So this is 40…

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I’m 40 now. For some reason 30 terrified me. So much so that I jokingly pretended to be 29 for so long that I often had to ask Matt how old I really was. Even my lil monsters knew Mama turned 29 year after year. Somehow, I’m good with 40. Like really good. I AM 40! I am happy. I have an unwaivering faith in God. I’ve been married for over a decade to the most loving and supportive man I’ve ever known and somehow get to call mine. I am a mama to four truly incredible humans that I will forever be in awe of. I am the proud Maw-Maw to two precious little souls. I have a priceless bond with my parents. I’m a daughter in law and a mother in law to two special women. I have a closeness with some of my family that I wouldn’t trade for the world, even some cousins that have forever been more like a sister or brother to me. Friends I’ve had since we were kids and now get to watch our own children grow together. I’ve got friendships that I’ve built since relocating to Texas from New Orleans many many years ago. I have two sweet little senior pups that follow me around day in and day out (I admit this is because I’m the one that always slips them people food, but hey they love me and I’ll take it!).

I am short, loud, sometimes spontaneous, wear my heart on my sleeve, am known to cuss like a sailor, have a raging temper when it comes to anyone messing with someone I love, tend to be a bit of an over thinker, mildly OCD, generally have trouble hiding my emotions be it happiness or anger, yet I’m one of the most sincere people to have in your corner. I am a family, friend, iced latte, Moscato, book, yoga, red lipstick, post it note, and children/animal loving lady.

In the last decade we have made so many of our dreams come true. Our family has grown and reshaped in various ways. We moved into a home that we now get to watch children and grandchildren grow in due to my husband’s hard work for our family while encouraging me to be the stay at home mama I cherish being. We have traveled to interesting places both with our children as well as little getaways alone with my love. Some travels have been far away and sometimes only as far as our backyard. I am healthier than I’ve ever been. I can now keep up with my children and grandchildren on a trampoline, at theme parks, and on playgrounds. I have wrinkles that show the life I’ve lived. Some from worry, God knows I worry like no other, and some from lots of happiness and laughter. I have many grays that pop out before my next hair appointment and oddly enough even that doesn’t bother me, fingers crossed I get the streak in my hair that my Maw-Maw had. I’ve got stretch marks from carrying four children I was once told I wouldn’t have. I’ve got scars from more surgeries than I care to count. I’ve been hurt tremendously in my life time and I’ve also been loved beyond measure. So how could I possibly be distraught over turning forty? This feels like quite the privilege! So bring on the next decade of my life that I’m so blessed to be living. I look forward to celebrating more birthdays with the ones that love me most. To watching my husband bake me another beautiful cake while I sit across the counter from him sipping on a glass of wine and smiling so much it hurts. Listening to the most precious voices singing Happy birthday to me year after year. Dancing and (horribly) singing in our kitchen with our children and grandchildren while cooking dinner. I am so thankful to get to experience FORTY!

I look forward to learning and growing in new ways. If I’ve learned nothing else in this life time it’s to forever know I will never stop learning from others. I will not always be right. It’s okay to admit fault or wrong doing and apologize sincerely. I am not and will never be perfect. My biggest teachers have always been my children and I’m certain I learn more from them alone daily than I could ever teach them. THIS is 40!

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One year already?

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We had five different scheduled appointments to check around our home and service appliances today since we have had our one year in our home sneak up on us. One year already? How is that even possible? So many good memories have been made. From watching the slab being poured, to picking out every tile, cabinet, & tub, to seeing it quickly come from the ground up. All the way up until the day we got our keys. Such a whirl wind of stressful moments and lots of exciting ones along the way. In the last year we have experienced so many changes. Some have become family and sadly a few have exited our circle. We are tremendously thankful for the folks we are surrounded by at this new stage in our lives. Bitty has had so so so many first in our new home. Her cute little scooting on her bum across a room (because she never did learn to actually crawl), her first steps, first words, an almost mouthful of teeth now, sneaking on one stair before we quickly put up baby gates. Now she can get up and down those stairs like it’s nothing and fast! Seeing her run around in the home she will get to grow up in. Each of our monsters have had a huge birthday party here already. We’ve had a big Thanksgiving dinner that we had enough room to invite several people in to our home for. A blessed Christmas with our children, my mom , my dad, and Matt’s mom even came over that evening. Bitty’s Christening. Measuring our monsters when we moved in and each of their birthdays. We have also celebrated many other birthdays here over the last year: my hubster, Leilani, my mom, Aunt Glo, my dad’s, and mine. We’ve shared lots of random gathering with friends and fam. In our first year my mom moved in with us. My cousin Joe lived with us for a few months while he worked at Retama. My sister, Godson, Parker, and nephew, Joshie, my B-Boo, my dad, Matt’s cousin, Rachel, Joe’s wife, Sandra, and my Aunt Glo have all stayed with us for some very special visits. Matt’s Aunt Debbie & Uncle Scott came to town and we quickly pulled together a little Graham fam reunion. My husband did a half marathon with Phil in military boots and a 35 lbs ruck sacks, this was less than a year after we had a very big scare with his health and we had thought he had a heart attack! Still so very proud of my husband’s huge accomplishment. He also spun up a small and very successful business that has been both enjoyable & rewarding. This man never ceases to amaze me. Sleepovers galore have happened on nearly every weekend and basically all summer for our three oldest monsters. Bitty and I successful met our goal of extended breast feeding. Budah started his first job. Our girls took hip hop dance classes, tumbling, and karate over the summer. Buggie started Pre-K, ballet, and tap. Bunny started third grade, sings in choir, is a cheerleader, and takes tap, and ballet as well. Budah entered his junior year in homeschool, has held down the same job for a year now, is wrapping up drivers Ed, skateboards like crazy, and is looking forward to purchasing his first car in the near future. With our four little monsters & friends we made handmade Valentines and delivered them to a local nursing home. Then with friends we also made & delivered pillows, hats, cards, and some books to every single child in the Methodist Children’s hospital for Easter before we went to New Orleans for my family reunion. Bunny, Buggie, Aryie, and our niece, Brylee went to VBS at our church this summer. I have had three surgeries in the first year we have been in our home and my family and friends have been amazing through each and every one. I have been very blessed to be a stay at home mama. I finally started using the blog my husband created for me last year and have so enjoyed documenting our life, some not so good moments and lots and lots of very special things that I will have to look back on and cherish for many years to come. Sigh. Just so many special things have already happened in what feels like a very short amount of time. It’s been an amazing feeling to start building new traditions and memories with the folks we truly love and adore. Thought I would share a peek into our last year through photos. God has truly blessed us and we are beyond thankful for the life we live and the fabulous folks that are in it. We are so incredibly humble and don’t for one second take any of it for granted! Thanks be to God!20131015-000224.jpg20131015-000236.jpg20131015-000248.jpg20131015-000258.jpg20131015-000309.jpg20131015-000319.jpg

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