37 Things (happy birthday to me)

1. Today is my birthday.

2. I am 37 years old.

3. Truth: I just typed that I was 38 and had to think real hard about how old I actually am only to realize that I aged myself by one year.

4. This is what happens when you start getting older. You can’t remember how old you are.

5. One of my favorite numbers is 37 (who even has favorite numbers? Why is mine 37?), so maybe that means this is going to be one of my favorite years of life.

6. I’m not a big birthday celebrator of myself. I’m good with hugs from my kids and maybe a card or flowers from Ryan.

7. And a big piece of carrot cake, please.

8. Carrot cake is so delicious. Especially this one.

9. But the carrot cake I ate in New Orleans at this great restaurant rivals it, for sure.

10. One of the things I missed most while we were on the road was barre class.

11. I went for the first time in a long time last week.

12. And nearly passed out. I’m not kidding. I had to put down the 2lb weights because I could not keep up.

13. Apparently taking a 4 month break from working out is not a good idea.

14. Want to know what else I have taken a break from? All appointments.

15. On my to-do list (that has sat untouched for at least three weeks) is appointment-making of all kinds: dentist, orthodontist, counselor, naturopath, hair cut + color. So many appointments.

16. The one I’m most looking forward to is the counselor. I know that sounds weird, but it is true.

17. My degree is in Child + Family Psychology and so I fully believe in the benefits of counseling and yet in all my 37 years, I’ve only been a handful of times. I’m slightly dysfunctional in my thinking (written with much sarcasm) and can not wait to get some ugliness and untruth worked out.

18. At a women’s retreat last spring the speaker said such a profound thing:

19. “Your brain doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie. All it knows is repetition.”

20. Isn’t that crazy? What we tell ourselves over and over is what our minds think is true and so we act as if it is truth.

21. In my 37th year, my hope is that I can get my heart, soul and mind to join forces and move forward with some real truth as the backbone instead of insecurities, hurt and fear driving the ship. Ugh.

22. I thought by the time you hit 37 you didn’t have to deal with these things.

23. I also thought you didn’t break out anymore.

24. Oopsies. Wrong on both accounts.

25. One thing that is great about getting older is that my kids are getting older, too.

26. I loved them as little kids and always felt like preschool-age was my motherhood sweet spot (I mean, come on. 3 year olds are just the most adorable. Slightly exhausting at times, but they are so sweet and say the cutest things. And they let you dress them in things other than basketball shorts and hoodies).

27. I wasn’t sure how I would do with older kids – especially pre-teen boys. They smell! Their sense of humor is so weird! They are so foreign to me! 

28. But I can say wholeheartedly that being a mom to these kids as they get older is better than I ever imagined.

29.  Parenting changes around the ages of my kids now (12, 11, 8, 6) from constantly needing me physically, to needing more of me emotionally and mentally. There are different challenges, of course, but for the most part, they just want to talk. And talk. And talk. And sometimes they’ll listen :)

30. One thing we were just talking about was the fact that the internet was introduced to me my freshman year of college. College! The kids thought that was crazy.

31. They also think I’m crazy for not eating chicken on the bone. But I just can’t. The skin, the veiny things, the gnawing. I can’t.

32. Also? I don’t do oatmeal.

33. I do enjoy avocado toast, though. We ate it all summer long. And for dinner the other night, actually.


34. Sourdough toast, smashed avocado with a splash of lemon, salt + pepper, arugula, cherry tomatoes, poached egg, goat cheese and a drizzle of some variety of savory jam, if available. Yum.

35. I really liked those white plates. When we sold the airstream, we enjoyed the new owners so much that we tossed in new bedding and a few pillows and gave them all of our dishes. They just fit so perfectly in the drawer. I hope their sweet family enjoys that trailer as much as we did.

36. My mom asked us if we plan on camping again and we were like, “um. Can you ask us in a few months? We just got back from living on the road”. It’s like someone asking if you are going to have more kids while you are still in the hospital with your newborn. #toosoon

37. Speaking of being in hospitals with newborns … once upon a time, there was a little red-head babe who was supposed to be named Erica, but when her grandmother came into the hospital room to look upon her new granddaughter, she declared, “How’s my little Emily Anne!” And that is how my story began …

38. Oh my goodness. I just finished this list, told Ryan how ridiculous it is that I forgot how old I was and how good thing I changed it to 37 things instead of 38 things! And do you know what? He just reminded me that I’m actually 38. You can’t make this stuff up.

