the one about the incident with the cat and the bag

It rained today.

During nap, I took to the couch with my book.

But instead of reading I started to think about how much stuff I lug along with me when Eddie and I go somewhere.  And then my mind wandered to how much more  stuff we would  need if we were to have a second child.

And then I started remembering what it was like to be pregnant.

morning (noon and night) sickness
acid reflux
a heating pad
the preggle taking over the bed
uncomfortable lady bits
uncomfortable everything else
someone rocking and rolling while I am trying to get to sleep
the pregnancy “dumbs”

and really the list keeps going.  Do I really want to do this again?

Then I thought about that little guy in the other room who got a hair cut the other day and is suddenly a little boy instead of a baby.

And then I thought about my cat.  His name is Louis.

Which sort of made me think about Lori for a second, if I am honest.  And her cat, Nimbus.

Anyway…I started wondering where the phrase “let the cat out of the bag” came from.

I mean, why in the world did a CAT become symbolic for a secret?  I know they are stealthy and all, but really?  A cat in a bag is anything BUT secretive.

My cat has been in a brown paper bag before.  He was not a fan.  Not at ALL.

So I looked up the origin of the phrase and it turns out back in the day, people would put a cat in a bag instead of a piglet at market and try to sell it as a pig.  If the cat got out of the bag, the gig was up.

This still seems dumb to me.

I can’t even keep my cat in his carrier without him meowing his face off, let alone stick him a bag with no holes.  He would have thrashed about and everyone in a 3 mile radius would know I had a dang cat in the bag.

the cat in the bag...and not happy about it

And guess what.  I have been trying to keep a cat in a bag anyway.  Even though I know full well that it is impossible.

can't keep a cat in a bag forever

As hard as I have tried over the last two and a half weeks, I just couldn’t keep the cat all the way in the bag.  People knew.  It meowed loudly and eventually got a paw out, or his tail, or his nose.

and he's free!

and now?  The cat is completely out of the proverbial bag.

My secret is now out….

I am pregnant.  Six weeks.

Tomorrow (Friday) I have an early ultrasound to make sure this baby is sticking where he/she is supposed to be (I am on progesterone supplements again like I was with Eddie).

And if all goes well…(which we think it is because I constantly want to either puke or sleep…yay for BlogHer!)…coming to Sluiter Nation in March of 2012?

Baby #2.

Oh!  I just thought of another pregnancy symptom…rambly, disconnected thoughts.


on the first day of summer break my true love gave to me…

Starting summer break is always weird.

I look forward to it for weeks while I finish up the million things that I have to do at school.  This year was especially taxing.  Not only did I have six classes instead of five to wrap up, I had graduation to run.

I had tests and quizzes and essays to grade.

I had make-ups and credit recovery to chase.

I had seniors to hound about credits, parents to call about failing grades, graduation rehearsals to plan and run, a senior picnic to organize, and the list really keeps going.

It was a whirlwind.

This past Tuesday I was at school from 7:15am until 8:30pm because of graduation.  I didn’t go home between school and the ceremony because I had so much to work on and it seemed silly to drive 40 minutes home just to turn around and come back.

Wednesday and Thursday were half days for the students, but I still had meetings and grading to get done in the afternoon.

When Friday finally showed up, I was in sort of a daze.

For two hours the staff had their final meeting of the year and then we were free.

We had our annual staff get-together at a teacher’s house to unwind and gab about the latest dirt and rumors in the district about what could possibly happen to our jobs, and then it was time to go.

I got home and just sat.

After all the constant going and doing over the past few weeks I was suddenly done.

So what did I do?  I fell asleep on the couch while Cort watched Tivo-ed episodes of Whale Wars.

Today I woke up somewhat refreshed.

Cort bought me a Groupon to get a shellac mani/pedi so I cashed that in, treated myself to a venti frappacino at Starbucks, and did a little shopping at Target.

I still don’t think it’s sunk in yet that I am done with work for a few months.

