1. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! (pauses to let the importance of the day sink in) and I DO NOT have to share it with Mother's Day - the perfect way to ruin a birthday because you get cheated out of a day. Basically I have claimed the entire weekend for myself, to do whatever I wish. The weather is cooperating by being utterly glorious.  My friends are cooperating by being utterly AMAZING to me all week long, some just constantly loving me and my family, some coming to sit with me and my family so I don't go absolutely insane with waiting. I have truly been the recipient of community at its finest this week.  My family is cooperating by NOT MAKING ME DO DISHES FOR SEVERAL DAYS and that may be the finest gift of all. Also there will be a great deal of sun basking and book reading and whatever else strikes my fancy. I'm calling this year "Pre-40" Somehow, years ago when I was bald and scared, 40 became a distant mile-marker in my mind, because when you are twenty-three, 40 seems so very far away and old. Now I am almost here, and I know I am not old, but it has been very many years, and I am oh-so-grateful for every one of them.

2. A week ago today, my brother and thus the rest of our family found out that he has cancer. He is not quite 32.  We are devastated.  A great deal of this week I was frozen by worry and heavy with sadness. But I grabbed on to this promise, It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. 2 Cor. 5:7 and I believe that God's priming for some serious showing off.

3. This week also brought us the birthday celebration of my beautiful youngest daughter, Olivia.  She got to have two days this year since her birthday fell on a church day ( I am so grateful to have children who are patient and understanding with Hunky's work ).  She is not like me though as she wanted to be involved in every step of her birthday dinner. She even baked her own cake. I want food delivered to me on a platter today, but for her it was special to be a part of it all.  She likes carbs. We had fried breaded fish, homemade mac and cheese, potato wedges, and biscuits, also a some strawberries and tangelos, you know, to make it healthy.  She's a officially taller than me. Not barely, a lot..inches.  How did I get to this place of giant children, high school years and teenage adventures, I do not know. But I refer you back to #1.  It's a gift, all of it, every second.  Things I never thought I'd see I'm living now.  Amazing.

4. Olivia celebrates her birthday on my cancerversary. This year was 16 years for me.  It's been a bittersweet celebration this year since my brother now also has both a cancerversary and a birthday this month.  But I am looking forward to many many many years of out-doing him in the celebrating. I'm going to teach him to throw glitter. It's going to be amazing.

5. I rescheduled the non-consumer fast for many reasons. It starts Monday. There will be another post about this in next day or so.

6. You CAN still mail me gifts for my birthday. Remember, I'm celebrating all year. Just sayin'

7. Is this not the best birthday song ever? I told you I had awesome friends!

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