37. A new website- a new year, and I know I say it every birthday, but it just keeps getting better. And it’s not that ALL things continue to get better- truly, the longer you live the more hard things you are bound to experience- but having this 37-year old brain and heart and all of these experiences under my belt is pretty awesome… and it makes the kind of shitty things not as bad.

I sat here for a moment and looked at this photo, and thought about what I wanted to say about this past year. What were the big stand out moments, the take-aways? Well, my Dad died last year. That’s the first thing I think about. And it’s weird because as soon as I typed that I realized my Dad died when I was 35. Right before I turned 36. But it simultaneously feels like yesterday and 5 years ago, it does not bother me at all, and then it also sucks the breath out of me when my stupid Spotify suddenly and casually plays Annie’s Song by John Denver as if it doesn’t know. Fuck.

But for the things that went on during my 36th year, to be honest it kind of felt like a blur. A happy blur tinged with sadness on the edges but really it was climbing out of the weird bucket of feelings I was hanging out in and everyday feeling just a bit better. One child turned 8, another 5, another 2. Life keeps trucking along and somedays it’s overwhelming to be in a dream. And I don’t mean like I feel like this is a dream, but this IS my literal dream. I thought about this a lot when I was younger- one day, I want to be a wife and a Mom and have a job I love and live in a house with my family in the woods and be happy. Well hi, here I am. Here we are, all 5 of us and I have 3 kids. Still crazy if I think too hard about it. And it’s very cool and very surreal to be in that very place I had hoped to be. That’s never, ever lost on me.

I don’t mind getting older. 37 has always been this number in my head that sounded cool. 37. But you know what’s interesting? I would say this is the first year I feel like my identity is OLDER. And lovely readers who are older than me, I know you’re thinking- honey, you just wait! And I know this. But- truly, this is the first year where I’m feeling like an older Mom when I’m at the library with Olive with all the cute younger mamas and their babies. And when I’m out on a Friday night with friends downtown and suddenly these college kids aren’t my peers but they could be my babies. Or I’m looking in the mirror and seeing these lines forming, skin a little looser in some places, changes. More changes than ever. And it’s not like at 35, 36 I didn’t realize this but now at this point of my life I feel it. And I’m okay with it, you know? I don’t want to hang on for dear life and fight the inevitable. This is good. This feels right. And I’m looking forward to seeing what 37 has in store.