So yesterday my daughter sprang out of bed like a shot, ready to make breakfast. You see, she’d been planning this breakfast for WEEKS. My husband told me the night before that under no circumstances was I to get out of bed before the girl presented me with breakfast in bed – her treasured gift for my birthday. Who am I to argue with staying in bed on a weekend morning? And my four year-old was right. Breakfast in bed is an excellent way to start your birthday. I look forward to surprising her with the same treat in January. I can hear the giggles of delight now.

As I kick-off this new year of sorts, my heart is full.

1. We live close enough to my parents that we were treated to my birthday dinner at their house. I think celebrating a birthday with your parents is a pretty special event, especially once you have kids of your own.

2. One of my treasured birthday moments was having the kids play (quietly, in separate rooms even) while my husband and I read books on the couch next to one another. I don’t think we’ve shared this magical experience since before our son was born over seven years ago.

3. My son played “Happy Birthday” for me on the piano, a tune he taught himself by ear, while my mom presented me with my cake. His gift and passion for music can sometimes be a bit much, but there’s no substitution for the smile on his face when he pulls off a new song to entertain a crowd.

4. When I think of how my past year was spent and look ahead to this next year, I am happy with my choices. Like my husband said in an email to me today, “We are coming up on a GOOD year.” We’re ready for that.

5. Yesterday a childhood friend of mine had labor induced and she is SO CLOSE to welcoming her daughter into the world tonight. It was the same day that my roommate from my college studies abroad in Cortona, Italy married her soul mate. I’d call that a good day.

6. Next month I kick-off my Happiness Project Book Club at the YMCA where I teach. We’re using Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project book. I’m looking forward to truly examining the choices I make and the impact they have on my own happiness.

As for now, I’m going to soak-in the residual sunshine from yesterday’s festivities  . . . and have just one more bite of cake.