I don't think I've mentioned it yet but I have a big Birthday coming up this year.  Like Huge!  One that makes you take stock of your life, and maybe think about adjusting your course a bit to start the 2nd half of your life on a better track. Yes dear friends, I am turning 40, and as we creep closer to the day - July to be exact, I am getting more and more excited to start this 2nd chapter of my life.  To celebrate this awesome event, I have decided that I need more than just a day, really more than a few days.  I really feel that I need to celebrate through the entire year, and perhaps beyond.

Why you might ask?  Well let me tell you...... I have spent the last 5 or 6 years in a real funk, I've struggled with the loss of my father, my body image, my girls growing up and not needing me in the same way, a dead end job that doesn't stimulate me, but pays better than I'll find elsewhere (for now), aging.  I've worried about how I'm perceived, how I'm treated, how others make me feel.  Basically I've spent all of this time worrying about outside forces that have no real bearing on my life or what should be making me happy and me.

I stared by digging into my self help library (I have a thing for books and ever more so if they're of the self help, cooking, or of the craft variety).  I began pulling inspiration from the people I follow on Instagram and Snapchat, and lastly I started thinking if I could try a few new things, or do something I loved again, small things, and just a few a month for the next year, what would they be? Digging a little deeper, if I could do anything I wanted what would that be? Slowly but surely I developed a plan, on how to get back on track with my life, and then took it even further and added in a few things each month I wanted to do, just for me.   So what does that look like in my life?

I stared a morning routine again, I had done one previously, but gotten out of the habit  probably about the time I hit critical mass with my undiagnosed Sleep Apnea. Now that I have that relatively under control, I feel I can do more with a little less (as long as its quality) sleep. I read the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod - its a little campy for me, and every few pages does try to push you out to his website to buy, join, or subscribe, but the basics are solid and very similar to things I had done at different times of my life.  Things that when I do them regularly make me feel better and get me really revved up for my day.

Then I took some of the smaller things from my list, things that were easy or short in duration, and worked on making them happen.  Like making sure I'm spending time with those I love and that make me feel good to be around - I scheduled dinner dates with our two favorite couple friends.  I found fun things that happen over the months and made them into a dinner parties. I have some big ideas too, like Take a Cruise, visit Disney Paris, write a book, run a Disney 10k, things that I might not accomplish in 2017, but I'm really going to work toward making them happen, and just maybe I'll surprise myself.

Lastly, as I was reminding everyone about my big 40th birthday this year, my grandpa reminded me he would be 85 - we celebrated his birthday last month (more below), my mother will be 65, and my Auntie just turned 55. My husband's best Friend Bob will be 35, Bob's wife Janelle and my cousin Kevin will be 30, My oldest will be 21 and the youngest is turning 18. ALL THIS YEAR!  So I thought let's try to celebrate all of those events as well - make them big and awesome and really live in those moments when they're happening.

February Update


Groundhog Day - yes we celebrate Groundhog Day, borrowing a lot of our traditions from Imbolc or Candlemas.  We set the table with as many white candles as we could find, chowed down on mac and cheese and celebrated the middle of winter as best as we could.  Quite honestly winter has been such a blessing and a curse in CA this year, and while all of us know we need as much rain and snow as we can possibly get.  Perhaps a little more time to dry out in between wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Grandpa's 85th Birthday party - If you ask my grandpa, he will tell you that we as a family spend more money and time celebrating my grandmother than we do him.  He tells you this as we're eating diner at 5 because that's when he get's hungry, at his favorite restaurant, hanging on his every word because he does like to command a crowd.  I should also mention that he sired, 3 daughters and from those daughters had more granddaughters than grandsons.  Trust me - he is well doted on and very much loved.  With that said, it was his 85th birthday last month and I'm a huge fan of celebrating birthdays that end in 5 or 0 just because.  Grandpa says once you reach his age you should celebrate them all because you don't know which one will be your last.  We had a "small" party of around 30, on a Sunday afternoon.  It was Valentines themed, with balloons, a heart shaped cake and all of the food he liked to eat.  And while I spent hours setting up and posting pictures on snapchat - I managed not to take one picture of the day that I saved.  Although sometimes I think the best times are spent when you forget to take pictures and are really living in that moment.

Disney Family Museum - I've lived in the Bay Area all of my life and this last month was the first time I've ever made it over to the Disney Family Museum.  What an awesome experience, I spent more time sitting in front of the model of the Disneyland park than anywhere else, it's such an awesome and interesting display, each time I looked somewhere else I found something new.  I even told my husband when I start to get the craving to head to Disney, we might be able to get away with coming here and sitting around the model for a bit, I think it will curb my cravings.

Valentine's Day - I have to tell you this holiday is really hit or miss in our house, I'm not a fan of someone spending a whole bunch of money on flowers, or chocolate. But! I'm a girl and I feel you should make an effort on me.  This year the hubby and I had a very quite dinner at home - I made him a healthier version of mac and cheese with cauliflower cream, pepper jack and fat free sour cream - if you want the recipe comment below and I'll make another post on it, it's very tasty. We did manage matching Disney T's that I'm sure we'll both wear over and over again.

Mardi Gras - Ahhhh Fat Tuesday - who doesn't love a little bit of slovenliness to get you though a rough winter night.  We went the traditional route and made gumbo, decorated the house with gold, green and purple - tossed a few beaded necklaces around our neck, and at a traditional King cake with puff pastry and a bean for the baby Jesus.  I'm a little creeped out by baking a porcelain or plastic baby in anything and then searching for it. A bean does just fine with me.

March 

We have got a busy month coming up, we're headed out this weekend to the Wine Country and to celebrate the wild mustard that grows everywhere up there.  I have a Toastmasters contest, Planner Con - more on that in another post - Beauty and the Beast is coming out, we're heading off to see bouquets to art - probably another post. St. Patty's day, a trip to Reno, plus my cousin's and Steve's birthdays.  I can't wait to tell you about it all next month.

I want to look back on this 40th year of my life and feel like I really did some things, big, small, easy or hard, matters not. Just so long as I when I end this year and I'm reflecting on the things that I've done, I'm not disappointed in all the things I didn't do.

Welcome to the year of Sarah.

If you're interested in reading my first post in this series click Here