Adventure is Out There: One Year In {40×41}

Well y’all, today is the day.  My 40th birthday.  I’m just a few hours in, but it feels so strangely normal that it’s almost odd.  For weeks I’ve been asked time and again… what are you doing? how are you celebrating? what are you getting?  and so on and so forth.  All totally normal questions asked with great excitement, of course.  But I almost hated to say for fear of being a let down.

Here’s what I’m doing TODAY… getting my littles ready for school, having a cup of coffee in my favorite chair, watching a reprise of my baby’s school play, taking a walk around the neighborhood, hoping to find some new white jeans, possibly going back for the white Lilly pineapple dress y’all loved so much, getting stuff for John’s teacher’s birthday on Friday, maybe re-planting the pots on my front porch, attending a meeting at school for a first grade event at the end of the month, taking the littles for hair cuts, deciding if I should register for just the Peachtree Road Race or blow it out and do the 10 miler and 1/2 marathon too (OMG!), heading to dinner with Honey and the kids, practicing a speech on Uranus (and trying not to die of laughter) with John, and probably doing a boat load of other homework.  It’s just so normal and, quite honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend my day.

That being said, years ago I set my sights on a wonderfully exciting and adventurous once in a lifetime trip that is finally happening this spring.  I’m literally so excited that I burst into a cheesy ear to ear grin every time I think about it.  I’ve talked my friends and family to death about it and have spreadsheets and lists and a planning notebook bursting at the seams.  I couldn’t ask for anything more than this adventure with my family and I can hardly believe it’s actually going to happen after two years of planning and saving.  I’ve talked about two parts of it here on the blog (LA and Disneyland), but there is a third leg of the trip that will also take us to Hawaii!!!!  *squeals with delight*


In addition to our big trip, today marks one year of progress on my Adventure is Out There {40×41} bucket list.  I spent my 39th birthday dreaming up a list of things I’d love to accomplish before the end of my 40th year.  The list is comprised of dreams, challenges, fears and silly fun.  Over the course of the last year I’ve checked 15 things off the list and have a slew of others in the hopper!


Check out my original post for an update!

All adventures and gifts and celebrations aside, today I just feel so deeply blessed to be here.  To have had forty full years of life.  As I get older I realize just how fleeting life really is.  How long the days can be yet how short the years truly are.  At forty I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for being able to walk this life with Honey by my side.  For two beautiful boys that challenge me and teach me and inspire me every single day – something I never even dreamed of wanting.  For two parents that have loved me so wholly and completely every single second of the last forty years of my life.  For a sister that is also my best friend, who has been there through thick and thin never wavering in her love for me.  For Honey’s family that welcomed me with open arms.  For a puppy that adores me so much more than I am worthy of.  For an amazing, irreplaceable job that affords me the opportunity to work on a brand I love while still being home to raise my kids.  For a home that I knew was made for us the very second I peered through its 40 year old windows.  And for true friends that span the decades of my lifetime.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  There’s no material thing that I want for.  Not a newer, bigger better home.  Not a new car.  Not diamonds.  At forty, all I can ask for, all I pray for, is for more days here with the ones I love.  And for adventures and memories and experiences that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my lifetime.

It is a wonderful life here on the other side of the proverbial hill.  Indeed it is.



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46 thoughts on “Adventure is Out There: One Year In {40×41}

  1. Happy Birthday! What a cute post…your travel plans sound just like what I would like to do this year with our family. I don’t know much about it and was wondering if you had any travel tips on places to stay and see in Hawaii?

    1. Thank you!! I went once 11 years ago but was 7 months pregnant and didn’t leave our resort on Maui. This time we are only going to Oahu but are doing everything there is to do there – I will definitely share our experiences!!