P.S. I did another one of these posts on my 34th birthday entitled … you guessed it! … 34 Things. Read that one here.

112 Responses to 37 Things (happy birthday to me)

  1. Gabby October 25, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    What a fun post! My boys are 11 and 13. On my walk this morning, I was just thinking how I miss the little ages and stages but the big ages and stages are pretty cool too. Also, chicken on a bone? Gross. I am right there with you! I do boneless, skinless breasts and pick them apart even. Ha! Also, at 42 I am so trying to get out of my own head often. Still!! You are awesome and so fun to follow. Loved your road trip and I’d love to do one someday.

  2. Sarah October 17, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    Hope you had a very happy birthday… we share the same birthday, which isn’t ironic since October 5th is America’s most common birthday. Our difference is that I am, unfortunately, 44 years old. Loved reading your blog and cannot agree with you more about parenting. Having 12 year old twin daughters and and 8 year old daughter, I find myself constantly turning my head to listen to each of them… storytelling, seeking advice, arguing (yes, we have that sometimes). Wouldn’t change it for the world!

  3. Stephanie October 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this! Honest and heartfelt. I noticed the mention of thinking patterns and habits- and recommend taking the Armor of God Bible study if you can. I’ve noticed significant changes in my prayers and in my thought life.

  4. Charis October 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    I was reading the list thinking, “gosh, I really thought she was 38 this year (don’t ask me why I remembered you turned an age before me and Jodi after me)” and I got to the end and you said Ryan reminded you that you are 38! So funny!! When I was a kid I told people my mom was 36 for like 7-8 years… I guess that was the perfect age for her in my mind! Happiest of birthdays!

    • emily October 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

      Thanks Charis!!

    • Nancy October 13, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      Happy birthday to you! I loved this entire list, but 21 really hit me when I read it. This is my hope and prayer, also.

  5. milo October 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have an amazing year! Thank you for showing the internet by example that it’s okay to talk about age – it’s all approximate anyway but very much worth celebrating! <3 have a great one!

  6. Christin October 10, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    Happy Birthday! I spent almost a year thinking I was 28 and then realized I was 27! I even told people I was 28! You’re absolutely right you can’t make this stuff up lol

  7. Kristin C. October 7, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

    Happy Birthday! (Belated) I love that you’re doing more video coffee chats because I felt like I could really imagine this post in your voice.
    I’m 30, already have tons of trouble remembering my age, and have 3 young kids. I love hearing that you enjoy your older kids! So far I’ve enjoyed each new stage as it comes and I’m hoping it continues!

  8. Quiana October 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    This was such a fun post! I may have to do one too…

  9. Kathy October 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    Happy 38th? Birthday

    I so enjoyed reading your article it touched on so many things we as women have in common.

  10. Alicia October 7, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    Happy belated birthday!! So fun, and hilarious that you forgot how old you are!! My birthday was on the second and you are the same age as my younger sister! I so wish I had found you earlier in life when I lived in Oregon, because I would have wanted to meet you and hang out – I read your blog and feel like a kindred spirit :). I love my paperworks subscription and looking at all the beautiful and inspiring artwork on Maker & Ink and wishing I could buy them all! Hope you had a wonderful day celebrating you and today I am celebrating my youngest daughter turning 12 – where does the time go?? I have to agree with you about the younger age being fun and being able to dress them how you wanted but as both my girls have gotten older it has been so fun to just be along side them in this journey called life. Again, hope your 38th year is amazing and your adventure with Christ continues to grow and become stronger!

  11. 紀郁沅 October 7, 2016 at 6:37 am #

    Happy Birthday to you!