And it’s hard to enjoy because my district faces a pantload of cuts again due to decisions made in Lansing, but we won’t know until the end of June who is getting pink slipped.

And it could be August before I see a teaching assignment or schedule.

Of course the snide comments about how easy my job is because I get 2.5 months off each summer have already started.

It’s hard to come off one of the most difficult teaching years of my career and get slapped with a “pfft.  I wish I got more than two months off every year.  must be nice!”

It is nice, yes.

And if I had to teach year ’round?  I would consider another job.

And if you want your summers off too?  They DO still have teaching certificates available.  You could go to school for the rest of your life and pay $175 each time it expires to keep it too.

Go ahead.

I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

Anyway…what was I talking about?

I don’t even know.

This post is not going anywhere.

But I am off for the summer.  There are haters, but guess what.  I still have the summer off.

Well, until I start that class in two weeks that I have to pay for in order to keep my teaching certificate which expires next year that I have to pay $175 to keep so I can have a job…if there is a job for me.

Yay!  Summer!

it all happened at once

It was unexpected.

We went to our small town’s annual Memorial Day Parade with Eddie.

Eddie loves parades.

It’s not that we weren’t thinking about the meaning of the parade, but when you have a toddler you are mostly thinking of how he will like the drums.

And of course we were watching for Great Grand-dad in the group of WWII vets.

the strapping young man on the left is my paternal grandpa

and just after we waved to Great Grand Dad, it happened.

I wasn’t prepared.

A car of WWII vets drove by.

Eddie waved.

One kind vet saluted my son.

My small, blue-eyed, blond curly headed boy watched intently as the kind-faced vet rolled away in his car.

The crowd continued to stand and clap.

More vets rolled by.

And my thoughts followed my little boy up through school and beyond high school.

It never occurred to me until that moment that my son might choose the military.

Neither Cort’s dad nor mine did.

But Cort’s stepdad, both my grandpas, Cort’s maternal grandpa, and his uncle did.

College was the assumed path for my husband, me, and our siblings.

But what if Eddie chooses to give himself to his country and serve?

My heart started beating with the pride of that possibility.  Of  my son in uniform.

Just then the Gold Star Mothers rode past.

And my heart fell out of my chest.

I realized whatever Eddie chooses, my heart will explode with pride and break with worry.

all at once.


Sluiter Nation would like to thank all the men and women who have chosen to serve the United States of America.

You are so brave.

We honor you.

Happy Memorial Day.

casey and mozzi lovin’.

The internet gives me many things on the daily.

At work it gives me my gradebook, my attendance site, and resources for fun projects to do for my Spanish classes.

It provides me with email to connect with teachers, parents, and friends.

It gives me facebook to connect with friends and family.

It gives me my blog to pound out my thoughts and feelings and network with others moms like me.

It gives me The Twitter.

In the past year, the internet has gifted me with something I would have never imagined.  If you had told me 18 months ago that some of my closest friends would be people I mostly only talk to using my laptop?  I would have laughed at you.

In my mind, people who are “friends” with personalities in their computer?  Are lonely nerds.  They sit alone in their dark basements and type away creating a fake persona for themselves and making “friends” with other people’s created personae.

And then I met Casey.

First I read her blog because my friend, Emily (who I already knew in real life), directed me there.  I fell in love hard with Casey’s writing.  I laughed, I sobbed, I related–for the good and the bad.  I even learned new things.

And then I got to meet her in real life!

Sarah (Ordinary Sarah), Emily (DesignHerMomma), Casey and me.

Somewhere in those few hours between meeting and her spraying make-up on my face, we became friends.

Like real friends.

Even though Casey has been through more than I could possibly bear myself, she has always extended her virtual arms to me when I am hurting.

Even through her emails and blog comments,  I feel as though she is leaning in close and whispering her offerings of support to me.

Or throwing her head back and laughing loudly at the joke.

