Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Sister, It's All in the Numbers

6 days!!!

Dear Sister,

As you may remember, tradition for 30th birthdays usually involves giving the birthday celebrant THIRTY of something. Anything, really... So, if I was not completely broke. I would give you forty of a lot of different things. In the spirit of "it's the thought that counts," here is a list of things I would get you in quantities of forty.

1. Bandaids. I would get you forty bandaids for all the scrapes and scratches you acquire from falling while running.
2. Lottery tickets. While it is sort of cliche, I would get you forty lottery tickets to increase your chances of riches.
3. Running Shoes. I would get you forty pairs of running shoes so you could run for the next 20 years, at least, with decent shoes on your feet.
4. Dollars. I would give you forty dollars to spend on whatever you want.
5. Spa Days. I would give you forty spa days so you could relax every 8 or 9 days.



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is a Blind Date

7 days...

Dear Sister,

In just seven short days, you will turn 40. It comes so quickly. Although you have lived a lot of life, it will sometimes seem as if the years flew by in the blink of an eye. 40 arrives out of, seemingly nowhere.

It's truly not a surprise. You knew it was coming. We all knew it was coming. But when it shows up, it is not wearing the clothes we thought it would. It doesn't look like we have imagined it would for so long. It doesn't sound like 40 is supposed to sound or feel like 40 is supposed to feel or taste like 40 is supposed to taste. But it is 40.

The thing about 40, too, is that nobody else can tell you exactly what you'll discover when it arrives. It's like going on a blind date with a guy you met online. You have seen pictures. You have read descriptions. You may have even gotten your hands on some testimonials that say, "He is a really great guy!" But then you get to the restaurant and the hostess points to a table where your date is waiting and you are... surprised.

Unlike a blind date, however, I think I can guarantee you that 40 is going to turn out just fine. The surprise will be a good one and not an "OH MY GOD... he looks nothing like his pictures which were clearly from 20 years ago" kind of surprise.

So get ready. 40 is lurking right around the corner, waiting to burst into your life. In just seven more days...



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is DELICIOUS!

What's a birthday without food? 10 days...

Dear sister,

Let's talk food. In 1975, the year you were born, food history was made too. Did you know that POP ROCKS were accidentally invented in 1975? The inventor was actually trying to create some kind of powdered soft drink when he stumbled up that explosive little gem.

Country Time Lemonade, which was a staple in our house, was also introduced 40 years ago.

Some of the most popular party foods of the 1970s included things like Jiffy Pop Popcorn, melon wrapped in ham, and deviled eggs. Deviled eggs are still a must as far as I'm concerned.

Finally, salad bars became popular in the 70s. Maybe that's why you are so into the rabbit food. You grew up with salad bars!



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is on Film

11 days until the day we celebrate 40!

Dear sister,

There are some movies turning 40 this year too. Here are the top five:

1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

If you haven't seen this one, I recommend it. It is a Jack Nicholson masterpiece and I LOVE the big Indian in this one.

2. Jaws

Another classic but I can't watch it again. Even though it is RIDICULOUS, it scares the crap out of me.

3. Funny Lady

For a singer, any Barbara Striesand movie is worth the time. But dad loves this one too. I have caught him watching it a number of times.

4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I have a love-hate relationship with this one. I think I love it because in the 80's, it played at the Avalon at midnight and I would go with my friends.

5. The Escape to Witch Mountain

I remember watching this as a kid. I think it's been remade with Dwayne Johnson which, of course, is genius.



Monday, February 16, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 IS BIBLICAL

With 12 days left, I thought we'd turn toward the WORD...

Dear Sister,

I know you and the man upstairs have gotten pretty close as of late so I thought you would like to know what the Bible says about 40. It's pretty exciting actually. I just swiped this from the website  and I'd like to claim I just knew all of this but... it's been a while!

Here are the top ten awesome things the bible says about 40:

1. Mentioning 146 times in Scripture, the number 40 generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation. During Moses' life he lived forty years in Egypt and forty years in the desert before God selected him to lead his people out of slavery. Moses was also on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights, on two separate occasions (Exodus 24:18, 34:1 - 28), receiving God's laws. He also sent spies, for forty days, to investigate the land God promised the Israelites as an inheritance (Numbers 13:25, 14:34).

