37 things i want for my 37th birthday*

*This list is by no means all-inclusive. I’m sure I’ll think of a lot more things I want as the day goes on.

Good morning! It’s my birthday! Historically, I host a pity party or two for myself on this date (who knows why? my melancholy personality? the fact that I have to share my special day with a billion kids dressed as bloody things and hideous Halloween decor?), BUT NOT THIS YEAR.

Maybe it’s because your birthday is supposed to be FUN!! and I’m too practical to be FUN!! (I’m really much more boring in real life than online–ask my real-life friends) So you’re supposed to do things that make you HAPPY!! And nothing makes me HAPPY!! (except playing in the dirt with Cambodian orphans–and it’s not because I’m spiritual and noble; it’s just the most joy-inducing thing someone can do)

Then a couple friends pointed me to this blog where this girl did 38 Random Acts of Kindness for her 38th birthday. She went around blessing strangers in all kinds of ways and documented it all with photographs. Sweet!! I said I’d do it! (and then I realized how many of her random acts involved $, and I just don’t have any of that right now, and the thought of coming up with 37 money-less ways to bless people made me hyper-ventilate)

SO, I got the brilliant idea JUST THIS MORNING to make a list of 37 things I WANT! Because that’s altruistic and completely un-self-centered.

Here’s the deal. These are 37 things I want. Some I can get today. Some will take all year. Some are fun. Some are serious. Some of them you can’t help me with at all.

BUT SOME OF THEM YOU CAN. (and I will bold those so you know)

Here we go!! (please remember, this isn’t all-inclusive–I’m not trying to fix every problem in our fallen world in one day)

37 Things I Want for My 37th Birthday

(EDITED 9:36pm, * = in progress, ** = DONE)

*1. I want to have a joyful attitude all day long (no matter what).

**2. I want to have a good visit with my reading buddy, Junior, and make him feel special.

3. I want to get all caught up on our bills, hospital and otherwise.

*4. I want Cherry to join our family (and love us!).

**5. I want a $2 Chipotle burrito.

*6. I want to hug a lot of people.

*7. I want the girls to sell 50 Cambodia Prayer Bracelets.

8. I want the election to be over.

9. I want the people in the path of Sandy to be safe (and I want God to comfort the loved ones of those who lost their lives).

*10. I want to inspire people to love the poor sacrificially.

*11. I want my children to be loving to each other.

12. I want to see Cambodia again (in real life, not just Skype) before I turn 38.

*13. I want my husband to continue to be alive and healthy–physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

(Holy cow. How am I going to get to 37??)

*14. I want everyone to feel valuable and loved today (you are valuable and loved! yes, YOU!).

15. I want to write/publish 3 more e-books this year.

16. I want to meet my friend Nicki in Australia in real life before I turn 38.

17. And a whole slew of other internet friends.

18. I want to get over my loathing of noises (chewing, page turning, chip bag rustling).

19. I want to be a really, really good (unselfish, loving) wife and mom.

20. I want my parents (and Gabe’s) to stay healthy for a long, long time.

*21. I want to donate 40 Expecting books to a pregnancy center in Estonia. (e-mail me if you want to help!!)

22. I want to be joyful always, never griping or complaining.

23. I want my Cambodian friends to have an amazing mission trip to India (and get all the $ they need in time).

24. I want to reach out to my neighbors.

25. I want to keep my desk organized.

26. I want to be more adventurous and try more ethnic foods (so many to choose from where I live!).

27. I want Mohamed (the 9th grade boy I tutor) to succeed in school.

*28. I want ______ & ________ & __________. (these are actual, physical things, but I know that if I write them, 10 of you are going to show up at my door with them today, and that won’t do)

EDIT to #28 (11:44am): Okay, okay, I’ll tell you what they are: 1.) super-low-cut, grey athletic socks 2.) a new pair of running shoes and 3.) clinical-strength deodorant. 🙂

29. I want the Boys’ Center (Punlok Thmey) in Cambodia to have all the $ they need to hire staff, serve lunch, and love these precious boys in Jesus’ name.

