Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dear Sister, Here's Some Man Candy

With only 30 days left until my sister's 40th birthday, I thought it was time to check out some hotties who are also OVER 40.

Dear Sister,

Enjoy the man candy.

Tim McGraw. He will be 48 this year and he has been married to the same woman since 1996. That's no small feat in show biz. This guy is a real good man.

And how about the adorable Matt Damon? He is 43 years old and just as yummy as he was when he played a kid genius in Good Will Hunting. He would not have to work for days to figure out my word problems, that's for sure!

Let's just stare at Paul Rudd for a minute. I don't think this 45-year-old gets nearly enough attention. He is cute, he is funny, and sometimes he makes me uncomfortable. But I still think he is lovely.

Patrick Dempsey will never not be a total sex pot. He is proof that you should maybe give the dorky guys a chance because deep inside there is a hottie just waiting to blossom. And he plays a doctor on TV which doesn't necessarily mean he is smart but he can play smart and sometimes that is all that matters!

 Dear John Stamos, if you and I ever hooked up, we would certainly have a FULL HOUSE. (I am sorry... Is that #inappropriate?) I have loved him since I was 13 but John just keeps on keeping on. Maybe it's that Greek yogurt he's been schlepping. Whatever it is, this man does OVER 40 right ALL DAY.

Sister I know you aren't surprised to see the better half of Brangelina here. This Missouri bred hunk of burning love seems to not only become a better human being as time passes but he also just gets more delicious. Like fine wine, this man can make all your problems disappear with that steamy squint of his. Stop it Brad. That's not fair to all the other guys.

If you don't already know who he is, sister, let me introduce you to Idris Alba. That smile will melt you faster that butter in a hot skillet. This man is DELIGHTFUL and always dressed to the nines. Over 40? Oh Lordy, yes! And looking good while he's at it.

Last but not least, MY man, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This man needs no words. Just look at him. Go ahead. It's ok. It's ALMOST your birthday. Mmm-mm-mmm. Can you smell what the Rock is cookin'? Whatever it is, it is HOT.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dear Sister, RUN!

31 days until THE BIG 4-0!

Dear Sister,

I am FOREVER inspired by your running. I always hated running until I wasn't able to do it which gives credence to the old saying "you don't know what you've got til it's gone."

I remember when you were preparing to run your first marathon. I thought, "this is crazy." You trained hard, running with a group who help push you to your goals. The day you ran 13 miles for the first time, you called me to tell me about it. I was amazed.

A short time later, you discovered you were pregnant with my nephew and you were going to have to dial it back a bit. But you ran that marathon anyway. Again, what an inspiration.

Last year, in Chicago, I felt really luck to be able to follow you along your half marathon route. Kirk and I timed your miles and followed that app that told us exactly when you would be at various check points. Standing at the finish line waiting to see you was exhilarating and a little nerve-wracking. But what fun!

Every time I see you run I think, "Man I would really like to do that too." While I am not able, I am sure you are inspiring others as well! So RUN, SISTER! Run! Keep up the good work!



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Sister, Where to Next?

32 days 'til FORTY!

Dear sister,

I am so grateful for the relationship you and I have developed as adults. Being four years apart when you're growing up seems like such a huge gap. But when you finally reach the age when it doesn't matter, everything changes.

It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite moment from all of our good times but I have really enjoyed seeing the country with you. There is nobody else I would want to take a carriage ride in Memphis with or who I would rather have sitting beside me in a gondola up the side of a mountain. With the exception of your son, I can't imagine riding out a hurricane in New York with anyone but you or road tripping through an insane number of tolls just to get to Wisconsin.

Without you, I probably couldn't take my dog on our little vacations. And without you, WHO would get on stage, shake that money maker and don a ridiculous hat just to entertain a crowd full of strangers. Fishing, swimming, admiring buffalo, traipsing through the Badlands, literally chasing cabs in New York City... I am so glad I have a sister to do those things with me.

More than the traveling memories we have made, I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead of us sister! Where to next?



Monday, January 26, 2015

Dear Sister, Your 40 and My 40 Might Be Different

33 days... woah.

Dear sister,

In 33 days, you will turn 40 years old and I have a confession to make. I don't really know that I know that much about living in the 40 decade even though I have done it for roughly three years at this point. And truthfully married, mom 40 is so intensely different that single, no kids 40.

If you were single and childless like me, I would be writing blogs giving you advice about online dating after 40, single sex after 40, how to get pregnant (or not) after 40. I would be posting long lists of meat market hangouts in town where you could find single men and the tastiest beverages. I would offer suggestions for hobbies or activities in which you could engage that would help you broaden your social circle. I would be sending you links to great places around the world for solo travel.

In many ways, turning 40 is the same for everyone. There is that "is this middle age" or "is this the top of the hill" kind of feeling. And there is the "oh my god, I can't believe I am already 40" thought which is fairly common. But in many ways your 40 and my 40 might be different.

And that's ok. In fact it's awesome. It's what makes the world go around.