  2. Happy Birthday to you!! It sounds like you have a wonderful day planned, enjoy it to the max. And go buy that pineapple Lilly dress! I’ve been meaning to post and say thank you for this blog and for keeping it so down to earth. It seems like so many blogs get over run with affiliate links and posed pictures of the blogger, and yours just stays perfect. I love your relaxed photos with your cute boys and family, I love your party tips, and I love your travel tips. You are going to have such fun planning for Hawaii!! And I also love how you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every holiday. I always wonder how bloggers can change their holiday decor year to year. My kids would have a conniption!! they love their holiday traditions. Keep up the good work and thank you again! This is already long, but I have to share one more thing…one of my husband’s favorite jokes, “Is that the North Star? No, it’s Uranus (your anus ;))”

  3. Happiest of birthdays Amanda! I hope your day is filled with light, laughter and love! you continue to inspire us all with your blog and your dedication to family, friends and fun times!

  4. Happy birthday! Love following your adventures. To put your 40th in perspective, my 35 year old daughter was diagnosed last week with a brain tumor. She is a wife and mom and I pray to God that she will celebrate a 40 year old birthday. ???

  5. Happy birthday Amanda. Forty (or your actual 41st year) is great if my memory serves me. ? I know you’ll make the most of it. I just got back from my first Disney Cruise as a result of your posts. We had a lovely time. Even though I’m no where near the point of wanting to celebrate life, I had a very relaxing time. I spent quality time with my husband, brother, sister and their spouses (adults only this cruise) and had a much needed respite from my grieving process. I even had lots of smiles. Thanks for all of you’re information and recommendations. It helped quite a bit. Oh, just to let you know, they no longer take the books, photo mats or pillow cases at the beginning of cruise to be signed by characters. They said you now have to stand in lines and actually meet the characters. That was our only disappointment. We had 6 Disney story books between our three cabins ( for grand kids, nieces and nephews) along with your suggested treats and markers. That was our only disappointment. I just wanted to tell you so you could add that update to your blog. Have a wonderful birthday and fun with your bucket list.

  6. I knew it! Lol! Call it intuition, but I had a feeling! I assume you are going to Aulani? My 40th is this year too, and I have been wanting to go to Hawaii (I’ve been once but it was many moons ago.). Unfortunately, my husband and kids have decided that we will instead be buying a boat (but I did get a trip to WDW this spring). Poor me. Anyhoo, back to the Aloha State, I know you’ll do all the big touristy things…Pearl Harbor has got to be one of the most touching things you will ever experience, the luau’s, the Dole Pineapple Plantation; they are all amazing. The sand at Waikiki is nothing like our sand on the Emerald Coast. Prob my very favorite thing of all was snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. It was just amazing. I also loved the International Marketplace. They had some of the most unique items that I still treasure just because they are from Hawaii.

    Can’t wait to hear all about it! Happiest of birthdays to you!

  7. I am now crying – you have such a wonderful way of using words to express the perfect reflection of thoughts. Such touching words. Happy Birthday!

  8. What a beautiful post! I feel much the same as you at 41. Can’t wait to follow along on your trip!

    Happiest of birthdays! xoxo

  9. Amanda you truly have it figured out, it takes most people a lifetime to find out what is really important. You show your children what is important by how you live your life. I would say your two kids are very lucky indeed.

  10. Happy Birthday!! As someone who just recently celebrated 45 (yikes!) I can tell you it truly only gets better as long as you have the love of your family.

    Oh and I highly suggest staying at Disney’s aulani resort….it was out BEST vacation ever and we are anxiously awaiting our next trip there summer of 2017!!!!!!

  11. Happy, Happy Birthday, Amanda!! Wishing you the most wonderful day and year! What brings me back to your blog day in and day out is not just how talented you are and the fabulous things you share, but your truly delightful outlook on life. It’s something special – and so are you! Happy Day!!

  12. Are you going to share pics of your family portraits and who took them?? Hope that your day is wonderful. I so enjoy your blog. Happy Birthday! Vickie

  13. Happy birthday! I am really hoping you are visiting Aulani because I would love to see your review of it!

  14. Happy Birthday. Your normal day sounds perfect. I am 1 year and a few months shy of turning 40 and your post made me feel better about it. I am a little nervous. Hawaii is a place I’ve always wanted to see, oh that will be so fun! Enjoy your day with your family!


