Happy 35th Birthday to Me! {and you}

Today’s my 35th birthday and I’m going to spend it on the water with my family, which is pretty much my idea of heaven.

If I were going to be celebrating with cake, it would be with my Granny’s Italian Cream Cake or my 2nd favorite cake, German Chocolate – so if you feel like celebrating my birthday, you can make either of those 🙂

I’ve learned a lot over the past year, about myself – my strengths, my faith, my weaknesses, about who I am and who I want to be.  I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to quotes that inspire me, remind me, and give me hope.

I remember when 35 sounded practically ancient 🙂  The innocence of narrow view of youth 🙂

I’m excited for 35 – I’m excited to stretch my own boundaries – to challenge myself – to accomplish things and most of all, to lead by example for my children.

One of the greatest gifts that I’ve been given in my life is my husband.  He has taught me so much – he believes in me, he loves me, he challenges me, and he makes me better.  One of the things I love most about my husband is that he lives his life by the belief of paying it forward.  Nathan believes in giving to others without asking in return and I have come to love to do that as well.  I much prefer to give than to receive, and there’s nothing more rewarding than paying it forward.    We have been blessed to pay it forward multiple times this year, sometimes anonymously – sometimes not – but we truly feel that we are blessed far more than those to whom we have given.

We want our kids to know the joy of paying it forward, the blessing of giving to others.

It’s my birthday, and I am so unbelievably blessed with my family, my friends and to be able to do what I love, to share my passion with others, and to know love and give love in return.

So in honor of my birthday, I want to give one of y’all a gift.  I have a $100 Gift Card to William Sonoma – and I want to give it to one of y’all in honor of my birthday.

Let’s keep it simple:

Answer one or both of the questions in the comments below and I’ll pick a winner from the comments using the contest comment plug-in.

1.  When is the last time you paid it forward, or were the recipient of paying it forward?

2. When is the last time you challenged yourself to do something that scares you?

That’s it. no crazy rules. no tweeting entries… put good in the world and you will receive good.  Be the change you want to see in the world 🙂

You can comment from 12:01 AM CST August 7, 2013 to 12:01 AM August 8, 2013 😉

Happy Birthday to me, and thank y’all for letting me celebrate and ramble with y’all <3 <3 <3

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  1. The last time I paid it forward was in line at Starbucks when I bought the person behind me in line’s order. I try to do that once a month.
    Last time I did something crazy was publishing my first ebook last June.

  2. The last time I paid it forward was yesterday. I live in Southern Oregon and we are having some horrible fires around here and our area is filled with smoke that has created hazordous air quality. So I bought a large pack of respirator masks and anytime I come across a transient I ask them if they need a mask and hand them out.

    However I want to share what my awesome husband did today. He saw a woman pushing a stroller full of groceries while wearing her baby and walking with her toddler down the abandon train tracks by his work. He went into his store quickly bought some masks then ran (and my husband NEVER runs unless one our kids really make him lol) to give them masks and offered them a ride, but they said they didn’t have far to go. Made my heart swell when his boss called me to tell me that I should make him a steak dinner because he’s such a nice guy 🙂

  3. Myself and my family have been the recipient of people paying forward. My Dad has been in the hospital for 3 weeks, in grave condition. The outpouring of love, food and financial assistance when not solicited has been amazing. We are surrounded by friends who are paying it forward.
    While experiencing this amazing amount of love and grace from others I try to pay it forward in the little things while at the hospital with my Dad. Saying something nice to the nursing staff. Telling them how much their hard work means to us – thanking them every chance i get. I too am a nurse – so i know how much it means to recieve a thank you.

  4. The last time I challenged myself is when I moved to a different state by myself after my divorce. I didn’t know anyone and had never lived on my own! A year later, I have made a life and I am so proud of my independence.

  5. Happy Birthday!

    I’ve been the recipient lately of paying it forward. I was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and have had a few rough moments where my family, and especially my husband has been amazing. Now I need to return the favor and pay it forward.

  6. I won a giveaway for mirror mate that I was able to give to my sister for her house. We don’t have one yet, and I know they put it to great use and really appreciated it.

  7. At 40+ years old I am going back to school to finish my degree. My last college class was almost 20 years ago and a lot has changed since then; talk about scary!

  8. I’m not a Starbucks or drive-thru kind of person so I don’t really pay it forward that way. But. I do love to surprise people with random baked goods and meals. Nothing better than hearing how someone is having a rough week etc and surprising them with a little break. Because really don’t we all just want to be acknowledged that life is just hard sometimes and others see you in the trenches?

  9. I try to pay it forward, I live in an underdeveloped nation, so we have a lot of kids asking for money at the traffic light, I sometimes give money, sometimes I give them food. just to give away something to help others.

  10. The last time was last Friday. I wanted to take a pontoon boat ride and my husband wanted to watch the Tigers game so he told me to go myself. I’m petrified of parking the boat, but I did it and thanked him later for giving me the challenge,.

  11. It sounds sorta silly, but the last time I challenged myself to do something scary was mentally allowing myself to believe that the surgery I had a few months ago actually fixed the chronic pain I had been in. I was so used to the pain being my normal, that I was too scared to accept that I had been given a second chance. And a few months later, I’m still going strong!

