My aunt recently told me “You’re officially a grown person now. You know 25 is the cutoff for little kids. Now you’re 26, you’re almost 30.”

And I have to say, she was right. Last year, I just wanted to go out and paint the town green for my birthday, get completely wasted and I guess relive the “glory” days of being carefree in college. This year, I had no such desire. I guess that’s what being pregnant (and sick) and saving for a new child and new apartment will get ya.

Leading up to my birthday, I admit I was a little depressed. I didn’t have the energy, desire or money to do anything. Somewhere deep inside of me, I was hoping somebody else would take the reigns and plan something, but that didn’t happen. (And it’s probably about time I give up on this childhood dream of a surprise party lol). As the days wound down to my big day, I found myself feeling a mix of pity, resentment and sadness – totally unlike me for my birthday.

Luckily several things happened that quickly changed my outlook and got me out of the funk I was in (I’m just gonna blame it on the pregnancy hormones….35 weeks preggo, they’re running rampant I tell ya.)

  1. Todd reminded me that he was planning something. Although his ideas and ways of doing things are different from mine, this casual reminder was what I needed. (Not to mention he’s kinda obligated under this invisible contract called a relationship and parenting to do something for me, at the very least from his daughter(s).) 
  2. My brother told me he wanted us to celebrate together. Not really sure why this picked me up since I’m still convinced he’s some alien life form my mom rescued 24 years ago, but yet in still, it made me smile and made me feel better about my upcoming birthday. 
  3. My best friend (and lifesaver) offered to take me to see the Oz (which was AMAZING!!) because her little sister’s bday is the same weekend as my brother’s (and my payday which is what’s most important in celebrating) and she wanted to do something with me.

So how did I celebrate my bday? With my loved ones over the course of several days. And it reminded me why I love my birthday so much. It’s not because I spend a lot of money, or have some outrageous birthday party. It’s because it’s a reminder that I was blessed to spend another year with the people that I love doing the things that I love.

This year, I could complain that not one bar or club saw my face, or that I got sick two days before my birthday and didn’t actually get better until lunch time on my birthday. I could complain about the people that let me down or pissed me off on my special day. But then I would be wasting energy on the things that don’t matter when I could be focusing on the things that do: like best friends that know laughter and Vampire Diaries marathons cure any ailment; or friends and family that make sure you start your day with voicemails, texts and FB messages full of birthday wishes; or boyfriends that go out of their usually nonchalant, nonexpressive way to shower you with backrubs and affectionate words; or an adorably smiling daughter who wakes you up with hugs and kisses. And most importantly: Edible Arrangement bouquets personalized for you with white chocolate because you’re too intolerant of “regular” chocolate. Yup, these are the things that made my birthday fantastically awesome.

For me, birthdays are about celebrating life. Celebrating my life with those I love. They are about being blessed to see another year when so many – both older and younger – aren’t so blessed. They’re about love and happiness and rainbows and strawberries and peaches and cream.

26, or almost 30 as my Teet said, is going to be a year of growth and self-reflection for me. I’m about to be a mother of two kids and it’s about time I put aside my childish ways of thinking about things. This year, I’m on a journey to redefine myself by my standards, not society’s or the way I have in the past (i.e. my job and relationships).