“Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had, and what you’ve learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.”

I don’t know the author of this quote, but I certainly believe they were right. As I prepare to say goodbye to 38 and hello to 39, I look back on an incredible year of experiences. Over the past 12 months, I have seen and done so many things:

• dragged friends across state lines to celebrate my birthday
• brought 20 friends on a Temecu-Luau wine tour
• made my first trip to Glamis for quad riding
• saw the flowers bloom in Death Valley
• broke my first bone (my wrist… ouch!)
• graduated from college
• gave commencement speech to 10,000 people at Convention Center
• went skydiving (twice!)
• rafted the Kern River
• celebrated my 20th high school reunion
• been “found” by a long-lost favorite Marine buddy
• enjoyed San Diego harbor cruises
• rediscovered the joy of riding a bike
• reclaimed our backyard with a huge landscaping project
• discovered Eric Himan, an incredible singer/songwriter
• started blogging
• watched my Mother lose her home to a hurricane
• felt the strength of my friends as they rallied to support her
• started running 5k races
• spent Thanksgiving surrounded by family in Austin
• celebrated Ric’s birthday in Vegas
• saw “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (finally!)
• ice skated (twice!)
• attended my first professional football game
• bid farewell to new Marine buddies on their way to Iraq

It has been a very good year, indeed, and I thank all of my friends – old and new – that have made it what it was. I love you all, and I look forward to all that this next year has to hold.

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