Here comes my birthday.  I’ve barely thought twice about it except when forced to by others. I used to count down the days to my anniversary like a true birthday enthusiast.

The first: My 6th birthday is the first one I remember. It was quite splendid, with all the bells and whistles only every six-year-old would yearn for, including my entire kindergarten class coming after school on my bus and Jason, one of the cutest boys, sitting next to “me,” the birthday girl.  We enjoyed an intricate game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, a fabulous activity I was certain my mom had come up with just for my day…only to find out years later that it’s a birthday party standard. To top off the day, Gram Gove came exclusively to be at my party and help my mom. It was a grand day.

Recent Funny: On my 35th birthday, my husband swore to my best friend that my favorite cake was carrot. She tried to convince him otherwise, but guess what I got: a carrot cake. Funny, I know. It was good, but I don’t think I’d ever even bought a piece of carrot cake in my entire life. My all-time favorite cake is actually strawberry PIE.  Oh you snicker, but it’s the ultimate for a June birthday. My mom made this rich and slightly sweet cream cheese filling that she spread liberally all over her unique (can I emphasize “unique”) hand-“fluted” crust. Then she piled mounds of whole strawberries on top into a dome shape, and topped that with sweet strawberry glaze. I had this masterpiece every year of my childhood and into adulthood. It’s divine and my mouth is salivating just thinking about it.

Least Favorite: On my 29th birthday, I felt like I was too old to be in my 20s and that the 30s were an entryway into an ancient and prehistoric decade. I was in limbo. Ha. We can be so dumb, can’t we?

Well, the last 12 months have been wild and entertaining.  Here are my top 10 things I’ve learned in the past year. Enjoy.

1)      Cutting veggies on a dirty carpet in a third-world country will not kill me.

2)      Dogs have nine lives, too.

3)      Unconditional love is easy with my children; my true test is using it on everyone else.

4)      Lists are not possible in my world.

5)      That weed I’ve been trying to eradicate from my life may actually be a permanent fixture that just needs some TLC to bloom.

6)      Burning off warts with a hot match works.

7)      God is not a fairy godmother granting wishes.

8)      Peeling pomegranates under water equals no mess.

9)      Some things I just can’t do myself to be frugal, i.e., plucking my eyebrows.

10)   My life is moving forward only, so I keep looking forward not back.

Now the countdown begins until I celebrate 43…and I can only wonder what this year has in store for me.

–Danielle

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