Yesterday was my birthday.

About thirty-nine years ago, my mom sat alone on New Year’s Eve, watching Dick Clark ring in 1975 on television. As the ball dropped and the clock struck midnight, my mom felt her first contractions. By the time my musician dad got home from a gig he was playing, she felt fine- but there was no denying that I was coming soon. I arrived on time two days later, after my folks waited somewhat impatiently for me to make my appearance, being sent home from the hospital while I took my sweet time. I was born the day after New Year’s while a massive thunderstorm raged outside. My mom had just turned 26 years old. I was her first baby. 1975 was a year of new beginnings for all of us!

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I love birthdays– mine, or others’. I can think of nothing worth celebrating more than another year of life! While the number “39” scares me a little bit, I’m grateful for every minute. With its proximity to the first day of the year, my birthday always brings with it a feeling of rejuvenation and promise. As is our tradition, John and I brought Cholula back to Sundance Resort for New Year’s Eve and my birthday. I began the last day of 2013 on the trails near home, squinting in the morning sun and pondering the year, breathing in the crisp mountain air. I treated myself to breakfast at my favorite restaurant before packing for our little get-away.

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There’s a reason we continue to return to Sundance for our special celebrations. Regardless of the season, the setting can’t be beat, the mighty Mount Timpanogos serving as a stunning backdrop. We settled into our cozy cabin, then popped into the Owl Bar for a drink before a 6-course meal at the Tree Room. I’d hoped to spot Mr. Redford himself, dining with his family as he often does during the holidays. Instead, my view was my handsome husband and we made our way through plate after plate of beautiful, creative food.

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By the time we finished Course #6, it was nearing midnight and we were spent. I guess we showed our age when we opted to snuggle in back at the cabin rather than go dancing at the Owl Bar! We welcomed 2014 in our jammies in front of a burning fire, sharing good luck smooches with Cholula. My, how times have changed.

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The sun was shining on New Year’s Day. After scrumptious spicy eggs at the Foundry Grill, we took it slow. The snowpack in Utah is miserable so far this year, so instead of scraping our way down ice ski runs, we went for a glorious hike to Stewart Falls. I’m in awe of Timp’s rugged beauty! On the way back down, I spied some inspiration for my dream cabin. Later, John and I treated ourselves to a spa date. We sat in front of the fire, soaking our feet in bowls of  stone-heated water, before enjoying a couple’s massage. The hike/massage combo was a heavenly way to begin the year.

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The Owl Bar was not quite as hopping as the night before when we stopped in before our dinner at the Foundry Grill. Our dinners were delicious and our waiter was super friendly. We were tucked into Sundance’s cozy bedding pretty quickly, bellies full and bodies relaxed.

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On my birthday, we slept in before breakfast and a leisurely drive home. John came home early from work to take Cholula and I on a little hike. I opened my gifts from my family before we headed into Salt Lake City for a sushi feast at our favorite spot. We ordered the perfect amount of food (I love it when that happens!), which left room for a banana coconut miracle, topped with a candle. I made a good wish.

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I ended the night wrapped in a cozy blanket with a hot cup of tea. The holiday madness is over. We’d bid adieu to all that 2013 held for us. It’s time again for new beginnings. We’d welcomed 2014 in style, and celebrated another year of my life. And we move forward, together, embracing whatever lies ahead.

Just the way it should be.


  1. Happy Birthday:) Love spending quality time with my greatest someone and enjoying a courses type meal that lasts for a while. Happy Weekend – thanks for sharing – love your captures – the pup and the toys a top fav!!!

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