It’s here, the milestone is here. I’m 40! I don’t remember the specifics of when I turned 30, but apparently I was in a cruddy mood all day (thank you, 11 years of blogging). I wasn’t taking photos of myself regularly then, and I thought I should start. When I’m 50, I want to know what I looked like today.

We’re in between snowstorms here, but today was wonderful. We were snowed in yesterday, but today we were able to get out long enough for birthday lunch (I love that my birthday is on Sunday this year), a cupcake run, a trip to the craft store for Valentine’s Day supplies, and a snowstorm grocery run. We got home just as the snow was starting to fall again. School has already been called for H tomorrow, with a warning that it may be closed through Wednesday as an even bigger snowstorm is set to arrive tomorrow. Washington is something else with the snow.

But I opened presents, had treats, started organizing my office and studio for real, bought myself some stickers, talked to my mom and my in-laws. It wasn’t a year for a party, but it was such a great year for enjoying this whole new reality from my last birthday, and from my last big milestone birthday.

Life is so different. When I turned 30 I was just over halfway through my first year of teaching. This blog was less than a year old. Adam and I had been married less than two years and in our house in NJ for about a year and a half. My friends were all in the stage before kids. Ten years later I’m a full-time reporter, a mom to an almost seven-year-old, Adam and I have been married nearly twelve years. We live in a totally different state in a completely different kind of house. Our social lives are really different. It’s more than I could’ve imagined or guessed at 30, what life could like like at 40, and I just love it so much. I’m lucky but also just really determined, and I plan on taking that with me to 50 and well past.