It’s My Birthday Week – Let’s Celebrate!

No one loves to celebrate their birthday more than I do.

  • Not 1 year olds getting to taste cake for the first time.
  • Not 6 year old princesses having a pink-everything party.
  • Not 21 year olds getting to consume alcohol legally.
Happy Birthday!

Young Susan on what might have been a birthday celebration, pictured with Grandpa.

I am grateful to be alive, and I celebrate the whole month. I started this in my 20’s because when you have a job and all, it is a lot of pressure to put on one specific day. I cannot ask my vendors to avoid pulling a contract on June 20. Have you ever tried to ask someone to not rear end your car 5 minutes ago because it is your birthday? So I celebrate the whole month of June with my favorite treats and small gifts I buy for myself (garden Sasquatch anyone?!). I make sure I enjoy my birthday to fullest.

My People, on the other hand, do not. The kids are teenagers and it confounds them I exist most days – forget about remembering my birthday. If it were up to Bixby, I would tell him what to buy me, then I would accept said box from the Amazon delivery man and be on my way. Don’t laugh – that is literally what happened this year.

Me to Bixby on a Monday: I have decided what I want for my birthday. A bubbly drink at home maker thing.

Bixby: {quizzical look}

Me: Some brands I have seen are XYZ and Soda Stream.

Bixby: {leaves to go do research}

He is a man of few words, but he does love to make me happy. In 10 minutes I had an email with his analysis of each, including links to order. He was back in my office asking which I wanted.

It took me a few more days to reach a decision, but I finally picked one. Bixby immediately placed the order, and the creepy Amazon van delivered it. {Is it just me that thinks of The Handmaid’s Tale vans when you see those vans crawling around all the neighborhoods?} I was set up and in business bubbles in less than 5 minutes.


These are a few of my favorite things – a book, a journal, a nice pen, sunshine out the window…and BUBBLES!

There are a few reasons why this is such a great gift for where I am in my life these days.

Saving Money

I drink a lot (I mean A LOT) of carbonated water. Lacroix and plain club soda are my jam these days. The Soda Stream takes water from our fridge and turns it into a cold, bubbly treat – eliminating the need to buy Lacroix and club soda. I cannot quite bring myself to calculate the savings because that would mean admitting how much I was spending on said Lacroix and club soda.

Bonus – since grocery shopping has been wonky with the pandemic, often my grocery store has been out of both Lacroix and club soda. Having the Soda Stream operate straight from the fridge water means we never run out!

Reducing Plastic

Although “sustainable” on this blog refers to personal energy, I think I tend to be a little crunchier than the average North Carolinian. As we have already discussed, I consume A LOT of Lacroix and club soda. I was not excited about the amount of plastic that I was using. Sure we recycle, but we all should be brutally aware of how little that really does for the Earth. What if we did not consume plastic at all? Soda Stream allows me to use the same 3 bottles repeatedly. They are BPA free so I am not polluting my body by reusing plastic.

It Is Delicious

I hesitated a few days before having Bixby pull the trigger because I was worried I would not like the taste. I was specifically worried about it not being fizzy enough. I love me some fizz. But Soda Stream has a “Monster Fizz” option that we run it on, and it does NOT disappoint. It actually is more carbonated than what I was drinking before. Which leads to my last feature…

Advanced Level Crunchy

Soda Stream gets its bubbles from the CO2 cartridges. To be a little more environmentally friendly, these can be exchanged at local stores or directly with the company. In my research, I found an even better option! Now that we have confirmation that I love to make my club soda at home, we will be purchasing a CO2 tank from our local home beer brewing store and hooking it into the Soda Stream. The cost analysis in the article I found is remarkable. Bonus is my science geek spouse finally has a fun project on his Honey Do List.

It is a gift for everyone on my birthday!

PS – As much as I love to get presents, I also love to give presents. I am not great at it like my sister is, but I try hard. I am going to be opening a small shop on the website in the coming weeks. The first item that will go up will be stationery with beautiful photos and inspirational quotes. You will be the first to see when it is live so check back often!

PPS – This is not a paid endorsement. We paid for our Soda Stream. I am a fan, not a salesperson. No affiliate links.

By |2020-06-16T21:01:01-04:00June 16th, 2020|Environmental Surroundings|2 Comments

The Pull of the Moon – Elizabeth Berg

Rating: 5 stars

Cliff Notes: I could not put it down and read it in one sitting. Then I was sad it was over. I will be keeping this book.

Full Summary: This one really touched a nerve with me as June is my birthday month, and 2019 is a milestone birthday for me – a milestone that rounds up to 50, the age Nan is in this story. The age she is lamenting in this story. Nan is wrestling with lots of the questions I have been turning over this year. What does it mean to get old? Am I supposed to age gracefully or become a truer version of myself as I age and stop putting up with bullshit?

Why is retirement feared – I often hear of employees who don’t want to retire because they don’t know how they will fill their time. What happens when we get still? They don’t know if they can stand to be with their partner all the time – what happens if we have different interests?

From Nan, The Pull of the Moon

I am not going to lie – I had a hard time between 35 and now. I thought I would be at a different point in my career. Seven years ago I chucked the career I had worked for since I was in 3rd grade straight out the window. I am not going to say that I have never looked back, but I will say several changes in my life have made room for the smaller inside voice to be heard in the stillness. The “dull nudge” that Nan talks about in this book.

“The thought was not in words, it was in the form of a dull nudge. And it was that nudge that got me to find this journal, and get going on this trip. And now, in my own stillness, I hear something. ‘Where have you been?’ my inside body whispers to my outside one. Its sense of outrage is present but dulled by the grief of abandonment. ‘I had ideas, There were things to do. Where did you go?’

Nan, The Pull of the Moon

I still do not think I have landed exactly where I am supposed to be, but I sure am closer than ever. I have a few circles of friends who help with this discovery – trying to excavate creativity, authenticity, and vulnerability. It is challenging, exciting, exhausting and invigorating all at the same time. I am extraordinarily lucky to have a partner who supports this excavation and is not threatened by it in the least (I attribute this partly to waiting until later in life to marry). However, I have had relationships change their look and feel or fall by the wayside altogether.

While I certainly have mourned these relationship changes and second guessed myself (usually in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep for thinking about it), I don’t want to continue to put everyone else ahead of me. Dulling my creative energy to take care of someone else’s needs is not what I am on the Earth for. I am sure my fellow people pleasers can relate. And where are all the pleased people anyway?

The Pull of the Moon Elizabeth Berg
By |2019-12-12T19:30:51-05:00June 14th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments
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