  15. Dear Amanda, happy, happy birthday! Thank you so much for your beautiful blog and for sharing your beautiful spirit with us. In this dreary season of our nation you are a breath of spring air! I am probably your mother’s age but you inspire me with every post. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  16. Happy birthday, Amanda! What a terrific way to spend your special day! Wishing you all the best today and for all of your tomorrows. Love to read your story each day, whether funny, amazing, inspiring, or thought-provoking. Life with 2 boys is never dull!

  17. Happy Birthday Amanda! I can think of no better way to spend a birthday than with the loves of my life, who happen to be my honey and my boys. I’ve never been to CA or Disneyland but I have been to Hawaii, once in college and dream of doing back. I hope you have an amazing day.

  18. Happy Birthday Amanda!!! I saw “40” seven years ago and can tell you, Life gets better and better! I’m a mom of 2 boys myself (1 is a teenager and the other becomes a teen next month) and there’s no better gift than those people with whom you share your life! Enjoy your day, and enjoy your amazing trip! Can’t wait to read all about it!

  19. Amen and amen. I’ve climbed a couple more hills than you, and I couldn’t agree more. I have all of the material things I could ever want and really just pray for more happy experiences and memories with my family. Happiest of birthdays to you and many more.

  20. Happy birthday!! I’m in agreement with so many others who wrote that you inspire me daily. You have such a beautiful spirit and I feel like we would be besties if I lived in Atlanta. Your blog is the only one I read these days, being a busy Mommy, and I look forward to what you share with us. I’m so excited for your trip and can’t think of someone more deserving of such a fun adventures. Thank you for taking us along with you. Happy happy birthday Amanda!!

  21. Happy Birthday! With age comes wisdom, and I am much wiser than you, and you will find that people and experiences are really all that the world is about. Enjoy those people and those experiences- they’re both the best gifts of all!

  22. I have thoroughly enjoyed following your blog Amanda, and wish you a very special birthday! You will love Hawaii! All the tropical splendor of the Caribbean, and in the US! Try to see Pearl Harbor if you go to Oahu. Blessings to you and your darling family. Keep San Francisco on your bucket list–maybe for 50?

  23. Happiest of birthdays to you! You are going to enjoy your 40’s because you know how to make every day wonderful. My oldest son was 30 yesterday and it is such fun watching him now that he’s a father and I’m a grandmother to a precious angel! I agree with the other comments, your blog is the best because you share your life and the ups and downs of every day. Thanks for being real. I can tell how much you love your family and your life. I know you will have such fun on your birthday trip!

  24. Happy birthday, dear Amanda. May God bless you with abundant health, blessings and joy. You are a gift to the world and your giving nature is so very much appreciated. May the next forty be just as magical.

  25. Beautifully put! I am about a year away from my 40th (seems unbelievable as I type it) and your words makes me look forward to it and the adventures and memories still to be made! Happy Birthday!

  26. Happy Birthday Amanda! I’m also a mom of two sweet boys and a huge Lilly lover!! I actually own a women’s apparel boutique in Greenwood, SC called Sugar and we sell Lilly Pulitzer. So yes, obsessed is an understatement. I end up in Atlanta several times a year for market and I’ve read your blog for years. You are seriously my #boymom role model :) Hope you have a fantastic WEEK full of sweet snuggles with those precious boys and lots of fabulous green and pink too! xoxo

  27. Happiest of birthdays to you! Cheers to 40! Love reading your blog – it’s my daily fave. All the best in the year to come.

  28. Wishing you belated but nonetheless happy birthday!! Your blog is one of my very favorites and I love the enthusiasm with which you live your life! It is very inspiring and I wish you many wonderful years to come! Sincerely, Shari

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