Even when she is sad, her love for her friends and family is so genuine and apparent.

She is quite possibly one of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met in this world.

And it’s all thanks to the internet.

When she whispered an email to me that she was expecting, tears streamed down my face for a friend I had only hugged once, but who I had lifted up in prayers countless times.

When Emily asked me to be a part of showering Casey, I almost jumped from my computer with excitement.

Did you know SUNDAY is her due date??  It’s true!  Mozzi (the name she is calling her little girl until she meets her) is due in only TWO DAYS!

To celebrate her, Sluiter Nation has sent her these from The Sunshine Stitch:


And this (well, not THIS guy, but a cute girly sister of his) from Sew Whimsy Creations:

But wait!  It doesn’t stop there!  Casey actually celebrated her birthday yesterday, and Sluiter Nation was NOT about to let that go unrecognized!

Rumor has it that she really loves Kilwins, so I made a little trip to lovely downtown and bought her a treat.  It’s on its way as I type (because I am not at all quick at getting things to the post office…good thing I don’t have my own shop)!

I cannot WAIT to meet Mozzi in person (I may have ONE more thing for her, but that is a secret), and hope to make the trip to Indy again this summer.  If all else fails, I will hunt her down at BlogHer and steal her baby.

Wait.  What?  No.


Hopefully this time next year Casey will take Mozzi AND Moosh up to Holland for some tulip fun.  I’ll even treat Mozzie to her first pair of wooden shoes.

Happy baby and happy birthday, my lovely friend.

You are loved.

Memories of Her

I have to start with a bit o’ brag.  BlogHer has spot-lighted my post on Blogging Turn On’s and Turn Off’s.

Yay!  Take a minute to go see me there?  Thanks!


Every year my mom or one of her three sisters has the entire family over for Father’s Day to celebrate my Grandpa and all the dads in the family.

This used to be the tradition for Mother’s Day as well.

But Mother’s Day was super special because we were also celebrating my Grandma’s birthday, and I loved my Grandma.

My Grandma Jo as I remember her

This is in the past tense because my Grandma Jo passed away 10 years ago.

Not a Mother’s Day passes that I don’t stop and think about her and all she’s given me that I was never able to thank her for.

Everything about this year reminds me of her.

The yellow tulips remind me of her favorite flower and her love of taking her grandchildren to the annual Holland Tulip Time Parade.

Easter Sunday reminds me of the egg hunts she created for all of us and how she made us empty our baskets when we were done and count out the same number of each candy for everyone.

Church reminds me of her singing hymns to herself in her quavering old lady voice, that I always found to be beautiful.

My Grandma taught me so much of what it is to be a strong woman…and she will never know her impact on me.

My Grandma Jo taught me…

  • It’s ok to be alone.  In fact, you can gain peace and strength by it.
  • It’s ok to NOT have a man.
  • It’s a wonderful thing to find the right man.
  • family is something to celebrate.
  • no matter what your life throws at you, your family will love you.
  • that small things are the best
  • children are the most precious gift–whether they are yours or not
  • childhood is something to be savored because it is gone too quickly.
  • you don’t ever really have to grow up.  Be an adult, yes, but grow up?  No.
  • that blind faith is ok, and sometimes necessary.  There are a LOT of things I don’t understand, but that is ok.
  • when in doubt?  Yodel.

The day I found out about my first miscarriage I was so afraid, the first thing I did was to take my Grandma’s Bible off my shelf and open to a random page.

It fell open to Psalm 146, which she had underlined “Happy He who Trusts in the Lord.”

There is almost nothing underlined in her entire Bible.

But that?  Gave me comfort as I went into one of the scariest, most emotional tumultuous times of my life.

I wondered how many times in her life Grandma had looked at that passage to find strength.

My Grandma was the strongest woman I knew.

And she helped me know that I could be strong too.

