Yesterday was my thirty-sixth birthday.  I know that I’m still considered “young” according to many, and I certainly don’t feel “old.”  But as the fine crows feet slowly gather at the corners of my eyes, and I ascertain with dismay that I’m one year too old to be considered one of those much-discussed “millennials” I can’t help but feel thoroughly grown up.

But as they say, “age ain’t nuthin but a number” so I elect to push aside the image of myself growing ever closer to the pinnacle of that darn age-related hill.  You’re not over the hill until you allow yourself to feel that way, right?

My day began with gusto as I shook what my mama gave me at my Mojo exercise class.  That’s right, my favorite exercise class is called “Mojo” which I love because it reminds me that I have it (mojo, that is).  I talk about the class here.

And just look what my exercise buddies gave me:


While I’m at it, can I just say that I am tired of hearing that women don’t encourage and support each other – that we’ve all been socialized into catty, jealous gossips?

It simply isn’t true.

Does cattiness ever happen?  Sure.

But in my experience it is the exception, rather than the rule.  I have amazingly encouraging and supportive women in my life – women who seek to bolster each other with kindness and gestures of love.

If you don’t have women like this in your life – find them.

They may not be your age and they may not look anything like you – but they’re out there, all over the place.  Maybe it’s the grandma who sits in the cubicle across from you.  Maybe it’s the high school girl who lives next door (just imagine what an encouragement you could be to her).  Seek out these friendships.  You’ll be amazed by what you find and how you will be blessed.

Sorry, just give me a moment to step down from my podium.

Okay, I’m back.

After Mojo, my family took me to a scrumptious lunch and then I headed to the nail salon for a touch of solitary pampering (oh the joy).

I left looking like this:

mani pedi

Jersey Boy had this boxed up and waiting for me at home:


And may I just say that there is something terribly romantic about a man picking out and purchasing a dress for his wife to wear out that evening?  I felt a little bit like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

Except I’m not a prostitute.

And Jersey Boy isn’t a millionaire.

And we’re married.

Oh, you get what I mean, right?

After slipping into my LBD and leaving our children in the capable hands of my MIL, we headed to Paris.

Yes, that Paris – the quaint French bistro and jazz café in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia.

I enjoyed a glass of Pinot Noir, escargot, short rib beef bourguignon, classic crème brulee and a strong cup of decaf coffee with cream.

After dinner, my LBD could have benefitted from a bit of alteration to take out the waist by an inch (or three), but in the spirit of embracing the age of thirty-six, I didn’t much mind.

It was a birthday well spent surrounded by the amazingly supportive people in my life, and I gotta say, so far thirty-six feels pretty good.