Today is my thirty-ninth birthday. Twenty years ago…OK, even five years ago…thirty-nine sounded rather ordinary.

After all, thirty-nine isn’t thirty-five, who clings too dearly close to thirty.

And thirty-nine isn’t thirty-eight, who fights hard not to inch too close and too quickly to forty.

Thirty-nine is just, well, thirty-nine…

    …a really slow sliding into the home plate of another decade.

However, this year brings a whole new light. This year, I celebrate not the end of thirty-eight, but the beginning of a whole new year made up of all that I have been and all I will become.

I am a woman.

I am a writer.

I am a wife.

I am a mom of three girls.

I am a mom of one amazing, little bonus boy.

So far, thirty-nine has been spent recovering from a stomach virus which swept in suddenly and, thankfully, lasted very briefly. Most of my morning was celebrated with much-needed sleep. And instead of celebrating with cake, I celebrated with Saltines and Gatorade.

We laid on the couch,

and watched TV,

and sat on the front porch,

and played on the floor.

I couldn’t imagine this first day of thirty-nine being any more perfect.

A few moments ago Mister J headed to the grocery store. Our original plan of grilling out a good meal and enjoying it with a glass of wine has diverged down a path of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and baked potato chips. Our expectation of watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid upstairs in the bonus room amongst a pile of children and blankets sounds as good as hopping on a cruise ship to the Caribbean.

Today, I’m just thankful to be here, in this town and in this comfortable house, surrounded by the love of my family.

“You know,” I told Mister J, “this has been a really great day.”

“Really?” he responded.

“Yeah,” I said as I rocked Joseph to sleep, his head weighing with sweet heaviness in the crook of my arm. I looked down at his creamy, silky, chubby cheeks and admired his long eyelashes which sometimes get him mistaken for a little girl.

“He completes us, doesn’t he?” I continued. “He’s our perfect little caboose.”

And he is.

A perfect thirty-ninth birthday with my Mister J, my sweet little girls, and our perfect little caboose.

It doesn’t take much more than that. Life, my friends, is enjoyed the most when it’s approached with gentleness, grace, compassion, understanding, flexibility, gratitude, and so much love.

Today I celebrate the little things.

Because at the dawn of my thirty-ninth year I can say with much certainty:

The little things are the very things that make life deliciously simple and sweet.