28 Reasons to Celebrate: The Birthday Blog
Holy crow, I’m 28!
Until this afternoon (the day before my birthday), I had no intention of mentioning it to the masses. My birthday makes me uncomfortable. I’m not sure if it’s the extra attention, the reminder of my mortality, or just because I’m a REALLY big sap, but I’ll be the first to admit I don’t handle every June 8 well. If you need proof, I’ll happily pull out the 90s home videos of me sobbing hysterically while everyone at my party serenades me with “Happy Birthday”. On every other day of the year, I find them hilarious too.
Then, something inside me changed. Today, Paul and I were on a little afternoon trip to Black Diamond and Turner Valley. I was staring out the window while he drove, feeling the day’s heat on my bare shoulders and suddenly I realized I was excited to be 28. This wasn’t the turning 16 and can get a driver’s license excitement or the “Oooooo, I’m 18 and can legally drink now” buzz. It was a feeling of contentment in my own skin — a feeling of joy to be who I am.
Now, don’t get me wrong; the growth doesn’t stop here. By no means do I plan on keeping things status quo. 29 might not feel as great as 28 does — that’s ok! I’m going to keep challenging myself, keep exploring new ideas and viewpoints, and keep throwing myself into the unknown. Because I want to KNOW, I want to SEE and I want to BE.
In case I ever lose my way (I’m sure I will! That’s part of life!), I decided to write myself a list of 28 reasons why I am happy today and maybe help you feel a little happiness too.
1) My family. I freakin’ love my family. My mom, dad, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends who are family and my boyfriend’s family — I couldn’t ask for a more loving, fun and supportive base. They are always what makes my dark days brighter.
2) I have a partner who rocks my socks off, pushes me, and lets me be me in all my states of mind. In turn, I hope I do the same for him.
3) My best friend Sydney who is one hell of a superwoman. Not only does she get me, like reallyyyy get me, but she also she sends me crazy Snapchats, makes my stomach hurt from laughing so hard and made me an Auntie. 10 years of friendship have never felt so good.
4) The little girl who calls me Auntie Laura, makes me sit in the backseat with her while Sydney drives and is the biggest ham I know.
5) My education. I owe a big part of where I am today to my teachers. From elementary school to post-secondary, I am so lucky to have been taught by such patient, knowledgeable and inspiring people.
6) My family doctor! I can’t even begin to imagine where I would be without her help. Her continued, persistent treatment of my migraines and willingness to try new outside-the-box solutions is something I will be forever thankful for.
7) My extended healthcare team. Now’s a good time to give the people who are (or who have) keeping me going a shout out. You all are the shit! Ryan x2, Amanda, Courtney, Janelle, Jakkie, MacKenzie at Evolve; Karyn at Naturmend; Dr. Neilson at PEAK in Edmonton.
8) And in turn, I am so thankful for all the personal growth these practitioners have guided me through. Whether it’s been working through my anxiety, teaching me how to eat to treat my illness from the inside out, or poking me with needles to soothe my body, I am in debt to you all for meeting me where I am at mentally and physically that day and showing me how to move forward in a healthy way.
9) Never ever did I think I would fall in love with a piece of furniture, but I adore my great-grandmother’s kitchen table. It was the last jolt of inspiration I needed to start this blog and is now the backdrop to all my photos. Every time I sit down to eat, I have a smile on my face.
10) And goodness gracious is the blogger community in Calgary ever amazing! To all my fellow YYC Blogger Babes, you impress me every. single. day. Thank you for welcoming me into your community and sharing your successes and failures with me. XO
11) Writing. Writing makes me happy and is my favourite way to express myself.
12) Rewind … being ABLE to write makes me happy. I live in a place and time where I am free to express myself however I want. Now that’s happiness in a nutshell.
13) I never thought I would like photography as much as I do, but natural lighting and flat lays are my jam.
14) And all the people and companies I’ve been able to meet and work with in my magazine/online writing and blogging endeavours. Thank you for supporting me and meshing your passions with mine.
15) Reading. I’m the kid who would have rather be curled up in my desk with a book instead of heading out to the playground at recess. There have been periods in my life when I haven’t read and I’m always happier when I find my way back.
16) AUDIOBOOKS. These have been such a godsend while I’m in a migraine or anxiety attack. They soothe my soul, relax me into sleep and bring me joy in dark, quiet rooms when nothing else will. I download books for free from libraries and listen to them through apps on my phone.
17) Along the same note … music (ha!). Good days are always made better by music. Country, Motown hits and pop are my faves. Oh and random songs from my Dad’s 45s. They’re gems.
18) One of the first things I like to do when I come out of a health rough patch is to bake. It’s stress relief and it’s fun. I love creating and then sharing my creations with my loved ones. I guess one of my love languages is feeding people!
19) All the places I’ve been able to see and the people I’ve been able to meet. Halifax, San Francisco, Nashville, Kelowna and PEI are my faves.
20) India gets it’s own paragraph because it’s flippin’ India. It was a dream come true for me to visit this incredible country. My trip gave me life-long friends, life lessons I don’t think I could have learned anywhere else and an aching desire to go back.
21) Tea. Give me the straight stuff. No added “flavours” for this girl.
I guess I’m onto the small things but it’s the small things that add up to big smiles…
22) Mugs! You gotta have something substantial yet graceful to drink your tea out of. If it happens to have an owl on it, it gets bonus points.
23) OMG. Skincare!!! I worked at a facials-only spa for a good chunk of years and I’m obsessed with all things skin. Yes, this includes blackhead-popping videos ;-) Two words of advice? Hyaluronic acid. (Psst … I often go over my favourite skincare find on my IG stories)
24) Flowers. Buy yourself flowers. They add a pop of colour to my black and white table and instantly bring life to my kitchen.
25) I wouldn’t be me without a wide variety of PJs. I’m classic and go for a long-sleeve button down top with matching pants. Flannel/cotton over silk any day. Actually, just don’t even show me the silk pair. A t-shirt and sweats gets the job done 10x better.
26) Chocolate. Ohhhh baby, chocolate was my first love. Can you wait a sec? I actually see a stack of chocolate bars that need my attention right now… (PS – I’ve found a GOOD refined-sugar free chocolate. Check it out here.)
27) I’ll say it with no shame — I’m a reality TV junkie. Big Brother is my #1 followed closely by the Bachelor franchise and then any true-crime solving shows. Ok fine … I have a crush on Lester Holt on Dateline NBC. There I admitted it.
28) Now this is slightly embarrassing, but it was just brought to my attention again how much I love David Spence, the meteorologist on CTV Calgary. He’s been broadcasting for as long as I can remember and his corny jokes always get me. No one else compares.
And here’s a bonus:
29) YOU! I am SO SO happy you took the time to read this, support me and get to know me a bit better. Do me a favour and tell me what makes YOU happy in the comments, because more happiness and shared happiness make the world go round.
PS - I swear I didn’t plan on this post’s title rhyming. That was just a happy accident.