a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Wednesday, July 3rd, was my 35th birthday.  To celebrate, I compiled a list of 35 things to be happy about from the past week:

1.  a finished book

2.  a new book begun
3.  a humbling tribute (via blog post) from a dear friend
4.  a birthday wish from Google (!)
on my birthday, this is what my google page looked like!
5.  a homemade birthday present
my dad is building me a patio table
6.  a dinner with Mom
7.  a winning Chicago FIRE soccer game
they played (and won) on my birthday
8.  a thoughtful gift from my niece
9.  a surprise gift for my niece
my niece with her charity auction jersey being signed by the player (Steve Kinney)
10.  an old photo discovery
dad, grandpa, and grandma (the only photo I have of grandpa)
11.  finished Annie Sloan Chalk Paint projects
12.  more Annie Sloan chalk paint projects in the works
antique metal tray to be turned into magnetic chalkboard with Annie Sloan chalk paint border
13.  a breakfast meeting at Starbucks with my favorite librarian
14.  a brand new bicycle
a spontaneous purchase from this awesome shop in Indiana (post-All-Write)
15.  a bicycle ride (see #14) to an antique shop with Mark
I am in love with how adorable my bicycle looks at this little shop by the lake
16.  getting caught up on my One Little Word projects
my notes to self for May's One Little Word project
17.  a visit to a yarn shop
a yummy wall of texture and color
18.  a chocolate shake (first one in well over a year)
me with a chocolate shake (and my husband Mark)
19.  a surprise package in the mail
my dad's girlfriend (of MANY years) sent me birthday gifts from one of my favorite places: sundance
20.  building blogging momentum
21.  a walking buddy
my friend joins me on this beautiful path
22.  an author event date with Mark
the AMAZING Katherine Applegate (and plain old me)
me with the AMAZING Katherine Applegate's pretty cool husband Michael Grant
23.  a surprise gift from my usually unsentimental sister
included in the package was this old photo of her holding me in her lap
24.  plans to open an Etsy shop with Mark
25.  too many ideas for writing and not enough time
26.  new lesson planning ideas
27.  another amazing season of So You Think You Can Dance (this is not a reality show, it is a cultural experience)
28.  an entire month off stretched out ahead of me
29.  weather warm enough to justify ice in my drinks
love the way ice clinks against glass
30.  time to enjoy the new homemade patio
not perfect, but made with love
31.  a family reunion with in-laws
me, Mark, and my father-in-law Lee
32.  Fiddler on the Roof in an outdoor theater
33.  a new audiobook for my road trip
read by Nick Podehl
34.  winning a raffle prize, then giving it away
Mark and I won a 50/50 raffle and passed the prize on to this former student of ours who leaves for the military in 10 days
35.  a brand new camera {of my own} to document these things (thank you, Mark)


  1. All of this was in the last week?! So many slices of happiness. What a week it's been for you! Happy belated Birthday! Love, love the pics from your new camera! Life is good!

  2. I'm with Elsie, I began to think I'd mis-read and this was all last year! Happy, happy birthday, only a little late. Best wishes for a wonderful new year, Christy!

  3. What a delightful birthday week! You sure packed in a lot! Let it continue on with more birthday wishes today! Love all the photos as well -- continue writing in pictures and words. That's our little treat. :)

  4. A bit late (a little sigh for not having internet earlier) from me too: Happy Birthday! Palju õnne sünnipäevaks! (with a big smile and a virtual hug)
    I like the mixture of people, things, places, events, memories and plans that you have picked to portray happiness.

  5. Happy Birthday! What a terrific week you had! Love the little surprises and the connections with people.....here's to another great week. Now can you share some of that blogging momentum?

  6. Happy birthday (a little late). I enjoyed the links to get more a glimpse into your life. Can't wait for the Etsy shop!

  7. I had read this when you posted it, but I came back to see what you did with your summer as I prepare to teach with you next year (yay...yay...yay!). That yarn shop photo took my breath away. And the rest of the photos seem to show a "self-care" regimen focused on filling your cup, your bookbag, your bucket..your suitcase...whatever container...with wonderful things to carry you through the next school year. Look forward to seeing you soon.