Birthday:  (a) the day of a person's birth (b) a day of origin.

Today is my birthday, a celebration of who I am. It’s odd how the older we get, the more we tend to look back over our life and wonder if this is where we are suppose to be? It’s always a great feeling to say. “Yes, I am exactly where I belong!” and to know that there is so much more to venture onto in life.  I enjoy the simplicities of life and the little things that make me smile are many!  I love to listen to the quietness of the night, the smell of fresh rain, the scent flowers and leather.  I can't pass up a swing without feeling the freedom of such calmness and I have a passion in me that sometimes seem untouchable.

This year has been quite an experience, and I am hopeful that the coming year will continue to bring me such graces. I came across the following quote and fell in love with it:

“All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I’ve been
Now I’m here, blinking in the starlight
Now I’m here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it’s all so clear
I’m where I’m meant to be
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright.”

I will be the first to tell you . . . I really don’t like my birthday. It‘s not the aging, and I‘m not quite sure what it is, but a good celebration ~ now we’re talking. So, in all fairness, I thought I would share 44 (yes, 44) things about me and I didn‘t include my family in this list because they are without a doubt the loves of my life who without them, I would not be who I am today!

I am my worst critic and always think I can do better.

I really like to watch Disney movies or old cartoons when I am sick ~ they are simple and I don’t have to think.  When I was growing up Charlie Chaplin was my favorite along with The Great Gatsby.

I LOVE owning my own business and being able to use my creativity ~ which on the other hand, I can spend hours and hours “creating” and never tire of it (although my family often wonders when dinner might be ready).

If I could hang my sheets on the clothesline every day of the year I would sleep like a baby every night.

I can work most technology except the seven remotes my husband has to play our TV, DVD, VCR and stereo ~ I get just a little frustrated on that one!

I love to try different food, to cook new things, create new recipes (as long as they aren't spicy) and to read recipe book by the hours. 

I really want a Nook but I love the way a book smells ~ would someone create this scent to go with the e-readers, along with the feeling of sitting in a library or a book store that just can't be touched.

I use to really decorated for the holidays. I did say “use to”. I don’t feel the need to decorate 12 Christmas trees anymore.

I love to sightsee. I love to be a tourist and venture to places I’ve never been. I love to sit at outdoor cafes and people watch. To have an amazing cup of coffee and watch the world around me or a romantic dinner under a starry night is priceless. I love to venture on old cobblestone or brick-lined streets into stores that entice me to enter.
If I could have several houses, they would all be decorated differently.

Summer is my favorite season and my husband tells me I have a very small temperature range of “too cold or too hot” ~ hey, isn’t that kind of like “The Princess and The Pea”? I keep telling him I am a Princess.

Fashion ~ I can never get enough and will find a reason to purchase just because it was meant for me! I can find a reason for a party dress, a beautiful scarf, hats (oh yes please), and a girl just can't have enough purses or jewels!

I adore shoes ~ I will never have enough and would take the closet Bing built Carrie in Sex and the City any day . . . Well, I’d like the apartment too!
I am a girly-girl but have been know to do the unmentionable in the catch and discarding of snakes (not too fond of that one).

I like the outdoors ~ I just don’t like bugs - well, bug bites that is!
If I could be anywhere it would be sitting at the ocean listening to the waves and watching the world quietly pass by ~ and I am not giving up hope that someday I will have my beach house!!!

I love laughter! I love to hear it and I love to laugh until my stomach hurts and tears are rolling down my cheeks!!!

I have been know to dance at any given place and twirl around in the yard just because I can ~ what freedom!
Life is already hard and I don’t think I need a broken down car to prove it!

I love thunderstorms ~ I just want the power to stay on!

I don’t ride roller coasters or other rides but love to listen to the sounds of a fair.

I like to be organized, but in my disarray, I can still tell you that the sticky note you’re looking for is under the fourth envelope stuck to the top of last months magazine.

I love music but can’t play an instrument or sing a note ~ I wish I could!

I wish my name were something more exotic or mysterious.

I love quotes and inspiration words ~ so much that I really want a whole wall filled with them someday . . . My husband is not seeing the vision that I am though.
I am passionate and positive ~ even when life is tough.

I always over pack be it my luggage or food for a weekend away ~ I know I would survive but I really don’t want to be without just in case.

I cry at sad and touching movies. This may be the reason I like to wait and watch the movie in the comfort of my home ~ scary movies - never!

I wish I had a large family with lots of closeness and silliness.

I sometimes wish I could turn my mind off because I am always thinking and creating ~ I believe I do this even in my sleep!

I believe in people and I believe that people should believe in one another.

I do cry at weddings and funerals.

I want to learn or do something new each day.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Golden Retrievers.

I love the rush of city life but the serenity of the country.

Motivation drives me with a sense of perfection, quality and completeness.

I use to love shopping but now I really have to be in the mood for it and I despise grocery shopping ~ not sure if it’s the hurry everyone is in, the repetition or having to put it all away after I carry it in?

