Today is my birthday, and I am spending it in Thailand. Last year’s was in Albania, the year before that in China, and next year it’ll be in Indonesia (where I’ll spend the next few birthdays, I hope!). Tonight’s celebration will be low key, something I haven’t done in a while. I usually throw big birthday parties, typically with a theme that involves me and my guests dressing up in ridiculous outfits. Last year’s bash was a prom-themed pub crawl ending in a 90’s prom. It was pretty epic! But tonight, I’m going to dinner at one of my favorite local joints with a few close friends I’ve made in Thailand. It’s going to be perfect! This weekend, to celebrate my birthday and Lauren’s (on Sunday), we’ll stay in a posh hotel in downtown Bangkok for a staycation. The plan is to shop at Chatuchak Market on Saturday, grab drinks Saturday night, and get dressed up for a badass brunch on Sunday. Again…perfection! 🙂
I had so much fun making my list of 35 things last year that I thought I’d do it again! So, in honor of my 36th birthday, here’s my list of 36 things that make me happy (in no particular order).
- Quality time with friends and family
- Giving the *perfect* gift…the one that the recipient totally loves, but never knew they wanted
- Planning…currently I’m planning my month in the states this summer and my impending move to Indonesia
- Decorating my place…I’m so stoked about my new house in Indonesia that I keep scouring Pinterest for ideas, shopping online, dreaming about my new place, and wishing time would go faster so I can be there already! It’s gonna be amazing!
- Teaching…being back in the classroom during this season of my life has allowed me to reconnect with this passion
- Popcorn and M&M’s
- Sweet tea…I can’t wait to get some Chick-fil-A sweet tea this summer!
- Researching and trying out new restaurants…I’m such a foodie!
- Donuts, especially from Shipley’s in Texas
- Holding babies
- Mango sticky rice…Thailand has spoiled me!
- Reading! I have been able to reconnect with that part of me during this season, and I am so glad…I’ve really missed it.
- Cooking…not being able to (no kitchen here, sadly) has really shown me how much I love it and how much I miss it
- Smoothie bowls…tried it for the first time in Bali and man, I’m hooked!
- My writer’s notebook…I’m loving the one Michelle gave me for Christmas
- Apple products…I’m a Macbook Air, iPhone, and iPad user (I know, it’s a cult. I’m okay with that.)
- My family…I get to see them in 22 days!!! Ahhhhh!
- Starbucks tumblers and mugs…I own way too many, but they’re just so darn cute!
- Snocones…from JJ’s or Bahama Buck’s only
- Traveling! Filling up my passport is my biggest hobby. I love planning trips…the anticipation of an upcoming trip is what gets me through the tough parts of life. Other than my trip home and my move, my next big trip is Paris in October! Sooooo excited to get reacquainted with this lovely city that captured my heart (and stomach) last time around.
- Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola
- Fresh fruit, especially mango, pineapple, dragonfruit, berries (all kinds), and green grapes
- Finding the perfect travel accessories and bags that make traveling that much easier and fun
- Making lists 😉
- Sharing stories
- A good smelling candle
- Bath & Body Works hand soaps
- Going to the movies…so many good ones coming out this summer!!
- Biking…can’t wait to get back into it!
- Coming home to a clean house that I didn’t have to clean
- All my Thai faves…Pad Thai, Panaeng and yellow curries, Kao soi, Tom Yum, Som Tum (not too spicy!)
- Throwing parties
- Photographing things that inspire me, foods that taste (and look) delicious, people I love, places I love, and things that make me smile or laugh
Happy happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful dinner tonight and I am smiling all the way to the bottom of my heart you and Lauren will be celebrating together, love Sandy
Happy Birthday! I am grateful you dropped by Thailand for awhile…
Ms Jennifer, just wanted to say Happy Birthday – mine is tomorrow so I’m in the same frame of mind you are with this post I just read. Looking at all the things I am thankful for in my life.
Not the least of these is the time I have spent here in Bryan with your Mom and Dad. And getting to know you, Andrew, Lisa and kids. You are all like extended family to me. Love you all.
Retiring definitely does make a person stop and reflect on what might come next. I know my family is very important to me and I want to be there to do whatever I can to help and be with them. But I also know that God is not finished with me yet. He does have something more for me to do, and I am excited to see what that might be. Who knows I may end up on the other side of the world like you.
I have really enjoyed your blogs, living as you do, to the fullest – Keep it up!
Many blessings I hope for you – and just be careful when you get back on that bike!!
Bryan, TX 77808
Have a Blessed Day
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