Birthdays are a big point of reflection and as I approached this big milestone, I couldn't help but ponder if I am satisfied with how I've lived my first thirty years. And without a doubt, I can say I am totally satisfied! There have been times when I have felt overwhelmed and in over my head with our schedule and busy lives, but I can say without a doubt that I have lived SO much during my thirty years and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Without trying to be all braggy and making this all about me-- I want to share some of what I have crammed into these thirty years.
- Graduations--high school, college, graduate school
- Being a mother to 2 (and a half) kiddos
- Owning a home that we fixed up (with help, of course!)
- Spending time serving others with my family, my church, and friends
Me and my two babies
A couple before pics of the house when we bought it
- Five states, seven cities, even more houses by the time I started 8th grade
- In the middle of nowhere
- In the city
- a summer in Myrtle Beach
- a summer in Colorado Springs
- Springfield -- I heart my college town
- Kansas City -- I love my city!
- A European tour, 7 countries in two weeks during high school
- A month in China during a summer in college
- College road trips: Disney World and Dr. Pepper Museum
- Vacations with Derek in Florida, Colorado, California, & Texas
- Thanksgiving in San Diego, a summer missionary reunion in Baton Rouge, visited a high school BFF in Chicago, explored NYC with my college roomie
- And of course, visiting the Biltmore mansion right after the movie Richie Rich was released
- White water rafting in Colorado Mountains
- Zip-lining across the mountains in Switzerland
- Hiked the 14,000 foot Mount Democrat in Colorado
- Riding the rides and coasters on top of the Stratosphere hotel in Vegas
- Beating a boy in a nail-biting race at a little kid race track in North Carolina (epic)
Never again. (I'm in blue in the front with my sister)
- Being an army wife
- Hosting a foreign exchange student
- Loving and caring for five kiddos in my home, other than my own (not all at once!)
- Attending a presidential campaign rally
- Winning prizes on the radio station more times that odds say I should
- Meeting my favorite author!
- Seeing some of my favorite bands in concert!
- I routinely enjoy book club, date nights, and playing games
- In middle school, I was once in a chess club, on a swim team, ski team, and on a gymnastics team, With the exception of skiing, I was terrible.
- Also, I once started a fire by rubbing two sticks together, made flies to go fly fishing, and cooked a pizza in a cardboard oven (using coals) while the oven never caught on fire.
I have had the best group of friends in high school. Another great group of friends in college. And I am still surrounded by a great group of friends. I have a wonderful family that we really enjoy spending time with on a regular basis! I have worked so many jobs that I have enjoyed in the past and now I am working my dream job as a therapist.
With some of my besties from college! Love this pic.
I married my best friend. We have cute kids. And we have a happy (most of the time) family! I have been so incredibly blessed and I'm thrilled with these first thirty years.
Of course, the best thing I have ever done in my thirty years is to love God and follow him. My desire is to honor, obey, and serve him and though I am far from perfection, He continues to bless my life. My worst days are when I tend to focus on me and my selfishness and so I try to spend time and effort serving and being a blessing to others.
As I approach my thirties, I am more confident in who I am and who I want to be than ever before. All of my accomplishments, travels, experiences-- they have all shaped me into who I am today. It's made me open-minded, accepting, and understanding person, which I feel are some of my best traits. Of course, I'm also more aware of my not-so-great strengths and while I am always trying to become more patient and more organized, I can accept who I am and not want to be anyone else!
I am very much looking forward to what will come during my 30s, 40s, and on and on! I love being on the go and trying new experiences and so I'm sure they will continue to be just as jam packed. I mean, if I'm only going to have one life, I am going to cram it full!!! There are three major things I wish I could have added to my list of completed by thirty, but they'll be on the list someday.
- Attend the Price is Right. Ideally, I'd win a car. Also, I have already designed my shirt
- Be debt free. Here's looking at you student loans...
- Live, even if temporarily, in a big city like NYC or somewhere in Europe. No car, tiny apartment. Lots of things to see and do!
I'm off having a great day with my peeps and this evening I'm going to be enjoying Olive Garden's delicious breadsticks and salad with my nearest and dearest. Yum! Can't wait!!!