Almost a decade ago, I got into the habit of posting an annual birthday photo. I have no idea why I started, but each year I enjoy looking back at a little slice of my life from the year before. I get all judgy with previous hair colors and take a close look to see if I’ve grown any wrinkles.

Looking back at previous photos to compare to this year is kind of funny. Thanks to the pandemic, I wear less makeup now than I did back when I started this little project. In my 30’s, it would be unheard of for me to leave the house without at least putting on some eyeliner. But now, I’m out and about with a bare face more often than not.

I take better care of my skin nowadays with a gentle face soap and a few lotions and potions. I’m back to dying my own hair because frankly I’m a control freak and was never really happy with the color my stylist would cook up. I feel like I’ve found my style – a mix of comfortable, professional (when I have to be), a little bit of edge, and a sprinkle of I-don’t-give-a-damn-because-I-like-it. And tattoos.

Sure, I still sometimes fixate on those jiggly bits and will never have that flat tummy from my early 20’s. But I’m mostly fine with that. I feel confident and strong when I crush my Peloton workouts. I mentally reprimand myself for negative self talk. I remind myself that I eat heathy for my body and my future. I focus on being strong and fit, not an unachievable goal of becoming skinny. I’m a work in progress.

And here I am at 44:

If you feel like doing a little clicking, here are my previous birthday posts: 43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, and 36.

And just for funsies, here are my last 8 birthday photos. If you click through really fast, it’s like I’m aging right before your eyes…

This year I didn’t really do anything too fancy to celebrate. Travis, Jack and I had a delicious brunch and then we went to Ikea so I could make my walk-in closet dreams come true. My husband helped me carry multiple 79 pound boxes up to our second floor without any complaints, so that was a birthday miracle. My man hates stairs! In the evening, we had a wonderful dinner with my parents at a local restaurant, followed by ice cream. It was a pretty perfect start to year 44!

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