thirty-five. {shakeIt style…}

i’m thirty-five.
as in, almost twenty-four hours ago, i turned thirty-five.
and, i was shakin’ it with this iphone photo app, all weekend…

my entire weekend has been a celebration.
so much goodness jam-packed into three days.

how am i feeling? about this big three-five?

well, the first five years of my thirties were beautiful,
easy to age…as i kept adding those years.

this next five i might not take with such grace.
this three-five feels like the older-side-of-thirty.


for now, i’m happily-thirty-five,

girls lunch on friday at smashburger…my choice of restaurant!

my most-favorite-absolutely-love-meal right now is the chicken mushroom swiss on a wheat bun. mmmmmmmmm. with a side of veggie frites, which are flash-fried carrots and asparagus. oh. i need some now. again. with one iced tea. yum. my gifts and the gift-wrappings were all darling…i was spoiled. thank you, girls. xoxo.

i will always be younger than husband,
so therefore always young. wink. wink.

…it seems fitting to write a bit about what i’ve learned about myself. maybe my kids will one day look back on this to read it, and think, “hey… mom didn’t figure some of this out till she was thirty-five.” or maybe they’ll think “i totally disagree with mom, she was nuts!” either way, i hope it allows them a certain peace. it’s taken me a long time to figure out what i believe and what i know. and, i’m still evolving. for some of these things, it’s taken me an even longer time to be willing to share most of it…

my friend caryn gave me this bin full of everything for her new favorite salad + the recipe, how cute is that? love it!

first of all, i want to be an example to my girls, i want them to live life to the fullest. i want them to understand that motherhood does not completely define me. i want to be an example to them, to cultivate who they are. to dream big, and conquer. with this said,

here’s a few things i’ve finally grasped, with-this-big-three-five

i’ve learned…that looks aren’t everything but feeling good is. and yes, feeling pretty is oh-so-important…but i think i’m finally gettin’ the hang of what makes me feel pretty. and i’ve found it in…sure, some lipsticks, a good hair-cut, eating healthy, finding a pair of jeans that make my butt look like a million bucks…but the bulk of it? in motherhood. in love. in confidence. in family. in the actual taking care of my body. in good friends. in being creative. in waking up, every morning, to snuggle with those i love.

what matters is…i’ve found it.
after a saturday morning full of tennis tournaments, dance, and a futsol game for the kids – we abandoned our four munchkins for a day out.
we started with marley’s. their sliders are to-die-for, and now on saturdays they have the most amazing cinnamon rolls. husband described them as “oily deliciousness.” go. go. go.

i’ve learned…that i like my meat medium-well.

i’ve learned…that it’s okay to need to be loved. i’ve always hated that about myself…fought the fact that i like hugs and e-mails and letters and phone calls and want to know i’m loved. growing up, i never wanted to need to be told i’m loved…thought it was tough to pretend i didn’t. but i can’t fight it. it’s my language. i’m a good lover (as in one-who-loves-and-cares, mind you.), a good friend, and i think, in return, i can’t help but want it back.

i love to be loved…and it took me thirty-five years to say that.

we started my birthday-date night in slc, and watched, “the tourist.” how do you say, “i absolutely loved it” in italian???

i’ve learned…to appreciate good food and drink…and to make memorable experiences from them.

i’ve learned…that you are responsible for your own happiness.

i’ve learned to embrace change as opportunity to learn just what i am capable of.

to try something new, husband chose “cedars of lebanon” for dinner. authentic lebanese & moroccan food. delicious doesn’t even cut it. we will be going again, soon.

i’ve learned…that you cannot write your past…you cannot change your childhood…but you can certainly write your present and your future.

i’ve learned…that my family is everything. and never to be taken for granted. and that i wouldn’t be the same without mine.

a big birthday dinner with lots of friends. lots of delicious food. lots of laughing. lots of good news. life is deliciously good.

i’ve learned…that i believe in God, but that i have the liberty to explore who he {or she} is on my own…and tha
t he wants me to. i’ve learned that God is oh-so-much bigger and more beautiful than the books written about him. …and that he can be found, most prominent, in places away from church. i’ve learned that I will never know everything about him, but that i will learn more every day.

i’ve learned…what courage is. and i’ve experienced with every fiber of my being what it’s like to use it.

belly dancers. yummy mint moroccan tea. angi’s hit on the hookah {daring girl}. my birthday attempt at belly dancing. the ADORABLE surprise cake from here…sneaky husband. there is a big story to this pink peach surprise.

i’ve learned…that the best music, you will never hear on the radio.

while listening to music, i’ve learned…
that i have an atrocious voice, but love to sing, regardless.

i’ve learned…that i’d rather have a closet full of a few valuable favorites than a bunch of cheap stuff i found on sale.

