That Time I Turned 40. Twice.


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I’d blame this entire post on “baby brain” but really? When your youngest child is 8 years old, what’s the real excuse? I still haven’t figured out exactly how this actually happened. 

About a year ago, my husband and I started planning our first trip to Europe. We’ve been so excited and I loved that we were able to finally plan that much dreamed about trip to Europe for the year of our 20th wedding anniversary, which also happened to be the year I turned 40.

To make things even more fun, I had the awesome opportunity to partner with Princess Cruises for our dream vacation. As I write this today, we are cruising through the British Isles, having already visited nine cities in three different countries.

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Birthday and Princess

We never would’ve visited this many different places on our own two feet. You know how much I love sailing with Princess and as it turns out, this has truly been the best way imaginable to explore new countries for the first time.

All of that said, we’re supposed to be celebrating my 40th birthday at sea tomorrow. (Remember Princess’s Chocolate Lava Cake? Yes, I plan to eat that all over again.)

Which leads me to this text conversation with my childhood best friend. I met Maya when I was ten years old and she’s been a part of my life ever since. I sent the first text (the bubbles in blue) to Maya on HER birthday a few months ago.

This Is 40 (a.k.a. the year I turned 40. Twice.)This Is 40 (a.k.a. the year I turned 40. Twice.)This Is 40 (a.k.a. the year I turned 40. Twice.)

To say that we’re still laughing about this doesn’t even begin to cover it. How do you forget how old you are? HOW? This is so absurd and yet so fantastically laughable, I’ve decided to just own it and share it with you today.

(And for those of you wondering exactly how this could have happened, I honestly don’t know. My best guess is that at some point, I had the wrong age in my head for myself and then after time went by, I just didn’t realize it. It wasn’t obvious until my “big 4-0” birthday rolled around and someone actually did the math. Thanks again, Maya.)

I hope it makes you laugh as you can now be grateful for the fact that no matter what else is going on in your life today, you at least know your own age.

I don’t mind finding myself a year older, I still love my laugh lines and I’ve been actively looking forward to 40. I just can’t believe that I somehow missed the fact I have already turned 40.

This Is 40 (a.k.a. the year I turned 40. Twice.) - Edinburgh, Scotland

So, tonight, this is 40, and I will be celebrating the end of my 40th year, and tomorrow morning, I will very happily celebrate my 41st birthday.

My sister Jenny was lucky enough to be with me on a Princess cruise through the Caribbean last year on her birthday. We ate at the Chef’s Table that night and we’ve joked ever since that there really is no better way to spend your birthday.

I’ve been sharing this trip with you on Instagram and to answer the question I’ve heard most often over the past week, Sean and I are cruising through the British Isles on The Royal Princess.

Over the course of two weeks, we’ll visit 9 ports and 11 European cities. London in England, Guernsey in the Channel Islands, Dublin, and Belfast in Ireland, Kirkwall in the Scottish Orkney Islands, Glasgow, Invergorden, and Edinburgh in Scotland, Giverny and Rouen in France.

Scottish Highlands - Argyll Forest Park

To say this is a dream vacation doesn’t even begin to describe it. Cruising really does give you the best of both worlds.

You have the convenience of having a home base along with the fun of exploring so many new places. You can bet that I’ll be sharing more of this trip with you when we return home next week.

Until then, here’s to knowing our true ages and not really caring about the number. Let’s just make the most of each day we’re alive.

The Birthday Project is an unforgettable way to spend your special day. - find all the details at

And just in case you missed my Birthday Project, this is something we do every year and I look forward to it immensely. You can read more about it HERE.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Princess Cruises to share my travels with you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Princess Cruises and/or to book a cruise visit their website.

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Niki Baker says

    I am so glad you posted this!!!! I have done the same thing except that it wasn’t a big milestone like 40th….lol…. I routinely have to stop and do the math to remember how old I am…. hold on…. it’s 46…. had to be sure….lol….thanks for keeping it real!

    • Mary says

      I’m glad it made you laugh, Niki. (and truthfully, glad to hear that I’m not the only one this happens to!) I figure that I should just own it at this point. It’s certainly provided plenty of laughs for my family and friends this year.

  2. Gina Williams says

    Love your posts! They are full of happiness and joy. Can I ask what camera you are using for your dreamy cruise trip of the British Isles? They are stunning and full of brilliance, detail and light! Hope the rest of your Cruise experience is marvelous!

    • Mary says

      All of the photos I’ve shared during the trip have been shot with just my iPhone! I did shoot a lot on my travel camera, a pocket-size SonyRX100, but I haven’t uploaded or shared any of them yet. I’m glad you’re enjoying the trip photos!

  3. April says

    Happy birthday friend. So much love to you! Can’t wait to travel together again ❤️❤️❤️

    PS If it makes you feel better, I’m constantly asking Wesley how old I am 🤦‍♀️😂

  4. EcoCatLady says

    Hahahahaha! I did pretty much the same thing when I was turning 35. For some reason that was the birthday that was the big deal for me, and apparently I got myself so worked up about it that I became convinced I was turning 35 when I was actually only turning 34. I actually had to get out a calculator and do the math to figure out how old I really was! Somehow it makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only person who’s done this. Anyhow, If you’d like to read about my birthday confusion, (you know, just for the solidarity of it all) here’s a post I wrote about it a few years back:

    Enjoy your vacation! 🙂

  5. Laura O says

    Oh this sounds like something I would do! But I can’t because my dad relies on me to tell him when everyone’s birthdays are (including my mom’s!). I would expose him if I messed it up! Haha.

  6. Diane Tompkins says

    Happy Birthday even though I’m a little late. One of my favorite things spending time with my family and having the honor of baking and preparing food for them.

  7. Rosa E. Owens says

    What state do you live in? I am searching your site now. You just listed some of my favorite dishes. I do 3 ingredient chocolate peanut butter cookies but thought about doing them with oatmeal, ribs too, thank you.

    No you are not nuts to love a place where you can really feel and experience the four seasons. I moved to Georgia in 2005 and been loving the somewhat change of seasons here also, we get snow sometimes but not like your location. Previously I lived in California and Florida, thought I liked the warm weather year round with some cold days but I do love having the four seasons show up whenever they do.

    Have you listened to Halsey? I thought I was crazy to only listen to her music over and over again. Not most of the new pit mob sounds except “So Good” but her old songs are sooooo good even though she is now in a different space in her life, but the music and her voice are out of this world. And she is only 27 years old and I am 66. I went to her concert and she was so considerate for the people on the grass in the rain, stopped the concert until they could get out of harms way (lightning). I love my favorite wild girl diva and I think you will too. My best favorites are Without Me and Still Learning, Now or Never, Bad At Love, Devil in Me, Him and I, Eastside, Eyes Closed, Finally/Beautiful Stranger, Graveyard, Alone…. Just take a listen her words have so much meaning and even if you can’t relate to it now you may enjoy her music, some from orchestra musicians and she also plays guitar.

    I will find that movie you mention. Have you seen Australia? I cried like 3 times during movie (it hits you that way) and every time I watched it almost 3 times tears flowed.

    Thanks so much keep them coming, love everything you do. Take care.

  8. Ronnie says

    In my mind I was always still 22; the year my family forgot about my birthday entirely and I never celebrated it again; until it was my 40th when my kids reminded me of how old I was. Of course, that was almost 20 years ago and they continue to remind me almost yearly now. 🙂