This February 17th, A Chance to Give Thanks

midway through our homemade version of the game taboo, which featured disgraced politicians, sports stars and entertainers.
Midway through our homemade version of the game Taboo, which featured disgraced politicians, sports stars and entertainers.

Feeling too lazy and overwhelmed by a short month that included returning to work after maternity leave, two trips to Miami and the heartbreaking season finale of Downton Abbey, I barely wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. Too. Tired.

It’s a definite shift from the annual norm, since for all five of the birthdays I spent in Austin, my fellow February 17th-ers  and I would throw a massive “Three-Way”  birthday bash that got bigger and more drunken with each passing year. And last year was the unforgettable (and also libation-laden) birthday week in Costa Rica.

So this was the hangover birthday year, if you will.

But my spouse Stiles still managed to make the day quite lovely by inviting a few of my favorite people over to eat brisket and birthday cake. And play a competitive team game in which we all pitched in to provide the content. And watch “classic” YouTube videos together on our big TV. (Grape lady, anyone?)

While I’m overwhelmed by life this month, I also feel overwhelmed by gratitude. My friends and family members are adventure partners, life coaches and constant inspiration. So I want to take this birthday evening to say THANK YOU:

To Liz, Audrey, Terp, Voggie, Erica, Melissa, Brett, Matt, Matty, MonPon, Lexi and Justin, for being so game to travel with me on short notice. Because you know there’s nothing I love more than collecting crazy new experiences, and there’s no faster way to do that than leaving home.

To Skyler, Hannah, Nurse, Nisha, Melissa, Virginia, Crystal, Laura, Fiscus, Beam, the gays, and all the girls who made the baby showers so memorable and assured Baby E was one well-stocked and well-styled spawn.

To my bosses and friends at work, who are flexible, gracious and cool. They’re wicked smart, too, which challenges me to stretch and grow.

To John, Michael, Chris and Mayur at Knight, who I’m really lucky to count as friends and constant life advisers and party companions.

To the Beam, who, among many other supportive things, cares for our animals like they are her own every time we go out of town (which is often).

To amazing journalist mentors and friends whose counsel I find invaluable: My BFF Sudeep (of course), Hari, Dick, Stacey, Robert, Raju, Marcus, Andrew, Shazna.

To Trey, Reid, Dave, Srinivas and the rest of the pub trivia geniuses who help me scratch that competitive team game itch.

To the far-flung friends who I didn’t get to see this past year, but constantly miss, who continue providing advice and love and laughs even from faraway places.

To my old friend Brad, who I’m delighted I got to see more of in this past year than in the past decade.

To Channing, the most talented photographer I know in real life. I feel like our life moments are somehow more meaningful if Channing has captured them.

To the drinking club, because there are few daily stresses that can’t be solved with a cocktail.

To Terp, who picked us up from Dulles that one time. Because only your real friends pick you up from Dulles.

To Matt Mansfield, for graciously giving me your White House Correspondents Dinner ticket so I could check that off my bucket list.

To Matt Thompson, a work coach and a life coach in one!

To the neighborhood mom’s group, for providing a little community for baby Eva and me when we were sorta bored at home during my maternity leave.

To my midwife Ebony, for doing her job so, so well. And for loving it.

To my goofy daddy, whose constant availability and love has kept me steady my whole life long.

To Baby Eva, who reminds me what a gift each new day is.

To my momma, this day, and every day. Because I really couldn’t comprehend how much she loved me until I became a mom.

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