Last Friday I turned twenty nine. I celebrated by waiting in line at the BMV to renew my driver’s license while my mom and boys waited patiently in the car, then tried on no less than 16 bras (none of which fit) at a department store while my mom (again) entertained my boys. After a very typical (and lovely) afternoon of toy cars, stories, laundry, other housework and successfully getting one boy to nap Nick treated us all to a dinner out because I didn’t feel like cooking the meal that I’d planned. The next day Wyatt helped me bake and ice a cake (i.e., dipped his finger into the batter and licked it off — and then again into the chocolate icing) and my parents, Nick and the kiddos sang me happy birthday at night after dinner.
I was reminded that day a few dozen times by friends and family members that it was in fact my birthday via phone calls and texts. It sounds stupid, but I kept forgetting. It was still just a day after all. (And maybe a little bit because I’m a mom and you know getting play tunnels out, refilling sippy cups and dishing out snacks is like more important, right? Haha.
But you know what? I love that. I love that I’m loved enough every other day of the year that this year my birthday just felt like any other day to me.
And although somedays I feel like I’m merely surviving and just scraping by…
I am absolutely in love with my life.
This year I’ve made large efforts (and successes) in the reflecting department. Each month I notate: the month’s wins, things that are still in progress, things to let go of, things to think on, things to work on and habits to do more (or less) of. I’ve seen an attitude shift in myself — for the better. And although I think I still have a lot of work left to do when it comes to not being overwhelmed and blindly pursue ‘perfection’, I largely attribute my ability to get stuff done and be in love with the process this year to the simple act of reflecting.
So, in absolutely no particular order here are 29 things that I loved about my 29th year:
1. Traveling to L.A. with Nick for a week — just the two of us — for an old friend’s wedding and new adventures.
2. Growing in my own self confidence and letting go some of my insecurities.
3. That I started drinking coffee again. I mean, it’s a hug in a cup(!)
4. A family vacation to the OBX.
5. Weekly dinners with both sides of the family.
6. Being able to take Wyatt to story time and ‘do preschool’ at home. Nothing greater than teaching someone to love to learn.
7. Spontaneous trips to go get ice cream and then people watch with my boys.
8. Date nights (however infrequent or irregular) with Nick.
9. Pulling the trigger and hitting ‘publish’ on one of the weightiest things I’ve ever written about — even though I was scared what people would think.
10. Opening up my own Etsy shop — despite it not being perfect yet.
11. Putting my phone (ahem, social media) down. And picking up my boys more.
12. Watching one of our hens be mama to two baby chicks — and then watching them grow into hens themselves.
13. Speaking life to other’s strengths in moments they are quick to tout their own weaknesses.
14. Being able to call my mom up at a moment’s notice. For her to clear her day so I can take big brother to the doc while she watches little man sleep. And then coming home to all my laundry done…
15. Learning to rely more on others to help raise and take care of my kids — and less on myself. (I love that I’ve grown in this, but also truthfully part of me still has big hangups with this…)
16. Growing in my relationship with God by surrounding myself with godly women.
17. Realizing my super star mom best friend is EXACTLY like me.
18. Two words: baby wearing. :)
19. Watching Thurser turn one and celebrating his fierce personality with a “roar” themed birthday party.
20. The increase in my ability to show myself grace — for things like having not shared on the blog, social media, etc. things like aforementioned second baby’s 1st “roar” themed birthday party… #deathtomomguilt
21. Being witness to the 721,489 times that one of our boys did something so heartfelt that I thought my own heart might explode!
22. That I’ve been given 365 more days to wake up and try again after a hard or really trying day that I might otherwise scrap.
23. Rain puddles that beckon to be splashed in — by 18 month olds, three year olds and 29 year olds alike.
24. Homemade granola bars, miraculous crock pot dinners, and chicken cabobs hot of the grill. And of course spontaneous (or otherwise necessary) Chipotle dates with my boys at 8:45pm.
25. Watching Wyatt turn three. THREE!!
26. Being able to nurse Thurser beyond one year until he weaned at 16 months.
27. Wyatt filling our house with all sorts of talk and chatter, learning and teaching at the same time. All the while interjecting the (now) beloved phrase, “ta’but” in between thoughts.
28. That I can wear open toed shoes without a stitch of nail polish on and not even bat an eye.
29. That I can look at Nick — my high school sweetheart — and know without a doubt that our hardest but best days are yet to come.