Another birthday has descended on me, dragging the old wrinkles (and other body parts) down. But not my spirits. Those are plenty high! Why? Because I'm happy to still be here. After a scare with uterine cancer in 2013 I don't take a year or even a day for granted. I have been blessed with a wonderful family and fabulous friends. So, what does it really matter if my hair has now turned gray? It just makes me a silver fox. (Well, in my mind, anyway.)
This birthday I suckered some girlfriends to come over and play games with me. Even though I told the little stinkers not to bring gifts or cards, they did. I love the adorable purse I got that is made from a Monopoly board and my supply of socks is now replenished. I'll be using the great mugs my daughter got me at our family gatherings at the beach, and I'll smell good using the soap I got. And I'll look hot wearing the red sequined dress my pal Elizabeth gave me. "It's not a gift. It's a reward," she told me. She'd offered to loan me that gown when I had my last red carpet party when Hallmark showed the movie version of THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS, but sadly, I was too pudgy to look good in it. Since then I've lost twenty-five pounds, and she figured I'd earned that cool, sparkly dress. I can hardly wait to wear it! My friend Dave Kragen gave me the first "Killware" mug, commemorating his sci-fi KILLWARE series. I'm honored. He and my B.F.F. Jan fed Gerhardt and me well after the party and kept the fun going. So, needless to say, today I'm not moping around about the fact that I'm older. Instead I'm grateful, grateful, grateful.
But I am also aware of the passing of time. (There comes a point, gang, when it does sink in that you're mortal.) As a Christian, the big question I'm asking myself with this birthday is, "How can I best follow God this coming year?" I hope I can be kinder, more patient, more generous, and definitely be listening with unplugged ears to whatever God may direct. It's a new year and I'm excited about it. Ready to be used by God, ready to be a good wife, mom, and friend. Ready to be a better person than I was last year. I suppose that's all a tall order. But I'm willing to try. Bring it on!
January can be a blah month, a let-down after the holidays. So, even though we have no Asian ancestors, Gerhardt and I decided to celebrate Chinese New Year. (Well, I decided and he went along with it.)
What a fun time we had! The closest I got to Chinese food was egg rolls, but everyone loved them. They also loved my peppermint cupcakes! (The recipe for those will be in my next Christmas novel, CHRISTMAS IN ICICLE FALLS, the last book in the LIFE IN ICICLE FALLS series. You'll want to get that one just to have all the fabulous recipes.)
I didn't find fortune cookies in time for the party, so I held a contest to see who could come up with the best fortune. Everyone wrote one out on a slip of paper, leaving it unsigned. Then I read the various ones and we all voted for our favorite. We had some great ones, like "Don't grin when you sin."... "The rooster who crows the loudest may not be right." And, my personal favorite: "Better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." Ha!
Fun and games, good times, good friends - I can't think of a better way to beat the blahs. Who says you have to go away someplace glamorous for a good time? Sometimes the best good times can be found in our own back yard!