The Whole 40

Does anyone remember that show 30-something? Those grown-ups seemed so old!  I remember my mom’s 40th birthday party.  How could I be 40 now?!

Wow life is weird. This universe was designed to bring me exactly to where I am right now and it’s the best I have ever felt in my life.  Grateful cannot begin to describe the way I feel most days.  I am privileged to be given this life and now more than ever, I appreciate myself, my family, my health, and the impact I am capable of having on this world if I just keep following this path that has already been laid out for me.

I remember the first day of college.  I was alone in a sea of 40,000 people.  I wanted to go home in the first few weeks because rushing a sorority and trying to adjust to college life was too much.  But it happened for a reason.  I stuck it out and that process brought me to the greatest group of lifelong friends. Every day at Penn state was the best day of my life at the time and I knew it.

After college, I moved straight to NYC for graduate school.  It was both scary and exciting at the same time.  I had a blind date roommate (our brothers were friends and set us up) and we hit it off.  Until she got a serious boyfriend and moved out.  With each 1-2 years, I would get a new roommate and she would get a boyfriend and move out.  It was isolating at times.  I had an on-again off-again boyfriend from college that was one of those tumultuous relationships that rips your heart apart, steals your confidence, and makes you feel like you will never be ok again.  Over and over.

The city can be a lonely place with really high highs and really low lows.  After a few years of being truly single (but never really able to let go of my first real love, or so I thought), I hesitantly agreed to a blind date with a Jewish doctor, set up by another Jewish doctor who worked in the hospital with me on my surgical floors.

(We all live in the same town now btw and have daughters in the same class). Oops, I am telling you the end of the story before I tell you about the first date.  Let’s back up.

There wasn’t social media back then so I couldn’t check him out first before meeting him.  I was in a pretty good place in my life but when I think about it, I really did want to find a partner.  About a month after giving out my number, this guy called me.  I had forgotten about the potential blind date because it had taken so long to happen!  Anyway, J and I clearly hit it off and had a great first date.  Although he was and is 7 years older than me, our maturity levels were pretty similar.  I was impressed that he was drinking tequila on the rocks instead of as a mixed drink.  I am not sure why, but I liked that about him.  He was silly and funny and made me feel comfortable.  He treated me like I was supposed to be treated but forgot what it was like (or maybe I never knew). I was still only 26 when I met him and had a lot of life to be lived still to see what’s truly important.  Things between us moved pretty fast and I kept our relationship to myself for a few weeks because I couldn’t possibly get my parent’s hopes up that I really liked a Jewish doctor.

Fast forward 3 years, and when I was 29, we got married.  I had married a Bear.  He’s the best Bear but only when he’s rested and fed.  Only 6 months after we got married, I found out I was preggers with my first baby.  Surreal.  When I found out she was a girl, my mom was with me at the appointment.  We both teared up.  We were thinking the same thing.  My girl.  I have my girl.  Was life now complete?

She was growing in my belly.  Creepy and amazing at the same time.  Hard to even remember what that felt like.  If you’ve read other posts, my postpartum time was rough.  Then a few years later, there was Sam.  My Sam. My boy. Nothing like him. He’s my love and no one will love me like he does.  He was a breeze and still is.  Lola on the other hand….

Wrinkles are from smiling and laughing most days but also from crying others.

Beauty marks are from being graced with the warm sun in the summer and family vacations.

Gray hair just makes me a silver fox and easier to make blonder now, so more believable as my toe head daughter’s mother.

Stretch marks are badges of honor from the greatest gift in life of being a mommy and fitting watermelons through a plum.

Scars on my forehead are from the worst case of chicken pox at 2 years old. Scars on my legs are from learning to shave at summer camp as a young kid (sorry mom).

Badass confidence is from getting made fun of as a kid for wearing a giant all-mouth-encompassing retainer, getting cut from most sororities when I rushed, being cheated on and heart broken by my first love, and not getting the dream job a couple times.  Now I have mostly straight teeth, made the most fun loving best friends for life in my sorority, married an amazing loyal person, and became my own boss that calls the shots.

Thank you for following along in this OG mama’s life of nutritious chaos.  Even if I can help one person on here, I will continue to do so.  I’m just getting started…


I may be 40 but I’m just getting started.

Laura Burak, MS, RD, CDN

Laura Burak

Hi, my name is Laura Burak and I am a registered dietitian, a foodie, a wannabe chef, a yogi and a mama in the Long Island suburbs outside NYC. I have been passionate about delicious, fresh food from an early age and began cooking healthier meals for my family when I was a teenager.

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