Friday, October 21, 2011

The big one...

I'm having a birthday in two weeks today. A big important birthday. A birthday that ends in an 0 and is often the cause for a crisis.

I'm not feeling like I'm in crisis though. I'm feeling ok about it. Calm even.

No matter how good the 20 year olds on the beach look in their skimpy bikinis, I wouldn't want to be them again and although I do have the odd new baby twinge, I adore the stage our family is at and wouldn't want to be where I was at 30 either. I'm pretty lucky and happy to be right here where I am today.

A few weeks back I thought I might make a list of forty things to do before...but when it got down to it I didn't have anything really to put on the list. I mean sure there are things I still want to achieve and learn in life, but nothing urgent. Nothing that will complete me.

Except maybe a tattoo. Maybe. I've had the design for ages but it hasn't happened yet. There's still time. Maybe even on my actual birthday. Just a small, simple one and nowhere too obvious. Maybe.

I have no answers to the present question I keep getting asked either. This trip has shown me how little I actually need and want. And I am so lucky to have more than I need and want already. I wonder if I'd have been able to answer this question if we hadn't been living the gypsy life for months. If I'd had more than a shelf to store all my road trip belongings.

So the last question is the where and how to celebrate. This is the question that has us pulling out maps and googling destinations.

I am super lucky that my parents are flying over to join us in their own rented van for a week so no matter what we'll have a great birthday week. But do I want to be in the middle of nowhere picnicking on a deserted beach or having a long lunch at a gorgeous restaurant with lots of vegetarian options?

I don't know. My birthday being right in the middle of our family's birthday season often means it is low key.

Maybe I'll feel differently as it gets closer and closer and maybe I shouldn't even try to think about it until we have celebrated Miss Pepper and her fourth birthday on Monday in Monkey Mia.

I guess time will tell...

And I guess I do feel even more fine about it all now that it is written down.

The pics for this post were taken on a walk to the shark sanctuary yesterday. That's them in the last picture. The shadows. There were dozens of them swimming about just off shore. We stood there for ages admiring them and feeling pretty happy that they are reef sharks in their natural habitat and not threatening ones with big, sharp teeth.

So tell me lovely peeps, how would be the most amazing way you could celebrate bringing in a new decade? Any decade? Suggestions and personal stories are always welcome.

Have a wonderful weekend you guys. xx


  1. Hi Kate, I know you will find the right way to celebrate. But I am here to warn you that the baby twinge never really goes...but if you are very lucky, those gorgeous girls of yours will one day make you a grandma and you will be able to celebrate other 'zero' birthdays with even more joy than this one.

  2. What a great time to be celebrating ~ my vote is for Margret River (even though I've never been) ~ sipping wines amongst the vines with lovely food and company would be my idea of a great party. Enjoy! Nic x

  3. oh how exciting for you! I am looking forward to turning the big 4.0, I've got 2 1/2 years to go, so you are beating me. all your plans sound fab. We are dreaming of going to NY or Las Vegas for the big event with friends who are also turning 40. We are just talking about it at this stage but would be nice.

  4. The big -0 isnt so scary but the big 5 0 I am facing in 3 years is lol
    I did the tattoo thing a few years ago on my anniversay its on my hip and says 1964 my birth year nothing fancy and nothing that everyone can see.
    Am loving travleing with you guys the weather here is awful.
    ps I still hope you are getting pics of yourself.xx

  5. Have a lovely birthday Kate. It's mine next year and I let the kids pick where they want to go, and its the barrier reef with a glass bottom boat.

  6. Hi Kate, I had a 30th that people still talk about, so I didn't think I could top it with my 40th. But ...
    We hired a beautiful but really basic house in the country with a barn conversion next door. I hired it for the week and luckily one of the weekends was a bank holiday. We stuffed the house to the rafters with family and friends. Loads of kids charging about in the orchard, constant food and drink. As one lot of people left another lot arrived, a kind of rolling programme of every one I love. Fantastic. So now on to my 50 th, best start planning, I mean its only 8 yrs away now and I have set the bar really high!

  7. This was me in August, Kate. To the letter. Turning 4 oh my god and really just fine with it. Happy in my skin, happy where my life is at.

    Except the tattoo. I wanted one when I was younger (couple of small birds, right inner wrist) and my ma said "you'll regret it when you're forty." Now I'm here I don't think I would have regretted it at all so I think I'm gonna do it.

