36 Lessons by 36 Years: My Birthday & the Things I Try to Live By

36 Lessons by 36 Years: My Birthday & the Things I Try to Live By

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. When I was in my 20s I felt like I was old, but now at 36 I feel so young and vibrant and I'm still working on my dreams and growing as a person which is so exciting! Growing older is nothing to be ashamed of and is truly a blessing and gift!

Picture of El Abad facing a neutral toned wall wearing a white sweater and running her hands through her dark hair.

How I celebrated Yesterday

Work work work!

I didn’t do anything fancy or have elaborate plans for my birthday. In the morning we actually had walkthroughs for Happy Mom Conference at the Paseo with their team, so until about lunchtime my day was spent working, and you know what? I don’t mind at all, because when you’re working on your passion, it doesn’t feel like work at all! It was so exciting to go see the location bare-bones and I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to come together on event day! Even now without being dressed, it is so beautiful and it’s the perfect setting! I couldn’t be happier that the Paseo is where we’re hosting from this year, it’s going to be epic! 

A Little Self-Care

After lunch I booked a little self-care time for my birthday and had a facial with my favorite, Erin Hollis of Lifted Skin! I see her pretty regularly, like I try to go once a month but every other month for sure. She’s amazing! It was such a treat to be able to squeeze in a little pampering in between meetings, calls, and emails.

White roses, one of two flower bouquets El received for her birthday

Birthday Blooms

Early in the day, I got a call from the flower shop telling me they had a delivery for me. I wasn’t going to be home so I arranged for my housekeeper to accept the flowers on my behalf. It was such a beautiful arrangement but I had no idea who to thank for it because there was only a short, sweet message attached but it was unsigned. Hubby actually joked that I may have a secret admirer he needs to look into, ha! More to come on who sent the flowers...

Hubby arrived home from work with the sweetest flowers for me: a bouquet of white roses, because he knows they’re my favorite. Then we hurried out the door to pick up the boys from school.

Family Time

We decided on dinner at one of our fave local spots, Raffi's Place, with the boys. For some reason—maybe because it was Mama’s birthday—they both were SO good at dinner! They ate all of their food and were so well behaved. They’re usually super active and wanting to leave the table and walk around the restaurant. So it was a beautiful change I was super thankful for!

We made it quick to get back home because my parents wanted to pop in and wish me a happy birthday. My sweet mama and papa brought me the prettiest floral arrangement and a small cake to enjoy with the whole fam. 

Three gorgeous florals from three of my faves: hubby, my parents, and... I found out the morning blooms were from one of my best girlfriends, Elina. 

Weekend Plans

It was great to celebrate my birthday with my family, and tomorrow we're off to the desert to celebrate some more! This will be a trip sans kiddos, just the hubs and I and our friends, so it’s going to be some adulting time which I’m so looking forward to! The weather is supposed to be in the 80s and beautiful where we’re going—I can't wait! We’re staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, which we stayed at for Ryan’s third birthday and loved. The boys will stay back with my parents and get some quality grandparents' time in.

I'm just so excited for a weekend just with Art. It’s semi for my birthday and semi Baby Moon, just our last little hurrah before the conference and our new baby is born in May. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to laying around by the pool and soaking in some vitamin D... oh, and the peace and quiet time I so rarely get!

36 Lessons I Try to Live By

As I think back on my years, I want to share 36 things I try and live by at 36. I wonder how the list will change and expand as I grow older (and wiser)...

1. Be kind
2. You're the most pretty when you smile
3. Never stop dreaming & never give up on your dreams
4. When you see something beautiful in someone, tell them
5. Family is everything
6. Don't sweat the small stuff
7. Spend time learning about & experiencing other cultures
8. Talk less, listen more
9. Travel to places you've never been
10. Not everyone will agree with you & that's ok
11. Music is life
12. Not everyone is the same. appreciate that
13. TRUE love is unconditional
14. Patience is important
15. Being with positive people uplifts you
16. Negative energy is a real thing
17. Breathe deeply
18. Eat right
19. Exercise for happy endorphins
20. People come into your life for a reason
21. Timing is key
22. Life will happen. you can't control everything
23. People are who they are. seeing change is a pleasant surprise & not to be expected
24. Your freedom is not to be taken for granted
25. It's ok to say no. don't overcommit or overextend yourself to the detriment of you
26. Sleep is a luxury
27. Continuous learning & growth make me happy
28. “Mother” is the most important role of my life
29. Seeing the world & new experiences light my soul on fire
30. I don't like change as much as I've always thought I did
31. Don't take things personally
32. Tell the people you love that you love them. don't assume they know
33. Love yourself deeply & unconditionally
34. Think before doing. I'm not as spontaneous as I thought
35. Operate from a place that is pure & anything is possible
36. LOVE trumps all

Mama, what are the things you try to live by?

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