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June 7, 2012

The kids made this sign 2 weeks ago and then asked me to hide it for them until my actual birthday. Pretty sneaky, guys.

It’s kind of a big one, I tell the kids, this turning 40.

Like when I turned 5, Rosie says knowingly.

Exactly, I tell her.

But why is it so big, Col wants to know. It’s because of the decades, I tell them. This is a new word for them. It means ten years – it’s like counting by dimes. You’re 4 dimes old! Col shrieks. Okay, that sounds more digestible.

Now that I’m forty, I can finally pose with my gardening gloves.

I don’t know how it is that turning 40 is both a crazy big deal and also just another day. I mean if I’m lucky, it’s just another day, like today where the kids slept PAST 6:30 and I crept out of bed and made the quietest cup of coffee. Ten minutes later I hear someone squeak awake and find Rose on the toilet in her pink “sophisticat” shirt, bewildered, blinking at the light. I throw my arms around her olive-skinned softness and kiss her eyelids, grateful to see her in a way that surprises me. I’m peeing, Mama, she tells me. That’s okay, honey.

I carry Rose into the living room and kiss her a hundred more times. Col rises and lunges for us on the couch, missile-like, all bones and hard-edges. The kids argue over who’s getting the most mama-space and I realize that even at 5 and 7, they need to be tucked in the envelope of my limbs regularly. Especially first thing in the morning.

Outside, the chickens screech brrrraaaaaaacck, and hundreds of edible plants are roused by the sun. The lettuce is spellbindingly lovely. The slugs eat my cucumber seedlings, and everyday we feed at least 20 of them to the chickens, whose eggs we eat, so it all sort of evens out. My husband is mixing up batter for waffles, this husband who’s known me almost 17 years, who loves me so well it sometimes makes me cry.

Sushi tonight, and then we’re spending the weekend here, with dear ones.

What more could I want?

53 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    June 7, 2012 6:34 am

    Waffles, sushi, and a weekend outdoors? It all sounds perfect. Hope you’re celebrated in the way that you deserve to be every day! Happy, happy birthday!

  2. June 7, 2012 6:45 am

    beautiful. happy birthday to you Rachel :)

  3. Peggy permalink
    June 7, 2012 6:57 am

    HAPPY 4-0, Rachel!!! Sounds like you have a perfectly planned weekend! I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as you deserve to – HAVE A BLAST! Happy Birthday- love ALL of the Kenrick’s :-)

  4. June 7, 2012 7:18 am

    40 is ace I reckon (speaking as a 41 year old). Happy Birthday.

  5. Michele permalink
    June 7, 2012 7:24 am

    It is so wonderful to be where you want to be in life, helps make the 40 pill easy to swallow :)

  6. June 7, 2012 7:40 am

    Happy Birthday!

  7. abozza permalink
    June 7, 2012 7:56 am

    Happy Birthday, Rachel! May it be as wonderful as you! :)

  8. teresa permalink
    June 7, 2012 8:01 am

    oh happy birthday to you beautiful mama! (and yay for a million sweet little snuggles and kisses before breakfast. the best!)

  9. June 7, 2012 8:06 am

    happy birthday, dear!!!! love that col! he told us you were turning 40! have a wonderful week/camping trip/everything!

  10. June 7, 2012 9:19 am

    Happy Day, beautiful mama!

  11. June 7, 2012 9:23 am

    oh, so lovely! happy birthday!! it’s wonderful being alive, isn’t it?

    i so enjoy knowing you in this online way that we do.


  12. June 7, 2012 9:34 am

    Oh my dear, this is so lovely. Happy happy birthday. (I knew we had that gemini thing going, but I had forgotten. I’m a week behind you. I’ll be forty on the 13th.)

    Happy, happy weekend with your dear loved ones. I’ll be raising a glass to you!

  13. June 7, 2012 9:44 am

    Sounds absolutely perfect. Happy 40!

  14. June 7, 2012 9:51 am

    i just turned 40 a couple of months back and what i loved most about it was that it was just an ordinary day. lots of love, laughter, a bit of pouting…it was my life and it’s good.

    happy birthday to you!!!

  15. Jenny Miller permalink
    June 7, 2012 10:15 am

    Happy, happy birthday to you! Wishing you lots of love.

  16. rose permalink
    June 7, 2012 10:29 am

    oh, happy day! wishing you many more dimes of living and loving. and a great weekend too!

  17. June 7, 2012 10:45 am

    A Most Wonderful Happy Birthday Rachel, I just love reading you blog

  18. Anonymous permalink
    June 7, 2012 10:56 am

    Happy Birthday! beautiful picture of you (and the garden gloves) – have a great weekend.

  19. June 7, 2012 11:18 am

    happy birthday, dear rachel! your approach to 40 is so graceful…as i face mine this fall, i hope to take a few lessons from you. i hope your weekend in the mountains is resplendent. as all beings give praise to the sun and summer, may your presence be another cause for celebration. love to you!