    Only trouble is - how midlifecrisisy is getting bloody inked! x

  8. I'll be interested to read your replies to this post. My big zero b'day is only a couple of weeks away too. Husband wanted to have a big party but I'm leaning towards a quiet celebration and investing in some special things I've been secretly wishing for. ie. some special crafty storage for my sewing room. That would make me very happy.(For the next 40 yrs!)

  9. I think 40 is great. Having a loving , beautiful family and not wanting/needing for much - what else is there?!
    And I think there's a great chance where ever you end up for your birthday will be perfect and special( mind you Margaret river does sound nice).
    I chose a night away with my husband for mine.It had been many years since we were able to have a child free night.

  10. Oh to be only facing the big 40 ... the even bigger 50 loomed for me not so very long ago. Both were celebrated simply with family and good food. And marked with the addition of another fine art print to the collection we've been building down the years. Every important anniversary and birthday friends and family chip into a print fund and my husband and/or I get to choose a lovely artwork we would never otherwise be able to afford. And our little collection is a wonderful reminder of our thirty years as a couple :D

  11. I'm sure having your family close and relaxing where ever you end up will make it a very memorable big birthday. This year was my partners 50th, we invited all or family and friends down to our partially built "hut" and feasted on all his fav foods. But we threw in a little surprise for them all, we arranged for a celebrant to come down and she announced that we were getting married inbetween main and dessert! I will never ever forget their faces, we had the best day! Not sure we can top that one when I turn 40! Thanks for sharing your trip photos, it's almost like we're there!

  12. OOhhh that IS a question and a half!! I've only got a year and a half to go, and have no idea. Not having friends and family about prevents us having big 'do's' I'm afraid. But surrounding yourself with those you love, no matter what situation you are in - i think will be the greatest!! Much love to you guys,XXJ

  13. Happy birthday! Enjoy Monkey Mia on Monday too. Been there and it is beautiful! Make sure you stop in to Kalbarri on your way down. Another gorgeous spot. I'd suggest a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday would be in Dunsborough having lunch at Samudra with a bit of yoga there too. Yummy, scrummy vego food. It is sooo good and Dunsy is beautiful :)

    Haven't got to my 40th yet but I spent my 30th very very very pregnant with our 2nd daughter celebrating a combined birthday with my hubby with all our family and friends at the pub. Was a great night!

  14. I have just turned 40 this year too. I was determined I didnt want to do anything...and now I really regret it. i wish Id marked the milestone somehow, someway to remember it. My friends are still wanting to do something to celebrate... a 40 1/2th party... we'll see. it has been a year of unexpected twists and turns.
    Your caravaning trip sounds like an amazing time. What a way to see in your 40s!

  15. I celebrated my 40th by getting pregnant and having my thirs child! Best present ever :)

    I'm sure whatever you decide to do,you'll have a wonderful and memorable day. Another special memory from your amazing trip.

  16. Hi Kate,

    I really enjoy reading your blog and am finding it interesting as you pass through some places that I have also been. You probably aren't need of suggestions of places to visit ... but here are some suggestions!

    There is a fantastic water playground on the foreshore in Geraldton (my childhood home town).

    In the south of WA there is a little town called Balingup, which I think would appleal to you.

    There is also a lovely camping place in the south-west "Honeymoon Pool"

    Enjoy your 40th!

  17. I brought in my 30's with a tattoo and planned to do the same for my 40's but am running a bit late. i do have the design, I just need some time !
    Beautiful photos of course.

  18. What ever you choose to do I hope you have a fabulous day and do something memorable. All my best Tracy

  19. I think a tattoo especially if you have been wanting one for a while is the perfect way to mark moving into a new decade. I know i got my tat at important stage in my life, and I love it, and it reminds me of where I've been and who I've become ( and it really doesn't hurt that much) I'd be planning it for ages and knew exactly what I wanted.
    as for other celebration ideas, all I know it must be what you want and will make you happy as it's your day. I also have great faith in Farmer Bren , Indi, Jazzy and Pepper to turn on something spectacular for you and show you how truly special you are xoxo

  20. you guys are enjoyed lot.

    good family and good photos... :-)



  21. Funnily enough I am eagerly awaiting my big four oh next year. And because we have never really had any time away, just the two of us I would love for my hubby and I to take a trip somewhere...anywhere sans kids :)


  22. I recently turned 40 as well, I thought I was going to be fine until 11.15 the night before. I had a total meltdown, it lasted about 36hours. I thank heavens I planned a lovely birthday for the following weekend, by then I had done all the greiving for my 30's and was ready to move on. Turning 40wasthe best thing ever, I am making some big personal changes and now feel great about it.
    You are so lucky to have this trip it must be life changing and a wonderful way to see in a new chapter in your life. Have fun and make it a day to remember.

