Birthdays, Stripping, and Avoiding Donald Trump Hair

I’ve been dreading this day for months. Today is my 40th birthday. (I actually cringed while typing that.)


This birthday has been hard for me. I feel old. I don’t like it. I’m not sure what I thought life would be like at this point. I don’t think I thought too much beyond 30. Between kids and working and life in general I lost ten years. After much reflection and agonizing, I’ve decided that for my birthday, I’m going to strip.stripping giphy

No, not that kind of strip (but I can appreciate the way you think)! I figure it’s time to strip away a few things that aren’t doing me any good. I may not be happy about being older but there are things I’m letting hold me back. It’s time to do some internal disrobing…

Don’t be tense about the past and the present

Guess what? I am not 23 anymore. I loved my twenties. They were so much fun. I could survive on two hours sleep, eat anything and everything and still stay skinny, and only had to worry about myself. Now, if I get less than seven hours sleep I look like I belong on The Walking Dead. I ate a piece of birthday cake tonight and jumped two pant sizes before I finished my last bite. (Please don’t ask me how big of a piece I ate.) Thinking of myself is a luxury. My thoughts are almost completely occupied by the beings in my house who call me “Mom”.

turning 40

I’m okay with all that (well, maybe not the weight thing – c’est la vie…). I take much better care of myself now. However, I will admit to the occasional I’m-just-going-to-read-one-more-chapter-until-I-realize-it’s-2AM incident. And let’s face it, those beings I referred to? They are freaking awesome. I’m better because they exist. When you look at everything that way, they don’t really look like limitations, do they?

Untangling my “nots”

We all have nasty, gnarly “nots”. Ever find yourself saying, “I’m not thin enough”, “My hair is not pretty enough”, “I’m not good enough”, “I cannot do that”? See, you’re totally “notted” up. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve decided it’s time to do some untangling. My biggest “not” always revolves around my weight and/or my looks. I constantly compare myself to others. Wisdom tells me now is a great time in life. I should feel great in my own skin. I’m established and if I have an extra 10 or [cough] 20 pound cushion, good for me. As far as not being good enough? Total crap. I totally need to unravel that nonsense out of here. If you see me getting kind of “notty”, feel free to give me a comb over. (Just please don’t let me end up like Donald Trump [shudders]..)trump cMIuBz

Losing “wait”

I’ve always told myself to wait for that right time. While I can agree that timing is a huge factor in the success of things, the worst thing we can do is wait. When I was in junior high, I decided to run the hurdles in track. Go ahead and laugh…not that hard…I didn’t think it would be that funny…you okay now? Anyhow, I quickly learned that in order to make that jump you could not stutter step or giphy

The horse feels my pain…and is way more graceful than I ever was. At 40, I’d like to think I have a bit more perspective. It’s time to reevaluate. It’s time to take some chances. It’s time to lose some “wait”.

Keep your affirmations “Smalley” and simple

Years ago, Al Franken played a character named Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live. He was a hilariously needy un-licensed therapist who just wanted to help others and himself. Time and time again his own faults would resurface as he was interviewing or helping others but that…was okay. He would always begin and close with, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”Stuart_Smalley

Watch Stuart at work:

No one is perfect. At some point we just have to own who we are. I’m just barely starting to grasp this. It’s going to take time for me to really be okay with who I am. At 40, I still have my work cut out for me to realize that I am nice enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, successful enough, just altogether enough, and doggone it, people like me.








What do you meme it’s your birthday?

I have a confession to make – I love memes. I also love birthdays. My father’s birthday was this past Wednesday. I did what any other doting daughter would do – I created wonderfully sarcastic memes and posted them on Facebook every hour. Here’s my dad as homecoming king. Studly, right? 11259519_10204676353374760_7314186120527722732_n  Yes, this is actually my dad. He used to scare the crap out of us as kids. Who sees a snake and goes, “Oh…it’s not that big. Go get me a bag.”?!    11263030_10204676538699393_4293961815772755409_o   In an effort to cushion some of the upcoming barbs, I threw in a pic of me. Yes, that adorable, chubby-faced blonde is me. Looks like maybe I should’ve walked away from a cake or two. 11255523_10204676730504188_4715248905751916552_o If I was going to throw myself to the fire, I figured I might as well bring my little sister with me (a couple of times). This is seriously one of my favorite pictures of her. She’s now 37 and I still see this face. 1465802_10204676870947699_8195700132949469880_o   Okay. This next one may have stung a bit but my dad did chuckle at it. Growing up, there was no such thing as a quick trip to town. He knew EVERYONE and had to stop to talk to them all. 11206094_10204677240396935_634045865993487726_n   I had to make sure to get an older picture of him in there. He really is totally original. 11014948_10204677452482237_2108347158579485870_n   One of the best things about my dad is just is who he is. He is so fun with my kids. They love that he is goofy and plays around with them. I love it because I always have a camera with me… 11264847_10204677649687167_3517716796477302460_n I saw this next picture of my brother and me and had to use it. I put in the post, “Watch out for the blonde. She bites.” #TrueStory 11200920_10204677886093077_7095923244297786111_o Childhood photos of my youngest sister just beg to be memed. 10931158_10204678027496612_7821192777116633655_o Another awesome thing about my dad was his willingness to hang with us. So, still sarcastic but a very true meme. I posted with the caption, “The sign of a REAL man”. 11212645_10204678182660491_8460317730911787633_o I had to make sure to leave things on a positive note. I love my dad. He’s awesome. I have a hard time using my words properly if I have to vocalize them. I’m much better at writing things down. My last post went something like this:

“Last birthday post for Mr. Max Phillips. Hope you don’t mind the laughter at your expense today. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, right? I know I tease, torment, and exasperate you, but it’s all out of love. Want to know what I noticed while going through my pictures? You’ve been there every step of the way – taking pictures of me as a baby while I put rocks in my mouth, pushing doll strollers, always around during middle school & high school (hard to shake you when you were one of my teachers), kept in the background in college, my wedding (of course!), and now one awesome grandpa.

Thank you for letting me struggle, fail, and ultimately learn my lessons. Thank you for giving advice when needed and being obnoxiously silent when I wanted you to tell me what to do. Thank you for listening to me vent, holding me together when I was falling to pieces, then helping me put myself back together. 

I love you…so much. I hate that we are so far away but know this, you are in my heart every day. I’m pretty sure I’m in yours too and that helps the distance seem not quite so far. I hope you have felt celebrated today. I celebrate (maybe not quite the right word but you get the point) that fact that you’re my dad everyday. Let’s face it – Heavenly Father knew what he was doing. Who else would’ve put up with me all these years? 😊

Happy birthday, Dad.” 11218587_10204678386345583_6885206113404364761_o