To honor a woman in your life for Mother’s Day, Clever Girls and Heart of Haiti is offering you a special discount code for 15% off when you purchase a gift of Heart of Haiti or Rwanda Path to Peace products between May 3-8.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Just shop Macy’s’ Shop for a Better World/Heart of Haiti Collection, and use the code CLEVERGIRLS at check out to receive your discount.

If my Grandma was around, I would get her this because she LOVED bright colors.  It is also fitting because my beautiful Grandmother died of Alzheimer’s and if I could give her back her memories, I would.

Heart of Haiti Vase of Memories


And if I was making a Mother’s Day list for myself? I would love the Vase of Memories too, but  I would probably also add this to my list:

Heart of Haiti Tree of Life Frame

What woman are you honoring this Mother’s Day and why? Share with me!

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.

a story, an announcement (or two), and a giveaway


Hey, you.

With the face.  Yeah, you.

Guess what?

I have something to share.

I have a little story to tell you.

Four years ago, I accidentally got pregnant, but miscarried.

We had told everyone I was pregnant and it was crippling to me to have to one by one, announce the end of what we thought was going to be.

Three years ago, I got pregnant again.  We told no one.

We miscarried again.  I was crushed by the pain–physically and emotionally–but so relieved not to have to “take back” the pregnancy news again.

Two and a half years ago, I got pregnant again.  We told no one.

We found out I have low progesterone.

We fixed that.

At 10 weeks, we told everyone.

Almost 21 months ago we had Eddie.


So why am i telling you this story that so many of you already know?

Because Cort and I have made a decision.

We have an announcement.

Qe have decided to let me blog about trying to get pregnant when we decide to get pregnant again.

Cort (and my therapist) understand that the best way for me to process things is to be able to put my words here for you.  for me to be able to reach out when i have joy and pain.  For me to have you.

It’s my way to tell all of you I know in my real life things the way I want and need to say them too.  I hate the phone.  I get befuddled and don’t get my words straight.

Here,  I can put down the exact words I want to use.  I can pace things.

I am so grateful to all of you for being that support and for reading my words.

And I feel so lucky to have a husband who understands my need and is willing to let me put something so close and personal out here.


But wait…we have one more announcement.

We have decided to try to get pregnant again!

Get ready for some of this (God willing!):


oh yeah, rocking the flowers ALL OVER!


Guess what else?

I get to give YOU something in celebration of our announcements!

Have you used Shutterfly to upload and print photos?  They are AWESOME!

Since I am feeling all annoucey lately, I was looking through baby announcements, but then because of the 800 weddings we have this year, I was also looking at save the date announcements and remembering how fun it was to be in those planning stages.

Pretty sweet, huh?

You want some, don’t you?

Yeah you do.

Shutterfly gave me a coupon code for 50 free announcements each, and I am giving it to one of YOU!

To enter to win, just leave me a comment!  That is all!  I want to hear from you about my announcements!

To get a bonus entry, tweet something like the following and then come back and tell me in a separate comment that you did:

i’m helping @ksluiter celebrate her awesome announcements by entering her #cleverspring #shutterfly giveaway!


This giveaway will close on Tuesday, April 19 at 4:00 est.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced Wednesday, April 20.


Are you a blogger, too? Click here to register for a chance at 50 free announcements!

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Michigan can bring back a bit of cold…and even snow…but we know…it’s spring.

and we need it.

Sluiters are being reborn this spring.

Lots of joy going on here that I can’t wait to share as it unfolds.

you said it, kid.

Dear Eddie,

I just put you down for your last nap of our spring break together, and I am sad about it.

No really, I am.

You might think I am a horrible mother for saying this, but I dreaded spring break.

Oh, I needed the break from work badly, but the idea of staying home alone with you every day and not having a break gave me so much anxiety.

When you were born, the two of us were home alone together for almost three months.

It did not go well.

Daddy got laid off when you were four months old and stayed home with you for 17 months.

