My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘birthdays’

To the Greatest, Most Amazing, Kick-Ass Woman I Know—HAPPIEST BURFFDAY ;)


Hey mom. I know you didn’t want me to do anything special for your birthday (30! Again!), but there’s no way I could not do anything for you. IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY, SILLY! Of course I’m going to celebrate the awesome and amazing and beautiful and one-of-a-kind woman you are. So go grab those tissues from your coat pocket, dammit! I know you way too well, which is why I think you might most definitely will need them.

From the time I was born, there has always been one person who has been totally, completely, 110% invested in my (and Lindsay’s) happiness: you.

Evidenced by the fact that mini me never left your side (remember the tantrums I threw when the babysitter came?), you were truly my first and best friend.


You kept me entertained when I was little by playing with toys decades too young for you to enjoy (Oh. Polly Pocket again? Sure, honey.) You picked me up from school everyday just to make sure you were the first to be updated on my life. And even now you demand to know every single detail. *Bee tee dubs, the cats are great, no word on any possible jobs yet, that date I had the other night was just all of the worst, and I have been eating my veggies–potato chips count, no?

All you have ever wished for in life was to provide for both Lindsay and I, to protect us and not forget to buy those juice packs that you know we loved so much the next time you went to the store. Your unconditional love is truly unmatched.

You appreciate my ridiculously nerdy and dad-joke humor, and remind me not to bite my nails. You do things for me–and for anyone else–without any benefit for yourself. You are one of the most selfless, genuinely kind, big-hearted, caring and most amazing person I know, and I am proud to not only call you my mom and best friend, but my hero.


Here are just some of the ways you are just all of the best:

  1. You always come to my defense

When I was younger, this meant fighting my elementary school principal for not understanding my form of “advanced creative expression” during art class.Now, you even boldly offer to talk to my boss after I’ve had a bad day at work (which is something I would never actually consider). Regardless, your power to use your words in my defense has never failed me.

  1. You genuinely care about what I’m doing with my life

You: What do you want for dinner tonight, love?

Me: Geez Mom, I can’t think about my future right now!

You always dreamed big for me.

3. You’re the only one who cares if I wore a sweater

…Or brought an umbrella, or needed a tissue, or had a bad dream, or ate enough for dinner. You think about all the little stuff that has a big impact on my wellbeing. Without you, I’d probably still be wearing 5-year-old socks and surviving off stale cereal. Okay this week has been an exception, but to my defense, laundry and grocery shopping? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

4. You’ll always try to “get it,” even when you don’t

I can’t fault you for being older (30! Again!) and a little out-of-touch with my generation (despite your protests that you’re on Facebook and know how to text, badly. Just so bad).

In fact, your old school attitude is what keeps me grounded when I’m trying to explain Millennial-age practices, like why the boy I’ve been talking to for a month just ghosted me.

You might not fully understand me (What the heck is ghosting?!), but you still always try to give me the best advice (You don’t need him. You deserve better. Your “special one” is out there!)

5. You’ll always be the most fun person to get drunk with

Watching you get wasted is the parent-child equivalent of you watching me graduate from college or grad school — I’ve never felt prouder.

I kinda really love seeing you cut loose and then listening to you spill all the family secrets to me. Plus, I finally have a shared hobby that doesn’t involve watching “The Bachelor” or anything on the ID channel.

6. You’ll always give me the benefit of the doubt

You: Where did this crazy Barnes and Noble’s charge come from?

Me: It must have been that early birthday present you got me.

You: I am so thoughtful!

Yeahhh surrrre you betcha you are, mom!

7. You want to see me succeed without any reward to yourself

…Except maybe bragging rights at Bunko. There’s a reason you always made me do my homework — so that I would become a doctor/lawyer/CEO/kickass librarian and you could drive around the neighborhood with a bumper sticker.

8. You make me feel special

You’ll keep me on the phone for hours just to listen to the most trivial parts of my day (so Linda from Accounting brought tuna salad for lunch today and I’m still smelling it!) and take the time to stock up on my favorite foods (anything in the cookie/ice cream group, basically) when I’m come home.

You feel honored when I bring back my laundry for you to do and get weirdly excited when you get the chance to clean my apartment whenever you come out to visit me. I know I don’t say it enough, but thank you mom. These may seem like the littlest of things, but to me, they’re big. HUGE!

9. You were with me every single time I did something stupid

…If only because you were my first phone call. I still don’t know how my car ended up in the neighbor’s backyard!

10. You’ve seen it all

From my most embarrassing moments (like the time I flashed my Strawberry Shortcake skivvies during my fifth grade Christmas recital) to taking care of me when I’m grossly sick, I can really do anything in front of you and you won’t love me any less.

11. You won’t judge me for wearing my pajamas outside the house

But you’ll make sure I wash them before I (Heaven forbid!) get back into bed with the same pair on. Because #Priorities.

12. You want to know the bad news, too

You’re like Columbo, or a really cool Angela Landsbury — you’ll figure out what’s wrong no matter how many times I tell you that “it’s nothing.” You know just what to say or do to make me feel better, even if it’s just the warmest and greatest of bear hugs.

