Dear Drums, I genuinely, deeply, madly love you. You will very literally be both the backbone and the leading, defining element to the soundtrack of my life.

Dear Home-Made Granola, To you I say; yum. Also, please pass along my regards specifically to your goji berries, which I think are the secret to your perfectness.

Dear Library, Thanks. Both for the vast and wonderful reading material and also the bicep workout from carrying around the vast and wonderful.

Dear Husband, thanks for the kisses last night when I was having bad dreams You make me feel safe. You make me feel home.

Dear City, I'm having a lot of fun finding your different corners and crannies. I've now lived on 3 out of your 4 sides, and each area is an adventure. Thanks for having such good things to offer and for teaching me that the little, locally owned places are better by far than any chain.

Dear Mom, remember how you used to talk about what great grades you got, even though you didn't have to study hard? Cause you were a super-genius? Turns out in my brain, all these years I thought that meant  if I really had to try hard at something  I was somehow ordinary and plain; lacking in the exceptional qualities of success and that my personage was common rather than extraordinary. I guess I didn't look hard enough at your life and how much hard work you put into mastering things, from health and nutrition to design to love. You were certainly an extraordinary intellect. Staggering. But that was nothing compared to the stature of your love, the keen edge of your creativity in design or the leagues of depth to your knowledge on health and nutrition. And THOSE were the things you did put time and practice into. I guess I should've looked a little harder, huh? I'm learning not to be afraid to run the race with the mud of failure on my face and the smell of hard work on my flesh. It's just how it's got to be. Can't keep going back to clean up and start over every time I get a little dirty. We don't reach any finish lines smelling like gardenias, we don't graduate without wrinkling up some pages.

Dear Self, Keep on, go forward and don't stop. Change and grow. But self, keep some of what you have now. The appreciation for the simple, the satisfaction with having what you need, eschewing excess, a compassion for those in a tight way,  a skin that burns to learn and grow, the enthusiastic belief that you can do it and an easy, willing trust of others. Don't lose your delight in the adventure that's happening now in your hunger for the adventure that you're building toward. And mostly, self, never ever lose love. Give more and get more of that, wherever you can.