As my sister would say, I'm turning a speed limit today. I awoke, after having a lie in, to birthday cards created by my children and a lovely one written by my husband. Quinton pointed out what he had drawn all over his - "balloons popping out everywhere, Mommy!" and how he had written "Happy birthday, Mommy. Love your cake." and then signed with a big "Q." Elliot actually did write out his birthday message, complete with a picture of himself next to "his house in Minnesota." A sweet heart that boy has. A Dunns cream donut with a candle completed my morning. Every year on my birthday I go for a run, to remind myself that despite how I feel I can, when I want, kick at least a tiny wee bit of ass. This year's jaunt took me up Ally Pally (how the locals refer to Alexandra Palace) hill to my bench, where I caught my breath, took in the view of the London skyline once more and headed back down home. That view doesn't get old, by the way. Later tonight a babysitter arrives so that my husband & I can go out for a French bistro dinner.

I feel good this year. I feel loved, proud of myself and very full. One of my favorite songs....don't hate me for quoting country....says that "life is not tried it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire." Well I'm in it, and it feels great.

If you're reading this and you happen to love me, or even like me a little bit, then in honor of my birthday inhale and exhale deeply a few times. Be present today, and be kind.