36 Things I Liked or Loved About Being 36

Not in 100% chronological order. Also not in order of importance. Just 36 things I liked or loved about being 36.

1. I spent some time as a blonde! And with purple hair! And I got it cut off! And I started growing it again! And now I’m a brunette again. Hey, fun!

2. I kinda almost mostly overcame my insomnia. Yep. That means I sleep at night now save for dogs scratching and pulling muscles in my neck and kids puking and rain blowing from the wrong direction and phones ringing. I’ll take it!

3. I bought grown up sheets with a crazy high thread count. That seems related to #2 but I actually purchased them after I started sleeping again.

4. Alexa came into our lives and brings us great joy. And Jeopardy! questions.

5. I submitted my writing even when I felt self-conscious about the topic or the location.

6. I made a lot of good food for my family this year. I really love to cook. Food remains my love language.

7. iPhone X.

8. During our vacation to Emerald Isle, we got to go up on the observation deck of the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. We’ve been to the museum a half a dozen times and have never been able to go up on the deck before, so it was a true joy.

9. Creme Brulee. Lobster. Islands. Time alone with my husband on a cruise. Also drinks and pizza and sunshine.

10. Our oldest son got a gold medal at camp.

11. I went to Disneyland!

12. I yogaed. And I un-yogaed due to the scheduling issues surrounding caregiving. And then discovered an at home yoga practice. And then got back to yogaing in a class setting. I also discovered that all stops on that journey were valid and important.

13. I gained weight. I lost weight. I found peace with both.

14. I read a lot of books!

15. No cavities at either dentist appointment.

16. My husband and I stepped up and did what was required of us to care for his grandmother (and grandfather). It wasn’t easy. It’s not easy. But we’ve learned a lot. I’ve also learned a lot about ALZ in the process.

17. My parents got a puppy. Now, this might not seem like a good thing for me, but I was involved. And omg, Chai is so good for us all.

18. My sons turned 12 and 10 and had a lovely birthday party.

19. I started and finished the Winter Runstreak (40 days of at least 1 mile per day), thus jumpstarting my running again. I did it for some initial superficial reasoning, but it really helped me relocate my love of running.

20. Our Christmas was great and our tree was super fat.

21. My ice lashes get their own entry.

22. My great-grandmother turned 95. My husband’s maternal grandmother turned 93. His paternal grandmother turned 81. His grandfather turned 84. We are so very lucky to have them all in our lives.

23. Apple Watch!

24. 15 Snow Days. Now hear me out. Some of them were not that great. Like 8-11. But others involved lots of fun for us as a family. Yes, it extended our school year. True, it caused some scheduling issues for teachers and for us as well. But I’m choosing to put them in the good category. Because sometimes you just have to put things in the good category.

25. We found a new church.

26. The basketball hoop! I can even make a few baskets now… though we’ve had it since Christmas and I only started trying very recently. I’m not good. But it’s still a lot of fun. Who knew?

27. My training for the Pittsburgh Marathon has been going very well. If you’re interested in donating to my fundraiser for the PGH ALZ All Stars, you can read more here.

28. Spring is showing up. Slowly.

29. I got a new job!

30. My friends have made all the difference in this year. Many things have been challenging this year, but their support has made all the difference.

31. My dogs!

32. My husband. Really. He’s super cute, true, but he’s also my main support, my best friend, and my rock.

33. Spotify.

34. The new water line they’re installing in our neighborhood. It’s a pain in my butt right now, but not having the waterline break once or twice per month sounds fantastic.


36. The happiness and peace I’ve found. There’s more to this, but for now, know that yes, it’s all good.


Dear LittleBrother,


You’re 10.

I’m not okay with that. I mean, I’m okay with that in that I’m so glad you are part of our world and still here with us. I am not okay with the fact that you’re now a double-digit age. Like, what?

Being the mom of a double digit-er is weird. First off, your feet are the same size as mine. You’re taller than my armpit. You’re funnier than me. Weren’t you just born like five seconds ago?


Right now you dig LEGO. As you continue to build your way through LEGO City and collect it across your dresser, I marvel at your patience. You don’t have patience for humans sometimes, but you sure do for building with tiny blocks. I like watching you get excited about creating and I lovelovelove the pride you show in your work.

I’m proud of you for so many things. Running for Student Council (and getting elected!). Earning Student of the Month. Straight A’s. Doing chores. Helping me cook. You give your all no matter what you’re doing, and I think that’s awesome.

Oh, and PS: I love your glasses. I think they make you look really awesome.

Even though I’m feeling sad about the fact that you’re ten, I’m excited to see what’s in store for you this year. You’re growing—so freaking fast. Your personality is growing, too. Your library, too! I wonder what you’ll read this year. I bet you’ll love whatever it is… and I hope you’ll sit and tell me about each book.

I won’t bore you with all the “you’ll always be my baby” hullabaloo. (But you will.) Instead, I’ll just say that I’m so grateful to be your mom. Thank you for still smiling for pictures, for still giving out hugs freely. Maybe you won’t always, so I’ll enjoy them immensely right now.

Thanks for being you.