Monday, October 15, 2018


Good Monday morning.

Today is my thirty-eighth birthday.

A quick recap.

Circa October 15, 1980 

Circa 1983

Circa 1998, when senior portraits consisted of taking a few shots in one, MAYBE two outfits. Life was simple, & everyone wore all their clothes in their senior portraits. I'm just saying. 

A lot has changed in twenty years, & not all of these changes are for the better. Maybe I am showing my age, & this will be the only preachy portion of today's post, but many young ladies, especially those who profess to belong to Christ, need to reevaluate what they wear (in senior pictures & in general). You certainly do not have to opt for a denim shirt with a snazzy collar as I did, but in ten or twenty years you might regret constantly plastering your belly & your cleavage all over the Internet. You might regret paying hundreds of dollars for someone to take pictures you'd be embarrassed to show your own children. 

Anyway . . . 

Circa 2008

Circa my 33rd birthday: The thing that was dominating my life when I turned thirty-three was the fact that Henry woke me up five to twelve times a night, & so on my birthday I celebrated myself by purchasing an entire cookie cake for myself. I told them it was to read, "Happy Birthday Anna." Technically that should be, "Happy Birthday, Anna," but I didn't have the energy to explain the necessary punctuation for a noun-of-direct-address to the folks at the Great American Cookie Co.

You may have forgotten, but Henry was an adorable baby. He was glued to me when we were asleep; he was glued to me when we were awake. He is still very fond of me. 

Circa last year when I turned thirty-seven & Trey ordered me this most epic cake:

Circa this past Saturday afternoon: 

It's fine. I am fine. I am not having a mid-life crisis. 

I spent some time Saturday going decade by decade looking through pictures to decide how to proceed with my hair. It's one of the many things I love to overthink. You can tell from the 2008 picture & the 2018 picture that I basically do the same thing with my hair year after year, though in 2008 I didn't have to contemplate potentially coloring gray hair. I don't have much gray at present, & honestly it arrived considerably later than I expected it given my father's early graying.  

Actually, wait. Wait, wait, wait. Prior to the invention of the flatiron, I *did not* always do the same thing with my hair. I had almost no control over it. Seriously. Look. 

Circa 1996

My advancing age aside, there is much rejoicing in my corner of the world at present, & I am not just referring to the fact that (1) I have a flatiron now, (2) I have discovered eye make-up, apparently something I was too cool to be bothered with in high school, & (3) Henry is still cute AND he doesn't wake me up during the night. Praise hands!

Quickly, an enumerated list of the good things happening at present. Trey took the kids to school this morning, & so after two weeks of serious, hardcore blogging re: the newly minted Justice Kavanaugh, I am going to make this snappy so I can sip more coffee slowly in the quiet house while my fall-scented candles burn. 

(1) So, you may have heard that over the weekend LSU defeated the team formerly ranked at No. 2, Georgia. Did you, did you see that game? It was one of the most satisfying LSU football games I have ever watched.

(2) I finished reading this month's book club book. The October book is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I will save further comments on the book for a later time (I don't like the book at all), but thanks to our little beach vacation (& many hours in the car) I read the book quickly, which was a small victory given my recent inability to finish reading a book in a timely manner. Even when I don't like a book it's satisfying to get it read so I can attend book club & explain my deeply felt feelings about that month's book. 

(3) A friend of mine is reading The Bronze Horseman. Actually she has finished that book & is about to begin reading the second book in the series. As she read The Bronze Horseman she texted me with her thoughts, & as you know sharing books I love with others who also read & enjoy them is something that brings me immense joy.

(4) Tomorrow's weather forecast is the stuff of dreams. Later today I believe the temps are supposed to begin dropping, & tomorrow's high is FIFTY-THREE degrees with rain. I know it sounds dreary, & maybe I need to see a therapist, but I love cold, rainy days. I saw to it yesterday that our fireplace (our gas-log, remote-controlled fireplace) is ready to go. I am so excited! 

(5) Speaking of dreary rain, on Saturday a friend sent me a picture of a candle she saw in Hobby Lobby.

I think I am going to go get me one of these candles when I go to town later for groceries. Tomorrow as I sit in front of my fire & listen to the patter of rain my house will smell like Hemingway. I'm honestly curious to see what this candle smells like; I will report back on this next week.

(6) I believe I've finally recovered from the laundry/luggage ordeal that is a beach trip. Everything has been washed, & all the bags have been unpacked. I will now share some pics of our beach trip with you.

Tunnel fun:

Smoked Tuna Dip at The Back Porch in Destin . . . thankfully The Back Porch sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Michael. 

A little montage of me eating at The Back Porch . . . 

The following were taken in June of 2010. I was newly pregnant with Reagan.

The following were taken at The Back Porch on Henry's 2nd birthday:

This concludes the portion of the blog dedicated to my attachment to The Back Porch & their most excellent Smoked Tuna Dip.

(7) Finally, last on the list but certainly important: I am celebrating another birthday. As I type I am reminded of the good people in my life who are blowing up my phone & sharing kind messages on Facebook. A former student just posted these along with her birthday message:

Thank you, Sarah. Now I am sniffling a little & am reminded of the truth of Virgil's words, "All our sweetest hours fly fastest." Interestingly, or perhaps not, Virgil & I share a birthday. 

Truly LSU's win Saturday & the weather forecast are more than I could've asked for or imagined possible. There are a thousand other little details that make today a Happy Birthday. This morning Reagan's teacher sent a text out reminding parents the temperature will be dropping later today & to send a jacket to school. Small details like that make you feel good about the people with whom your kids spend the day. Weather permitting, there are people coming to fix my flower beds later this week. I am planning to see Twilight in the theater next week; it's being shown on two special days this month to mark the ten-year anniversary of the film's release. Former students are texting to tell me Happy Birthday, & I am responding with thanks & reminders to behave, keep their grades up, & get a flu shot. Trey took the kids to school this morning, leaving me at home - - alone - - with my coffee & my fall-scented candles. 

It is indeed a Happy Birthday. I hope you have a great week. If you do not enjoy cold, rainy days, please refrain from whining tomorrow so the rest of us can enjoy wearing our hoodies, drinking hot beverages, & pretending we live in Antarctica. 


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