It’s that time again, folks! Time for my annual birthday review!

Last year found me looking forward to 40, and it didn’t disappoint. 40 was a busy, busy year for me in so many ways.

The most obvious place I was busy was work. I feel like I have really settled into my groove at the hospital, working overnight weekends. It is sometimes a bit of a bummer that I don’t get to spend much time with my family on the weekend, but I love my shift and I can’t imagine working a different one. Those are my people and it’s my place, and I wouldn’t trade it. Not yet, at least.

Speaking of my people, I finally feel like I have a small, established group of friends at work. Last year I knew people; this year I turn to people. It’s great to know that these people are there for me, even outside of work hours. It helps Fort Wayne feel even more like home.

40 was a pretty good travel year. We went to Seattle and New York City. I went to Ohio a couple of times to see friends. We went to Crawfordsville a few times. I went hiking at Turkey Run State Park and Pokagon State Park. I got out, despite my weekend job!

I tried to have an active year, especially after spending 39 with a bum ankle. I biked 130 miles and went for walks totaling more than 200 miles. It may not be a lot, but I tried to be consistent.

Our family said goodbye to two dogs and welcomed two new dogs during 40. Freckles died in September and Beaker in December, and we acquired Bubba in October and Bluie in January. We miss our girls, but we live our new boys too.

Probably the biggest thing for me in 40 was that I started graduate school again, beginning doctoral work in January. It took me a few weeks to remember what studying as an adult was like, but I eventually found a workable groove. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, but it’s something I really want to be doing.

So what does 41 hold? I don’t really know. I’m hoping to travel, but we don’t have any firm plans. I’m hoping to finish a writing project that I started earlier this year. Bike more, walk more, run again. Stay on top of school. Take weekends off here and there just to be with family.

40 wasn’t always a breeze. I definitely had times I struggled, and I’m so grateful for the friends and family who kept me going when things got hard. The biggest thing I look forward to for 41 is being there for others in return.

40 — thanks for the growth and opportunities!

41 — lets be amazing!

Back to Reality

We FINALLY made it back home Thursday morning, just in time to return to life as usual.

Thursday morning was school registration, so we split up to get each girl to their school in time. I took Emma to the junior high, where we worked her lock on her locker several times and walked to her classes twice. She’s nervous, but I think she’ll eventually really like it.

Michael and Sofia picked up the dogs, who seemed even happier than we were to be home.

Even though all I wanted to do was sleep since I came home with a cold, I spent the afternoon working on a mountain of laundry. Dirty clothes don’t care about runny noses.

Tonight I return to work, and the girls only have one week left of summer break. Vacation is definitely ending. It always goes so fast.

I’m glad we got to go to New York City, even if we didn’t see as much as I had hoped. We were together, and that’s what I’ll remember.