Monday, February 6, 2023

This is 42

Today I celebrate my 42nd trip around the sun! I'm writing this ahead of time as I'll be busy hosting my dear friend Kyria this weekend so won't have time to blog. But I anticipate that the days leading up to my birthday have been very wonderful since she's been here to make it extra festive and fun! She didn't intentionally plan to come for my birthday weekend, but it worked out that way! Besides the 10k snowshoe "race" we signed up to do Sunday (I'm using the word race loosely - I can't imagine we'll be fast with snowshoes attached to our feet!), I imagine we've gone for runs around the lake and have had time to really catch up on life since we last saw each other over 3 years ago! 

When I look back on the last year of my life, I can say it was a really good year. It was not without it's challenges, of course. But overall, it was a "normalish" year of life following the double whammy of having a baby/adjusting to a newborn while dealing with the pandemic. We still took a lot of covid tests over the past year but we were able to mostly do the things we wanted to do and see the people we wanted to see. 

We went on our first trip as a family of 4 last February and visited my younger sister and her family in Arizona while my parents were visiting her. 

Hiking with Phil in the Saguaro National Park 

We took several trips to my parents lake home and got to spend lots of time with my little sister and her daughter since she was home for 6 weeks while her husband was traveling a ton. I especially enjoyed going to my nephew's grad party with her as we had lots of time in the car to catch up! Besides seeing my sister, I saw all of my siblings, nieces and nephews over the course of the year. I'm just extra glad that I saw a lot of Abby as we are 2 peas in a pod and have similar-aged kids (Will is 2.5 months older than Maddy) so are in the trenches of parenting together!

I started to travel again for work in April of 2022, and logged trips to Kentucky, DC, Charlotte, NYC, and went to Chicago twice. 

Running along the Mall in DC before giving a presentation later that morning!

I recognized that training for and running a 10 mile race in 2021 was too much in this stage of life so I downshifted and focused on the 10k distance. I logged lots of miles with my awesome neighbor/running partner/best buddy and ran a strong 10k race with her in early October. 

 Our shirts matched the sky that morning! We saw lots of sunrises that stopped us in our tracks!

We survived an epically bad family photo session that is sort of funny to us now... And were amazed by the shots our photographer captured. They are worth the pain of that photo session!

Phil and I grew as a couple and learned how to better navigate being a family of 4. I came up with a Saturday routine that has served us well. We figured out how to give each other breaks by taking turns getting up with the boys on the weekend and giving the early morning parent a break during naptime. 

And we finally went on a kids-free vacation after talking about wanting to for quite awhile. The getaway was a win-win for everyone: Phil and I enjoyed reconnecting while soaking up some vitamin D, and my parents and the boys had a wonderful time together! 

I'll celebrate the start of a new trip around the sun in a mellow way, which is what I prefer. Kyria and I will run this morning and I'll enjoy a free birthday drink from Starbucks. I took a page from Suzanne's book (who also has a February birthday) and will get a massage after I drop Kyria at the airport. We'll get Indian take-out tonight (no, the boys won't eat this which is fine - more for me!).

I know there are people who don't like their birthday - but I do. I'm not over-the-top with my celebrations (not that there's anything wrong with that - it's just not how I celebrate things generally), but I enjoy my birthday - because I am happy to be alive and to have such a rich, beautiful life. I've watched people my age and younger battle cancer or other awful diagnoses, and I know of people who have passed away by this age. A long life is not guaranteed so I try to remember that each day on earth is a gift. That doesn't mean I don't have hard days and wallow a bit at times. But overall, my sentiment is "how lucky I am to be alive." 

My birthday wish is that you'll consider leaving me a comment and tell me how you like to celebrate your birthday! For those who don't typically comment, tell me a little bit about yourself! 


Coco said...

Happy birthday! Love how you summarized your past year and the mental state you are to embrace the next year. It’s awesome that your friend is with you to celebrate it. I feel like knowing a lot of the things you highlighted as I’ve known you for ling time. Hahah… glad to be part of your journey.

Nicole MacPherson said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!!! (now I'm singing that song from the Simpsons - Lisa it's your birthday! Happy birthday Lisa!)
What a wonderful year you have had. May the coming year be equally incredible - or better! I loved all these photos and all the travel you were able to do and the growth of your relationship with Phil and navigating being a family of four.
I hope you have had a wonderful weekend with Kyria and I sure hope that this is the year we get to meet and hug! xoxoxo
Oh wait, I just read the prompt at the end. Well, I love birthdays and I love my own birthday best of all. I think my favourite thing is telling everyone it's my birthday! And eating cake and drinking wine.

Sarah said...

Happy birthday! This post is such a beautiful reflection, and I hope this one is the best year yet.

Anonymous said...

I can never seem to post comments attached to my google account from my phone! So this is your sister Abby ๐Ÿ™‚What a wonderful year where you were able to mix in the things you love despite raising 2 boys in the hard stage of parenting where they are SO dependent on you, excelling at a challenging career, and just all the business of life! I’m glad we got 2 quality trips together this year and I’m excited to see you and Paul this Spring to catch up again! Love you and hope it’s a wonderful day - sounds like a great itinerary!

Elisabeth said...

Happy Birthday, friend <3

This was such a beautiful summary of your year. I hope your weekend was fabulous and you enjoyed all the extra-special moments with Kyria.

Hmmm. My favourite thing about my birthday is the food! I love having Twizzlers, cherry cheesecake and sushi. And I also appreciate that I tend to have zero external expectations that day; the kids and my hubby do all the chores, make the meals etc. I love feeling "off" and extra special.