  12. Emily October 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    I’m Emily Ann! Crazy.

  13. Emily Ferris October 6, 2016 at 10:37 am #

    We have the same birthday! I always forget it until you mention it on your blog. I turned 35 this year and I have been trying to resist the urge to stick my head in the sand. :) Happy (late) Birthday! xo-Emily

  14. Emily October 6, 2016 at 10:36 am #

    We have the same birthday! I always forget it until you mention it on your blog. I turned 35 this year and I have been trying to resist the urge to stick my head in the sand. :) Happy (late) Birthday! xo-Emily

  15. Lisa October 6, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    Loved this post! Made me happy and a little choked up! I have two teenage boys and since they were toddlers I would think “oh THIS is the best stage”, only to revise that statement at the next stage. Every stage is good, and even though I was present and focused in the moment, I still look back and say it went too fast. Enjoy 38! And the 40s are even better :)

  16. RubberChickenGirl October 6, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    Happy Birth Day! The year I turned 46 I thought I was 47 all year so I got to be 47 for two years in a row. That was fun!
    I still have to count or ask my husband to figure out how old I am. Do you remember in the 80’s I think it was there was a show called Thirtysomething. Well, that’s why they called it that. From 30 on it’s all a blur.
    Do see a couselor if you are into that, but just sit in God’s presence listening to Lauren Daigle or whoever with no agenda for as many minutes or hours you can squeeze in and I promise you all the insecurities will be stripped away. It will feel like time wasted but it has made all the difference in me. I went through a peri-menopausal stretch that turned into about 40 days and nights of sleeplessness in which I did just this. Sat and worshipped, looked at art, prayed, danced, read poetry and God showed up and changed me. In my 47th year. (The real one, not the fake one!). Praying your 37th will be just that for you. A year of visitation.


    • emily October 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

      That is awesome. Thank you for the encouragement!

  17. tracy October 6, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    Happiest of birthdays and year ahead to you (no matter your age)!!! your blog brings some sunshine to my days, so that is what I am wishing for you today!

    Happy 37th/38th – that made me laugh, I have had to ask my husband several times this past year how old I am , or how old I will be on my next birthday- too funny

  18. Kris October 6, 2016 at 5:37 am #

    My birthday was in September. My 16 year old daughter and a friend asked how old I was. I said “48”. Then I realized am not. I’m 47. The old me would’ve told them my mistake and laughed at it. This time I couldn’t. I didn’t want to admit to them that I’m old and forgetful!! So, this post is refreshing:) Unfortunately, as you get older, you have to keep working harder and harder to love yourself. I thought by now I would have succeeded in training my inner voice to get rid of the negatives. Not so. But it’s nice to read this and know we’re not alone! Happy Birthday!!!!

  19. Lisa Martinez October 6, 2016 at 5:27 am #

    Hope you had an awesome birthday!!! When I read the title to your post, I laughed out loud. I just turned 37 in August. And for the first time in my life, I could not remember how old I was going to be!!!!! I had to ask my mom, who was no help……..she has trouble remembering what she ate for breakfast, much less how old my brother and I are. Never-the-less, I hope you 37th, or 38th year of your life is blessed and full of adventure!!!!

  20. Varada Sharma October 6, 2016 at 3:57 am #

    Happy birthday, Emily!! Big big hugs…

  21. Rebecca Ednie October 5, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    Wanna know something funny? When o was in the delivery room with my first, I said ‘that wasn’t so bad, I could do this again!’ #lovenewborns

  22. Jen October 5, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    We are the same age! You are about 6 months younger :) I too was not “on the internet” until my freshman year of college. And they didn’t have passwords or sign ins until the next year. It was just get on and enjoy! The computer did make registering for classes in college soooo much easier. I went one year before we did that online and it was terrible! All these papers to go through and then get in line and then find out the class was full and back to the lists and repeat, repeat. Boo. I also have forgotten my actual age a few years but my husband is two months behind me and he did not like it when I told people we were 28 when we were really 27! I don’t forget my age lately because I don’t have kids yet and did want them but it might not happen. After a certain age you know it won’t happen and I assume you can move on but until then I’ll be hoping for some sort of baby miracle! I’m glad to hear that you can enjoy pre-teen boys because that does seem like a potentially hard age. Keep listening! I remember how much it helped me sort things out with my aunts when I was that age. I think we just keep trying to sort through that stuff and a counselor can’t hurt right? Happy, happy birthday lovely Emily Anne!

  23. laura October 5, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

    happy birthday! you are so talented & i really enjoy reading your blog. hope you have a great b.day!

  24. Ashmasterflash October 5, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    You sold the Airstream?! But we didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye… ?☺?

  25. Victoria October 5, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

    Aaaannnd…I thought I was going crazy. I gave birth to you exactly 38 –38! years ago and you almost had me convinced that I was off a year. So glad that I had it right. Now, how old am I again??