I am terrified to drive in the snow ~ needless to say I don’t leave the house much and am a terrible passenger during this time also.

I actually color code how I hang my clothes up ~ but at least my canned food isn’t alphabetized anymore.

I believe in love and romance!
I believe that each day is a gift and without gratitude and thanks we may end up losing what means the most.

I like to watch our gold-fish swim aimlessly in circles and still seem so happy.

I think it’s a wonderful thing to look in the mirror each day and night and really like who you are ~ I think this is important.

I am compassionate, loyal, honest and I try to fill each day doing something that is meaningful, real and simply portrays who I am.

So, with all that being said, I have to say it’s looking like a good day to sit on the swing and watch the beauty of the world around me with a gratefulness that I am part of it.
~ Amy

In a poll of 584 men on the website http://www.whichbudget.com/blog/en/press/1022-fathers-prefer-gastronomy-trips-on-fathers-day, it found that food and drink trips came at the top of the Father's Day holiday wish-list, while sporting activities were rated as less appealing for a Father's Day getaway.

Savour Sicilian Food and Wine in Italy = 22%
Whisky Tour of Scotland = 17%
Surf the waves off the coast of Portugal = 12%
Racing the Nurburgring in Germany = 9%
Fly-fishing in Iceland = 8%
Chilled out Culture Day in San-Sebastian, Spain = 8%
Off-shore power boating in Costa Smeralda in Sardinia = 7%
Camel riding in Morocco = 6%
Down and Dirty in a mud-spa in Budapest = 6%
Golf & Guinness trip to Ireland = 5%

For some travel within the United States, book these adventure travel packages before they sell out.

Grand Canyon - This package is for dads who have always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. For $995, your father can go on an eight-day, seven night escorted tour bookable through http://www.caravan.com/tour/usa-grand-canyon. Starting in the South Rim in Phoenix, travel through the Sedona section, Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and end in Las Vegas. Trips are available during Father’s Day.

Bahamas - If you can wait to give dad a fall travel present, http://www.atlantis.com/promotions/travelzoo/99special.aspx?CID=TravelzooJune2011 is having a sale on trips to Atlantis from August 21 to October 31. Rooms at this favorite hotel start at $99 and if you book four nights by June 13, you'll get a $250 airfare credit. Dad will be able to swim all day long, but you can add on the Family Stay & Play, which includes two dolphin swims for $99.

Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Florida - Golf, Tennis, Spa, Fitness at http://www.clubmed.us/cm/sandpiper-florida-family-resort_p-115-l-US-v-SANC-ac-vh.html Club Med Sandpiper Bay is not a beach resort, but rather is on the St. Lucie River, though it does have a beach area with white sand. Location is in the residential community of Port St. Lucie, a 2-hour drive from Orlando or Miami, 45 minutes from Palm Beach. For beach-lovers, the "Treasure Coast" is a 20-minute drive away. This Caribbean-style all-inclusive right in Florida, has kids' programs, great ambiance, and several ways to enjoy golf. The resort has an 18-hole golf course, a Tom Fazio II designed practice facility, a putting green, clubhouse, and driving range. Guests can take free group lessons (and kids get initiation sessions as well during their kids' programs, Petit Golf for the 4 to 7 year olds, and Junior Golf for the 8 to 13 year olds.)

Huck Finn Jubilee in Victorville, CA http://www.huckfinn.com/ - Father’s Day Weekend - Mark Twain's storybook comes alive at this 3-day festival in Victorville CA (97 miles NE of LA). Families can white-wash fences, build river rafts, and other Huckleberry Finn style fun. Most of the 1880's-style contests are free. There's a Mark Twain Live performance, a Treasure Hunt, country and bluegrass music, hot air balloon rides, "vittles and crafts"... The Jubilee is held in the 800-acre Mojave Narrows Regional Park, along the Mojave River near Victorville.

Hershey, PA - Golf, Spa and more for a popular destination of families, and also for the roller coasters and other rides at Hershey Park. Stay at the family-friendly Hershey Lodge, or the classic Hotel Hershey which has a kids' club, a terrific brunch in the Circular Dining Room, and a spa with many male guests (and many chocolate treatments). The Hershey Country Club is top-rated for golf. http://www.hersheypa.com/plan_a_trip/where_to_stay.php

1000 Acres Ranch Resort, NY http://www.1000acres.com/package_details.asp?id=3
Dads get 50% off on this package, from June 17 to 19 2011, and the weekend package includes 3 days, 2 nights lodging, three meals daily, horseback riding, pony rides for kids six and under, full use of Ranch facilities, and nightly entertainment in the Red Dog Saloon. Activities include bonfires, hiking, row-boating, fishing, volleyball, basketball, softball, hay wagon rides, country dancing and more.

Some other ideas other than another tie or that similar bottle of Old Spice that I bet Dad still has bottles given from your childhood days . . .

Adventure Dad - Revolve http://revolveusa.com/index.php?p=1_56 offers reliable access to power for their electronic needs. The built-in battery also doubles as an emergency power source.

