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!
After hearing news that I so wish I could change for loved ones I can’t help but be incredibly thankful for the much needed night in with our kids, daughter in law, and grandkids and absorbing all of their laughter.
While helping my dad update his new phone with birthdates I discovered I have 40 days until my 40th birthday. While some freak out over this milestone I’m oddly okay with entering this new decade of my life. How lucky am I to have such a loving & always building me up husband, four healthy & beautiful children and daughter in law, the two most adorable grandchildren in the world, the four most supportive parents & in-laws, two always at on my heels old pups, amazing family, and the best friends a lady could ask for. Honestly, life is precious and I’m for one incredibly thankful for mine.
My mother in law gave us her north pole village, this is only a fraction of them. Incredibly beautiful and so thankful to have them in our home. She also gave us the nativity scene that Matt remembers his mom making in the early 80’s. Priceless family heirlooms that we will forever cherish.
A day filled with 19 people, family, friends, children, grandchildren, four soldiers that became friends, thankfulness, two turkeys, countless sides, a multitude of pies, nerf wars, a broken trampoline, scooter races, Turkey hands, and lots of laughter. It was a perfect day!
Also, when you over hear one of the soldier say “this is the weirdest Thanksgiving ever!” you somehow know they had fun too and will likely never forget your family either.
The huge gift my husband gave me this morning was turning my alarm off to quietly bringing our girls to school and allowing me the chance to sleep in. Waking up to find beautiful roses, a card that made me cry, my coffee (good God does he love me), and a few other goodies was just a bonus. I’m thankful to have a man that doesn’t just choose one day in February to shower me with love. He shows me daily in so many ways that may sometimes seem unnoticed, but never is. He truly is my partner in all aspects of life. He seldom misses a beat. He shows our children daily what true love between a husband and wife really is and how a man should always treat his other half. That’s the best gift he could possibly give me.
Today I get to go to a preschool class party and two 2nd grade class parties (my friend had to go out of town and her little lady wasn’t happy about that, so I’ll be dropping by to visit my little Lala too!). This evening instead of a date night Daddy will have dinner at home with all of his girls. I’m going to make them chicken hibachi and tofu (for the ones that like it) and for dessert I’ll make them their heart shaped cookie cake and chocolate covered strawberries they look forward to every year. What better way to spend Valentine’s day than with the ones we love most?
It’s funny how a picture that most probably would have over looked, or just took a quick glance at, while going through old pictures can tug at my heart so much. I’m not even sure it’s one I remembered. Yet this is the picture that got me the most this evening after our girls went to bed and I finally allowed myself the moment to really think about my Maw-Maw. Today marked nineteen years since she passed. Nineteen years since I’ve had one of her hugs, heard her voice, gotten advice from her, listened to one of her stories, or just witnessed the most beautiful smile in the world. It doesn’t feel like nineteen years when I think of her. It feels like it just happened. It was by far one of the most difficult times of my life and something I still struggle with if I’m being honest with myself.
This picture is probably circa 1980 or 1981. I was probably 2 or 3. I wish her face wasn’t cut off in the picture, yet the second I saw it I know it’s my Maw-Maw. The way she’s standing. The way she’s always right by my side. The second thing I noticed about it is that I’m sitting in “the highchair”. The highchair all three of her children sat in. All of four of her grandchildren sat in. And even all four of my children, her great grandchildren have sat in. The high chair that remains in our dining room to date. Then there are little things that would really likely go unnoticed. Like the breadbox in the background. That thing was a staple item in my Maw-Maw’s kitchen. I always loved it. Many years ago I walked in Matt’s Aunt’s house and was so excited to see the very same bread box in her home. She gave it to me that day. To this day it’s on top of our cabinets in our kitchen and makes me far happier than I’m sure his Aunt will ever know. I also see the kitchen table my Paw-Paw made. I see the oven that I can still hear the sound it made when it opened and even remember the smell of her homemade biscuits she’d bake. And I’m almost positive that’s my cousin Lil Joe standing there. I smile when I see just how much our youngest daughter favors me. A simple photo that brings me so much happiness and yet still tugs at my heart strings. I really miss this beautiful soul. I’m really thankful God let me have her for as long as he did. And I’m really thankful for all of the specially memories that I will forever cherish. I’m even thankful that something as simple as watching Bitty dance around last night to Garth Brooks makes me know how much she would have loved our three little girls. And how much of a blessing it was that she was around long enough to love on Budah for nineteen months before she passed.
Today one of my best friends posted this picture on my facebook with a birthday message.
It’s from her last visit here a few months ago while playing cards against humanity. A lot of laughter took place that night, A LOT! I swear I’ve come back to look at this picture several times through out today (as well as many other great ones that have been shared). It has made me smile every single time. This is a really good reminder for me for those days that I have been rough on myself about things that are out of my control, of how truly happy my life really is, through the ups & downs, how very thankful I am for the people that are in my life! I’m grateful for each and every one of you that find ways to bring this kind of laughter to my life.
I’m looking forward to what 39 brings. I’ve been working so hard on myself over the last few years. Both physically and mentally. I’m finding a new found strength in myself and I really do love it. I think on my way to 40 I’m going to push myself so much harder as I get to know myself better. I have a tendency of putting myself on the back burner in all aspects of my life. My husband constantly encourages me to do otherwise, but it’s just my nature. I’m slowly finding a balance I didn’t know I was capable of. I’m making time for myself, really need a ton of work in this department. I’m reading more, exercising daily, trying new things, testing my limits, learning when to say no, and when to walk the fuck away. I am so full of love, so full of ideas, and so want to always keep everyone happy and now I’m learning how to add myself to that list of people I intent to keep happy. Thankfully I’ve got an incredibly supportive husband that always has my back, truly phenomenal friends, and family that never ceases to amaze me. 39 is going to be fantastic!