  26. Jessica October 5, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Love your blog and especially the coffee chats! Bless you this coming year!

  27. Erin October 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    Happy birthday! The 37 thing made me chuckle as it’s good to know I’m not the only one that keeps forgetting (I turn 38 in about a month ?). I’m reading through Uninvited right now and it is really hitting on many of the things you mentioned, I would highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. Cheers to year 38!

  28. Anne-Marie October 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Love this post. You have such a gift.

  29. Traci October 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Emil! Loved the post! Funny—I remember having to remind my own mom that she was 37—when she thought she was turning 36! Must be a thing…and now, I actually have to do the MATH to figure it out! ;)
    Hope it was a lovely day!

  30. Lisa October 5, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    Happy Birthday Emily!! I loved this post!!

  31. Patricia Nikkila October 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

    Happy 37th! You know when you reach 39, you don’t get any older. (I wish) I’ll be 64 tomorrow. Any day above ground is great! Hope you had a good one. I plan on it. I’m going to get my driver’s license and plates renewed. Hope I don’t have to get my picture taken. lol I do have to tell you, the only thing golden about the Golden Years is your underwear. It still beats looking up at the grass.

  32. Anne Anzil October 5, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Love the post !! I also am a fan of carrot cake and cant wait to try yours!

  33. Michelle S October 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    1) Happy Birthday!!!!!
    2) I ALWAYS forget my age. I’m 34 and it’s been that way for several years.
    3) I’m pretty forgetful anyway, it’s genetic for me (lol)
    4) I also hate chicken on the bone, yuck!
    5) I have a 3y.o. – I’m more than slightly tired, but he says the craziest things that make us laugh!
    6) I enjoyed following your trip on Instagram and love your blog!

  34. hannah October 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    i am going to tell you something that is going to make you laugh (hopefully). my birthday was june 30. and i told everyone i was turning 37. when in fact i was turning 38. it took me the entire day to figure out that i was 38 as well. i mean i was honestly confused like you – 37 or 38. it all just blends together now. LOLOLOL oh my goodness, though i wish i was more like you and could write and decorate all things lovely. but being the same age as you will have to do for now :p

    so funny. YES, thank yo for the good laugh. :D

    love, hannah

  35. Anne October 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    Happy Birthday to an amazing blogger who I adore! Love everything and especially your honesty about life and living. Girl = everything on that list is worthy…I should have done one this year – 46 for me is a long list – whew! I can aspire to have one next year tho :D Happy happy!

  36. Kesha October 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    Happy Happy thirty-seven eightish Birthday!!
    I especially loved #21&2!!

  37. Suzie October 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Happy Happy Birthday! Thanks for the giggles! Enjoy your day!

  38. Kate October 5, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    I always said that’s why they called that show “Thirty Something” – because you (I) can’t remember once you hit 32!!!

  39. Laura October 5, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    Happy Birthday! And that #38 twist at the end was hilarious! Thanks for just being you and inspiring so many of us through your life and blog.

  40. Beth M. October 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    This is hilarious bc I’ll be 38 on the 24th and I’ve been telling everyone that asks that I’m 38. I completely skipped 37! Does that mean I’m really 39???? Who knows, I can’t remember.

  41. Rachel October 5, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    Happy Birthday Emily! My therapist says its very common for women to crave psychological change around 35-38 as a developmental thing! You’re right on time!

  42. Monica October 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

  43. Amy Maxfield October 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    Happy Birthday Emily! You are a breath of fresh air and I love following your blog!

  44. Carla October 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    Happy Birthday, beautiful you!!

  45. Natalie October 5, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    Happy Birthday Emily! Hope you enjoy your day!

    • Cindy October 5, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

      Emily, I thought I was 58 this year…turns out I’m 57, whew! Here’s a little trick, the one’s place in your age is always the same as the current year until your birthday and then you are one digit more. For some reason after about 30, your age is more difficult to keep up with!

  46. Megan October 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Happy birthday to you! It doesn’t matter the age…happy birthday it is! My oldest kiddo shares your birthday and I remember enjoying your post at 34…when he turned 6 and now again, I’ve enjoyed reading your birthday perspective on the day he’s turned 10! Thanks for your honest candor and sharing your thoughts on this journey called life! I too love carrot cake…perfectly white plates and so many other things you divulge with your blog followers! I feel a kindred spirit with you! Happy birthday again. All my best!