  23. I have the same milestone birthday next year. Were planning on spending it at uluru. I've never been and thought that would be a good time to go. We'll have our camper van decked out by then (It's still just an empty delivery van).

    I'm actually looking forward to my 40's. My 20's were about study and then my career. My 30's were still career and then family, so in my forties i'm planning on finding me again. I bet our 40s will be our best decade yet!

    The girls will love Monkey Mia. We were there last year and Little Eco still talks about Nicky (the naughty dolphin) all the time.

    Enjoy x t.

  24. Hi Kate. Lovely to read all about your adventures. I think celebrating your special birthday with your farmer boy, gorgeous girls & my beautiful brother & sister(in-law), anywhere at all, would be perfect. We all wish you health, happiness, peace, naches & love on your birthday & always xx
    P.S. both J & I loved celebrating our recent special "0" birthdays with you & your family xx

  25. oooh so very exciting Kate! mine is next year & I don't know how to feel about it.
    the most important thing is that you are celebrating, smiling and laughing with the most special people in your life.
    whatever you do, enjoy it and it really is another number..isn't it(that's what I tell myself)??
    big hugs to you gorgeous girl ♥

  26. Balingup is very sweet. Riding a bike around Rottnest Island is great fun. Maybe you should stay somewhere nice as a treat and break from the van. I have 40 looming too, I like the sound of Uluru.look forward to hearing what you do.

  27. Happy Birthday! Turning 40 is the best. Can't wait to hear what you decide to do.
    xo Jana

  28. Ooh...had that same birthday this year :-) Didn't want the bash that many people do, so we went to Namibia for a week, lovely! It was actually a bit before my birthday, but it was our little celebration, spending time in Swakopmund, driving through the Namib desert etc.
    (Am also thinking about the little tattoo, have for years, but have a little desin now, but Where To Put It?)

  29. I've been following your trip for the past few months. I think If I could do anything for my birthday, I would tour Australia in caravan with my family. Your trip and your life lessons sound awesome to me! I've never been into big celebrations, more of a get-away-from it all person.

  30. I didn't have a breakdown about turning 40 (I did all that approaching 20), I had a party for friends and as a super special reminder I had a quilt made from fabric given to me by family and friends around the world. It has just come back to me -

  31. Oh wow, 40 sounds so grown up. When it happens to me, my 4th baby will be starting high school. I'm looking forward to it, embracing the age as we'll have come so so far in our lives from marrying my teen love to 40.
    Sounds like your holiday is the ultimate gift of a lifetime, what you've learned about yourself, your family, where you want to go & what you wish to change. 40 Things To Do Before You Are 40 is a bit cliche when you realise you have it all & sky diving isn't a thrill. Love Posie

  32.'s my turn in February & I keep changing my mind, first I didn't want to do anything at all, then I was thinking a party to dance all night long would be perfect, then I thought perhaps a little family trip away somewhere, I don't really know, but I do know I want to mark it as a special day... Yours will be great, smack bang in the middle of your family adventure, what a way to celebrate your life as it is right now! x

  33. Congratulations! Your big day is only a few days before mine....I have invited family and some close friends for a breezy, lazy long lunch at the Lavender Farm...The idea of being surrounded by the people you love and admire most, hoping they'll be still pivotal in my life for my next big 0...Doing what I love best (yes, I'll probably have some knitting with me...), eating lovely food in great company.
    It sounds you'll be doing much of the same.
    All the best to you and your journey from a fellow blogger and birthday girl.

  34. I celebrated the big 4 0 with family and friends - and that is the best part - just enjoying those around you and having a laugh no matter where you are.

    Of course it involved good food and a large amount of wine & champagne..... that is an important element

    Have a great birthday whereever you are.

