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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Loving Right Now: Lucifer on Netflix

Source: Netflix.com

I first started watching Lucifer in early 2020 by randomly choosing to watch season 1, episode 1 on my lunchbreak at work. And BAM, I was into it! I immediately started binging the series and luckily seasons 1 – 4 were all loaded up on Netflix waiting for me to watch them.

Then, the series was renewed for season 5, which was supposed to be its last season. But the fans were rabid for more Lucifer, so they ended up giving us one more bonus season!

Which brings us to today. Season 6 of Lucifer came out on September 10th and it is SO GOOD as always. I’ve been binging the season this week and will be watching the last episode today on my lunch break. The last episode. Ever. {sob}

Here is the trailer for the very first season with a good introduction of what you are getting into:

Ironically, when I toured the WB lot a few years ago, I actually was on the Lucifer set… before I watched the show. I wish I had watched a few episodes before that trip because I probably would have lost my mind on the Lux set, rather than just politely looking around.

Anyways, if you are looking for a fun, flirty solving crime kinda show with a side of sass… you may want to give it a try!

UPDATE: Finished the series. Loved, loved, loved the ending. Perfection.

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Wack-a-Mole: Pre-Cancerous Cells

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I first wrote about my experiences with pre-cancerous melanoma cells. I first wrote about it here: Pieces of Me and then followed up last year with More and More Pieces of Me. As I wrote last year, my annual mole checks at the dermatologist have increased to a check every 6-8 months because I have such a high rate of pre-cancerous cells.

Basically, if my dermatologist thinks a mole looks sketchy we cut it off and have it sent to the lab. The majority of the time, the test comes back from moderate to severe on the pre-cancer meter. I’m talking like 90% of the time. So now, if my dermatologist even thinks something looks odd, I basically interrupt her with CUT IT OFF!

I’ve honestly lost count at this point on how many pieces I’ve had cut off… but I think it’s somewhere more than 10, but less than 20?

In January, my dermatologist decided I had a mole on my neck that looked suspicious. Unlike every other mole, I was resistant at having this one removed because it was ON MY NECK. I already hate anyone touching my neck due to a childhood surgery that left a very faint scar. Also, my scars tend to stay bright pink for awhile before fading to white… so I really didn’t want to be running around with what looked like a hickey on my neck for a year.

However… that 90% number stuck in my head. So, I went for it and had a mole removed from my neck in January. And 2 weeks later, when I went back to get my stitches taken out, I found out that it was severe on the pre-cancer scale.

I’m thankful to my doctor’s keen eye and I’m glad I went through the pain (and itching of those dang stitches) to have the mole removed. And now that it’s been about 5 months I can say that the scar isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Here is January 2021 vs June 2021:

Consider this your reminder to please, please, please book a yearly appointment with your dermatologist to have your moles looked at. And tell your loved ones. And tell your friends. Because you might end up saving someone’s life. If I can influence just one person to go and have their moles checked, it will be worth it.

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