The days or hours that you and I had alone together were few.  This semester we have had Monday and Wednesday evenings.  They are usually hit and miss in the “going well” department.

So like I said, with spring break approaching?  I was terrified of you.

And as I suspected, we started out sort of rocky, but as the break progressed?  Something happened.

We found a flow.

Mornings became our favorite time together (yes, mom, you read that correctly).

Between 7:00 and 8:00 am every day, I would slowly wake to your chatter in the other room.

Even though I wanted to stay sleeping, knowing that you would have a big smile was a bigger pull than my pillow.

As I could hear you counting, I would wake the house up by starting coffee, opening blinds, and finding Handy Manny on Disney.

By the time I was spitting my toothpaste into the sink you would be calling, “Daaaeeee”.  I would smirk knowing you forgot that it was not Daddy getting you up.

You would smile and point at all the items you had tossed from the crib.

You would chatter on about things only you knew as I turned off your nightlight and humidifier.

As the coffee percolated, you and I would mesh into each other on the couch for some Disney channel until you were ready to explore the world.

Sometime midweek, I taught you to finally say, “maaa maa!” although I had my doubts that you associated it with me and were not just mimicking what I was saying.

We had construction crews in and out this week.  We had playdates.  We had fun.

Our mornings were filled with books and trucks and Little People villages and trains.

And then this morning, after reading Where is the Green Sheep for the third time, I asked you “where is Eddie?”

You pointed at your chest and nodded while carefully pronouncing, “Eh-ee”.

I beamed with pride all the way from the tips of my toes, “That’s right!!!  And I love Eddie!  More than all the green sheep in the world!”

Then I cautiously asked, “And were is momma?”

You scrunched up that nose into your mischievous smile and pointed at me.

I was about to praise you for getting it right when you nodded with each syllable saying, “maa maa”.

Oh Eddie.

I couldn’t contain myself.

I grabbed you and hugged you so hard you said, “noooooo”.

So I tickled you instead.

We both shouted “MAA MAA, EH-EE!”” together over and over.

And fell over in a fit of ridiculous giggles.

I think Daddy is right.  You and I?  Are a lot alike.

That makes me happy.

Now I have a Goofball in Crime.

I love you to the moon and back.

With a drum on my head.


Maa Maa

birthday ghosts

Guess what.

It’s only three days until my birthday.

Three days until I turn 33.

Because I am trying to be all celebratory over here in Sluiter Nation, I asked my friend, Kris, who writes the lovely blog,  Pretty All True, if she would like to help me celebrate by doing a Q&A.

Her lovely writing and her ambition to do it every. single. day. inspires the pants off me.

But since Sluiter Nation is all family friendly, I tend to put those pants back on before coming back over here.


What was I talking about?

Oh…right…the Q&A.

So Kris agreed to “interview” me, and I was all excited because she is so witty and great with ideas.

She wrote up this beautiful birthday interview of me for you.  I hope you enjoy my answers.

Pretend that your family and friends have surprised you with a small birthday party at your home…

1) Are you happy with this surprise?

I am thrilled with this!   I have never had a surprise party before…and I LOVE surprises!  I never even search for presents because I just treasure that moment when you open something someone chose for you.  I love that feeling of being on the verge of finding something out.

2) As you look around the room, three people are missing.  Who are they?

My father-in-law is not there.  He is my only family member not present because he died almost 6 years ago from lung cancer.  I miss him more now than I ever did.

Two other people who are probably missing (but that I am using as ONE) are my friends, Phil and Liz.  They live in North Carolina and would probably not be able to afford to take off from their new positions to make the trip to Michigan for just one night.  I sometimes hate that my very best friends live so far away.

If I am honest, my lovely friend Mat is probably not here either.  Mat is Cort’s best friend, but his is Jerry to my Elaine.  Our friendship has always been so special. But he lives in Denver and doesn’t get tons of time off.

3) As you move about the room and greet your guests, two people other than your husband and son reach to hug you and whisper in your ear.  Who are they and what do they say?