  35. Having just done your trip in reverse, I'm struggling to remember where you could find a vegetable in that region, let alone a vegetarian restaurant!! maybe a road house somewhere near carnarvon might be more apt!!! seriously though, if you are near margaret river, yallingup was our favourite place. check it on our travel blog

    i want to mark our 12 month life changing trip with a small tattoo, but have delayed it since i found out that you can't swim for a month whilst it heals. don't want to waste those beaches...

  36. Wherever you end up it will be such a lovely & memorable birthday - for all the right reasons!

    When you decide where you're going, let me know please, Post Office wise. I'm not promising anything, but there may be birthday chocolate. xx

  37. Whatever the day brings Kate, it will be memorable, with so many people around who love and friends, you'll be ensconsed in warmth and loveliness!

  38. It is my birthday on Monday and I haven't a clue how to celebrate; but the beach does sound lovely... Whatever you do, I am sure it will be sublime. It is sweet (in the gromet vernacular sense) to be happy in your own skin. Knowing that what you have is all you need. That is a cherished gift.

  39. On the road, plenty of time for relaxation and soul searching, family, beautiful beaches...couldn't think of a better way to be celebrating the big 4-0!

    And what a lucky girl Miss Pepper is to be turning 4 in Monkey Mia.

    Happy Birthday to you both x

  40. Earlier this year I turned 40 and I was getting a bit ugh about it. My oldest friend who turned 40 a few days before me said "What's to worry about - we're still totally hot"!! I love her for it - and it made it all so much better. Happy birthday to Miss Pepper and to you too. Have a fabulous week hon. L xx

  41. To me spending a significant birthday with those you love best is the way to do it - and it sure looks like you will be doing that. I'm about 4 years away from my that birthday and to be honest I would be quite happy to be by the beach somewhere, glass of bubbles in hand with my family around me xxx

  42. and I just have to say the shark photos scare me just a little ;)

  43. Hello lady!
    Just checking in with your travels, and let me just tell you how inspiring and lovely your posts all are. I can only imagine the memories being made with your beautiful family. The lessons you've learned are wonderful to hear and ponder for ourselves too.
    Keep it up - all this farmy hoo-haa will still be here whenever you arrive back home.
    I say champers on a beach picnic. Get a great caterer to make and pack the picnic up and - voila - the best of both worlds. Happy birthdays to all... xx

  44. Happy birthday for next week Katchka.
    No matter how you decide to celebrate, I'm sure that when you wake up on the day, you will be taller and with bigger boobs!!

  45. I have a zero birthday only days before you! I have a "festival of me" planned - lunch at the pub with the girls during the week, big smoke friends up for cup weekend for kids and all food and drink fun, and then a sneaky lovely lunch with my beloved at a local winery soon. Enjoy yours. I love the idea of table set up on the beach with yummo food.....

  46. Love the idea of the tattoo! I've wanted to get one for ages too... what is it that stops us?! ;) Birthdays are funny things. We don't want fuss but then we do want it to be recognised... it's a tricky tightrope. I'm sure whatever you decide will become part of the whole trip memory... you'll look back and think 'when I turned 40 we drove around Australia and it was the best year imaginable'... maybe? My only experience is that turning 40 is actually quite an anti-climax. I didn't feel any different at all... now 44, that's a different matter!! :)) Kx

  47. Hi Darling Kate ... just think, you'll soon be older than this 39, with a few late nights, Great GrandMaMa. I'd imagine you'll have a mega super duper birthday no matter what you do.
    Hey, do it all Luv ...a swish lunch for two lovebirds ... followed by a dinner with All your beloveds under the stars ... or vica versa ... it's all up to you. It's your day and I know you'll make the absolute most of every single second.
    No stories from me it's all about YOU ♥♥♥♥♥

  48. hi kate. as it happens i do have a 4/0 story. leading up to my 40th i thought i would struggle. when the time came i had just come out of hospital after a serious car accident that had put me in icu for two weeks and a rehab hospital for three months. everything after that was a gift. and so i was nothing but grateful to celebrate turning 40 and every birthday since. i think it's great that you can't formulate a must do list. that is a sign of life spent well. you will have a great birthday

  49. ok woops! sorry!
    even something casual {with champagne} would be great, just something that marks it! i almost chickened out on having something, then had a small party and it was really lovely. not one for big fanfares.
    have fun with your family xx

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