My Birthday Gifts

For me, today is the beginning of the new year. My own private new year’s day. This year feels different. Special.

Here I am with my 3 treasured gifts . . .
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Sorry, I’ve been out of touch for a little while. I had some things to do. Truth be told, I’m just really behind. I’m only now slowly unwinding my withered, nerve-wracked, quivering body from the fetal position and beginning the process of recovering from all the holiday preparations and implementations: cooking, eating, madness, eating, stress, craziness, eating, mass confusion, and oh yeah more eating. But I’m back now. Kinda. I think. And I have a few new ventures brewing. Nothing earth-shaking, just typical resolution stuff, diet, exercise, books to read, stuff to write, 500 pounds to lose, etc.

I’ll keep you posted.

Back to my day. It is still young, but it’s off to an incredible start. So far my parents called to sing to me first thing this morning, as they do every year. This never fails to send me directly to a beautiful crib memory (real or imagined) of gazing upward into the adoring faces of a hopeful young couple thrilled with their first baby. My husband voluntarily accompanied me to church (thank you, honey). I’ve received some wonderful, generous, thoughtful presents. And my in-laws had us all over for brunch this morning.

My birthday brunch:

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Today is Oprah’s birthday too, I think.

I’m much younger.

This just might be the best birthday yet! Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear . . .

Love,
Twyla

While At The State Fair

While at the State Fair of Texas with my husband, kids, and brother-in-law, I thought about joy.

Children really know how to experience joy.

We grownups can enjoy ourselves, of course, but it’s so hard for us.  We have distractions, inhibitions, worries, images to maintain, work-outs to avoid, boiling pots to watch, bread to win, bacon to bring home, nests to feather, and Joneses to keep up with.

Sometimes, I think I’ve forgotten how to experience the joy I came by so naturally in childhood.  That’s when I look to my kids to help and teach me.

Here I am on a fast ride with my kids.

In this picture, her face says she’s having the time of her life.  His expression is that of sheer terror, mixed with a little motion sickness.  But unlike most grownups, he’s facing fear and doing it anyway!  When I first saw this picture, I zeroed in on myself.  I was distracted by the way I looked here.  I didn’t like it in the least.  Here’s an exhausted, yet exhilarated, middle-aged mom, a size or two larger than she wants to be around the middle, with smile lines, and finger nails in desperate need of attention.  (My kids are six years old, so it’s been exactly that long since my manicure routine ended.)

But then I looked a little closer . . .

I saw my un-manicured fingers wrapped around her soft, precious, skinny arm.

I saw his sweet, grubby, little hand gripping mine for all life’s worth.

Joy.

Thank you for listening. — Twyla

SLIDE SHOW!  Please click here to view my 3-minute slide show of our trip to the State Fair of Texas:  Music Credit:”All This Beauty,” The Weepies