Hello 40…the birthday project…

A few months ago I found something called The Birthday Project. A woman Robyn Bomar decided that when she turned 38 she would spend her birthday doing 38 random acts of kindness. I was impressed with this idea. Forty is a big one…or so everyone keeps telling me. :) I thought about doing 40 random acts of kindness on my 40th birthday and then came to the very large conclusion that I am far too lazy to do that. So I figured that I would do 40 random acts of kindness this year. I hope to continue this each year as I get older, adding one extra act a year. Seems doable. Hope it is.

Today I turned 40. I got up with a little dog breath in my face and I knew it would be a good day. A quick trip to the gym as I have this weird thing about exercising my heart each birthday as a “gee thanks for still working heart” kind of thing. Then I had my breakfast donut (pink with Sprinkles) and got off and running (okay…not actually running).

I already did my big birthday thing on Saturday. My hockey peeps were kind enough to throw me the ultimate birthday party for me…a mini hockey tournament…in my honor. Not a lot of people get to say that. To say it was fun is an understatement. As I am sure you can tell from the photo (MDP went as Underdog and I was just dressed as Birthday Girl…there was a “Superhero” theme…superhero being loosely interpret). Nonetheless, since I already did the celebrating and my birthday is on the ever so exciting Monday I decided I should start on my Birthday Project.

I drove about 15 minutes south of me to find a less than great neighborhood and went to the Safeway there. I kind of stalked people trying to figure out who I was going to help. And then there she was. I woman who looked a little haggard and had five children tugging on her, saying “mom” about 50 times, and circling her as she pushed her cart down the way. I got in behind her at the check-out lane. She was buying the staples: bread, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, cereal. The kids were trying to convince her to let them have candy and she said no. She knew the cashier and they were talking and saying that she had just got off working the night shift. She went to pay using her EBT card (food stamps). I told the cashier “I got this, I will pay for her groceries”. Both the cashier and the woman looked at me and said almost in unison “are you serious?” And I said yes. I whispered to the mom that if it was okay with her each kid could pick out their own candy bar if they liked. She smiled. The kids picked out there candy bar and I got a whole lot of thank yous and quite a few hugs. It was only $63. Which I don’t mean only because I’ve been poor enough to know that $63 can be a whole bunch. But I mean only in the fact that the outcome was sure greater than the income put towards it. The woman asked me why I was doing it. I told her it was my 40th birthday. She said “aren’t people supposed to give you stuff on your birthday?” and I told her that she just did. She didn’t get it. I didn’t need her to.

I still have a full day ahead of me but so far it’s off to one heck of a birthday start. So hello 40…I welcome you with open arms!


  1. dang it Peabody, you made me cry.

    not only because this is such a mighty gesture, but because yes, I know you know that value. so do I.

    what a PERFECT way to begin your 40th year – hope it is your best yet!

  2. Happy Birthday! Have a great day.



  3. Happy Birthday!!!! You have such a loving heart! May your 40th year be filled moments to remember, just like this one!

  4. That’s beautiful. Happy birthday!

  5. Judy Krist says:

    Truly Peabody, this is the best gift to give to yourself!!! It is immeasurable and heart rewarding! May all of the blessings you give out there be returned to you in Heart snap shot moments such as these!! Sending love xoxoxoxo Happy Happy Birthday…

  6. You made me cry too! Happy Birthday, Peabody and keep on doing what you do. Don’t forget; every time you post a yummy on your blog it’s also a random act of kindness for your readers… :)

  7. Happy Happy Birthday! What a great way to celebrate:)

  8. I want to try this. My birthday was back in May, but I still have a whole ten months to do random acts of kindness. I don’t think I’ll limit it to my age, though. :)

  9. Happy Birthday Peabody!

  10. Through my tears I wish you a very happy 40th year.

  11. Crying here too! Happy Birthday!!!!!

  12. Awesome… Thanks for the birthday idea.

  13. Wow…what a fantastic gift, both for you and that family. I’m sure it will be a birthday both of you will remember for a long time.

  14. It’s not my birthday, but that was so inspiring I’m going to try to do something nice every week for someone. Thanks Peabody, and happy birthday!!!

  15. “P”

    I guess I did a lot better job of raising you than I realized.

    But, your act of kindness does not surprise your mom and I.

    Love, and Happy Birthday.

    Dad & Mom

  16. Happy Birthday, Peabody!!

    Don’t know if I’ll make 68 random acts of kindness but I will try.

