I had a birthday last weekend. I turned 37. I remember in my twenties thinking my thirties would be so glamorous. I couldn’t wait to get there. My early thirties were sort of a rough patch, but since about 35 things have been so wonderful. Each year brings new pleasures and surprises. My vision of my thirties has come true and how. I am surrounded by people I enjoy and love. I have dear friends in Portland, but so many of my dear friends live far away (damn you California!!!) and I wish I got to see them more often. Maybe not seeing them makes the reunions that much sweeter.

I am married to a man who I marvel at. How could a guy be so good? I didn’t believe they existed. But they do, and I got to marry one.

And then there’s being the mom to a six-year-old boy. If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend it. Six year old boys are mysterious and energetic and kind and loving and scary-smart people. Mine talks to everyone and does some pretty complicated math. He reads books on his own and goes out of his way to help people who need it. He’s a good person and this makes me so proud. He doesn’t always want to hold my hand anymore, and that breaks my heart a bit. But he’s happy to run off into the world and explore it, so that’s okay, right?

My two favorite guys took me to Skamania lodge for my birthday. What a treat! We had brunch and the sun was shining and we got to watch the Columbia river for a while, until Fancyhats said “WE HAVE TO GO. NOW.” And then hustled me back to the lodge where he shoved me into the spa and said, “Go, you have a facial scheduled.”

After I relaxed for an hour while a woman made my skin feel so soft, we went to Bonneville Dam. Bonneville basically powers most of Oregon and half of California. It’s impressive. It was build post-World War II and you can just hear hope for the future as you walk through. It’s all angles and concrete set against the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. It’s a pretty striking contrast.

They count salmon there too. So they have fish windows and a woman who counts all of the salmon, chad and other fish that make their way up the river. And there are Pacific Lampreys that were moving across the windows. Those were pretty awesome to see.

It was an awesome birthday. Here’s to another year!