Monday, April 21, 2014

Turning Thirty-Eight (and Forty)

The day before my 38th birthday, I cut out of work early and drove down to Santa Barbara to do a little shopping and run some errands. As I wound down the curves of the San Marcos Pass, a familiar song came on the radio. Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten"—which was the theme song from the terrible reality show, The Hills.

When I stayed outside of London with Mr. W in 2009, I watched The Hills every day, longing for California sunshine instead of the summer gloom that hung over our flat. I couldn't help but smile at the silliness of the memory as I drove along with the California coastline in my sights. So much had changed since that summer.

I was turning 38, I was married, and as I was cruising down the mountain toward one of the dreamiest cities I know, Mr. W was en-route to our new house and new life to—finally—begin permanently living with me again. I was suddenly struck by the image of us driving toward each other, like two lovers running across a crowded airport after having been apart for too long. I couldn't help myself. I started to overflow with gratitude and cry.

Natasha's words rang out from the radio, "Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten."


I enjoyed some fruitless shopping on State Street and then Mr. W called and said he was close. We decided to meet at a Mexican restaurant for some tacos and beer. I felt like the luckiest girl ever. Getting my husband back (and celebrating with chips and salsa) was the best birthday present I could have asked for.

We spent the next day puttering around the house and tasting wine at the Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival. It was a great way to ring in my 38th.

Four days after that, Mr. W turned the big four-oh, so we took off on a roadtrip to see part of the country he had never visited. I grew up taking summer vacations at Lake Powell every year, so Southern Utah and Northern Arizona have always held a special place in my heart. Traveling through them with Mr. W made that place grow even larger.

We started off with a birthday dinner at some dear friends' house in St. George, Utah. Then we headed to Bryce Canyon for a day, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon, and finished with a night in Flagstaff. It was a whirlwind trip with lots of driving and new step records on our Fitbits that left our feet aching, but we had a great time.

Bryce National Park

Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon

Selfie amongst the hoodoos

Emerald Pools Trail, Zion National Park
Lake Powell, Arizona (and Utah)

Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell

The Grand Canyon, to which no picture can do justice

Now we are back home and the life we've been dying to live—the one of home renovations and small-scale farming and chicken raising and wine drinking—will finally start in earnest.

The book is about to begin.


  1. What an awesome tribute to yourself, your hubbie, your vacation and the life you're creating together. Happy times, indeed!

    1. It was such a great vacation - and much needed! We're all refreshed to start workin' on the farm now! :P

  2. Dear cousin,
    Your writing warms my heart! I love that song. Whenever I hear it I get excited! Everyday is a new day to start out fresh. My book I believe is unwritten too!
    Love you.

    1. Awe your comment warms my heart, Kay! I love that you love that song. Aries cousins unite!

  3. Such happiness! :-) Glad to hear it, friend. And man, I need to get back to the Grand Canyon.

    1. The Grand Canyon blew my mind. I thought it would be cool but there's just no describing how massive and awe-inspiring it really is. Photos and words don't do it justice.


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