  47. Chelsea Rotunno October 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Hahaha!!! I was like, wait! Emily is 38, right? ??? And yes, adult onset acne is actually a thing! Boo! Let me know if you need any help with that…R+F has a great Unblemish line! ❤️❤️❤️ Love you! Happy Birthday!!!

  48. Erica Layne October 5, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Haaaaapy 38th, girl! I’ve followed your blog for years and years and so appreciated reading that you have counseling on the agenda for this year. I consider myself a therapy “lifer.” It just feels so good! (I mean, sometimes not so good… but in the end, absolutely!) Also, the way you described it, I thought you might enjoy this article from Michael Hyatt. Gold! https://michaelhyatt.com/change-your-story-change-your-life.html

    Best wishes! Thanks for being YOU!

  49. Amy October 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    #23 is especially true! I started a Rodan+Fields skincare business at 38 bc of that!
    Happy birthday from a fellow “I’m 38 but I have to think about it” year old!

  50. Amy October 5, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    Happy birthday, Emily! (From a fellow 38 year old who often forgets her own age.) Great list. #23 especially made me laugh. And I started a (Rodan+Fields skincare business at 38 because of it!

  51. Lisa Pacello October 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    Happy Birthday to a fellow Libra!!!! I have never ever met a Libra I did not like…totally true! My birthday is tomorrow and I majored in Child Therapy and totally agree that it just feels good to get what I call a “tune up” sometimes. We do it for cars at 3,000 miles, why not people? I am also a Home Stager and designer and loved your list. I want to start a blog and just might do it tomorrow on my birthday!

  52. Shelley October 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    Happy Birthday!?
    I read an article that stated October 5 is the most common birthday in the US.
    My nephew and best friend have Birthdays today.

  53. Jean Fitz October 5, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    Happy Birthday to you!1 I love this list and thank you for sharing it with us!

  54. Jenny October 5, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    You are such a wonderful writer! Your writing is fresh, witty, real and fun. Happy birthday to an all-around wonderful person! :)

  55. Tressa October 5, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    Happy birthday. Read this twice and made me laugh. Thank you for that. We all need a good laugh. Your blogs are awesome.

  56. Leslie October 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    I love everything about this list! And so enjoy following your blog. After moving away from Seattle six years ago, you have kept me connected in so many ways. Thank you, and happy 37/38th birthday!

  57. Tressa October 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Happy birthday. Read this twice and made me laugh. Thank you for that. We all need a good laugh.

  58. rachel October 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    And Happy Birthday of course!! :)

  59. rachel October 5, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Same thing happened to me (forgetting my age)!! Sometime through the year, I had started telling people I was a year older than I was! I figured it out on my actual birthday! So lame! :) And number 23!! Yeah… me too!

  60. Julie October 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Happy Birthday! You aren’t the only one– I had to ask Ryan how old I was just now. ;) I’m with you on the counselor thing. It’s time. Have fun! ;)

  61. Holly October 5, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    Too funny; you remind me of myself when I was your age (whatever that is). For a whole year, I told people I was 37 when I was really 36. It wasn’t until my husband’s birthday came around a couple of weeks before mine, that he corrected me. He said, “Do the math.” I immediately replied, “Well there’s the problem, you know how well I do the math.” I am fortunate that my birthday is a couple of weeks before the Superbowl which happens to be the same age as I am (written in Roman Numerals which is, even more fun than an actual number because it is harder to figure out what is actually indicated by those ‘X’s and ‘I’s). Now I have a yearly reminder plastered all over the media to remind me of how old I am. I don’t have to do the math! I am not huge on professional sports (except soccer) but no one can escape the Superbowl. Let’s think—what Superbowl is coming up? Once they start advertising I will remember my age again—anyway it is just a number.

  62. Debbie October 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Emily! I was born in an even year…..aw, heck…..1950, so keeping up with my age hasn’t usually been hard. However, my birthday is not until September, so I am not actually that age until then, right? One year, sometime in the spring, I ran into an old friend and we were reminiscing a bit. He asked how old I was and I thought about it a minute and gave him my age….a year older than I really was. I was SO excited when my birthday came and I realized that all summer I’d thought I was a year older!! I was also a bit taken aback, however, to realize that I’d so easily lost track!!

