Family Fun, Gratitude, Life

Level 39

Whew, I’ve made it to Level 39 in the Game of Life!!! Today is my 39th birthday.

(As I did last year, stealing my friend Joel’s “level” reference re: birthday years, because it’s just fun to me! 🙂 )

(Also, I just accidentally clicked something and published this post with 1 1/2 sentences written, so, WHOOPS! If you got this in your email a little while ago looking very incomplete, that would be why. That was a first for me- never had that happen before! A little birthday gift from WordPress. 😆)

39!! My LAST YEAR in my 30’s. This feels…. a little strange, I will say. Part of me still always feels like I just graduated from high school a few years ago. I think the whole period from first having kids through now has been a bit of a weird, crazy, and wonderful blur. I feel like 0-17 lasted approximately 90 years, and 17-39 lasted about 5 years. lol.

No great big plans for today. We got home last night from a weekend away in Wisconsin Dells, aka “the Waterpark Capital of the World”, if you’ve never heard of it. It is a tourist hub in Wisconsin, full of waterpark resorts- both indoor and outdoor. They have tons of other local attractions around the city, mostly just places that you can feel free to spend a LOT of money, if you should so desire. (Think like, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, haunted houses, go kart places, huge arcades, escape rooms, themed restaurants, etc etc.)

It’s only about 40 minutes from our house, yet it’s a place we rarely visit. Not really sure why, as it’s basically a kid’s paradise. But you know how it is- local tourism just never seems to have quite the same allure as faraway places!

However, it’s a perfect place for a little getaway, as it is also located in a very beautiful part of the state. We spent Saturday enjoying some “fall fun”/ hiking and leaf peeping with my parents. 🙂 Then Saturday night to Sunday night we spent at an indoor waterpark resort, which the kids hadn’t been to in many years now. (We used to take them there most years when they were little, but hadn’t been in a long time now.)

I will share more about our mini-vacay tomorrow!! But here are a few sneak peak pics:

Me, enjoying a birthday weekend fall hike!!

A slow, relaxing Sunday morning at our condo- tea + fireplace + book + fall leaves out my window 🙂 (And the boys were off playing pool in the lobby with my mom during this time, so it was extra peaceful.)
Waterpark fun!! I also rode slides and got all wet and shrieked as we plummeted down big drops in water tubes. It was actually VERY FUN and a little exhilarating… a moment that made me feel grateful to be alive and well and enjoying my life and adventures with my family!!


Not too much on the agenda, really! I took a slow start to the workday and was up early, enjoying a cup of tea and reading in my dark, quiet office with some soft music playing. Bliss.

After school drop off, I hit the gym for Legs and Abs day:

Again, GRATEFUL to be able to move my 39 year old body, and to be able to put a heavy barbell on my back and squat it! Determined to protect and care for this only body that I have, for as long as I’m allowed to inhabit it. 🙂

Rest of the day = work…. didn’t bother to take off, though part of me wishes I had. Tonight the boys have activities, so I don’t think we’ll do much. But that’s quite alright with me. I already had a spectacular weekend. It’s a COLD sort of snowy/ rainy day here, and I would be thrilled to just snuggle in tonight by the fireplace and maybe watch a show or a movie or something before bed.

I’m just feeling blessed and happy right now to have wonderful people in my life, from my family, to friends, to even casual acquaintances who enrich my life in so many ways, to you wonderful blog readers that fill me up in a way that I never dreamed I would enjoy so much! I feel grateful for the life Ivan and I have built, too. When I zoom out and look at things from a wide lens, I am pretty darn lucky. ❤️

Next stop…. 4-0!

I will not complain, though:

“Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.”

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for my life- I’m still here, on this planet, still going…. and trying to soak it all up and appreciate it. Not always easy to do every day! But it’s a mission worth fighting for. I don’t want a minute to pass me by. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Level 39”

  1. Happy happy birthday!! I am glad you got some fun family time in over the weekend. Weekday birthdays are tough since everyone is so busy. I never take my bday off since it’s in feb so not a great time of year to do things. Although one year I spent my bday in Mexico which was wonderful!! It was just Phil and me but I got lots of bday texts and such so still felt connected to others.

