And just like that, our boy is two.

When I go visit for the weekend I make sure I’m there to pick him up from nursery. I peek my head around the door to see where he is — he’ll look up, realise it’s me, run over to be picked up (his little run kills me) and screams. After cuddling me with his entire body he leans back in my arms and looks me in the eye and screams again, as if to say YOU’RE ACTUALLY HERE! It is the best and most amazing thing in the world. No one has ever been so happy to see me.

He counts to ten and says please and thank you (“plea-sh” “ackoo”). Once in a while he’ll say something so perfectly it stops us in our tracks (“birthday cake”).

He’s still crazy for tractors and trains are now getting a lot of play time too. And he adores balloons. And painting. And Play Doh. He’s really good at naming colours now, though sometimes everything is just “colour!”

He loves cucumber, strawberries and blueberries. And I noticed all the pears, apples and bananas in my sister’s kitchen had little bite marks in them. He likes to sit on my lap when I’m eating my breakfast so he can have some too. Sometimes he’ll bite off more than he can chew, so he’ll hand it back to me:

When he’s excited it’s like his whole being is filled to the brim with light. He loves being outside, and sneaking into next door’s garden to bounce on their trampoline. He is completely fearless. We hired a bouncy castle for his birthday party and the lil dude was on it like a shot.

I handed him my book and without missing a beat he looked at the cover, smiled and said “Shoo-she!” As he flicked through the pages he’d stop when he saw pictures of me — “Shoo-she!” — and when I pointed to a photo at the end and asked who’s that? he said “No-no!”, his way of saying Noah. And yes, like the sap that I am, I got a bit teary. Couldn’t help it.

I am so lucky I get to be his auntie.

And in case there’s any doubt that we are related:

Hello 39

I turn 40 exactly 12 months from today. Sadly, this is how I’ve been viewing 39 — like it’s a non-year, simply the long meander to my forties. Because I’ve loved my thirties. It’s been an equal mix of the WORST that could have happened happening and the BEST that could have happened happening. It’s been shocking darkness and incandescent light. It’s been my decade to not only finally and fully inhabit who I am but also like who I am (it saddens me to think of how much of my 20s i disliked who I was).

But dammit, I still have three hundred and sixty six days (it’s a leap year! Bonus extra day!) left to rock the shit out of my 30s. And I fully intend to.

39 things to do before I turn the big FOUR OH!

1. Hold my own book in my hands and smell the paper
2. Go on a book tour of North America
3. Pass my driving test
4. Have sex on the morning of my 40th birthday with the man I adore

(Those are the big four (oh!) for me. Two of them will happen. One feels achieveable if i practice really hard. One feels completely impossible right now. I’ll let you guess which is which ;)

5. Meditate with some sort of regularity
6. Do a sleepover at my house with Noah
7. Adopt a kitty
8. Frame my three fave LPs from the 80s and put them on my wall
9. Watch my sister get married (August!)
10. Spend time with my auntie in the summer
11. Sit in Denise’s garden (July!)
12. Learn how to properly blow-dry my hair
13. Get a massage
14. Try acupunture
15. Take a painting class with Flora Bowley (October!)
16. Move my body more
17. Meet Ms Gabby
18. Sample some Monmouth coffee (done on Friday!)
19. Have a girlie sleepover with Elizabeth (June!)
20. Walk under the Linden trees when they bloom
21. Write more poetry
22. Drive myself to the nearest beach for lunch
23. Start writing a column for a national magazine
24. Go to Powell’s in Portland
25. Continue being an ex-smoker (three years!)
26. Spend an afternoon with Hiro
27. Go to a live comedy show
28. Burn through the last of my Polaroid stash in a blaze of glory
29. Watch more sunrises
30. Including one in Santa Barbara with Lisa
31. Dust off my Hasselblad
32. Continue juicing every day
33. Kiss a sexy boy
34. Have my first pedicure
35. Get a streak of red put in my hair (mid-life crisis)
36. Help Sas and my sister build their dreams
37. Go back to New York City
38. Plan my next tattoo 
39. Continue loving this little boy with all my heart

* * * * *

In other unrelated (but actually really quite related news, now i think about it) registration for the first ever run of Blogging from the Heart opens in an hour at 4pm GMT. I am VERY excited about this course, you guys. Like…. I might explode. Can’t wait to share it with you xo

Something for the weekend

Let’s all splash in muddy puddles this weekend, shall we? :)

Sweet recipe notecards (via Clare)

It probably goes without saying that I want one of these beauties

The greatest books of all time

The willful stage (thank you for sharing this with me, Sas)

Feeding my washi tape obsession

“Open the space to be you.” Wise words from Hannah this week

[video] When Pam speaks, I listen!

Plan to make this soon: roasted sesame winter slaw (also: beetroot crisps)

Didn’t we all want to be Debbie?

From blog to book

[video] Bath time for baby sloths (via Rebecca)

Loving Kelly Rae’s kindness mission

Have you met Rachel Cole? She’s definitely on to something

So inspiring! Business cards from the Alt Design Summit

And finally, just a reminder that registration for Blogging from the Heart opens on Sunday — woot! xo