  63. Laura October 5, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    I was 26 for a few years. Unintentionally. A drunk guy asked me how old I was and I was a little thrown off. I told him two years older than I really was but didn’t realize until later. Somehow for another two years I keep thinking I was 26. Once I officially caught up life was much easier. Or was it I told him I was 24 but was really 22? Goodness.

    Love how you got your name! Do you every watch The Voice? A couple seasons ago a girl from my hometown got 2nd place…Emily Ann Roberts. Apparently all Emily Ann(e)s are fabulous and artistic.

  64. Laura October 5, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    Happy birthday! I loved, loved this list. I’ll be 38 next month (or 37?) and also have moments when I genuinely think I’m a year younger than I really am! And also, glad I’m not the only old person who still gets the occasional breakout. :)

  65. Melinda October 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    I almost didn’t click over to the blog to read this, just ’cause of time crunches and stuff…so glad i did read it! Thanks, Emily, for taking the time to think this through on your birthday:) I love the honesty in your list. Happy Birthday!

  66. Debbie October 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    Happiest Birthday!!!???
    I did the same thing when I was that age!!!! Many,many years ago!
    Love following you, too!

  67. Dana October 5, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    OK, must be the magic #, 38!! I do the same thing all the time, I’m 37, nope, 38. Wait, maybe I am 37??? WOW!! I do know for sure my hubby is 40, I can’t forget that. And avocado toast is amazing. Happy birthday!!

  68. Bethany October 5, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

    Have a very Happy Birthday Emily!! I’m so glad I found you this year. You remind me so much of myself ten years ago when I started blogging and my kids were little. I remember forgetting how old I was too!!! Now my family jokes that I keep turning 40 over and over! Hang in there during these pre-teen/early teen years because the emotions are at their highest… but they do come out of it and I absolutely LOVED their High School years and now the first couple years of college-age. It is exciting to see them blossom into the adults they will be! I went through my own parents’ divorce and much worse so I get what you are dealing with. I finally realized that my life is my own and their choices really didn’t have anything to do with me– those things don’t define who I am and what I believe about family and love and how I treat people. Thank God that you were blessed with YOUR family and life! Live in the present and realize that your worth is only determined by God, not by what others think about you. You have this one wonderful life to live– live it the way you know it should be lived! I think you do and that’s why so many people love you on here. Not just because you’re beautiful or talented but because you are you– genuine, caring, creative and giving. I’m turning 50 (yikes!) in a month and it took me this long to finally get it… and absolutely love my life. There will be loss, problems, stress and anxious times but God gives us love from all kinds of places to get through it… all of it! Focus on the love in your life this year. And have a beautiful birthday!

  69. Annie October 5, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Happy Birthday special lady. As I get older I seem to enjoy making a fuss over it and letting other people do the same. It’s not at national holiday status but a distant 3rd. October is such a wonderful month all around. No snow or heat. Makes getting to the hospital to have a baby very convenient!!

  70. Christie McGetrick October 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Happy Birthday to you – 37 is very young and I am sure your memory is great. Wait until you hit 65 and then you can worry about it.
    Have a great day.

  71. Melissa Osigian October 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Emily! I’m glad God made you and appreciate you sharing your giftedness so generously with us. Enjoy your special day!

  72. Jennifer October 5, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Happy Happy Birthday to you! I always love your posts and I have to say I agree with a lot of the items on your list, but I absolutely agree with #31. I cannot do chicken on the bone either, the veins, ugh! My father jokes that I was in my 20’s before I even knew chicken had bones. Glad to know I’m not the only one. Hope your day & family are blessed.

  73. Patsy October 5, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    I have to stop and think what year I was born to remember my birthday. Before doing that, I always had myself a year older than what I was. I enjoyed reading your list of 37 things. God Bless

    • Patsy October 5, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      P.S. Happy Birthday…


  74. Tami October 5, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Happy birthday! Around 35 I just started saying I was 40 and the response was great, “Wow! You look great for 40!” Now I just say I’m 45 (I am) because no one wants to pretend to be 50. Lol.

    Have a great day!!

  75. Karen October 5, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    Happy Birthday, Emily. Loved the way your carrot cake looks. I have a recipe from my grandmother that I make in a bundt pan but I am going to try it your way next time I make it – can add much more cream cheese frosting between the layers. Also, my birthday is this month too – isn’t October the most awesome month of the year.

