This girl

My daughter turned 15 this week. On her birthday she posted this picture on her Instagram account.  The first thing that I was struck with was how incredibly adorable she was. I mean stop it, that kid was just perfect. I remember this trip to London. This was the start of our adventure. We were months from leaving Portugal to head to Australia. 

The girl in this picture was so full of life. The joy is just oozing out of her. I will be honest, the teenager that she has become is more reserved. Don’t get me wrong. She still has the best laugh, a quick mind, a fantastic sense of humor and an authentic heart. She is a hard worker and a trustworthy loyal friend. But I see that the world has changed her a bit. 

Lana, dad and I hope that our travels and moves have enriched your life. But looking at this picture I wonder if we also robbed you of some of the simplicity that could have been your life. Rather than growing up with the same set of friends, you have known what it means to walk into a room of strangers and have to forge a path for yourself. You have done it so many times. You are aware that people are looking at you, judging you and you, therefore, you make decisions on how to behave based on how you will be perceived. That is natural and normal. But please remember my darling girl just how incredibly beautiful YOU, the real YOU is. Please remember the joy and exuberance of that you felt in this photograph and live that. Those around you who are worth your time will see the beauty in you and those will be the people worth your laughter, your intelligence, and your joy.

I love you and I always will. 

Does it get any better? I am not sure it can.

Yesterday I had a birthday. I am not one of those people who has difficulty getting older so this leaves me free to enjoy all a birthday has to offer.

Since we were all feeling a bit unwell I decided to pull the plug on Lana´s early morning training. This allowed me to get up and make waffles to celebrate the day. It was a pleasure for me to bring the kids this little bit of joy. And heck, it was my birthday so rightfully so I can decide to do only things that make me happy!

The kids gave me their homemade cards. Lana´s was sassy and Evan´s was very sweet. In it he told me that he knew how much I loved him, and he´s not sure how his heart has never exploded with that much love. Right there I felt like I could call this birthday a winner.

Throughout the day I was pleased to receive my FB messages. This year I made a point to respond to each one. They are special reminders of the wonderful people in my life. I will though admit that having two friends great me at school having remembered my birthday was extra special. I also received a birthday miracle in the form of a phone call from my best bud Jen who woke up before 6am to call me. That girl would not have gotten up at that hour to great the Pope. Well, maybe for this Pope she would.

I treated myself to a game of tennis before heading to the doctor to see what we could do about the sore throat that had been keeping me up at night for over a week. Another birthday treat was my lovely new doctor who very unkindly told be I can not workout for a while because I have bronchitis! Arghhh….

That did not derail my lunch plans with my hubby. We were lucky to be joined by my ever lovely friend Katie who shared all her latest adventure with us. After much discussion about all the reasons we should move with her to Costa Rica I came home and got busy working on my resume, tutoring and running a few other errands (including taking Lana to the doctor to make sure she did not have bronchitis) .

After picking up Nuno from soccer I ran over to my neighbors. She is a lvoely friend who brought ME (I will not share, sorry) the best chocolate treat from the States. Who knew that while we had a glass of wine my husband ran out and bought me what has got to be the most decadent chocolate cake out there.

People, life is good and today I was reminded of that over and over.

birthday