…because quality is always better than quantity. in almost every arena.

i’ve learned…that creating art is a soul-moving experience, for me.

i’ve learned i am extremely anxiety-ridden. at times that anxiety can eat at me, and i have to slow down and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.

i’ve learned…at the end of those anxiety-filled days, there are always clean sheets. and ohhhhh, how i love clean, fresh sheets.

i’ve learned…i’m extremely decisive. i almost instantly do or do not like things.

double feature: back to the theaters for “how do you know,” it may be a slightly forgettable movie but i loved the cast – reese witherspoon and i are the same age. kudos girl for looking so great.

i’ve learned…that the hole in my soul, that was created when my dad passed away is never going to be filled completely. but, there are so many good days, beautiful-breath-taking moments, and some moments where all i wish for is to chat with him,i will always miss him. balance. in all things.

i’ve learned…i am a gift-ee, my mind just never stops planning gifts for those i love. lucky: so many of you!

this morning. this morning was like my own little christmas. gifts for me! the kids were so excited to run in to our bed and give me my birthday gifts, they have been hiding them all week, asking, “dad, can we give mom her gifts now?” days and days early. so, the morning was finally here! so thoughtful and sweet – one big snuggle fest.

i’ve learned…i love black licorice. toffifay. big cherry’s. cupcakes. chocolate covered cinnamon bears. and hershey’s milk chocolate will always be at the top of my list. however, i must limit these goodies by typically trying to not eat them.

i’ve learned…i am extremely emotional combined with sentimental.

this, i’ve learned can be a combination that needs to be controlled.

miss twelve was busy this morning, so we grabbed breakfast at Denny’s while we waited for her to join us…chocolate cake was definitely a part of breakfast!

an early dinner with so many of those i love. happy sumo for sushi, a favorite of mine.

i know…i am not and will never be a morning person. i am a night owl, who loves baths, and even if that bath must be taken at 3 am, i will still take a bath vs. getting more sleep.

…and that’s just some of what i’ve learned in thirty-five years.

…there’s so much more to learn.

…and i will. in good time. because i am young.

but for now…on this, my thirty-fifth birthday…
i can say that i’ve learned how to be truly happy.

and for that i’m thankful.

some mango mochi balls, because four ten desserts in one day are just not enough for this birthday girl! and, more birthday cake…this time, we lit candles & the kids all made a wish-for me.

and, a
little game night/yahtzee time. {i even got a yahtzee on my last roll of my last turn on my birthday… good good karma.}

…yes, thirty-five with a happy heart. xo.

{and, when i start my new years resolutions…they will obviously include eating less after this weekend!}

27 responses to “thirty-five. {shakeIt style…}”

  1. I am so glad you had a happy birthday weekend and loved sharing it with you. You deserved every joy-filed moment! Because aside from all the things you listed that YOU LOVE, we all love love LOVE YOU! Cheers, my dear! Here's to many, many MANY more!

  2. Happy 35th Birthday! You sure know how to party 🙂 Looks like you had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends.
    Much love Nikki xx

  3. Jane-I hope you had a fabulous birthday! I love reading your blog you truly inspire me to live a full life and be true to myself.
    Lots of love,
    P.S. How do you look so great and eat a Smashburger?

  4. Looks like you had a fabulous Birthday, wish I could have celebrated with you! You are so loved my friend!!! xoxo

  5. I have learned in my… (clear my throat)… 40 years… that I don't know jack. I only know that I love to be (insert pretty much any preposition- with, near, by, etc.) YOU!! You are my amazingly organized, sexy, motivational, smart, second half…

  6. this post is perfect. for the perfect friend who is selfless, kind, caring, giving, beautiful and just so much fun to be around. i value our friendship and i am grateful that i've met you and become so close. you sure make 35 look good!

  7. Happy Birthday dear Jane! You are a most beautiful person. I love your ultra positive outlook on love, life and friendship. I am so lucky to be able to call you a friend. I'm glad you had a spectacular birthday weekend. You deserve it!

  8. Happy birthday, Jane! Each year you just get prettier! You and my sister Tammy share the same birthday (she's just a year or two older-wink). Sounds like a perfect weekend with beloved friends and family and divine food! By the way I've loved Cedars for years! Did you know they cater? I do because I had them cater my Israel reunion a few years ago. Fabulous! Much love!

  9. this birthday looks amazing! congrats! you are an awesome person, who would give anything for her children with is an amazing quality of any mother! happy birthday…. you're 35! i would have never guessed! you and dusty look sooo young for your ages!