    You have a great attitude about your birthday. I love birthdays! I mean I don’t do anything big but I love celebrating turning another year older and wiser. I got pregnant a month after turning 39. So my late 30s were very different from your since I got married and had 2 kids. I had a harder time turning 30 than 40. Most of my friends were married and starting families when I turned 30 and I was single so felt kind of behind on life. At 40 I had a great husband, 2 kids, a great career, wonderful friends, etc. I had gotten to the point where I was ok with being single and maybe not having a family in my early 30s, though. But I felt very lucky to have what I had at 40. Although it was 2021 and I had a baby so travel wasn’t possible nor was it appealing. I guess our Mexico trip is kind of a belated hurrah for Phil and I + a 5yr anniversary trip! Neither of us did much for our 40th birthdays. But I imagine you might do something cool for yours next year? I had wanted to do a joint 40th bday party but it never happened. So maybe we will do that for our 50th!

    Anyways have a wonderful day!!!!


    1. Thanks Lisa!! No plans for 40th next year yet… I would definitely be up for maybe a shorter getaway trip somewhere, but not sure yet, as we already have some travel plans for next year. We’ll see!!


  2. Happy, happy day! I hope you’re able to enjoy some treats.

    My husband and I have taken to meeting our in-laws who have children in the Dells. It feels weird for us to go without children, but waterparks for fun for adults, too, especially in February and March!


    1. Definitely still fun for adults!! We used to go in March when the boys were little and it always felt so good in the warm dome area of the water park when it was freezing outside.


  3. Love this! Those pictures of the fall forest are truly gorgeous. How I love the colours of autumn.

    The waterpark looks like so much fun, as does a quiet moment by the fire.

    Lisa also mentioned flurries today. Yikes! I am so not ready for the snow to start yet…but this time of year is so finnicky and I know the cold weather stuff can start any time.

    Happy Birthday. I love your reflections in this post and that quote is so right; getting older is a real privilege. I also think that so much self awareness comes with each passing year which while sometimes painful, really does make life feel richer! You’ve built such a great life with your family and I hope today feels extra special as you celebrate your 39th birthday!


  4. Oooh the Dells! I haven’t gone with kids since we only had 2 and they were 8 months and not quite 3 and I had just started a new job 4 days ago…… and we went with 6 other families and every one of us had a stomach bug when we got home 😛 So yes I am sufficiently scarred even though I think it’d be so fun now!! I also went with girlfriends and we did Sundara Spa which was amazing!!

    I turned 40 last year and it truly has been my favorite year yet! I love my life and who I am at 40 so much more than when I was younger (good thing I guess) so I just feel very grateful to be here.


    1. I have never tried Sundara but would love to sometime! I’ve heard such good things. Your kids would definitely love the Dells now- and like I said, it’s a nice shorter getaway location! And that’s so good to hear about your 40s. I hope that’s the same case for me too! I can see how you just grow and become more comfortable with yourself and who you are, what you want, etc as you get older, so it does make sense.


  5. Happy happy birthday! I was one of those people who opened this post in my emails and saw how it ended pretty abruptly after a line or two – ha! It made me smile 🙂

    I hope you had a great day and evening.

    I enjoy your posts and gratitude so much!


    1. Haha, yeah I don’t even know how that happened!! It was some accidental keyboard shortcut combination it seemed. All of a sudden it flashed and was like “published!” And I said, oh crap!! Hahaha! Tried to undo it, but the email goes out pretty instantly… lol! Oh well. This is why I am not a professional blogger. 🤣

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. happy birthday!!! I fully agree about wondering if I am true close to 42 somedays… like there is a large gap between 20s and 30s, not sure what I did there nor what I thought about life. One thing that I notice the most is the not caring about people’s expectations anymore, probably not even mine as I learned to prioritize more what gives me pleasure as I age.
    40 is also great and really not a big jump from 39. You have a great attitude toward life and ageing, so really age is just a number and we can make it fun and exciting at any age.
    I wonder what gifts did you get… especially from husband. I never learn what I’d get because I’m so hard to buy gifts. hahaha…


  7. Happy belated birthday, Kae! May this new year bring all the happiness and laughter in the world 🙂

    I had to chuckle at this sentence because I feel the same way “I feel like 0-17 lasted approximately 90 years, and 17-39 lasted about 5 years.”. Time perception is a weird thing!!

    Can’t wait to read more about your getaway! Gorgeous pictures!


  8. Oh, happy happy (belated) birthday. I hope you had a wonderful evening with fireplace and relaxing and enjoying your wonderful family. I, too, would love to go to Sundara. I keep looking it up, every season or so, then closing it out because, $$. Sigh. But I think it might *just* be worth it. 😉


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