2. The number forty can also represent a generation of man. Because of their sins after leaving Egypt, God swore that the generation of Israelites who left Egyptian bondage would not enter their inheritance in Canaan (Deuteronomy 1). The children of Israel were punished by wandering the wilderness for 40 years before a new generation was allowed to possess the promised land. 

So, it seems you are finally headed into The Promised Land, sister.

3. The first three human kings over the children of Israel, Saul, David and Solomon, each ruled for forty years (1050 to 930 B.C.). After the united kingdom split into two separate pieces, King Joash served forty years as one of Judah's better kings.

It's apparently great to be a king.

4. After the patriarch Jacob (Israel) died in Egypt, the Egyptians spent forty days embalming his body (Genesis 50:3).

I didn't include this because I think 40 means death. I just think this is proof that PREPARATION is everything.

5. God allowed the ancient Israelites, from time to time, to be harassed and dominated by certain enemies in order to chastise and humble them for their sins. The Philistine's, in the southern and western parts of Israel's land, harassed them from 1105 to 1065 B.C. God's resolution to the harassment was Samson (see Judges 13:1, 1Samuel 7:13, 15 - 17).

40 brings humility.

6. The Bible was written by forty different people.

Fun fact. Not sure how it impacts you but, I thought it was cool.

7.  Elijah strengthened by one angelic meal went forty days to Mount Horeb where the Lord passed by and he heard the voice of God
(1 Ki 19:8 KJV) And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
8. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when God wanted to cleanse the world and start over.
(Gen 7:12 KJV) And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Noah waited another 40 days after it rained before he opened a window in the Ark.
(Gen 8:6 KJV) And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.

9. Jonah warned the City of Nineveh they had 40 days until God would overthrow the city. The people repented in those 40 days and God spared the city.
(Jonah 3:4 and 10 KJV) And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

10. Jesus was seen in the earth 40 days after His crucifixion(Acts 1:3 NIV) After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Miracles happen at 40.

Yay, miracles!



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear Sister, You Know What They Say

13 days...

Dear sister, I have researched 40 A LOT. And there are quite a few resounding opinions regarding what you need to know. Here are the top three:

1. Once you turn 40, you are always right. It's your life, they are your decisions, and you are always in control of your own life. The opinions of others are simply opinions. They don't become ADVICE until you take it. So take it, or leave it. It's up to you.

2. Sex in your 40s is the best sex ever. I realize this is an uncomfortable topic for us. And I am not speaking from experience here since I tend to just sit in my house all of the time. But rumor has it that this sex that happens after 40 is AMAZING. I would tell you to let me know how that goes but I don't really want to know. Just smile and nod and I will understand.

3. You will learn to use the word "NO" liberally. Except for when it comes to sex, apparently. You will say no to foods you don't like, people you don't want to hang around with and places you do not want to go. You will no longer feel obligated to say yes or to extend favors beyond your comfort zone. In other words, you will be two-year-old Denise again. Except, once again, that sex thing... ew.

Mercy me... 40 is right around the corner.



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is Love

14 days from the 14th...

Dear Sister,

Not just because it is Valentine's Day... 40 is LOVE. I really love being in my 40's and I hope you will too. Here are some of my favorite quotes about LOVE for today:

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.” 
― William W. Purkey

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” 
― Dr. Seuss

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.” 
― Pablo Neruda100 Love Sonnets

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” 
― William ShakespeareAll's Well That Ends Well



Friday, February 13, 2015

Dear sister, 40 is Music

15 days... 3 work weeks really...