Love you, Sister!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dear Sister, You Could Be a Millionaire!

34 days until my sister's 40th birthday...

Dear sister,

With only 34 days until your 40th birthday, I thought you'd like to know that for many, their greatest success came after 40. What does that mean for you? Well, it means that, while you are already hugely successful in your life, there's still time for MORE GREATNESS.

Did you know that Julia Child didn't write her first book until she was 50? And Vera Wang, most well known for the decadent wedding dresses she creates, did not begin her designing adventure until she was 40 years old.

Remember the beloved television show "Little House on the Prairie?" Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't publish the first book in that series until she was well over 60. Even Mother Teresa won her Nobel Peace Prize after 40. In fact, she was almost 70!

There is a host of women who are millionaires who didn't make that money until after they turned 40. I guess that's good news for both of us! Ariana Huffington, one of my personal heroes, was 55 years old when she sold her company for $315 million. Liz Claiborne didn't delve into fashion until she was in her 40s and Ursula Burns became, not only a millionaire, but also the CEO of XEROX at the age of 50.

It's encouraging to know that you can continue to grow after 40. You can start new things after 40 too. Most exciting is the notion that you can even become a millionaire after 40! Go Sister!

EEEK! Not long now!



Dear Sister, You are in Good Company Turning 40

35 days...

Dear sister, I hear that 40 is the new 20 (which, incidentally, means that 44 is the new 24 and that thrills me)! I dug up a little proof for you.

Did you know that studies show that for the first time in history, more people in their 40s are getting married for the first time? I realize that this doesn't apply to you but hopefully this information will help you stop worrying about me! Along the same lines, more women in their 40s are having their first child. Thank you modern medicine.

But enough about me... Also for the first time in history, more women over 40 in Hollywood are being cast in LEADING roles and on stage divas like Sheryl Crowe are still rocking on their way to their 50s. Here are some other famous ladies who will be turning 40 with you this year. If they aren't the real proof that 40 is the new 20, I don't know what is.

Drew Barrymore also has a February birthday! She will be 40 on the 22nd. The hilarious Chelsea Handler will beat you to 40 by just three days.

 Actresses Eva Longoria and Angelina Jolie will embrace 40 and all its glory in 2015 and I am certain they will continue to look absolutely fabulous.

Less famous but notable Nadia Suleman (the OCTOmom) and Kate Gosselin (from Jon & Kate Plus 8) are marching into the 40s with you as well.

That's not all! Mayim Bialik, Charlize Theron, and Danica McKellar will also blow out 40 candles on their big days.

You are in really good company, sister!

Lots of beauties are turning 40. Including you!

Almost there... OMG.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dear Sister, Don't Just Take My Advice about Turning 40

36 days!

Dear sister, since you are only 36 days away from your 40th birthday, I thought it might be a good idea to gather some perspectives other than mine about this BIG day. So here are some quotes from others, some famous and some not, to guide you on your journey and potentially to make you cry a little. (It happens. You're almost 40.)

Life begins at 40 - but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.” Helen Rowland

At the age of 20, we don't care what the world thinks of us; at 30, we worry about what it is thinking of us; at 40, we discover that it wasn't thinking of us at all.Author Unknown

Forty isn't old, if you're a treeAuthor Unknown

The "I just woke up" face of your 30's is the "all day long" face of your 40's." Libby Reid

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.” Victor Hugo

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which mean never losing your enthusiasm.” Aldous Huxley

35 is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.” Oscar Wilde

There is so much more than that little space from 14 to 40. And if you cut that off and begin to believe that you are not good past a certain age, then you end up scared and insecure and afraid. That is definitely NOT beautiful.” Rene Russo

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dear sister, 40 is Kind of Scary

37 days. until my sister turns 40...

Dear sister,

I would be lying to you if I didn't tell you that 40 is a little bit scary. While it is liberating and it opens the door to an exciting new chapter of your life, 40 has a seriousness about it.

First of all, your health is uncomfortably in question. You have to get mammograms after 40. It's a yearly test just to make sure you don't have breast cancer which means that, for some reason, it is possible every year after 40 that you might have cancer. That's scary.

Some of us are lucky enough to have our first official stress test at 40 too. Again, nobody worried about my heart when I was 39. But ALL OF A SUDDEN, at 40 years old concern cropped up regarding the functionality of my heart.

Secondly, 40 equals ADULTHOOD at all costs. For me, in particular, 40 meant I had to finally grow up. Even though you grew up long before I did, there is a finality about 40 for all of us. You CANNOT be a kid any more no matter how tempted you are. This is the NO turning back point. You are grown, you must act grown and if you don't, people will talk about you. (Although some folks will talk about you no matter what.)

Finally, 40 is a clean slate. While that sounds enticing, it is frightening to think about how you are going to fill that slate. It implies there is work to do to find that happiness and freedom. So make a plan, sister. Don't just coast through 40. This is bigger than you realize.



Love, Sister

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is an Accomplishment

38 days until my sister turns 40.