  20. June 7, 2012 11:42 am

    happiest of birthdays rachel!! you are beautiful both inside and out and most especially with those garden gloves!! enjoy your celebrations. and nahum made my card weeks in advance this year as well…he gave it to me early so i could keep it safe:) xo, pennie

  21. June 7, 2012 12:07 pm

    Do you remember we celebrated my 22nd and your 23rd birthday together at the bunkis? What a fun summer we had! Keeps getting better. Love you tons and I’ve been thinking about you a lot! xoxo dmae*

  22. June 7, 2012 1:09 pm

    Happy birthday Rachel! Now that you’re 40, you pretty much can do anything you want, it’s true! xo

  23. Melissa permalink
    June 7, 2012 2:06 pm

    Beautiful in garden gloves! Four dimes indeed. Love that! Love Rose’s understanding of milestone birthdays, too. Happiest of birthdays to you and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! xo

  24. Dan permalink
    June 7, 2012 2:26 pm

    I love the flow of these descriptive paragraphs, slow weaving of summer and years, you are a 4-Dime Superstar! hugga-snuggle, Dan

  25. June 7, 2012 2:34 pm

    Happy Birthday! Love that your kids made you a sign and then asked you to hide it. Too cute!

  26. June 7, 2012 2:45 pm

    Happy Birthday Rachel!! 40+ is fantastic! : )

  27. Jessica permalink
    June 7, 2012 3:00 pm

    The happiest of birthdays to you!! Raise a glass (or 4) to 40 times around the sun!
    I’m totally stealing Col’s 4 dime comment for my own 40th in a couple of weeks.

  28. Nasha permalink
    June 7, 2012 4:14 pm

    Happy 4 dimes old!!!! I am finding that the 4th dime is the best thus far! Wishing you many more in your lil’ piggy bank:) Blessings!

  29. ike permalink
    June 7, 2012 4:44 pm

    Happy Birthday to a Wonderful Daughter!
    Love Dad
    Trying again to send message

  30. coleen permalink
    June 7, 2012 5:33 pm

    Happy Birthday and many more!

  31. MIlla permalink
    June 7, 2012 5:37 pm

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday! Looks like you’ve already gotten your best presents;D

  32. Megan permalink
    June 7, 2012 5:48 pm

    happy birthday you beautiful mountain mama!!

  33. June 7, 2012 6:11 pm

    You’re beautiful.

  34. Anonymous permalink
    June 7, 2012 6:15 pm

    LoL on the gardening gloves. its funny ‘cuz it’s true.

  35. June 7, 2012 6:26 pm

    Happy birthday, Rachel. Thank you for sharing your beautiful world with us.



  36. June 7, 2012 7:13 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! This Rachel, too, likes to eat sushi for birthdays. Enjoy it!!

  37. June 7, 2012 7:26 pm

    Best wishes for a happy happy day, and a blessed blessed forty-first year!


  38. Caraway permalink
    June 7, 2012 8:32 pm

    Rachel, Welcome to 40!!!
    It is both an accomplishment and a privilege to turn 40 I think. And you have done it beautifully! You have created a magnificent family and a fulfilling life, and yes– what more could anyone want?? I’m so happy for you! :) :)
    Sending lots of love, caraway

  39. Emmanuelle permalink
    June 7, 2012 9:15 pm

    Happy, merry birthday to you dear Rachel… You look just as you are: wonderful. Particularly with garden gloves and that great smile of yours (always a treat to see it in your posts). I have recently introduced you to a friend and she feels very much in tune as well with the way your love of life simply radiates through every page :o)

  40. EcoCatLady permalink
    June 7, 2012 9:43 pm

    I figured this might be a good time to de-lurk and wish you a very happy birthday. By all accounts you are handling this milestone much better than I have dealt with my “big” birthdays:

    Love your blog, BTW!

  41. June 7, 2012 11:24 pm

    happy birthday to you!!

    and it’s great to put your age out there, with such pride. in an aging-phobic culture, i just loved seeing your perfect 40-ness! i recently turned 47, and i love the age that i am, i have so much more of what feels truly omportant in my life. xo

  42. June 8, 2012 1:58 am

    Best of wishes to you in this coming, no doubt, beautiful year. I bet if you’d been asked to write a scene from your 40th celebration in your 20s, you never could have tapped into how perfectly joyful and simple it could be. Cheers to a awesome glimpse into you and the ones who adore you. xoxo!

  43. rebecca permalink
    June 8, 2012 3:03 am

    so grateful to have spent part of your day with you and to call you friend. happy birthday, rachel!

  44. June 8, 2012 5:42 am

    If I could, I’d get you a pink sophisticat shirt and maybe some matching gardening gloves. Happy, Happy Birthday!!

  45. Ania permalink
    June 8, 2012 7:32 am

    Best Wishes for this Happy, Happy Birthday!

  46. June 8, 2012 10:29 am

    happy birthday rachel!!! four dimes, and hugging on kids. sounds like a perfect day! xoxoxo

  47. June 8, 2012 2:21 pm

    I have no doubt you had a lovely day with your family, Rachel. You deserve no less.

    I finally finagled some free time to myself and realize that I’ve missed the 6512 chronicles dearly. I’m excited to catch up with previous posts!

  48. Mamie tkd permalink
    June 8, 2012 6:00 pm

    Happy, happy birthday, lovely Rachel. Enjoy every moment of the weekend with your dear ones!

  49. June 8, 2012 10:00 pm

    Happy birthday mama. Welcome to the magical and mystical land of Your Forties! :) May blessings abound on this new ‘dime’. xoxo

  50. Jamie permalink
    June 9, 2012 11:22 am

    Catching up….. I am only 5 behind you and hope that I look and act as lovely as you do now! I hope you are having a great weekend!

  51. June 23, 2012 6:56 pm

    Happiest of belated birthdays to you, Rachel. You’re so lucky to have a summer birthday! I’m glad you got sunshine and a big dose of nature.

  52. July 6, 2012 2:36 pm

    Happy belated bday, buttercup! So glad to see the fires aren’t knocking at your door. Oy!


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