A great Axe made from Appalachian hickory and 4 pound high-carbon steel heads, each of the American felling axes in this NY concern's ltd-ed summer drop boasts a handle design inspired by an American icon -- the black w/ blue & yellow stripes (Steve) Earle Grey, the blue/red/white (Jack) London's Calling -- and are built to be "passed down through generations” at http://www.bestmadeco.com/

Careful Dad will love Otterbox. http://www.otterbox.com/ provides cases that are waterproof for a range of your electronic gadgets.

Fisherman Dad - How about the Fish Eyes Rod & Reel http://www.fish-eyes.com/ with Underwater Video Camera that allows you to see what's happening underwater in real time! No more guess work or long waiting periods with no action. Now spend your time bringing in more fish than ever! Great for dock, lake or even ocean fishing! Catch more fish or just explore underwater! Includes: one Fish Eyes Rod & Reel, two bait baskets, two sinkers and 10 line attachment clip sets.

Food and Drink Dad - What better way for Dad to spend his day than with a little relaxing of great food and drink? Give your dad some hormone-free beef. The Half Sampler Package includes: 18 lb grab-bag of hormone-free meat that includes 5 lbs of steaks, 6 lbs of roasts, and 7 1-lb packages of ground beef from Lasater Grassland’s Beef http://www.lgbeef.com/grassfed-family-sampler-half or give the gift of home-delivered bundles of custom-cut steaks, pork ribs, veal, and more that could previously only be enjoyed at prime steakhouses, including packs like the "Manly Man", which involves three 28oz porterhouses and three 24oz rib chops from 35 Degrees Premium Aged Steaks

Give Dad something to work up his thirst . . . like make his own wine from http://bostonwinery.net/winemaking.html where wine enthusiast have the opportunity to create their own fine wine. If that’s too tasking, maybe the “Whiskey Explorers Club” with it’s year’s supply of whisky is a gift Dad might enjoy all year. With three different “Explorer“ Clubs to choose from, plus tasting glass & paraphernalia from http://www.forscotchlovers.com/distillery_row/whisky_explorers_club there’s sure to be something to quench that thirst.

What better way to serve Dad his drink than in the unique glassware from http://www.ritzenhoffworld.com where each drink will bring a smile with their quirky and fun loving designs.

Luxury Loving at Lotuff & Clegg http://www.lotuffclegg.com/ that offers old-style Made in America craftsmanship handmade leather items.

New Dad where it’s cool to carry the Bento diaper Bag http://www.skiphop.com/product/bentoultimatediaperbag.html with more than enough pouches for dad and baby (along with an insulated cooler).

Prepared Dad - The Eaton Raptor Emergency Radio http://www.etoncorp.com/product_card/?p_ProductDbId=1753607 is more than just a radio, the Raptor includes a rechargeable battery, compass, altimeter, barometer, USB port, light and digital alarm clock. It also receives NOAA weather alerts, and can charge itself with its built-in solar panel.

The Reader - The Ipad http://www.apple.com/ipad/, Kindle http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002FQJT3Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=httpneomargoo-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=B002FQJT3Q , Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/index.asp

Security Dad - PacSafe offers a variety of lockable, steel-mesh full range of anti-theft gear http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php

Theft Defender products can help shield your information http://www.theftdefender.com/

Techie Dad - Kodak PlaySport Video Camera http://shop.kodak.co.uk/store/ekconseu/en_GB/pd/productID.170164000. This palm-sized PlaySport is an alternative to a large camcorder. It shoots in 1080p HD video and has software for simple social media sharing to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Its family friendly, tough, great image stabilization, a hard shell in case it’s dropped and it is water resistant to nearly 10 feet.

The iWatchz Q Series watchband for iPod nano 6th generation easily turns your iPod nano into a stylish watch with several band choices at http://store.apple.com/us/product/H3791ZM/A

Traveling Dad - Walkin’ Bag http://www.walkinbag.com/. For the frequent flyer, here is the “Lean On Me” bag that has a built-in seat that support 300 lbs.

Luggage Pros offer the Lewis N. Belle Hop Travel Door Alarm http://www.luggagepros.com/lewis-n-clark-belle-hop-travel-door-alarm.shtml

A few other creative ideas … a photo collage, jigsaw puzzle created from his favorite photos, magazine subscription, barbecue supplies (complete with his favorite choice of food and drink), sporting tickets, a good game of golf, clothing, or just a day of nothing but his favorite things.

Father’s Day can provide to be challenging, but I bet your Dad will love just the thought that you remembered him. My Dad - no slippers, handkerchiefs or another bottle of Old Spice. Last year we did a family vacation between Mother’s and Father’s Day and framed the family photo (taken on the trip) served up with good old fashioned burgers on the grill complete with memories filled with laughter and fun. Some gifts really can’t be wrapped and tied neatly with a bow.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there ~ may your day be as memorable as you are important in our lives!