birthday number thirty-five

May 7, 2009

Today is my 35th birthday. I was going to have a big party with all the people I love…well, okay, not ALL of them, but quite a few of my local friends and their children/husbands/pets/etc., but the weather is just not cooperating! We are supposed to have 25 mph winds and some thunderstorms this afternoon, so I rescheduled till next Thursday. Now it will probably be a beautiful day!

My present to myself is finished (a big thank you to Cosette for letting me use her computer for hours yesterday so I could utilize the amazing Adobe Acrobat Pro to organize all the individual files into something the copy center could deal with)! Last night at 6:45 I walked out of the copy shop with it completed! It is my new homeschool mom planner “transform my life and save my sanity” organizer. How will it do this, you wonder? The answer is simple! It will eliminate all the little pieces of paper I write important stuff on and then LOSE. It has forms for all the stuff I need to keep track of – calendars, weekly planners (I call these ones Strategizing for Success, so the part of me that rejects all things resembling a structured schedule will be able to deal with it) menus, shopping lists, books we want to check out at the library, books we loved reading, books we want to buy, projects I am working on, mentor meetings, monthly stewardships, birthdays, thank you’s, contacts, and some extra sheets of paper for jotting down notes. The pages have a different quote on each page – each one chosen specifically to bring me encouragement, truth, laughter, or peace. Isn’t that fabulous…each day as I am pondering what to check out at the library, what we need for dinner, or what I will be teaching at a seminar, I will have beautiful quotes to brighten my day! I am in love with the front cover – it is made up of excerpts from Julie B. Beck’s talk, “Mothers Who Know”. I will get to be reinspired each day as I read those powerful words!

Here are some pics:magnificent menulibrary listsstrategizing for successmothers who know

Many people who know of this project of mine have asked to purchase them. I am working on a way to make that possible. I am thinking of allowing people to buy the files and then they can print them however cheaply or fancily (is that a real word, I wonder?) they choose. Let me know if you are interested!

My dear husband woke me up this morning with a live morning milkshake – uuummmm, scrumptious! Then it was present time! Richard gave me this “Life is Good” hat:

life is good hat

Keziah gave me a book she made, a blue heart that says “I love you” and “Happy Birthday,” AND two king-size Reeses, my favorite!heart and reeses

It is a tradition of mine to write a letter on my birthday to my mother, thanking her for giving birth to me and for being my mom, after all, it is HER “birth” day. She gave birth to me on this day, was willing to give 10 months (yes, I was born at 44 weeks!) of her life being pregnant with me, and then endured a really long and tough labor with me. I love doing this because I remember all the wonderful things I have been taught by her and am filled with gratitude that I get this opportunity to be here on earth. My mom loves these letters and I think it helps her view herself a bit more lovingly. Try it!

Last year on my birthday, I wrote a lengthy letter about the lessons I had learned. As I reread it this morning, I wanted to say “ditto”. So here it is again. If you read it last year, soak it in again. If it is new, enjoy!

Birthday Reflections – May 7, 2008

Today is my 34th birthday and I have been pondering. Today, I want to share with you some things I have learned in my time here on earth.

I have learned that God loves me. Perhaps I haven’t learned this, but more accurately remembered it. I have learned He will help me in a myriad of ways, even when I don’t really deserve it. I have learned that true happiness comes when I am being true to eternal truth, treating others as children of God, and loving with my whole soul. I have learned that connecting with other’s spirits is the most powerful way of being and can, does, and will heal hearts and change lives. I have learned that miracles happen every day – every single day. I have learned that God’s ways are not my ways, and they are infinitely better. I have learned that a baby is a gift from my Father to help me learn His ways. I have learned to trust Him. I have learned that living each day, really giving my heart to what I am doing on a daily basis, brings joy. I have learned that laundry and dishes never end and I can be depressed about it, angry about it, just get it done, or I can wash it and fold it with love for each member of my family and rejoice that we have clothing and food and I have a family to take care of. I have learned to take advantage of the sunny days. I have learned that being “first” does not mean being “best” or even “better”, it simply means “first” and can often mean “last”. I have learned that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. I have learned that being a woman is a privilege I am grateful for. I have learned that motherhood is the best way for me to become the woman God created me to be. I have learned that if my children truly feel my love for them, it is a successful day. I have learned the power of a loving husband to change my life. I have learned that his love teaches me about God’s love and allows me to blossom and mature as a woman. I have learned that pain is real, that it hurts deeper than I ever thought possible, and that love IS the salve that heals it. I have learned that it is impossible for me to bury pain, it will keep coming out of the grooves and crevices of my life until I give it to my Savior and allow Him to wrap me in His blanket of mercy. I have learned that friends are critical on this journey and I am so, so grateful for mine. I have learned the power of a righteous matriarch. I thank my Heavenly Father continually for sending me to my Grandma Smith’s family to be tutored by her love and wisdom. I have learned that a bike ride on a sunny day can change my whole outlook on life. I have learned that God sends people to me to teach me, help me, bless me, and love me. I have learned that I can torture myself with worry and that it doesn’t help me at all in coming to truth. I have learned that it is okay to mess up and that what I learn in the process is invaluable. I have learned how to cry. I have learned it is not weak to cry. I have learned that if I am not crying AND laughing, I am not living. I have learned that a smile can change everything. I have learned that we all learn differently and God is here to help us individually in our own best ways of learning. I have learned He will do ALL He can to bring me and you and everyone home to Him, but we still have to choose eternal life over everything else.

Happy Birthday to me!
Thank you for your presence in my life – I love you.


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  1. Happy birthday Tracy! What a lovely way to celebrate.

    And you say you’re not organized. hehe Actually, the key now is to use that wonderful book – I know you will. ;)

  2. Mom

    Oh my goodness Suzette Q! You are such a miracle! So amazing, so wonderful, so cheerful, so full of life, so full of joy. I have enjoyed every minute of my life with you! Blessings to you on this special birthday! Love Me

  3. Robin Miller

    Happy Birthday, my dear friend! I am so anxious to see this binder! I’ve been moving in the same direction, but it’s still in the beginning stages. Please bring it to Green Canyon! I cant wait to see you!

  4. Happy Birthday!!! I’m only about 1/2 a year behind you. :)