It’s my birthday. Today, I become 33. How is that even possible? I distinctly remember it being yesterday when I had my first kiss and the day before that when I sang to the cows in the pasture at our old farm house. But the calendar disagrees with me, so I must grapple with this reality today.
I’m not one of those women who fights getting older. Bring it on, I say! Gray hairs will only accentuate all of the life experience I like to share with others. As long as I can still lay on the floor with my baby, walk the boardwalk with my husband, and put a few pieces of paper together in some fashion of creativity, I can ignore the creaks in my bones and the yawning that seems to begin no later than 9:30 every night.
In 33 years, I have become a woman I never imagined I had the ability to be, and for that I am not only profoundly proud of myself, but am also deeply thankful to so many.
Dad – Thank you for teaching me it’s okay to sing to the cows, even if the world is watching. That lesson reminds me on a daily basis that I was created in a special and unique manner and if there are cows that need to be sang to, I’m the right person for the job. Thankfully, along the way I’ve found another thing or two that I’m decently gifted at, as well.
Mom – Thank you for giving me life. After having brought my own 4 blessings into the world, I know what a trial it was and still is for you, but you give freely of your mother’s heart and it means the world to me.
Kelly and Erin, my sisters – Thanks for reminding me to be myself, constantly. You have accepted me right where I am time and time again, and I can’t tell you how powerful that’s been to me. I love you, miss you, and am deeply thankful for you.
My children – You all may never know how profoundly you have affected my life. You make me want to strive to be better every single day. You have encouraged me to be myself and you have accepted me even at my very lowest moments. Noah, you remind me to be strong even when some things around me don’t seem to be quite right, because in the end there’s someone bigger than me in charge – somehow you have always known that truth in your short life better than I ever have. Faith, you remind me to be caring and loving, even when it’s not the easiest thing to do, because there are people out there who just need a caring soul to enter their lives, if even for a moment. You are truly a caring soul. Chloe, you remind me to enjoy the precious moments. As Chris calls you “Flutterby”, you have the amazing ability to flutter from one subject to another, picking up only on the beauty and excitement and letting the rest fall behind you. Rhyan, thank you for teaching me every single day that a new beginning can be the most beautiful of all things, especially when the best parts of your past come along with you. I love each and every one of you.
For my husband – the man I was created to be with … Thank you for reminding me of my true value each and every day, almost without fail, Afghanistan visits aside. You have loved me through a true and total rebirthing in my life, support our family without complaint, and encourage me to be myself each and every day. What more could a girl ask for? Truly, you are the wind beneath my wings and the power behind my smile and laughter.
There are about ten billion other people whom I could name one by one, but there’s always a chance I’d unintentionally miss one, and that would just be a crappy way to spend my birthday.
For the long and wonderful conversations, for those who have held my hand through major transition, for the prayers while my husband serves, for those who attempted to understand me when most wouldn’t, for you who live out normal everyday life with me…. y’all have no idea how you make up the world for me, and what a much more beautiful place it is to be because of your presence. Thanks for making my 33 years absolutely phenomenally rewarding and giving me moments filled with memories. I am forever grateful.