Birthday Magic…and Friday Links

December 14, 2012

12-12-12 pizza lunch

Although we’re celebrating tomorrow as a family, my birthday was on Wednesday — the magical 12-12-12. I was half expecting a money tree to sprout in the backyard or a fairy godmother to appear with a magic wand. Alas. Instead, it was a day of daring: I took my girls out for the afternoon — first to church so I could spend some reflective time in a sacred space, then to a favorite Neapolitan pizza place for our first mama-daughters lunch date. We stopped at a chocolate shop and a grocery store and then hit the playground. I was determined to make my day a little special with them, and it all went super well — yay!

The one request I have on my birthday — even if I’m not officially celebrating that day — is to not have to make dinner. So Wednesday was a perfect time to accept a friend’s offer to order us a takeout meal — a great gift for a new mom on her birthday! Celebrations actually began on Sunday when I enjoyed my first girls’ gathering — brunch with a handful of local friends. B likes to joke that I don’t have a birthday, I have a birthday octave, and it’s true: At this time of year, it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time, so celebrations end up staggered. Who’s complaining?

This is an extra special birthday — my first as a mom. It was also a kind of marker: B and I decided earlier this year that, if we didn’t have an adoption referral by my birthday/this Christmas, we’d seriously consider moving on to a different plan for our lives. And now, here we are, with two little Ethiopian girls running around our house.

I’ve written a few thoughts about being an older mom in the past. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to start parenting so late, but I’m looking on the bright side: I’m wiser, I’m more relaxed about life in general, and raising these two little girls will keep me young. So, I refuse to lament being an older mom when being a mom at all is a gift no woman should take for granted.

When I turned 40, I realized I had a few options as to how I was going to approach my advancing birthdays — especially when each one would be bringing new lines, more gray hairs, muscles that don’t stay taut, and shadows where there was once only sunshine. I knew I could do one of three things: ignore my birthdays, complain about them (and dream of gift certificates to medi-spas), or celebrate them with gusto. I’ve chosen the latter. (Though, for the record, I’ll never turn down a good spa treatment.) The way I see it, not everyone gets to make it this far, and I have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is the secret to a happy life, and there are many blessings that come with age (even if one is not a desire to hang more mirrors around the house).

I’m looking forward to sharing some fun time with B and the girls tomorrow. How about you — any special plans for the weekend? (Besides holiday prep, of course.) Here are a few links I found for you this week…

  • This is definitely getting made over the Christmas holidays.

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul


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1 Kalen December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

Happiest of birthdays to you!!! I’m so glad plans have gone so well! Enjoy the festivities!


2 Chris Ackford December 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Zoe, Christmas greetings from Canada. So wonderful to see your special birthday with your girls. They are just beautiful. I’m enjoying your blogs.
Pass on my best wishes and congratulations to John and his lovely wife on the birth of their first born. This is going to be a memorable Christmas for you and B and I wish you much joy and happiness. Blessings to all. Chris


3 Kari December 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Happy Birthday! So glad your day went great with the girls.


4 Kelly December 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Happy birthday to you! So glad you had a special (and successful!) day with your girls. You deserve it!


5 Jen December 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

This is such a great post! I am so thrilled for you all and that their transition is going to well! This weekend I will be focusing on just the gifts that life has given me thus far – mainly my husband and son, and I think I might not be letting go of them until work calls me away again on Monday.


6 Kathleen December 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Happy Birthday! I’m with you. I never want to cook on my Bday!


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