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Today I turn 35. There's something about birthdays that reminds me of how good my life is. I tend to focus, to write, about the thing going wrong in my life, the things I want to improve on, the goals I'm striving towards. And, don't get me wrong, I'm thinking of those things now too: thirty-five has me seeing forty in the future and taking stock. But, on birthdays, it's easy to remember all those great things in life too....

Dylan carried the pink and purple plastic tea pot between his small hands. He'd walk around to the tea party guests who were munching on a variety of miniature sandwiches and pastries offering up a glass of lemonade. When someone said, "yes," to him, he'd pour some into the glass, carefully, and then walk away taking a sip from the spout. ...

There's nothing like a slew of holiday parties to make you totally re-asess all your priorities. All of them. Don't get me wrong, I still plan to head back on the road soon. And I don't plan on having babies any time soon. Any. Time. Soon. Or at all. Maybe. I don't know anymore. I'm a mess. But my friend Josh did just have the most adorable girl in the world who was born with more hair on her head than I'll ever have. And I totally wanted to steal her. Though, I'd probably give her back once the diaper...

It kind of all feels like a dream. Like I just woke up and am trying to piece together fragments of what happened. Like the last fifteen months weren't real, just vague memories that may or may not have existed. It kind of feels like I took a time machine and stepped on a bug. So when I came back to the present, nothing major has changed, but the little things, the little things are different. Like the sushi place is now a seafood place. The corner Starbucks is remodeled. I don't recognize anyone who works at Whole Foods. I'm sleeping...

The last few weeks have been full of goodbyes. It started when Heather visited my work to drop off a sweatshirt I'd left behind and some mail that didn't get forwarded. She was going out of town for her job and so it would be the last time I'd see her before leaving. And then Eric took me out for a quesadilla lunch and to loot the storage room at work (please note: I did not actually steal anything although he tried to get me to take a box of cassette tapes). And then Julie had her going away party, which allowed me...

Yesterday we celebrated my nephew Dylan's second birthday. He's at that point where he thinks he can talk but when he tries to have a conversation I just respond with "what was that?" or humor him by saying "exactly." The only things I can really make out are "uh oh" or "car fall over" or "train." And he's obsessed with trains. So much so that he seemed to care way more about the fold-out train card I bought him than the Mr. Potato head that was attached. Never mind that the card said "Happy 4th Birthday" on it. He can't...

Last Saturday was Heather's birthday. We ate tacos in the cab on the way to the bar. The first stop was Zakopane, a dive Polish bar that, when we arrived at 9:30 on a Saturday night had no one in it but the bartender. The drinks were cheap and mostly alcohol with a splash of mixer. When Heather went outside for a few minutes in was just me alone at the bar and the bartender tending her phone. The juke box came on at full blast behind me and I jumped....