My best friend, Tonya would definitely grab me.  If she had been drinking she would tell me how great my chest looks in whatever shirt I am wearing.  If she hadn’t been drinking yet…oh wait….no, she would have definitely had a cosmo or two.

The other person to make sure to get a piece of me would be my best friend, Erin.  She has been living in Montana for the past 4 or so years and has just recently moved to Illinois.  She has gone through a LOT.  She would tell me she loved me.  And comment on my cute butt because she too would have been drinking.

4) Your husband has made the cake and he thinks he has made your favorite.  What sort of cake has he made?  Has he guessed correctly?

Cort would have not made, but bought me a chocolate cake from Meijer.  He would have gotten it spot on.  He knows how I crave their cupcakes because he is awesome.

5) There are two wrapped presents on the table.  One is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and the other might hold a toaster (although it does not).  If everyone in this room has come together to get you the perfect two gifts . . . what is in these boxes?

If everyone chipped in together for these two gifts, it means Cort is the mastermind behind them.

In the tiny box would be a charm for my charm bracelet that Cort and Eddie gave me last year for my first Mother’s Day.  The charm would be something writing-related like a pen.

In the larger box would be plane tickets.  Cort and I have never had a vacation that wasn’t EXTREMELY budgeted.  We have always dreamed of flying away together to some place all-inclusive and warm and lazy.  Cort knows this would be the ultimate surprise, so he would definitely get my friends and our family in on that.

6) Your son approaches you and hands you a scribbled picture he has drawn of you.  Imagine that you can see in this portrait all that you are to your son.  What does your son see in you that you are unable to appreciate about yourself?

If I suspend reality here and imagine that Eddie could draw something about me that I don’t see in myself, it would be his affirmation that I am doing a good job as his mom.

People can tell me this all day long, but I love to hear “I love you, Mom” from him.  I love to have him tell me I am a great mommy.

Because most days, I am not so sure I am…or that he thinks so.

7) The group sings Happy Birthday and you are momentarily transported to another birthday party from your past . . . how old are you in this vision and why has this memory tugged at you?

I am transported back to an unidentifiable age…just “youth”.

We are at my parents’ house on a Sunday afternoon and my mom’s entire side of the family is there:  my aunts and uncles, all my cousins, my brothers, and my Grandma Jo.

We have overindulged in a huge meal with three choices for dessert.  I have opened my presents.  The woman have done the dishes, the men have lounged around watching sports and discussing the upcoming baseball season.

Now we are gathered around the dining room table.  I have my cake with all my candles and my brothers and cousins are squished around me to get in all the pictures and to sing loudly in my ears.

Everyone is there.

I am happy.  I am loved.

This small party reminds me of the simple, but happy birthdays my family has always made sure I had.

8 ) Before you lean to blow out your candles, you speak to thank everyone in the room.  You thank them for this party and for all that they bring to your life.  You then take a moment to express special gratitude to someone you believe does not know how important he or she is to you.  Who is that person?  What would you like to say?

I really wouldn’t be able to choose just one person.  I think everyone knows they are important to me.  Especially if they are there.  At a small party for me.  They know they are the special ones.  But if I was saying thank you to people, I would make sure to thank my mother-in-law.  I am not sure she knows how much it means to me that she reads my words.

9) As you blow out the candles, you make a wish for the coming year that you have the ability to make come true.  What is that wish?

I have many wishes that are completely attainable if I were to take some risks.

One is that I become a published writer.

There I said it.

I wish to be published.

10) You also make a wish for something over which you have little or no control.  What is that wish?

A better person would take this wish and give it to World Peace or Feeding the Hungry.

But I am selfish on my birthday.

And I wish for our family’s entire economical situation to improve.  I wish for my job to be more stable and for Cort to make more.  I wish for us to not be afraid of a car dying or about whether or not we should buy ourselves something fun every now and then.

