Make a Birthday List to Celebrate All Year Long

Who doesn't like to celebrate their birthday? Yes, there is the reminder that we are another year older and perhaps a little more wrinkly. But there is cake, presents, and the promise of another year.

Yesterday was my birthday, and all in all, it was a great day. After a long commute home from work, I walked in the house to find a homemade, gluten free vanilla cake with chocolate frosting (which I preemptively made for myself over the weekend), a bouquet of roses, and various birthday cards. My son was a little over-zealous with the birthday card signing and also signed the one addressed "To My Wife", but who cares. The cake was delicious and contrary to what it indicates, I did not turn 2,164 years old. We used the lack of certain number candles as an opportunity to get creative and practice addition and subtraction. I challenge you to solve this mathematical riddle and figure out exactly how old I am. The football and Bears helmet were my son's last minute embellishments in honor of Monday night football. Go Bears!

After blowing out the candles, making wishes, and dancing around the living room to our traditional birthday song, Cracker's "Happy Birthday To Me", I thought a little bit. How can I stretch out this day and say "Happy Birthday To Me" all year long? Like most moms, I make lists to help keep myself organized throughout the day and week. Since I turned 38 (there's the answer to the mathematical riddle above), why not make a list of 38 things to do this year? This wouldn't be a list of "should dos" or resolutions that people typically make at the start of the new year. This is a list of fun things, some big, some small, but all ways to celebrate throughout the year. Here are a few things on my list for the year:

- Go snowboarding with my son this winter
- Stay up late one night to check out the stars
- Master "bird pose" in yoga (without having to cheat and touch my toes to the ground)
- Try a new gluten and dairy free recipe each month
- Paint a picture
- Have an afternoon mani/pedi date with my daughter
- Karaoke with my sisters at a dive bar (we usually accomplish this one at least once a summer!)

The concept of birthday lists is nothing new. I've read of people making a list of 50 things to do for their 50th birthday, but I figured why wait? If I get started now, each birthday can only get better because that's one more fun thing I can add to my list.

So, I challenge you to make a list when your birthday rolls around. Check in with me later in the year, and I'll let you know how the celebration is going. As for now, I'm off to a mani/pedi date!

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Rachel Young

I've been gluten and dairy free since 2008 and hope to share recipes and resources I've discovered for living with celiac.

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