41 candles

Seriously, I feel almost the same as I did on my 16th birthday, when I woke up early and put on a red cardigan, cute black mini-ish skirt, black patent leather loafers covered with buttons and bobby socks. (Quite a sight, huh?) My mom rushed me to the DMV to get that long awaited license. (I had watched almost my whole class get licenses before me and I had no plans to wait a moment more!)

Now I’m 41. WHAT? Still the same person, but hopefully, better with age.

Here are this year’s 41 things I’m thankful for…

1. Coffee with real cream – on occasion.

2. Fall and its deep rusty oranges, regal reds, grassy ambers, and rich browns – surely the colors you’d see if you looked inside my soul.

3. Great friends and family, near and far.

4. Courage.

5. The need to be better.

6. Having fun with words.

7. The fact that I finally spend a few bucks on clothes. What a difference it makes!

8. Good television, like Sons, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Parenthood. Can’t wait for Boss and Homeland, up next!

9. Stretch in jeans. Ain’t it grand?

10. The fact that my dogs, for the most part, think I’m in charge. At least someone does!

11. Pottery. I don’t know why, but it makes me happy. I think it’s the whole earth-meets-hands-meets-art thing.

12. Kids laughing. You know, the kind just before it becomes unmanageable.

13. Mumford & Sons, my new fav. It’s true, I’m a folkster at heart.

14. A husband and kids that feel the same way about cooking and eating as I do!

15. A great memory for song lyrics. Not other things. But pretty much every song lyric I’ve ever heard.

16. The fact that I’m becoming okay with reading glasses in my near future. Darn computer.

17. The people that have given me a chance when I needed one.

18. Longer shirts.

19. Cooking – when I’m not rushing.

20. Late night dance parties that were totally unplanned.

21. Friends who I can see once in 15 years and it seems just like yesterday.

22. Really laughing.

23. Those moments when your child says something and you know, in that instant, that they will for sure be okay.

24. That I now know 10 extra pounds is definitely not the end of the world.

25. Friends that we can travel with.

26. The “oh so alive” total excruciating excitement and helplessness of watching your child compete or perform. Total love-hate.

27. A perfectly made bed, with sheets just washed with Dreft, still warm from the dryer.

28. Brown, the Best. Color. Ever.

29. Birthdays on Facebook. As much as I don’t love Facebook, there’s nothing like feeling the birthday Facebook love.

30. Surprising success that arrives later than anticipated, but in perfect time.

31. Arugula+grapes+feta+slivered almonds+homemade balsamic=perfect lunch.

32. Folding laundry perfectly. (Ex-Gap employee, go figure.)

33. Growing stuff in dirt.

34. Indian food. Thai food. Italian food. Sushi. Mexican food. Just food.

35. The confidence that comes from wisdom that comes from experience.

36. Loving this moment and looking up.

37. Finn and his unparalleled, cuddly self.

38. Riley and her perfect, intuitive timing.

39. Logan and her sweet, sensitive soul.

40. Being one of the lucky ones when it comes to love.

41. Me. The older I get, the more I kinda grow on myself!

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