without them. Oh, and tell them.
29. Be happy. Not every minute of every day, but figure out what makes you happy and go after it.
There ya have it, some insights into the last year of my life. Not all great, but plenty to be thankful for. Now lets see what kind of trouble I can dig up for 29, shall we?
What makes your everyday happy? What are you loving right now?
Until next time,