My mom has always said that her 30's were her favorite time of her life so far.
Hitting 34 today, I'd have to agree.
Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to retiring with my husband someday, with my feet in the warm sand outside our beach house (wherever that may be), while we plan our next trip to see all our grandkids.
But life is pretty good right now. I feel like I have enough life experience under my belt that I have a little credibility, knowledge and wisdom - but I'm not OLD yet.
You have seen many photos of my adult years, so I have dug through the
dustbunnies in the gloomy basement archives to find a few photos of me that chronicle my sassy self throughout my younger years.
I think this was my third birthday party. By the way, I have carpet very similar to that downstairs in my basement right now.
Yeah, I know... I was a cutie!
In the personality department, not much has changed - sassy enough that my grandpa often wanted to spank me, but cute and loveable enough that he never did!
In the spirit of my post for Kenyon's birthday, I though I'd write a list of 34 things that life has taught me over the years.
1. It's not about me. Thinking that the world revolves around me is a death-sentence to my attitude and relationships.
2. They were all right when they told me to cherish and savor my college years. The college years ROCKED! (Thanks Dad and Mom).
3. People will always let you down and will never fill that void in our souls. Only God fills that void and is completely dependable.
(this photo was pretty predictable photography of me as a kid - sticking my tongue out)
4. If you want a friend, be a friend.
5. If a friendship is not reciprocated, let it go.
6. "First loves" are painful, but an excellent learning experience.
7. Our parents are not perfect. Our childhoods were not perfect. But we only get one set of parents, so savor the good and let the bad go. Give the grace to your parents that you want given to you when your kids are grown.
8. When you are a younger sibling, you will always be in your older sibling(s) shadow in some way, shape or form. (note the next picture - I was in the newspaper, but they put my big sister's name instead of mine!)
9. Friendships are awesome, but siblings are there for life. Find common ground and make the effort to protect sibling relationships.
10. PMS sucks.
11. Men are different from women (hence the penis). Don't expect them to act like or understand women (especially during PMS).
12. Grades don't matter as much as teachers and parents say they do.
13. The piece of paper at the end of the grades matters.
14. Soak in the "big" days of your life. Graduation, marriage, births can not be "re-done" (ok, for the first time).
15. Really, the only thing you can't do over in life is raising your kids.
16. Work ethic is important to be gained early in life.
17. It is good to experience "being in need."
18. It is always nice to be given a gift, but geez it feels good to earn something all by yourself.
19. You can't always get what you want (or you think you want), so enjoy what you have and will yourself to contentment.
20. Hard work deserves a
new purse splurge once in a while.
21. It's great to have "cultural experiences" by visiting other countries and living in different parts of our country.
22. Americans, in general, have no idea how good we have it.
23. Words can cause deep wounds that last a long time, possibly forever. Choose them carefully.
24. Losing your temper is never a good thing.
25. You are a mirror and your children will reflect your behavior and/or attitude at any given moment. They may even adopt those attributes as their own if they see them enough.
26. Be real. When people come to the door, let them in without excuses about the state of your home. It only makes your guests uncomfortable and brings attention to all the things you don't want them to notice (I know this but don't always practice it!).
(high school senior photo, yeah, I'm cool, I'm mature, I'm off to college!)
27. Always kiss loved ones goodbye.
28. Never miss an opportunity to tell loved ones how much you love them.
29. Make goals for the future. Even as you meet your life goals, always have things to work toward and look forward to.
30. Look at raising kids like your living eulogy. Act out what you want people (your children) to remember you by.
(I put this last photo in here because my love keeps it on his office wall next to his computer - it was at our wedding shower the day before our wedding - it screams, "marriage with me will be an adventure, so hold on tight!" and Holy California Blonde L'Oreal!)
31. What "the world" says isn't always the right way to do things.
32. Choose your spouse carefully. And when you've chosen, put your spouse above yourself and treat him/her how you
want to be treated know he/she wants to be treated. Extend your spouse the grace you would like extended in return. The rewards are great.
33. Take chances once in a while, even if you fail, at least you tried.
34. You get one shot on this earth - so give it all you've got!
There - deep thoughts from an older, wiser woman!
Now go check out a sweet birthday present from my friend Jenny - a blog post about ME!!!
Thanks in advance for the birthday wishes.