NGS said...

Happy, happy day! I'm glad you're going to get some special treats for your special day.

I'm usually pretty chill on my birthday - a cupcake from our local bakery and maybe a present or two. I hope the rest of your birthday week is amazing.

Emilie said...

Happiest birthday wishes to you, Lisa! I hope this year brings nothing but health and happiness.

I don’t really celebrate mine anymore now that Noah’s birthday is the day after mine. But I don’t mind, because his excitement is enough to fill my cup!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!! You know I’m all about celebrating!!! It’s however you enjoy but I think each birthday is a gift!!! I’m so glad that it worked out for Kyria to visit on your birthday weekend!!! I love when I can do a successful fundraiser event for my birthday! For my 40th I did that party at Cabbarus Brewing. Last year I partnered with Lifeline Christian Mission to pack food. This year I’ll be doing a vendor event like I did in 2021. I just like to have a reason to plan something ๐Ÿ˜Š
Enjoy the Indian food and the massage!!!

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday! I will be 42 as well this year (1981 represent!) Birthday celebrations are unique in my house because my husband has the same birthday as I do. It's actually quite annoying! When I turned 40 I went into the city and stayed in a hotel for 2 days by myself, and went to art museums and such. It was great! I would love to do that again.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Hey, basically all of your predictions came true! We did have a lot of fun, a fun "race," a lovely coffee and plenty of runs and walks! Thanks for letting me be a part of your birthday fun!

I am not a big birthday person; however, my birthday and mothers day often collide (they are on the same day this year!) and so my mom and family, Kara and her family and me all do a big joint Mother's Day/Birthday bash each year. We have actually missed it the last three years (lockdown, lockdown...and then ironically Kara's family got COVID last year three days before the party!) so I am really looking forward to this year's get together.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday. I enjoy reading your blog and also appreciate a glimpse of what it’s like with little kids in the Midwestt. I’m moving to Michigan next year and I have kids a bit older than yours and haven’t lived in a place with winter weather for a long time. I enjoy my birthday. I was always disappointed as a kid not to have a birthday during the school year since I went to everyone else’s parties but it was hard to invite people over the break.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I’m a working mom of four and always enjoy your genuineness and commitment to living life authentic to what you value! Sarah

Jenny said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!!!! I agree with you- I never have the attitude of "ugh, another year older" but rather "it's great to be alive!" While I love my birthday, i prefer it be be low-key. A run, a trip to Starbucks, a nice nap, some reading time and a nice dinner would be my ideal day.
i hope yours was happy, and that we'll get a birthday recap soon!

Wanjiku said...

Happy Birthday! Silent reader here. I live in Nairobi, Kenya, but went to College in the U.S. and lived there for quite a few more years after graduation.

I like low key birthday celebrations too and a massage is usually a given-)

Jeanie said...

You'd never know that was a bad photo session from the results! What a glorious year in so many ways, Lisa. Definitely a return to normalcy or new normalcy, given that adding children always ramps it up a bit!

I like celebrating my birthday at the lake when possible or if at home, with friends, a nice dinner with Rick or just spreading out the celebration!

J said...

Happy Birthday! I love a good massage, that sounds like a perfect way to spend a birthday. My husband and I used to take turns getting up early with our daughter on weekends, too, so each of us could sleep in at least one day a week. I used to pack my daughter up and take her to the grocery store. She loved it, and the store was pretty empty. :-)

My birthday is NY Eve, and I'm usually partied out by then. We sometimes take a hike if weather permits, or drive to the ocean. If weather isn't great, we might stay home and watch a movie. Sometimes we will go out to dinner, but restaurants can be a pain on NYE, so often my husband will cook a nice meal for us. Sometimes we have friends over.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Yay!!! Happy belated, birthday month twin!!! Sounds like your birthday weekend was spent doing some pretty wonderful activities, and how cool that your friend was able to visit at the same time.

I am not big on birthdays -- I feel like I tend to have higher expectations than I should and then when things don't live up to those expectations, I am disappointed and grumpy. Not sure how to change this wonderful personality quirk of mine, but it's okay -- it's just once a year! (Okay, twice a year, because I feel similarly on Mother's Day.) I still haven't scheduled my massage -- whoops!

Hope the forthcoming year brings you great things, Lisa!

Stephany said...

I'm commenting late but I hope you had a wonderful birthday - what a big, full year you have had with lots of great travel and settling in to life as a family of four. I can only hope this next year brings you just as much happiness and fulfillment, and hopefully an easier stretch as a parent! :)

I do my birthday BIG because I love celebrating it. It's just fun to have a day that's all about me! Last birthday, I was on a cruise but if I'm not on vacation, I love to get my Starbucks birthday drink, get a pedicure and massage, and have dinner with my family. I also never, ever work on my birthday. That's just no fun at all!

The Gilmore Guide to Books said...

Happy belated birthday! So lovely to see all those pictures of you and your family. And what a gift to spend the weekend with a dear friend. That's what I miss most about life after COVID and moving. I'm really hoping 2023 will be a reconnecting year.

When I was a spry child (๐Ÿคฃ) I used to try something new for my birthday. My last choice was skydiving 6 years ago. Now I think along the lines of a spa day!

San said...

Happy belated birthday, Lisa. I swear, I felt like I already commented on this post, but it was still "not read" in my reader, so maybe I just glanced at it on my phone and then forgot to come back... either way, I hope that the new year is just as exciting (or better) than the last one. :)