So far I am a big fan of 2011. We are nearly halfway through the year, and each new month has brought along with it a milestone for me to look forward to. I moved into my first house right after the holidays, got my brand-new work van in March, celebrated my dad's 60th birthday with family and friends in April and was easily the proudest father ever as I watched my daughter Meghan make her First Holy Communion in May. And now as the weather gets warmer and the calendar turns to June, it is my turn to reach a milestone. This month, June 4 to be exact, I will be celebrating my 40th birthday. Very happily too, I might add. How 40 years has passed by so quickly is beyond me. But you better believe that I will be celebrating it.

I know most people don't look forward to hitting the big 4-0. One friend of mine who recently turned 40 thought he could avoid it by not acknowledging his birthday at all. No party, no fanfare, he didn't even want people to talk about it. That is so not me. Over the past few years, I lost a few really close friends who unfortunately never made it to 40. There was also a time not too long ago when I wasn't 100 percent sure that I was going to make past 40 myself. But I am here now. I changed a few things in my life and worked tirelessly to get to this point. On June 4, I plan to blow out my candles a whole lot healthier and with a smile on my face to boot. So while some people continue to dread “hitting 40,” I am going to embrace it. I even have a personal bucket list of things that I want to attempt in my 40s that I have never done before. From something as simple as hiking in the mountains to riding a Harley and, oh yeah, skydiving, I intend to enjoy life's pleasures to the fullest. And despite what my wife says, I won't be doing all of these things to show off or because I am going crazy. I'll be doing them because I can.