13. You’re the only person who knows how to shop for me

You were the first celebrity in my eyes. And while your style hasn’t influenced my own all that much, yet (there’s still a few years before I start wearing teacher sweaters and spritzing on the White Diamonds), I’ve always looked up to you for your ability to just be yourself, to create your own style, no matter what everyone else is or was doing.

You’re probably one of the only people in my life who buys me exactly what I want (*cough BOOKS cough*) — even if it’s some extra toilet paper and plastic Tupperware.

14. You’ve got stories that rival my stories

I may think I’m a total badass, but you will be quick to remind me that you’re way bad-asser.  I’ll never, ever, never ever forget where I got that shining personality from (I got it from my momma! I got it from my momma!).

15. You feel the feels

You have probably the biggest heart of anyone I know. You continually put others before yourself, you give, you worry, you care, you love. You’ve shown me through example that feeling all the feels isn’t a weakness, but a sign of strength. And for that I’ll be forever grateful.

On this, the eve of your birthday (30! AGAIN!), I want you to know just how much you mean, not only to me, but to everyone who is lucky and blessed enough to know you, to call you a friend, sister, daughter, co-worker, confidant, mentor, mom.

Words will never be able to do justice just how much I care about you, appreciate you, respect you, am impressed by you, just love you so damn much!

Happy birthday, mama!

I can’t wait to celebrate with you in just a few short weeks! 🙂





28 things I’ve learned by 28

This Saturday I turn 25 for the third time (so weird how that happened, right?!). Actually, I’m turning the big 2-8 and while I would normally be freaking out just a little bit, I’m surprisingly pretty chill about that fact that I’m inching ever so closely to my thirties and…ohmygoshimgettingsodamnoldhowdidthishappen?! Okay. I’m maybe slightly possibly kinda sorta freaking out about it. But ever the more reason to celebrate, right?!


So celebrate I will, damn it! Friday night I’m going out with some friends to whoop it up downtown Denver and then on Saturday the sis and I are going up to Ft. Collins to see my friend play in his band. It should be a great time and a perfect way to ring in my 25th x 3 year 28th year.

But before I put my party hat on and dig into the cake, I wanted to take a second to reflect on not only this past year (which has been pretty amazing, if I do say so myself), but all of my 28 years thus far. I like to think as you get you older, you get wiser. You experience new things, you make mistakes, you learn, you grow.  As you get older, you also begin to form a sort of perspective about life; love, relationships, your career and yourself. You recognize the things that you value most–the things that are important–and the things that aren’t. I don’t think I would be where I am at right now if I hadn’t done those things. It’s actually fun to look back and see how you have changed; to think about those experiences you would do over again; my first concert, sky diving, moving across the country and landing my dream job and those that you probably wouldn’t; my first kiss (sloppy, just so sloppy), my obsession with crimped hair and Doc Martins (basically all of sixth grade) and when my grandma lost her battle with cancer.

Through all of those experiences, I’ve changed, I’ve grown and have gone through some pretty crazy hair styles.

Here are 28 things that I have learned in my 25 x 3 28 years so far:

1. Mom really does know best.

I’ve always been close to my mom, but as I’ve gotten older a whole new respect, admiration and love for her has developed. She is the strongest woman I know and I can only hope to be like her one day. And those things she has always told you (always carry a jacket with you just in case it gets cold, listen to your heart—it will never steer you wrong, and all you need is a little faith) were absolutely right!


2. Smile.

You never know the impact you may have on another person simply by smiling at them or saying hello.

3. Do what makes you happy.

As long as it’s not a felony, basically. Life is too short to miss out on all the chances to be happy, to experience new and exciting things, to live the most kiss-ass life ever.

4. Floss.

5. Plans will change.

According to the plans I made in my early 20’s, I should be married with 2.5 kids, living in a cute cottage on the lake somewhere while working on the follow-up to my NY Times award-winning novel right now. The reality is that I’m about as close to living the direct opposite of that life as humanly possible. Cue ironic laughter. But you know what, that’s okay. Where I am right now is pretty alright. Things don’t always work out the way you planned them, and not just the big stuff—sometimes you will be handed a chocolate chip cookie, when all you wanted really was a peanut butter one. It’s important to embrace what comes, unexpected or not, and just roll with the punches. Sometimes the best laid plans are those that aren’t….planned, that is.

6. Tell those that are important to you how much you love them as often as you can.

7. Love your body.

‘F’ fashion, ‘F’ photoshop, ‘F’ the media. If you treat your body well, move it, put good things in it, care for it–it doesn’t matter what it looks like. You only have one body, there’s no use in hating on it because (in case you didn’t get the memo) you’re literally stuck in it. Embrace what you have and shake what your momma gave you!

8. The truest beauty is found from within.

It’s really not that hard to be a good person. It mostly just means being considerate of other folks and not being a jerk. Being a jerk actually takes more effort to do than being a good person, because you have to actively do jerk-like things, whereas being good is as simple as a smile (see above).