  17. Marcilla says:

    What a fantastic idea. I’ve seen plenty of lists where you try to do things for yourself in that year–I did my “30 by 30″–but the giving to others is tremendous. Hope you enjoy the rest of your celebrating!

  18. Happy Birthday, Peabody! Thanks for the inspiration – I turn 50 on August 2. However, I am scheduled for Jury Duty. Could be a great place for a random act…I’ll let you know.

  19. Happy Birthday Pea. And thank you. I can only imagine what your gesture meant to that woman and her children.

  20. That is totally awesome.

    Happy Birthday! (the same as my late father, so I will now remember your birthday each year!)

  21. What a lovely idea and a wonderful act of kindness. That kind of kindness is very contagious. I guess you’ve started the Peabody Virus!
    Happy birthday, girlie! I am glad you got such a tickle from something so lovely. You are my kind of gal.

  22. You are an amazing person Peabody!

    I think I will also implement this project for my 30th later this month.

    Happy Birthday to you!

  23. I love this idea Peabody! Spreading it over a year shares it around too. Good for you.

  24. Angi McB says:

    Happy Birthday. Your kind and generous gift will be forever remembered by that family and that poor woman struggling with five kids and a night shift has something to cherish and smile about. My parents do this type of thing as their random act as well and the benefit in goodness will come back to you Birthday Peabody! Have a great day.

  25. That was incredibly sweet of you. I hope the remaining 39 acts can be just as helpful.

  26. Oh and happy birthday haha

  27. How awesome! Happy Birthday!

  28. Happy Birthday! What a nice idea this list is.

  29. Blimey–this is a great idea! I love this!

  30. Not gonna lie, I’m fighting tears right now. That was a beautiful thing to do and I’m sure you made her week!

  31. jacquie says:

    it brought tears to my eyes. a gift for her, a gift for you and for me. kuddos to you for doing this. happy 40th.

  32. Happy birthday! That story made me tear up too, darnit. Love your birthday tutu!

  33. For days now I’ve been watching your birthday coming up … you take my breath away! That is really an Awesome Happy Birthday!
    Happy Birthday to you.

  34. Mary Red says:

    Happy birthday. What a gift for that family. I know the children will remember your kindness for years. BTW- you look young and happy in the picture. I wish you many years of happy baking.

  35. What a loving and kind gesture- God Bless you.

  36. amy marantino says:

    Peabody, you rock. Happy Birthday, and Happy 40th year.

  37. Happy B-day Peabody, and a very cool gesture.

  38. What a sweet birthday gift. Hope it’s a great year! Happy Birthday!

  39. What a great idea!!!! Hope you have a great year!!! Happy Birthday!

  40. Dang…another water-running-down-my-face moment here, too. Yep, you definitely rock…..and I’m thinking you’re going to inspire a few of us to pay more attention ‘out there’ for opportunities to pay-it-forward this week. GREAT IDEA!!

    I raise my “glass” and say, “Here’s to 40 more!!!”

  41. Samantha says:

    More tears here. Seriously?! What you did for that woman is worth far more than $63 any day. Your kindness makes me want to pay it forward as well. Thanks for the renewed faith.

  42. Audra Blair says:

    A most Happy 40th birthday to you and I admire your first act of kindness. It made my heart smile.

  43. You are a really amazing person, Peabody. I bet you made that woman’s day. Good luck with the other 39 acts of kindness. :)

  44. This is awesome – what a great idea and I know you made that mom’s day. Happy Birthday Pea! I look forward to your other RAOKs

  45. i just stumbled upon your blog today when i was searching for recipes (i found some great ones by the way) and i read this post. truly a wonderful thing to hear. happy birthday!

  46. KristinaYellow says:

    First–happy birthday! Here’s to another 40 :)

    I love this idea of acts of kindness. I’ve been in such a funk and it seems like one bad thing after another is striking me or those I love. Maybe if I focus on helping others it’ll help me realize just how lucky I am. I think you should count this post as one random act–you just helped me, a stranger from NC, and gave me some hope.

  47. I want to be able to bake and eat anything and not gain wieght.

  48. I heart you Peabody! Happy Birthday, and may you have a wonderful year! (and 40 was awesome by the way :)

  49. This is awesome! I love that you did this! Happy 40th birthday to you!

  50. Happy birthday! Sounds like you’re on your way to making it the best yet!

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