On 46

Birthday weekend is drawing to a close — though the celebration is not over, as I do not have all my presents. (I do so love an extended birthday, and am looking forward to all upcoming presents, both those I chose for myself and those that will be a surprise.) I was worried about the weather for my birthday, as the weekend was hot, humid, and rainy. However, Monday was shockingly beautiful for a mid-May day in the mid-South. (Say that three times fast.) The high was 73(!); I found myself swapping capris for full-length leggings in the afternoon.

My daughter set out to give me a spa day Saturday, but ended up settling for filing and buffing my toenails because I don’t really speak spa. I did, however, splurge and order myself a tube of my favorite face mask, so we’ll do a better spa day when it gets here. I may even get around to covering my roots.

Kai has been begging for s’mores, so I bought graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. I even bought myself GF/dairy-free versions and indulged in one. Because I am stubborn, I also picked up a GF cheese pizza to test whether I can eat dairy again. I cannot.

The kids and their dad baked me a cake (Simple Truth GF chocolate cake mix is now my go-to cake; it’s seriously the best mix cake, GF or otherwise, I’ve eaten in my life), frosted it, decorated it, then set it on fire.

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They lit them all. By some miracle, the smoke alarm did not go off.

After we extinguished the flames, we enjoyed it with homemade vegan almond chocolate chip ice cream. Which was also good.

We had a family game day, playing the Choose Your Own Adventure game we gave my husband for his birthday. The title was a bit…off putting. But it was hilarious, and there are enough plot variables that we’ll get plenty of replay out of it.

My children gave me handmade gifts, and my husband surprised me with a pack of Stephen King movies that includes the one I’ve been questing for: The Stand. Time to indoctrinate the littles! My parents gave me a new Fitbit (the screen on my old one cracked) and a handpainted vase that was among Mom’s family heirlooms in the garage. And I gave me some cute melamine dishes and a flamingo pitcher to pretty up our patio meals, as we’re eating so many of them.

My parents stopped by for a (masked) visit before dinner. I got to hug them. The kids got cuddles. Hurray for masks! We chatted for a bit on the patio, then sent them home with cake. Afterwards, we went for a walk. The weather was absolutely perfect — not hot, not cold, abundant sunshine and a cool breeze. It felt more like an Illinois May than a Tennessee May.

So, all in all, a great birthday.

Back when 43 Things was still around, I used to re-evaluate my goals around my birthday. I looked on it as a chance to correct course if I’d strayed since New Year’s. (I always had.) 43t still exists in my heart, so here are the areas I am hoping to improve upon in the coming year:

  1. Exercise. For so many reasons: My thighs are expanding unchecked. My ankle, which hasn’t troubled me in years, is beginning to ache. I puff when I have to go uppastairs, as Kai calls it. I joined a gym this year, and am for the moment still paying membership, but I’m not sure when I will feel safe going back there. Time to formulate Plan B. (C? D? Z?)
  2. Diet. Complete the reintroduction phase and come up with a meal plan. Eating every two hours is not a meal plan. Also, popcorn is not a food group. Without a proper diet, the exercise will accomplish nothing.
  3. Learning. Not just the kids’ — mine. I need to take a crash course in early childhood ed in case I end up homeschooling the kids next year (which is looking very likely). I need to figure out how to use my sewing machine so I can sew masks, among other things. I need to learn how to cook staple foods that fit my crazy diet so the weekly shopping doesn’t involve hitting 5 different stores. I need to figure out this gardening thing. I need to pick up a few extra skills so I can pivot my career if need be. And I need to learn because I like learning, damn it.

There are smaller projects I want to work on as well, but these three main areas will occupy my attention and energy for the next few months.

 

5 thoughts on “On 46

  1. Wow–all that learning will fill up your schedule quick! I need to learn how to can veggies, not because I want to, but because my husband does a wonderful job with our garden, so I feel I can do something with it. Luckily, I don’t even have a sewing machine, which meant I had to order masks; maybe they’ll get here by COVID-20, 21? Your birthday sounded really nice. Hasn’t this cooler spring weather been awesome? Not so much for my Western NY and Cleveland fam but for us here in the south–it’s usually sweltering by now! Happy, happy birthday–I say just keep it going as long as the kids are into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I get better at gardening, I will need to learn to can veggies, but thus far I’ve been lucky to harvest enough for one meal. This weather has been wonderful! It sounds like we’re going to have hotter weather this weekend, though, so I’m going to have lunch on the patio today. Maybe dinner, as well.

      I ordered two three-packs of masks a month ago that have yet to arrive; I bought from a local Etsy seller, not realising that their masks are NOT made locally. So I ordered a couple more, this time from a seller in MS, and they came in today. I am so pleased with them! I placed a custom order a week ago, and she had 6 orders ahead of me, and I *still* got them within a week. Her shop is https://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadesbyJudith, if you’re interested. She does good work, and is very pleasant to do business with.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you had such a nice birthday – a triple crown: special time with family, great presents, and perfect weather. I’m looking forward to watching your progress on your goals. Im curious about your gum membership – were your gyms open in TN? Ours were closed, so I would think they couldn’t charge membership. I’m thinking I should try to get back to the gym for a month or two (mostly for the Nustep) until I have my shoulder surgery. Maybe we can encourage each other on that goal.

    Too bad I’m not closer. Zfter this is all over, I could teach you how to work your sewing machine, and how to can veggies. I guess I’ll have to make do with watching your progress from afar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our gyms were closed, but I belong to a small, family-owned gym, so they asked that we not cancel our memberships if we could afford it. They are open now, but child care is limited — and, of course, I am not comfortable sending the kids to child care right now anyway. So I still have very limited windows of time to go.

      It would be nice if we lived closer — I bet you could give me some gardening pointers, as well. I could sure use some! But cheers work, too. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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