  76. Susan Shipe October 5, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    When in doubt, do the math!!! Year born deducted from present year = age! Mine is easy I was born in 1950. I could be your mom! Would I dare do a list of 66? See no question on my age – nice round number. LOL Have a wonderful birthday Emily! We are both October babies. I love the color of October, don’t you! And, you sold the Airstream? I must’ve missed that post.

  77. Paulette pbee October 5, 2016 at 11:50 am #

    Happy Birthday! Mine was yesterday. Four out of us nine siblings were born about nine months after NY eve. And my next younger sis is one year and six days younger. I wish we’d have been born on the same day one year apart.
    The blogs and IGs of your trip were a real highlight this summer. What’s next!!??
    Following your recommendation, I’ve been doing the “Open Your Bible” study and really profiting from the time spent in the Word. I was thrilled to learn that “She Reads Truth” was coming out on my birthday, so I preordered it immediately, but it’s not here yet. In the meantime I read Beth Moore’s first fiction book. Treat yourself to it as a birthday gift book. It’s excellent.
    Hope you have a memorable bday/week/month. Don’t you just love October!!

  78. Lorrie October 5, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Happiest of birthdays to you! Thank you for your thoughts, they make me realize that I’m not the only one…forgetting my age, fretting about insecurities, trying to forge ahead without fear. Have a wonder-full year.

  79. MINA MILEY October 5, 2016 at 11:47 am #

    1. You are so funny
    2. Carrot cake=true love
    3. Your hashtag #toosoon
    4. Counseling is the best. I think shirts should be made to emphasize this truth.
    5. Speaking of Truth: The Armor of God Study by Priscilla Shirer. I am doing it right now (literally, as we speak). It. Is. SO. Good!!!!!
    6. Boys really do smell.
    7. Breakouts. What. In. THE. World!? Are we 13 again or what!!!!!! UGH.
    8. I still have a favorite number. It’s 13.
    9. Nine is my second favorite number. So, I shall stop right here.

    *Thank YOU for sharing YOU with all of us!

  80. Corie October 5, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Happy Birthday! I am constantly doing the same thing! A couple months ago I was thinking I was turning 40 this year and started to panic that we had no big party planned. After a little math, I realized I’ll only be 39. Phew!

    Also, my heart hurt a little when I saw you sold your airstream. I was seriously hoping I could buy it off you for our family road trip next year!

    PS oatmeal=groos :)

  81. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul October 5, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    I just turned 26 and I’m already forgetting my age! haha Happy Birthday to you!

    Her Heartland Soul

  82. Bridget October 5, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Happy birthday, Emily!! This post makes me happy because for some strange reason, I too, have spent the past year telling people I am 38, when in fact I am 37 (for a couple more months anyway!). i thought I was crazy, but at least I’m not alone.:)

  83. Nina October 5, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Happy Birthday! I am 41 and totally skipped 39. Every time I was asked how old I was that year I said “I am almost 40!” I will also say that I always dreaded the middle school and teen years when mine were little. Mine are 15, 6 days from 17 and our 16 year old Norwegian exchange student, and they just keep getting better. Enjoy the year and btw, my face quit breaking out at 40!

  84. Marijean Jenson October 5, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    First of all, Happy Birthday ! So funny you would have the problem of not knowing how old you are, as I myself have also suffered from this same brain malfunction, although I’m a lot older, so I think I just pass it off as early dementia, which is not funny in the least. You however are just a year older than my youngest, and he and his wife are just starting to have kids ! I’m glad I had my kids when I was young, because let me tell you, keeping up with those kids is no small feat ! Hope you have a lovely day and enjoy that piece of cake. Maybe you’ll get some post it notes so you can jot down how old you are, just in case you forget next year !❤???

  85. Sara October 5, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    Happy Birthday, Emily! I connect with you on many levels, but our mutual distaste for chicken on the bone has sealed the deal! I spent many a lonely night at the kitchen table as a kid for refusing to eat the piece of bone-in chicken on my plate (usually the leg! Ewww!). Ha ha! Here’s to being an adult and not having to eat what we don’t like – and to eating what we do like! Enjoy that carrot cake!

    • emily October 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

      cheers to that!

  86. Molly October 5, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    Happy Birthday! I am 37 about to turn 38 and I also lose track of which I am all. the. time. I can relate to so many of the things on your list! Thank you for sharing!