  10. Jane you are truly poetic. Reading more about you was so fun. But the way you wrote it makes us feel what you feel. Amazing! And I agree with Sara……We all love you. You are loved and adored, and admired by many. Thanks for sharing a part of you on your day. xoxoxo

  11. How is it that you have the power to lift me up and make me want to be a better mom, friend, wife, teacher,…person every time I read your blog?!! You are such a unique and special person Jane! I'm glad you had an amazing birthday. You make me excited to be 35 🙂

    Thanks again for always inspiring me!


  12. Happy Birthday Jane!
    I know that it has been forever but I just want you to know how much I love to read your blog. You have such a great outlook on life! I am so glad you are so happy and you have such a cute family. Congrats on joining the big '35' club! You are definately rocking it!


  13. I've learned that you are an incredible writer, amazing friend, and have the biggest most sentimental heart! How did I get so lucky to be your friend.

    I loved spending your birthday weekend with you.
    LOVED " the tourist."
    LOVED Lebanese food.
    And loved these shake it pics.

    Thanks for being so fabulous!!
    And 36 so totally rocks too.

  14. I feel so lucky to be your friend. You are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the out. I love everything about you. You are a true friend. Thank you for bringing me into your circle of friends, it is a dang good place to be. It really is rare to find a friend like you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
    The weekend was a BLAST, good news and all~wink

  15. Happy Birthday Jane!!!! This was such a wonderful post, you are a beautiful writer and so in tune with yourself, I love it! Thank you for sharing! Happy Birthday!!

  16. I loved your post. I felt your honesty while reading it.
    May this year bring with it all the success and fulfillment your heart desires. Happy Birthday…

  17. Yay!!! Happy Birthday week:). I love celebrating my birthday for more then just a day. 35, that is awesome. You look incredible. And I just looked at your cabo pictures and oh my gosh, your body is rockin!!! Happy Birthday!!!!

  18. you sure know how to celebrate!!

    i want to try smash burger and the cedars of lebanon. they sound delish!

    and, happy, happy birthday to you my friend! you deserved to have such a wonderful weekend!

  19. Well happy birthday to you!
    What a delightful way to celebrate… all 15 ways!!!
    Agree with so much said! I'm only 33 I've got a couple more years until I do my life reflection!!!
    You're fabulous!

  20. Happy 35th! Im turning 30 this year.. Any party ideas I can relate to my hubby. he he..
    It looks like you are very loved by all your friends. And you look amazing.
    Thanks for sharing your 35 years of knowledge.

  21. Happy, happy, happy birthday! I loved your post. You hit everything on the head, and that is hard to do when explaining oneself. Looks like you were spoiled rotten for your birthday and deservingly so cause you spoil everyone around you. Loves! Can I just say that even after 2+ years away I still HATE to miss girls lunches! 😉

  22. Looks like you had fun!

    I got the shake it photo app…can't wait to use it!

    Please share the yummy blue cheese and pear recipe!?

  23. happy birthday dear Jane! You're an amazing woman, thanks for sharing bits of your life with us 🙂 all my best wishes!

  24. Please forgive me, Jane, for being your only bestie who takes this long to read and comment on your post! What I've learned is–thankfully-thay you love me anyway :-). I actually have a hard time expressing my thoughts and feelings knowing there's an audience. You know I'm a closet journalist and don't like to be in the spotlight. But it has to be said publicly that you are such a dear, loyal, and true friend to me who has taught me volumes on how to love. I have absolutely loved watching you this year-you are radiant with happiness. I love watching your artistic talent emerge and flourish in so many arenas. I admire how you balance your passion for your art with your passion for your family. Everything you do you put your whole heart and energies into and that's why it's always stunning–whether it be your blog, a notebook, a party, or the wrapping on my gift. I adore you.

  25. I am one of your many blog stalkers. :o) I just had to leave you a comment after I read your post. First of all, I have loved reading your posts over the years and I am always amazed at what you do for others and how much love you seem to put into everything you do. I'm glad you had such a great birthday yourself! Everyone around you seems to just adore you….and I can see why. Like an earlier comment stated, you radiate happiness. Thank you for all the inspiration things you write. I get such a great feeling from reading your blog. I always learn SOMETHING. I turned 40 this past week and I've kind of been depressed about it. After reading your post, I truly realize I need to embrace it and celebrate all the good. Thanks for reminding me. Also, when I sent you a short email asking for some ideas for my son's project this past week….I couldn't believe how kind and thoughtful you were to write back to me and help me. I am just so impressed with you. I'm in complete awe at your creativity….and I don't think I've ever known someone who has so much energy and does everything so well. I hope I'm not being too intrusive for commenting on here, but I really wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. I hope this next year will be one of your best ever….and that we can all continue reading about your life and all the feelings you share with us. Thank you for letting us all be a part of it. :o) xoxo

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