Happy Birthday Dear Shanna ...

Happy Birthday to me.

Today is my 39th birthday.!?!!..

I'm not really sure how to punctuate the sentence, so I struck it all out.  A lot of attention is paid to the milestone birthdays: 30, 40, 50, etc., but I think the 9s are much more emotional.  There is something about knowing that you are in your last year of a decade that is a mix of bittersweet, excitement, anxiety and trepidation.  You have not yet left the decade so there is still time to accomplish whatever you think you need to accomplish before moving on to the next phase of life.  That is a hell of a lot of pressure.  And when I look back at my 30s and what has gone down in the last decade, I can't say I didn't squeeze every last bit of life out of my 30s:  I birthed two beautiful, amazing children; I became an Ironman; I qualified for the Boston Marathon; I came into my own at work; I turned a corner in my life toward true happiness.  What more can I do in one year to cap off the 30s?

Honestly, I don't know. And for the first time in my life, I'm not going to try to guess.  Instead, I'm going to take lessons from my little kid self and make her proud in my last year of my 30s.

Try New Things

I'd like to try something new in 2015 before I turn 40.  Yoga? Hiking? Snowboarding? Hip Hop dance lessons? Disco? Tango? Sailing?  I don't know.  But I want to open myself up to a new experience and new adventure.  Much like I was doing with my little plastic rolling horse.  Giddy yup. 

Laugh More Belly Laughs

Need I say more?  I look at these pictures of myself having real, true belly laughs and honest to goodness smiles and it's contagious.  I want to laugh more, laugh harder and laugh longer.  And try really hard not to pee my pants while doing so.  

Do Not Settle

I like who I am and I'm not going to settle.  That is so easy to say.  But I've come to realize (and it's been reinforced by friends who love me), that I should never, ever, settle in life.  Much like I didn't like the blue dress or the white purse in these pictures, I promise that I'm not going to settle for second rate anything in my life.  

Feel all of the Feels

I have a predilection for minimizing my own feelings at times.  When I'm upset or mad or sad or angry, I tend to hide that and put on a smile and motor on and let the world and those around me think that everything! is! awesome! when it is really not awesome at all.  I want to be more real with how I am feeling, ask for help and let more people in when things are not awesome or wonderful.  


I need more rest.  More down time.  I tend to GO GO GO GO GO until I crash and burn and the crashing and burning is pretty epic. I'd like to just take it easy a bit more.  There is part of me that needs to be doing something productive at all times, and frankly, it is a big part of who I am.  But I also think I need to take some time where I just don't do a darn thing and enjoy the blissful experience of rest and doing nothing.  

Be Bold

I want to make my inner Wonder Woman proud and to speak up and be bold and ask for what I want and do what I want.  Life is way too short to sit by idly waiting for things to happen.  I'll rustle up my golden lasso and invisible jet and make things happen for myself.  

Dance and Be Joyful

I grew up dancing to ABBA and other similarly awesome music, and I continue to do so.  Life can be hard and challenging and sad and rough, but through it all, I want to remember the joy in it.  I want to remember what it felt like to twirl around in ballet shoes to "Chiquitita" or to run in a circle to "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)".  And while I can't say I'll be donning my ballet shoes and leotard and jamming out to ABBA in my living room (though, if I'm being honest, that sounds pretty amazing), I can recall that joy I felt when I used to dance around and be mindful of incorporating that kind of emotion in my life.  Joy should not be left to children alone.  I want to experience more joy in my life. 

So there it is - a happy birthday wish to myself.  I have plans with friends, dinner with my babies at the hibachi grill (their choice) and definitely some cake.  Life keeps getting better and sweeter with each passing year.  Here's to another! 

See you swoon,


  1. Happy Birthday Shanna! You are amazing and you are going to be fantastic 39 years old. I'm so lucky to get to read all your thoughts here.

  2. Happy Birthday Shanna! It only gets better from here on! ;)