Dear sister,

I don't know if you realize what an accomplishment 40 is. Even more, I don't know if you realize how proud I am of everything you have accomplished in your 40 years.

I am not referring to the typical accomplishments like learning to walk and talk and use the potty which you mastered like a boss. And, while surviving high school and graduating from college are really a big deal, I don't mean that either. I am talking about all of those other MAJOR things that you have done.

For example, you birthed my nephew in record time with NO drugs and you have raised him to be one of the kindest, most loving human beings I have ever known. There is nothing in this world for which I am more grateful. He is the bright spot in my dark days and my inspiration to be better in life on a daily basis. And he came from YOU. You did that sister. You cooked that little sucker up and brought him into the world like I eat cake... quickly and with great ease.

Also, you have worked the same job for 14 years. I would DIE in the same place for 14 years. I haven't done anything for 14 years except drive a car. Even when it wasn't easy, you stuck it out and worked hard and you have achieved career longevity. That is not only admirable but also a testament to strong character.

Did I mention that you run? I used to run because I had coaches screaming at me. Now the only time you would see me running is if someone was chasing me. But you run not only because you enjoy it but also because you are so good at it. 5Ks, half marathons, marathons... You run. And that is amazing.

How about the fact that you are one of the most committed and dedicated people I have ever known. When you believe in something, you plant your feet firmly in it and dedicate your life to it. Whether it is your family, your church, or your God, you give your whole self (within reason) which is an incredible example for those around you.

In addition to that dedication, you love others well. Strangers, friends, and family benefit from the gift of love that you share with everyone you meet.

You have traveled, you have volunteered, you have trained others on their way to creating a better lives for themselves... You will whip up a pan of mostaciolli for any family in need and most of the time a batch of chocolate chip cookies will accompany it. You get up EVERY TIME you fall. And you fall a lot. BUT YOU GET UP.  You eat healthy and take good care of yourself and your family and the zoo you have living in your house.

Sister, you have accomplished so much in life already. Turning 40 is just another thing to add to the list. It is also another chapter in which I am sure that you will add trophies and travels and many more great deeds.

Not long now. Almost happy birthday sister.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is Freedom

In just 39 short days, my little sister will turn FORTY years old! The following is my day 39 blog and my 2nd wish for her birthday.

Dear sister,

In 39 days you will enter a phase of your life that is built for pure enjoyment. From the moment you begin to wear the big 4-0, you are officially free.

It took me 40 years to realize that all the trials and tribulations of life had purpose. I always believed that everything happened for a reason. And I was always fairly certain that it was all connected somehow. But I never fully understood how the exploration of my twenties and the discovery of my thirties would lead to absolute freedom in my forties.

Your 40th birthday will bring with it relief and an unyielding sovereignty. All of that time you spent figuring out who you were as a teenager and a twenty-something go-getter and the years of setting plans in motion toward the fulfillment of every dream you ever dreamed in your thirties will pay off. You will finally be the ruler of your life.

40 is Freedom, sister. No longer concerned with building your life, you can now just LIVE IT!

My wish for you today is that you will embrace the freedom of your forties whole-heartedly and just ENJOY the world you have created without worry or concern.

I love you,


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is a Time to Dream

Four years ago, I prepared to turn 40 by blogging for 40 days until my birthday. Forty days from today, my little sister will turn 40. So for the next 40 days, I will blog for my sister. I will write everything I want her to know about being 40 and anything else that may come to mind.

I hope you will follow along and get ready to wish Denise a HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY!

Forty is a time to dream.

Dear sister,

My sister Denise and I with my dog in the Badlands of South Dakota.
I never imagined being 40 years old and I certainly never imagined that my little sister would be 40.  But 40 was my favorite year of life to date! 

Some of my earliest memories are actually of dreams I had for my future. I had hoped to grow up, get married, have a house full of kids and build the American dream. As it turns out, all of that was not in the cards for me. However, one of my greatest joys has been watching you build your American dream. I am so thankful that you have been able to experience the thrill of being a wife and mother and that you were able to give our parents a grandchild to cherish. 

Turning 40 brought forth a revelation for me that I want to pass along to you. Dreaming isn't just for children. I realized somewhere on the route to this major milestone that I had been reinventing myself for years and that it was still ok for me to pursue my dreams. I learned not to be discouraged just because the dreams I had as a child may not have come to pass exactly as I thought they would. And I made a decision, roughly 40 days out, that my fortieth year was going to rock. There's a lot to be said for DECIDING to enjoy something before it happens.

So I made a plan for my fortieth year. I decided that I would volunteer once a month. I planned to spend more time having fun and less time worrying. I didn't map out every detail but I plotted it out in my head and began to dream it up in my heart. Indeed, 40 was the happiest year of my life.

Sister, as you embark on your fortieth year, my wish for you is many more years of dreams fulfilled. I hope that you will dare to dream in your fortieth year and that you will watch as your dreams continue to come true. It is never too late to do absolutely anything you want to do. 

I also wish for you a happiness beyond measure. I hope you experience joy in a way you never have.

I love you!