Dear sister,

Let's look back at music today. 1975 was a history-making year for reasons that go beyond your birth. ONE of them is the amazing music that ROCKED the industry. Here are the top 10 songs from 1975:

10. Thank God I'm a Country Boy, John Denver
9. One of These Nights, The Eagles
8. Laughter in the Rain, Neil Sedaka
7. Fame, David Bowie
6. Shining Star, Earth Wind & Fire

5. My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli
4. Before the Next Teardrop Falls, Freddy Fender
3. Philadelphia Freedom, Elton John

2. Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Cambell
1. Love Will Keep Us Together, Captain and Tenille



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dear Sister, This is Late But Here is a List


Dear sister,

I realize that 17 days is not enough time to complete a bucket list. But, there are a lot of gals out there who created a list of things to do before they turned 40. I am not going to steal their thunder. But here are some links you can check out. I will warn you, one of these gals felt that posing naked was necessary. This is not on any of my lists. NONE. Sky diving seems pretty popular too. Hell-to-the-no!




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is a Free For All

18 days until the BIG day...

Dear sister,

I don't know if this little nugget of information is going to make you feel good about 40 or scare the crap out of you but I think you should know... The day you turn 40 that little voice in your head that says, "you probably shouldn't wear that" dies. Yes I said it dies. Dead. Gone. You will no longer care about wearing clothes that are either stylish or appropriate. 

For some of us, we resign ourselves to yoga pants. Others retire into fat pants or sweat pants or house dresses. There are mornings when I take the dog out in pajama pants, fuzzy socks and tennis shoes. And I never thought I'd let the public see me in my glasses with my hair all over my head, but 40... I am sure my neighbors talk all kinds of trash about my dog-walking attire. But I don't care. I think this might be the start of an episode of THE PEOPLE OF WALMART but until I show up online in a photo with my butt hanging out of a thong in the candy aisle, I am not going to worry about it.

You shouldn't worry either. You are 40. WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! Maybe we should pick you up one of those cheese bras next time we are in Wisconsin.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 is a Game


Dear sister,

Arcades become popular when we were kids and while we didn't really get into them much beyond Atari, there are some video games turning 40 this year too. Here are a few:

1. Pong

Of course this is number one. Plink.... plink.... plink...

2. Jaws

I am assuming this was to coincide with the movie.

3. Anti- Aircraft

The first of the shooting games...

1975 was the beginning of the video game revolution. Lots of big things happened that year, huh?



Friday, February 06, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 More

23 days until the 40th year of my sister's life begins.

Dear sister,

We talk about turning 40 or celebrating a 40th birthday. But we rarely talk about a birthday as a beginning. It is though. The day you turn 40 is the beginning of your 40th year. It's the beginning of at least 40 more years. That's a lot of time. Think of everything you have accomplished and how much more can be done in 40 more years. I bet that's overwhelming.

I am sure the world can wait a week for you to get started so take your time. But, I have made a list of 40 things, I think we should try to do some time in the next 40 years. And by WE, sometimes I mean just you...

40. Learn to drive an RV. (This could come in handy for our family road trips).
39. Learn to drive your own car. (I am not saying you necessarily don't know HOW to drive but your bumper might need a break from those fender benders. I'm just sayin'...)
38. Take more naps.
37. Run more marathons.
36. Eat more chicken. (Cows everywhere agree.)
35. While you're eating... Eat more cake. (I will gladly help with this.)
34. Get your Masters degree. (You keep saying you want to do it!)
33. Vacation on the beach.
32. Road trip down Route 66.
31. Visit Europe.
30. Shakespeare in the park.
29. A whole week in New York.
28. Take part in the 3-day walk for breast cancer.
27. Volunteer 4 times a year together.
26. Redo mom & Dad's family room.
25. Get pedicures.
24. And while we are at it, get manicures.
23. Go see a double feature.
22. Eat bacon sandwiches at Crowne Candy.
21. Trace the whiskey trail. (You can bring Ed for this one.)
20. Take Kirk to see the world's biggest tree house.
19. Detox. (This one is purely selfish. I fail every time I try.)
18. Go to a ballet.
17. Stalk Dwayne Johnson (Again, this is purely selfish. I just don't want to do this alone.)
16. See a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado.
15. See a concert on the lawn at the History Museum.
14. Enter a chili cook-off contest.
13. Throw a tailgate party.
12. Go see a MIZZOU football game.
11. Hire a limo to drive us around all day for no reason.
10. Work a lemonade stand.
9. Yoga.
8. Take a pole dancing class.
7. Take a cooking class.
6. Ride in a hot air balloon with dad.
5. Take a train through Napa.
4. Take mom wine tasting in Hermann.
3. Play catch on the Field of Dreams.
2. Host a massive fundraising party.
1. Keep on keepin' on.