  12. The last time someone paid it forward for me was around the holidays. I was in the drive-thru line at Starbucks, and the lady at the register told me my latte was taken care of. I asked to pay for the car behind me, but they must have made an office order. Sorry…not paying it forward for $35 worth of coffee LOL.

    That reminds me, I need to do that next time I’m at Starbucks!

  13. ITs YOUR birthday and you are giving someone else a gift? Such a testimony to your heart!! I have loved getting to know you through your blog. You have such a desire to serve God and your family, and I happen to think that is the most admirable quality. 🙂 Plus you are adorable and funny to boot!
    I totally didnt answer your question so feel free to not enter me int he giveaway. Just wanted to say Happy Birthday!

  14. It was actually yesterday. I had received an e-mail asking if I would contribute to a fund set up for a 2-year-old who lost her mother in a tragic car accident. A blogger asked me to do it, and I knew it was the right thing to do.

  15. My children and I pay it forward every week, by giving our time at our church’s food pantry. As for doing some scary, I just got the courage to apply for a job that I’m qualified for but is out of my comfort level, but I would love so much! Fingers crossed.

  16. I pay it forward whenever I go thru the Starbucks drive-thru. I pay for the person’s coffee in the car behind me. Starbucks is a treat, so I don’t go that often, but I always pay for the car behind me when I go.

    Your second question put a smile on my face because it happened just this past weekend with a DIY project. I wanted to do this project but felt I needed help from my husband for fear of messing up. My husband ended up being away and I really wanted to get this project done. So… I gave myself a pep talk, told myself I could do this project without the help of anyone and got to work. I’m so glad I did, otherwise, my DIY project would still be waiting to get finished.

    Happy Birthday! Oh to be 35 again!!! I am truly blessed as my life just gets better and better the older I get. They say 50 is the new 30 so I’m hoping that is true since 50 isn’t too far away for me. Thanks for the chance to win. I love your blog.

  17. Happy Birthday! I always try to prepare a meal for those going through sickness or death in the family. I also am financially helping out my son and his fiancé as they are going through a financial struggle right now. I also pick a needy child in my church to buy Christmas for. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. Happy birthday and how sweet you are to host this giveaway!! At Christmas we had a nearby table pay for my kids, their friends and myself at Lupe Tortilla. I was shocked because it was over $50 for us! I like to occasionally pay for the car behind me in the drive through when grabbing a late lunch.

  19. I’ve just started as president of a Foundation that has been floundering and have my work cut out for me. It’s overwhelming, but slowly we are getting things in line and are serving others that haven’t been previously. This may be the biggest challenge I’ve ever undertaken; outside of being a mom of course!!

  20. The last time I challenged myself to do something scary was when I drove 5 hours from home by myself for a blog event. I normally don’t drive anywhere except in my little town because of anxiety so this was a big deal for me!

  21. Happy birthday! 35 is a wonderful age to be 🙂
    We have been paying it forward for the past year with my husband’s best friend. He has prostate cancer and his wife suddenly developed a severe lung issue which has caused her to be on oxygen 24 hours a day and as a result of the ensuing fatigue she had to take off work and was laid off in January. We felt they were having hard times financially as he runs a small business from home and depended on her salary. We just started sending along $2500.00 checks ever few months and though they protested I am so happy they are cashing them and we have been able to help save their home from forclosure. It is a tough time and we feel so blessed we can help them in some way.

  22. Happy Birthday! I am 35 too! 🙂 I was recently shopping at the grocery store, and I saw a couple with a disabled child. They were so happy and talking and helping each other; I was just very humbled to see that even though they had a very real challenge, they shared their love and smiles with everyone around. I had a gift card in my purse that I didn’t really need, so I gave it to them. The woman hugged me and we both got all teary. It was one of the best moments of my life.

  23. Your spirit embraces the idea of paying it forward. You have such a big heart, Rachel, and I’m proud to call you my friend. Happy Birthday, sweet lady!

  24. I try and pay forward compliments. So when I get one, I work hard to give one to some one else that same day.

    This Spring I started working with a personal trainer. I have quite a bit of weight to lose so having someone else focused on me and my body was a big challenge, and a bit scary.

  25. The last time I paid it forward was last weekend. I gave a neighbor, who is a brand new teacher, lots of supplies and books from my old classroom. I recently retired and they were all in my garage. It felt great helping out a fellow educator.
    “Once a teacher, always thinking like a teacher!”

    I challenged myself last year when I left teaching to help my mom take care of my father. This involved flying to their house every other month and being away from home for extended periods of time. He recently passed away and I would not trade that time with him for anything.

  26. “Gratitude is the basis for Happiness.” I read that somewhere.
    On Monday I gave my hairstylist a 50% tip instead of the usual 20%. Last week on Thursday and Friday I gave the clerk at the drive through a dollar when she handed me my food. not much I know but how many folks give the drive through people a tip? I try to give the postman/UPS/runners for our office chocolate (or some candy I make) as a token of my appreciation. The smiles of these folks are priceless. Costs very little to give a bit of happiness to others who might feel under appreciated most of the time.
    This is out of your window for the prize… not looking for a prize, and today is my Birthday so Happy Unbirthday to You Dear Heart!!!!! Have a Fantastic Day!!!

  27. Fantastic internet site. Plenty of handy information right here. I’m sending it to a couple good friends ans as well expressing throughout scrumptious. Not to mention, thank you so much within your sweat!

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