When I was about sixteen, my friend and I regularly visiting some ladies in a care facility. Some of the elderly women had were sharp as a tack, like Emma who was ninety three and could tell me things that happened in her family during the first and second world wars, got her nails done regularly, and chatted with me about all her grandchildren. There was Florence in her ballgown who was not always completely present but was terribly entertaining until the day when these cute guys our age were walking down the hall and she loudly and darkly warned us about "wild and woolly boys like them!" She pointed to the shocked teens and my friend and I wanted to sink into the floor and perish. In spite of having some sort of sense, obviously, that they had lived their lives and had indeed been young at some point, I think that I just categorized those sweet ladies as old people....and I was young.That was who they were and that was who I was.

As my own birthdays have been ticking by and with that coming the realization that 38 really isn't considered so young anymore, I've been reconciling what that really means. It's been interesting to me how much I have found my identity in being young. It's not like I want to go back ten years or have anything that I want to re-do in my life at all. After all, I wasn't your coolest young person by any means. I love the place in life that I am at now and feel truly like there is no-one whose life I want more than my own. There is a contentment of being more and more comfortable in my own skin, making peace with how I am wired, and being grateful to God for all the growth that He has graciously brought me through.

I love my life. I am thankful for the blessings that I see daily all around me. I am grateful for each day. I want to age well, to have something to offer of my experience, to grow in my ability to give of myself, to reflect God's grace more. I want to not be identified in my own self as young or trying-to-be-young, or getting-older, or old :) I want to be settled at living my life for all the purposes that God has for me, and to continue to be aware of all the blessings in this place. Thirty eight is not who I am. It's where I am at right now on my journey. Does that make any sense at all?

So I had my birthday two weeks ago. It was a great day. Breakfast in bed. Picking up my girl from her last day of school. A lovely steak and mushrooms, strawberry salad lunch with my kiddies and husband. Coffee, lots of coffee. Then I had told Ben I wanted to make my own cherry pie. The boys helped me.

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Tymen kisses the cook.

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Oh man, the smell in our house while it was baking was a birthday gift itself! Ben took the kids and I to the Windmill Gardens to do some birthday shopping and then we headed to the beach with our beach blanket, six spoons, and pie.

First I got some pictures with each of my lovelies.

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The group shot left much to be desired as we had other things on our minds...pie!!!

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Oh, what joy filled me heart as we all dug in happily to pastry baked over my favorite summer fruit.

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We all dug in happily.

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Theo quickly abandoned his spoon and used his hands.

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I was eating, bossing around Ben with the camera and laughing all at the same time.

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The carving on this piece of driftwood pretty much sums it up. I was feeling the love.

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