*30. I want everyone in the universe to watch this video.

31. I want to help our friend Faa realize her dream of an amazing campus for abused kiddos in rural Thailand. (details to come!)

32. I want a haircute. (left the typo, because how fun!)

(I have to leave the house for Reading Buddies in 2 minutes. RUSHING through these last 6. No, 5!)

33. I want to pray more. (let me know if I can pray for you)

34. I want an overall good first homeschooling year.

*35. I want everyone who reads this to go encourage someone verbally (or w/written word).

36. I want to keep all my promises.

37. I want to love God and people more.

Woohoo!! Let me know if you did any of this BOLD STUFF in honor of my b-day! Love you all to bits!!

29 thoughts on “37 things i want for my 37th birthday*

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  5. Sharon


    I am in the process of writing encouraging emails to all the speakers we’ve had at my MOPS group this semester. I’ve been thinking of doing it for a while now, but in honor of you and your birthday, today is the day! Thanks for helping me to stop procrastinating on this!

    And, if you master keeping your desk organized, please help me! I figure the only way it’s possible is to deal with whatever piles up on it on a daily basis. Uggh! Surfing the net sounds like much more fun!

  6. Arneta

    Happy Birthday Marla!!!!!
    I love your list!!!! I can totally identify with many….. I would love to be rid of my # 18 too! It irritates me so much that I get irritated at myself that I get irritated!! lol…. Does that make sense?
    I am going to go check out the link above now…. I think I need a couple bracelets!!! 😉

  7. Lesley

    I did #30 just now — I didn’t do it when you posted it because sometimes 9 minutes seems like an eternity. It was definitely 9 worthwhile minutes.

    I also did #35 today. Encouraged my boys.

    I think your list is fun. I also want a haircute!! However, the thought of making an appointment seems like such a big deal some of the time.

    Hope you are having a fantastic birthday!

  8. Joy

    Happy Birthday! And I woke up today wanting a haircut as well so maybe we should find someone to give them to us? I have a pair of brand new running shoes that I would totally give to you if you lived closer. Never used because I quit running. 🙂
    Hope you have an amazing day and I want to be just like you when I turn 37. I have 6 years to get there. 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      I have pretty big feet (10). 🙂 And the running is a little bit of a dream. I’m too lazy to go do it (and it’s getting coooold) and I have sciatic nerve issues. So I might end up wearing them with jeans and acting like I’m a runner. 🙂

  9. valerie

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I’m planning on helping with #23 in honor of your birthday, but a little after your birthday. 🙂 Hope you have a marvelous day and get as many things on your list as possible!

  10. Sara

    I agree with Stephanie. Don’t rob others of the joy of giving! Especially on your special day! 🙂 Happy Birthday! and I’m planning to do #35 and encourage people today. 🙂

  11. Stephanie

    Well, I think you should actually write what the three things are in #28 so that your local friends can have a chance to bless you on your birthday. 🙂

    I just got hop, so I haven’t had a chance to do any of the bold things on your list.

      1. Stephanie

        Apparently I forget to spell check that early in the morning too! 😛

        What’s the deadline for contributing to your Cambodian friends’ missions trip?

        Sounds like you’re doing some serious running? (#28?)

        1. Marla Taviano

          I would love to start running again, but 1.) I’m too lazy and 2.) I have sciatic nerve issues that flare up when I do. I’m hoping a new pair of shoes (mine are cheapo Target ones that are falling apart) might make a difference?

          They leave for the trip in December, so at least a few weeks!

          1. Stephanie

            Well, I sure hope someone drops by with a new pair of running shoes for you. 🙂

            I’m planning to make some more bracelets today, and post them on Facebook soon! I think I’ll send the proceeds to your friends for their missions trip!

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