9. There’s always room for dessert. Always.


10. Read for the sake of reading.

Don’t do it to be smart or to impress anyone. Do it because you want to get lost in a story, you want to feel all the feelings and see what it’s like to live in somebody else’s shoes. It doesn’t matter what you read; just read. Also, there’s no such thing as having too many books. Take it from someone who does.


11. You’re never too old for blanket forts and Play-Doh.

12. Pizza is never a bad idea. Have another piece.

13. Life doesn’t necessarily ever get better.

There are good times and there are bad times. Always. You just get stronger and learn how to laugh at yourself.


14. Never miss an opportunity for car karaoke. Ever.

13. The only thing more crippling than the fear of failure, is the realization you’ve missed or thrown away opportunities due to your fear of failure.

Do. Try. Make as many mistakes as you can. Another piece advice from my mom (see above) is that you will never know unless you put yourself out there and just go for it!

14. And if you happen to fail—which you will, and that’s perfectly okay, dust yourself off, get back up and try, try, again.

15. Make pantless Saturday nights in a thing as much as possible.

16. This is the best show in the history of ever. Do not even try to fight me on this.

17. You’re never going to be able to make everyone happy. And that’s okay.

Be honest, open to new experiences and opportunities, and dedicate time to activities that are constructive and make you happy. Worrying about what others are thinking of you is not going to achieve anything. So just do you.

18. Laugh hard, laugh much, laugh often.

19. Travel hard, travel much, travel often.


20. If someone doesn’t look at you the way you look at a burrito, then move on.

This whole love thing is hard. In fact, it’s a battlefield. But one of the things I’ve learned is that it really shouldn’t be. If it’s good and pure and true love, it should just come naturally, it should be easy. I don’t think I’ve found my burrito…yet, but I know that when I do, it will be amazing and wonderful and will put Chipotle to shame.

21. Pick up the phone and call your friends/family.

No texts, no i-messages, no emails. Just talk. Every once in a while real convos with the people who mean the most to you are just the thing that you—and they, need.

22. You’re allowed to say no.

23. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to say yes.

24. Giant, suffocating bear hugs are the best.


25. Pray.

26. Banana, stuffed with marshmallows and chocolate, wrapped in tin foil over an open fire.

Do it.

27. Don’t you dare give up. Ever.

28. Life is crazy.

It’s unpredictable and weird and absurd and completely bonkers. You will meet amazing people and see incredible places. You will fall, get back up and fall again. You will have your heart broken, only to have someone walk into your life and put the pieces back together again. You will wonder, you will dream, you will inspire.

Life is crazy. But it’s also pretty damn amazing.

I may be turning 25 x 3 28, and it may be a bit scary, but if this is what I have learned, what I’ve been able to experience so far? Bring on the next 28 years, baby!

I’m ready!

Almost a Quarter

…of a century year old?! Yikes-a-bee!

I am officially turning the big 2-5 in three days. How in the world did that happen? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was just a mere hands’ (instead of the five, count ’em FIVE) years-old worth of fingers, getting blocks thrown at my head during playtime in kindergarten–I’ve got to hand it to him, little Tommy Layton had quite the arm…and aim. It’s crazy how time flies!

Turning another year older, another year wiser isn’t really a huge deal to me. I am no longer young enough to dream about getting older, wanting desperately to graduate from the kids’ menu, drive a car and drink a cold Coors Light. Legally. The big deal about turning 25? Well…I can finally rent a car (which I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting and waiting to do so!). On the flip side, I am not yet old enough to dread adding another year to my age, another wrinkle, another cracking joint. I have a good long ways to go until I do that. But you know what, even when I finally get to that point, I think I will embrace it with open arms, making like Kelly and handling it with Grace. It may not be as monumental of an event, but it did get me to think of my past 25 years. What I learned. What I have yet to learn. My experiences and my hopes for the next 25 years.

Let me give you an example: When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play (From Eminem to Styx, I am all over the place!). You know how to walk in heels (wobbly, very wobbly), how to tie a necktie (yes, but aren’t clip-ons so much easier fellas?), how to give a good toast at a wedding (To my best friend…) and how to make something for dinner (preferably something not Spaghettio or Hot Pocket related).

You should know how to fall in love without losing yourself.

At 25, you should acknowledge that you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents. You should know the names of the current Secretary of State,  your Great-Grandmas and your local ice cream truck driver (hi Mr. Gomez!). You should know who you can trust, who you can’t and how not to take it personally. By 25, you should know your favorite kind of pizza (Pepperoni please), your favorite way to eat eggs (Hard boiled or scrambled) and your favorite late-night snack (Anything having to do with ice cream. And cookies. And cookies in ice cream).

You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.

Turning 25 may not be reason to schedule a presidential address, but you know what, it is kind of cool. Thinking back on those 25 years, my 25 years, a lot has happened. Great things. Not so great things. Things that I want to remember and things that I would rather forget. But it was all of those things that have gotten me to the place that I am now, a smart, ambitious, silly, head-in-the-clouds dreaming, Styx-listening, wobbly-heal walking, ice cream-eating, optimistic gal who can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.

Now that I think is something to celebrate!

With even (hopefully) one of these 🙂

Hope you all are having a great Sunday friends!

Question of the day: Birthdays: are you a fan?


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