grateful.

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday.

At about 5:30 pm friends started arriving with arms full of their children and foil covered dishes filling our home with the aroma of sweet potato and pulled pork and mac & cheese and bean dip and cinnamon and love.

I've never hosted an official "potluck" before, and I don't really know where I got the idea, besides simply not wanting the pressure to cook on a Tuesday evening. It was a total success in my book. Nothing gave me more joy on my birthday than savoring the home cooked food my own treasured friends made with love, and watching our kids giggle and tickle each other in the backyard. Nothing.

A few years ago I never would have guessed this would be my life. Semi-permanently living in Mexico, a semi-stay at home mom to a fun-loving and affectionate two year old. Watching my degree gather dust on the shelf, but not caring one bit. Enjoying marriage more now than I did 7 years ago when it all first began. A ginormous deer-like dog prancing in the backyard, horchata made from scratch in a pitcher on the table, and the promise of each year just getting better.

Sure, my day started out down the crap-hole. It's not all sunshine & fairy dust around here, in case you haven't figured that out already. Solo-boy screamed from midnight to 2 am. I got up at 7am to clean the house. Solo-boy got up about 8 am. I called in an appointment to the pediatrician. We went to the dog park. Nora's doggie friend PEED ON ME. Yep. Peed on my leg. Happy birthday to me!

We rushed to run a few errands at the mall, including the joy of paying the Gas bill. Then I proceeded to shuttle my son all the way across the city for his appointment. We returned home with a diagnosis of a bronchial infection, I finished potluck preparations, did the laundry, and as soon as he woke up from his nap we were off to the pharmacy.

Basically it was a day filled with reminders that my life is kind of boring. And regular. And just plain hard sometimes. And it doesn't cut a break just because it's my birthday.

But at the end of the day, to hear my home filled with love and laughter, good food and good friends (and good wine), it was all I could do to smile, take a deep breath, and enjoy getting older.

::end of cheesy nostalgic blog post::