This is 35

I turn 35 today. I guess that’s a bigish milestone? I remember the surprise party Jon, my sister, friend Ana and mom threw me for my 30th like it was yesterday. Hollywood game night theme with pink and gold glitter decor and candles everywhere. Nearest and dearest in attendance. Honestly perfect. SO much has changed in the 5 years since – my dad’s death, 2 kids and move to a new neighborhood to name a few.

I’m not sure I have much of an opinion on aging. I do not fear getting older; I do not dread another birthday. I like celebrating all.the.things. Do I wish I had my perky 22 year old butt? Or could do without the bags under my eyes or lines in my forehead? Sure, but we live in a modern world that if that stuff bugged me enough I’d fix it.  Plus, I feel WAY more comfortable in my thirties than I did in my twenties. I don’t know if getting married and having kids did that, but it certainly put my life and values into perspective. #ohsnap

Here are a few things I’m proud of as I enter another trip around the sun:

  • My family – they mean the world to me and I wish I could carry my kids around in my pocket all day! The stuff they say brings tears of laughter! Just on Halloween, Liv running down the block screaming “trick or treaters, over here!” and Gray following “come here!”
  • The ability to fly through the fog – an old boss used to tell me this when I was in my mid-twenties. I seriously hated this phrase. Now that I am older and wiser (ha!), I love this. My ability to tune out the noise (most of the time) focus on my priorities and what’s important, fly at the macro level and dive micro when need be is a quality I have spent time working on and am very proud of.
  • Shoe collection – it started with my first pair of CL for my bridal shower and it was love at first site. I use big occasions to save for them – birthdays, my own push present, making it 6 months of breastfeeding, you name it. #shoeaddict
  • Decisiveness – Jon always says he is so in awe of my ability to make a decision, stick with it and move on. I don’t know if that is always a good thing, but honestly I have way too much on my to-do list to think twice. Trust me, I research the crap out of whatever the topic is first, talk to friends, etc, but once I make up my mind, it’s off to the races!

Here are SIX goals I have for the next 5 years:

  • Survive – ha, not kidding, I do not know what wild ride 3 kids will bring.
  • Travel to 20 countries – I’m at 16 now! (maybe another post on wanderlust? any recommendations?)
  • Run a marathon – I am NOT a runner but I really want to give this thing a whirl. I get so emotional watching the Chicago marathon, the dedication, the causes people run and raise money for, the physical challenges. I am never one to shy away from a challenge…I’ve just never felt in the right physical place to do this for a while – pregnant or nursing seems to rule my world and before kids I’d rather enjoy a few glasses of wine at night with friends or sleep in than get up early to train.
  • Build or massively renovate a house – Jon and I loved gutting our townhouse and are itching for another project! Not sure if this will still be in the city or the suburbs…
  • Be Present – through all the goals, lists, tackling to-dos, and travel, I want to continue to make it a priority to be present. Whether that’s at work or at home, compartmentalize and “live in the now” (thanks Garth).
  • Work with a nonprofit – for the past 9 years we have been integrally involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago; holding officer positions on the Leadership Board, starting a corporate site based Mentor Program (5 years running!) at my company and being a Big sister. This organization is still near and dear to my heart and we will continue to support it; my time and needs have changed so I’d like to find one that works with this new family lifestyle, and one hopefully where the kids can volunteer too!

What do you do to celebrate your birthday? Any goals for your next year of life?

Cheers!

Niki

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