This is 32

So today is my birthday.

I debated for awhile about telling you my age or not, and then realized I have no reason not to – am I ashamed of it? And then my weird brain told me, yes, you kind of are, which is ridiculous! I am 32 years old today, and in my mind, I sometimes feel like I should have “more to show” for being 32, as if my life hasn’t been full and meaningful…how crazy am I??

32 looks nothing like how I planned, but you know what? Its better. I recently dug out my 10 year prediction letter from high school, and I was looking at a list of stark and flat facts – 18 year old me had NO imagination whatsoever!

None of those flat things came true, but I am happier than I ever could have imagined as an 18 year old sitting and writing that letter. I’m sitting in our tiny apartment, with the floor full of toys, two kids finally sleeping for naptime, a mess of laundry to do, a sinkful of dishes and a to-do list longer than my arm, but I’ve never had a more beautifully full life.

I won’t lie – sometimes, it’s been hard. There have been times I literally only kept going by putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next thing. But I came to meet and really know my God in those moments; to appreciate the fragility of life and to come down off my arrogance of what I think I deserve or what should be a “given” in life. Now, instead of ticking off those bullet points in my letter, I’ll fill in the color of what makes up 32 year old me:

  • I’m an extrovert who has really come to value me-time and recharging by being alone. In this season of always being “on”, I have come to crave some time alone to just be and breathe. Taking the time to understand myself, know what I need to keep going and to draw closer to God and strengthen my faith has been a really important part of the past few years and I’m so grateful to have that knowledge – it has helped me deal with some life changes, as well as better understand and relate to the introverts in my life – and there are a lot of them!
  • I’m a formerly very overweight, emotionally-eating foodie with unhealthy habits who is now making exercise and healthy eating a daily habit for myself and my family – I want more than anything to live a full, healthy and abundant life, being a good steward of the body I’ve been given, and I want to live out the healing that I’ve been given and use this body as a tool to do all the things! I hope to keep that a priority as I move on from today into my future and kick those bad habits permanently! I’m still a foodie, but I’m embracing the challenge of some creative cooking to be a healthier foodie going forward.
  • I have learned to embrace the imperfections in life and in myself, because I am tired of missing out on the beautiful things because I’m waiting to be perfect. Something so simple as not wanting to go to the pool with my baby girl because all I think about is my imperfect swimsuit body – I don’t want life to pass me by because I’m waiting to be perfect or trying to live up to some ideal. So now, I’m wearing the shorts and the swimsuit and I am excited to make memories, thigh gap or not!
  • I have learned to appreciate the little things in life over the grand gestures or “big” moments. How amazing it is that I have found a man who plays along with my stupid joke board in the shower, and knows exactly when to take over toddler-dom and hand me a glass of wine or a hall pass for a me-date. How he comes home from work and scrubs the tub for me to take a bath when he knows I’m just about done. Those things have come to mean more to me than a dozen roses ever could.
  • I’m finally learning how to embrace the seasons in life instead of rushing through them to what I think would be a better one. There is something beautiful in every single season if you stop to look. A friend who is as comfortable as your favorite sweatshirt that you share difficulties and frozen margaritas with and never have to explain yourself to. A cup of hot coffee alone in the stillness of a new day before the kids start running around like crazies. Watching Christmas lights reflected in the eyes of your baby, and appreciating the sense of wonder and magic that they are experiencing for the first time, even as you are filled with a sense of frenzy trying to get through the holidays. Finally laying down to sleep on clean sheets fresh from the dryer that you’ve been trying to get to all day. Being upset but getting a hug that feels like you’re wrapped up in someone else’s heart. Being busy yourself but taking the extra second to be kind to a stranger just because and watching them light up. Baby giggles and grins in the midst of a messy and chaotic day. A family that may not be perfect but knows how to be silly, and how to love hard. Its all beautiful!

So for my next 10 year prediction?

I predict lots of craziness, lots of the unknown – sprinkles of uncertainty and a few speedbumps, but lots and lots of joy, grace, love, and laughter. Lots of faith and growth and the simple beauty of this life.

Now, please excuse me while I go eat a cupcake all by myself in peace and quiet while the kids are asleep, prop my feed up and watch some BBC documentaries – I told you, its all about the little things 😊

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