  87. Katie Morene October 5, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    #22 and #23 still happening at 58! The work to grow, get rid of the garbage in my head AND have great skin never ends!

    Happy Birthday! xo

  88. tiffany October 5, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    you sold your airstream!!!!!!! wow!! was that a hard decision – easy one? So I guess you aren’t planning another LONG road trip anytime soon!!

    • emily October 5, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      We sold it just a few days after we came home. It was such a perfect trailer for our trip, but we outgrew it! And we realized that as fun as it is to have an Airstream, we are just not going to use it in our normal life. So we passed it on to a great family who will love and use it!

  89. Becky B October 5, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Happy Birthday Emily! You inspire me each and every week. Thank you for being genuine.

  90. Megan October 5, 2016 at 8:13 am #

    Happy birthday Emily!

    You sold that beautiful airstream?

  91. Lori October 5, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    Happy birthday, Emily! I’ve been enjoying your blog so much lately. And, your home is so beautiful!

  92. Jill T. October 5, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have the most delightful of days today!!

  93. Kendra October 5, 2016 at 5:57 am #

    Happy birthday! I love your blog, your towels and your coffee chats. Haha. I can’t stand chicken on a bone either! I have never heard anyone else feel the same way. Have a great day?

  94. Jill October 5, 2016 at 5:46 am #

    Happy Birthday, Emily! Such a beautifully written and honest post. Thank you for your continued transparency. I’m going to see a counselor today for the first time to talk about all the same things you listed in your post. I was feeling scared…abnormal…inadequate. Your post just gave me the grace and positivity I needed to feel ok about this. THANK YOU! I wish you a beautiful birthday surrounded by all the people and things you love most! And hopefully some carrot cake! (My favorite!)

    • emily October 5, 2016 at 10:53 am #

      This makes me so happy. We are in this thing together. I hope your session today is so fruitful! xoxo

  95. Colleen October 5, 2016 at 5:15 am #

    Yeah, you had me until savory jam…lol! I’m 41! See what you have to look forward to!
    But back to the jam…what kind of savory jam are we talking about? I’m intrigued!

    • Colleen October 5, 2016 at 5:15 am #

      Oh yes and Happy Birthday!

    • emily October 5, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      We found this amazing spicy plum jam in South Carolina on our trip that you just drizzle a little on top. It is so delicious. I need to find a new jam/chutney since we’re out of that one :)

      • Bridget October 5, 2016 at 11:42 am #

        Might I suggest you check out the jams from Girl Meets Dirt made by my friend Audra over on orcas island. They are so delicious and made with such care. http://www.girlmeetsdirt.com

      • Ashley October 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

        I found this yummy jam in Utah last winter and it is some of the best I have had in a while. The Cherry Zinfandel is one of my favs but haven;’t had a bad one yet! http://www.oregongrowers.com/jams/cherry-zinfandel-jam

      • bridget October 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

        I tried commenting earlier but I guess it didn’t go through?!!? Happy Birthday! I, too, have spent a year confusing myself with whether I am 37 or 38. Glad I am not the only one. In terms of jam you should try to find some from Girl Meets Dirt. My friend, Audra grows and makes the jam over on Orcas Isalnd, but I know she sells them around Seattle too. They are delicious! Cheers to 38!

      • Colleen October 10, 2016 at 7:08 am #

        lol! Well, good thing I live in SC! Off to go reread those posts to hunt down where you went….

  96. Genny October 5, 2016 at 4:56 am #

    Happy Birthday! I enjoy your blog very much and love your coffee talk! I couldn’t agree with you more on all the points you listed! Have a wonderful day!

  97. Amy Mac October 5, 2016 at 4:08 am #

    Happy, happy birthday! How nice that you can sit back and reflect on creating a business that has inspired and helped so many people in 37 (or 38?) short years (your class on Illustrator is the only one that’s made me NOT want to stab myself while using Illustrator!). Aren’t we lucky to be blessed with many candles on the cake? And, as the mom of two full-fledged teenagers (15 & 17 — yikes!) I can promise those kiddos of yours will continue to delight as the years pass. Read this if you get a second: http://amymacpr.blogspot.com/2013/09/when-im-wiser-and-im-older.html Have a great day:)

    • emily October 5, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      Ah, thank you! Always so nice to hear that what I put out there is helpful!

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