I know money doesn’t bring happiness, but it does bring security.  And I wish we could finally find that.

11) Finally . . . after the guests have gone home . . . your husband guides you into the bedroom.  On the nightstand, he has left a poem he feels captures the journey you have made as a couple this past year.  He has gotten it exactly right.  What is the poem?

Instead of a poem, Cort would leave me song lyrics.  And I am fairly certain they would be Pearl Jam lyrics.

I wished for so long…
I cannot stay
All the precious moments…
Cannot stay
Its not like wings have fallen…
I cannot say
Still something is missing…
I cannot say

Holding hands of daughters and sons
In their phase theyre falling down
Down, down, down

I have wished for so long…
How I wish for you again

Will I walk the long road?
I cannot stay
Theres no need to say goodbye

Oh, the friends and family…
All the memories going round
Round, round round…

I have wished for so long…
How I wished for you today

And the wind keeps rollin
And the sky keeps turning grey
And the sun is set
The sun will rise another day

I have wished for so long…
How I wish for you today

I have wished for so long…
How I wish for you today
Will I walk the long road?
We all walk the long road

This song has history for us.  And we have walked the long road.  Together.
And if this was my only birthday gift?
I would be more than ok with that.

Happy Birthday, Katie.

Thanks, Kris.

Secret Mommyhood Confession

I love my birthday.

I know some women like their birthday, but they are not really all that excited about turning another year older.

I am seriously like a child about my birthday.

As soon as the calendar says March, I start thinking about that day at the end of the month that is MINE!


Yes, I turn 33 on my birthday, and no I am not ashamed to say that.  Some people don’t like to admit their age, but I have no problem telling it to you, my students, or a random person on the street.

So what?  I am 33…or almost 33.

No, I don’t LIKE that I am getting older, but as my dad says, “it’s better than the alternative.”

So true, dad.  So true.

And that is why my birthday is so awesome.

Not only is it my very own special day when I entered this world, but it means I am still here.  I made it another year.

I have made it through another year of crap and celebration.  Of mountains and valleys.  Of anxiety and joys.

I know I spend a LOT of time hating on myself and seeing my downfalls…but for some reason?  Every year, my birthday is the day I have no problem celebrating me.  Of finding the happy in who I am.

I think it’s because for people to celebrate you on your birthday is natural.  It’s easy to take people for granted throughout the year, but birthdays are days we think about the special people in our lives.

And that works for me as well.  I mean, it works for me to think about ME that way too.

It’s funny because birthdays were really overemphasized in my family.  Yes, my mom and dad made a point of making us the “special kid” on that day because it was our day, but we never had extravagant parties or got out of chores or were allowed to stay home from school or any of that.

We were celebrated simply.

But somehow, out of that simple love, grew a HUGE love of my birthday.

In high school and college I used to remind everyone in my life of how many days there were until my birthday starting at LEAST a month ahead of time.

I don’t go to those extremes anymore, but I do love the people who take the time to really remember that I love my birthday.

Cort is really great at that.  He is not that overly attached to his birthday, but he knows it’s a big deal for me and always works extra special hard to make me feel special. As do my parents and some super awesome friends.

(by the way?  I LOVE that facebook advertises your birthday…getting a trillion birthday wishes from people who probably don’t even talk to you the rest of the year?  I’ll take it!)

So.  I love my birthday.  March 27, 1978…the day I arrived here from my momma’s tummy.

This whole week coming up is full of birthday wonder and excitement (yes, I even have some pretty awesome giveaways for YOU!!).

As if this whole blog thing isn’t about me enough already?  It’s about to get a whole LOT more all about me!

So get ready!

Thus begins…The Week of Kate!!!  ::insert me doing my tappity tappity birthday dance…or perhaps shaking what my momma gave me::

Get ready to party, people. And yes, this is me with blond hair again.

Do you love your birthday?  Are you a fellow March birthday?  Tell me some birthday stuff about YOU!