Hey guys! It’s my birthday, and since it’s a big milestone, it’s caused me to pause and do some reflecting. I know the joke is that you are supposed to dread turning 40 and feel so old (which, I do feel every one of those years, thank you so much, sore back). But I don’t actually dread getting older, so that just doesn’t ring true for me. Instead, I’m realizing how incredibly grateful I am to be able to get older, and frankly just to be alive today. I had a really close call after giving birth to my oldest daughter. I had a post-partum hemorrhage and lost a crazy amount of blood, about 4 liters. That was almost all the blood in my entire body – an amount so staggering, I should not have been able to survive. But by the grace of God and the incredible life-saving interventions of the many doctors and nurses who cared for me, I survived. And a huge part of what allowed them to save my life that day was having blood available for transfusions. I needed 9 units of blood in total. If that blood had not been available, I just would not have been able to survive. End of story. So this year on my birthday, as I reflect on how grateful I am to be here, I’m also feeling so much gratefulness for the life-saving gift of blood donation. I would love to be able to pay it forward, so I’m asking you to help me by pledging to donate blood. You can click on the link and find a list of blood drives happening near you. I have a huge goal in mind to get 40 units of blood donated to celebrate my 40th birthday (#40unitsfor40years). But honestly I’ll be thrilled if I can convince even one person to donate. And if you’ve ever donated blood in the past – I can’t express how much I appreciate you, because you played a role in saving my life. And you can be a part of saving someone else’s life right now. There is a critical blood shortage and the need for donors is really high. Thanks for reading this far and for considering blood donation. And here’s to 40 more years, wrinkles, backaches, and all!