OH MY GOSH... 40 more years. This is going to be fun.



Thursday, February 05, 2015

Dear Sister, 40 Things You've Done

Just 24 days... WOOP!

Sister, you have accomplished so much in the last 40 years. I thought I should make a list.

1. Learned to eat solid foods.
2. Learned to crawl.
3. Learned that crying will get you almost anything you want. (This is an important skill for women.)
4. Learned to walk.
5. Learned to run.
6. Mastered the monkey bars.
7. Learned to read.
8. Aced elementary school.
9. Played high school basketball.
10. Graduated from high school.
11. Moved away from home all by yourself!
12. Earned a college degree.
13. Graduated from college while simultaneously planning a wedding.
14. Got married.
15. Stayed married.
16. Still married!
17. Worked for the same employer for 14 years. HOLY COW! I could never...
18. Gave birth to a wonderful little human being.
19. Volunteered numerous hours at church.
20. Delivered meals to those in need.
21. Ran your own Pampered Chef business.
22. Became an accomplished runner.
24. Won awards for your work.
25. Traveled the world.
26. Served as mom to a gigantic pet family.
27. Learned to drive!
28. Successfully owned a number of vehicles.
29. Bought a house!
30. Performed in front of many (as a child & as an adult in Tennessee!)
31. Survived a hurricane.
32. Said no to drugs.
33. Became a prayer warrior.
34. Supported every endeavor of your sister.
35. Devoted yourself to the upbringing of your son.
36. Became a really awesome mom.
37. Grew into an amazing daughter.
38. Made managing a home look like a piece of cake.
39.Survived 39 years!
40. Turned 40... well almost!



Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Dear Sister, Thanks for Treating my Dog Like a Child

Hey, there are 25 days until you are 40...

Dear sister,

Shiloh loves you.

I love how you treat her like family. I mean, I am the epitome of a crazy dog lady. You indulge me and I appreciate that. Thanks for taking my pup for walks and runs and still loving her even after she dragged you down the sidewalk. Thank you for her special treats and her first sweater. And thank you for putting up with my pet insanity.

Shiloh and I appreciate it!



Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Dear Sister, It's Time to Detox

26 days left...

Dear sister,

You have always been really good about keeping your circle small. But the beauty of your 40s is that it is more than acceptable to remove the toxic people from your life. Surround yourself with those who edify you and build you up. Keep the positive, uplifting friends nearby to celebrate the victories in your life and clear out the negative, the nay sayers, the folks who have no stake in your success. You have always been better at this than me. But it's a good rule to hang onto for your 40s. It is great to be a giver but after 40, it's time to reap a bit of the reward for your goodness, your kindness, and your faithfulness.



Monday, February 02, 2015

Dear Sister, Welcome to the Tired Years

With only 28 days until you turn 40, sister, I feel like it is important to tell you some things that you may have not heard before...
Dear sister,

Welcome to the tired years. I realize that you have been falling asleep in random places for the bulk of your life but the 40th year of your life opens a new chapter of sleepiness. And although you have mastered the art of just going to sleep when you are tired, 40 allows you to lose the shame that comes with "early to bed." You are 40 after all. You are no longer some young spring chicken so folks expect you to go to bed earlier and not stay up all night. Yes, my dear, IT'S OK TO SLEEP NOW! Whenever and wherever. I will probably still take pictures of you though. And I will probably still post them online.



Sunday, February 01, 2015

Dear Sister, You are a Rock

29 days until my little sister is 40 years old!

Dear sister,

Our family is blessed to have you. I don't know if you are aware that you are a rock for us. You are the one we all turn to when we need support. You are the one who listens. You know when to get emotionally involved and when to stay neutral. I don't know what we would do without you.