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Tuesday, September 15, 2015


word of the day: good \ˈgu̇d\ of high quality

I’ve been replaying this single line from The Fault in Our Stars in my mind since Saturday. It’s a simple one and it comes toward the end when Augustus is feeling particularly nostalgic about his life. As the wind blows between them, he squeezes Hazel’s hand and says, “It’s a good life, Hazel Grace.”

It’s a good life.

I turned twenty-nine on Saturday and the fault was not in the stars. They aligned perfectly: Jake had the entire day off, fall weather hit our doorstep, my gracious aunts were available and willing babysitters, and Iowa beat Iowa State (special shout out to the bartender at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. for turning the game on for us and to Jake who let me exchange his pre-made plan of a fancy place for a brewery and a football game. I don’t think he was terribly disappointed.).

People always ask you if you feel different on your birthday, and my go-to answer is always, “No.” It’s just another day, after all. But, as I’ve been thinking about this past year, I realize that I am different. I mean, this year me and last year me have very little in common, really. There’s a new kid, a new job, a new house, a new city, and a new state. I’ve learned things about myself and Jake and the girls and parenting and marriage and relationships and life in general that make me incomparable to the 28-year-old version of myself. I think if I passed her on the street, I’d hardly recognize her. I’d probably say something like, “Cute bangs. Have you ever thought about growing them out?” or “You should have kept all your floral print rompers and butterfly clips from the 90s because they’ll totally be back in style soon.” or “You might as well pre-order the new Taylor Swift album when it comes out because you know you’ll end up buying it anyway.”

Birthdays get a bad rap sometimes, don’t they? I stare in the face of thirty now, and I suppose I could dread the approaching decade. Feel “old” or something.

Instead I just feel grateful.

It’s a good life, after all.

Here’s proof:

Lily helped in the making of this cake. The final product is better because it has one giant circle of sprinkles thanks to her artistry. She also got to put the candles on a second cake and got pretty creative (see below).

I traded the view on the left for the view on the right at dinner. The game was tied 17-17 when we tuned in to the fourth quarter. It's about time Iowa pulls through for the Cy-Hawk trophy. (On that note, this is still on my birthday wish list.)

Lily loves having her picture taken.

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