The BIG 4-0!

The boys made the house so fun with lots of decorations.

The boys made the house so fun with lots of decorations.

I turned 40 this year. I don’t know why they call it the BIG 4-0? It is amazing to think what all I’ve done in forty years, and then I think of all the things I didn’t do in those 40 years. Is this why they call it a mid-life crisis? I guess mine will come at 50 since I plan to live to the ripe old age of 100. I used to aspire t be one of those cool old ladies in the Red Hat Society. I envisioned myself wearing loud clothes and relishing in the new freedom to say whatever the heck I want just because I’m old! But I’ve grown quite fond of Katharine Hepburn’s role in On Golden Pond, and Noah can certainly fill the shoes of Henry Fonda. Maybe I can combined the two. I guess it depends on just how grouchy my Henry is.

I remember when 40 seemed really old to me! Wait, it still does! I don’t know what 40 is supposed to feel like, but I feel healthier and more energetic than I have in a long time. Here’s how I spent my day…

My first surprise was my friend Kayla showing up with the most awesome gift ever. She made me a basket of rocks.


I know that sounds funny, a basket of rocks?!?! But these rocks will be treasured forever. She took the time to think of forty words that remind her of me, and she decorated the rocks with these words. The first one I looked at said “healthy” and I immediately had tears in my eyes because I’ve worked so hard to get back to this point. The next one said “ambitious” and then I really teared up!


There are very few people who know just how hard this last year has been for me and it is a blessing to have Kayla as one of those people.

Soon after, my friend Christy picked me up and took me shopping to buy some new excercise clothes. My sweatpants have needed to find a new home for a really long time and since one of the benefits of eating clean is losing weight, it was time to pass on the freshman 15 wardrobe I’ve held on to for way to long! This has actually been an ongoing process and so much fun to find out my personal style which was another goal in my Happiness Project last year. Christy has an amazing eye to spot exactly what I like, and put it together in effortless outfits I can interchange. She is the greatest personal shopper. I really feel a lot more confident when I like what I’m wearing.

I have a new love for Lucy workout clothes. They hold in all the overflow quite nicely!

I have a new love for Lucy workout clothes. They hold in all the overflow quite nicely!

After our super fun shopping trip we met our friend Linda at The Houstonian for an amazing lunch. If you have never been you must go. It’s really beautiful and you’d never know you were in the city. I hope to steal a weekend away with Noah at some point. They even have a spa!

Christy, Me & Linda

Christy, Me & Linda

Christy has been on this food adventure with me all the way. She is so great to always make sure wherever I go there is food I can eat, and my birthday was another example of that. They even made me a wonderful dessert I could eat!

The girls had me cracking up about something!

The girls had me cracking up about something!

They made it so very pretty.

They made it so very pretty.

We did a little more browsing in Neiman Marcus after that and then I came home to make my birthday cupcake with the boys. These Paleo cupcakes were so incredible! Let me know if you’d like the recipe, but I recommend her entire cookbook!

My delish Paleo cupcakes the boys made for me.

My delish Paleo cupcakes the boys made for me.

The recipe is from this book:

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

I highly recommend this great cookbook for Paleo/GF followers.

I’m looking forward to her new one coming out soon. You can also follow her blog which is one of my favorites at, on Facebook!/elanaspantry?fref=ts and she’s on Pinterest.

My Sister-in-Law Julie NEVER forgets my birthday! She is amazing at remembering me despite her crazy life as a military wife with 3 kiddos. This year she helped me clean in style with these fun gloves and this super stylish apron.

I don't shower before I clean and I assure you this was not a flattering picture!

I don’t shower before I clean and I assure you this was not a flattering picture!

It really does make cleaning the bathrooms more fun. The fact the boys tell me how pretty I look cleaning their misfires in toilet doesn’t hurt either. You can read how I feel about that here:

My birthday continued into the weekend when Christy offered to take the boys so Noah and I could celebrate high society style. That was a wonderful gift! We had been given a gift card to a really nice restaurant in Houston; The Backstreet Cafe and decided to give it a try. The food was wonderful and the atmosphere was relaxing and cozy.  Of course had another wonderful dessert.



A very memorable 40th!

A very memorable 40th!

I was also blessed with lots of cards, calls and Facebook greetings.

I LOVE to get happy mail in my mailbox!

I LOVE to get happy mail in my mailbox!

It really was a great 40th birthday. Although, Noah does have the boys convinced I turned 27. Please don’t think if I didn’t mention you by name in this post your thoughtfulness meant any less to me. I appreciate everyone who takes time out of their day to think of me! It’s just that I’m forty and I can’t remember everything that happened in school this morning let alone last September! I like the forty card..

There’s a lot of things I want to accomplish in my next 60 years and I don’t want to procrastinate about starting. Of those years, I have less than 15 years left raising my kids. Isn’t that CRAZY? The days are flying by now, even having them home with me all day, they are still flying by. I’m reminded of this every week our schedule repeats itself with standing appointments. Things look really different with a new perspective.

I learned so much doing my Happiness Project last year, but the biggest thing that has stuck with me is time IS really short. I have to do the things God has called me to do now. Not next month, or when my kids are older, but now. I have to be intentional about my marriage and friendships and I have to leave time for fun memories to be made. I’m spending time focusing on what brings me happiness, and that (aside from the normal parental challenges) is my family.

Remember way back when my first blog started and I talked about The Inner Layer and we discussed the Chocolate Chips in our lives?

Well aside from a few dear friends, if not for those Chocolate Chips I would be a complete loner! This is the season of my life and I’m good with it. This season I am a servant of Jesus, a Wife of Noah and a parent, teacher, role model, advocate, cheerleader etc. to Samuel and Isaiah. At the end of the day, I am filled with joy over my blessings. Could it be hat I’ve actually found some balance in the BIG 4-0? GASP!


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