April 14th was my birthday. My 26th birthday to be exact. I was a little preoccupied with my darling little present at the time. Brent treated me right though, as he always has on my little day, with a surprise trip to the movies and a beautiful and unique "mother's" necklace with Blythe's name and birthday. We then rounded out the evening in style with taco salad and ICE CREAM cake and family and Caroline telling us the Easter the story [she only derailed once when she forgot that Jesus went to the garden to pray, and instead said he went to his house with his friends and "they watched movies and played with toys…" the rest she recited beautifully though-- brilliant, that child].
It was truly a wonderful day.
However, turning 26 seemed like a big number to me. I think it's because on surveys and everything else you are forced to fill out and groups you are asked to join etc the age categories are always 25 and below and everything above that is a combination of numbers that somehow say, "Sorry chickee, you have to for real grow up now." So 26 seemed like a big number. And possibly because I have a child now, … but I think mainly the survey thing. :)
That being said, I realize I have learned so much since I turned 20, which seems like a lifetime ago. At 20 I was still in college, still figuring out if I needed to change the radio station I listened to based on who got in the car with me, still denying that I had hips and couldn't wear certain fashion trends, and still eating greasy food at 2 AM. I've learned a lot since then. Some of the following are examples:
- I've learned in the past six years that friendships are worth holding onto. Friendships can be rare and hard and hard, but they are always worth the investment. I've learned that investments in friendships sometimes means sharing dinner, sometimes means packing boxes and helping with a move [despite the fact that the move is breaking your heart], and it sometimes means having the hard conversation. Sometimes it means laughter for no reason, and sometimes it means knowing to bring kleenexes-- but friendships are worth holding onto.
-I have learned that keeping things clean and organized is much easier than stressing yourself out about where things are and then facing that inevitable nightmare of a weekend when you have to clean EVERYTHING.
- I've also learned in the past six years that moving can be very, very difficult, but given time also very, very rewarding. Packing up 21 years of your life and trusting your new husband to move you 10 hours away from everything you've ever known is very scary business. You may cry everyday, several times a day and wonder if you will ever have friends or feel at home or know where the post office is.I've learned though that the only way to succeed in a move is to put yourself out there, to find out where the post office is by getting lost a few times, to talk to strangers until they become friends, and to trust that your husband has your best interests in mind. I've learned that after 2 years that strange place will be so difficult to leave and you'll surprise yourself by crying again when you move away. But trusting that God is in control of the moves is key… change is never easy, but you serve an unchanging God.
- I've learned that marriage is wonderful. There are times that it is a little tricky, and there are times that making dinner feels more like an obligation than a joy, and there are times that you'll want to punch a wall so you don't punch your spouse. But there are also times when he will make you laugh when you desperately want to cry, and there are times when he'll hold you and you'll forget how mad you were, and there are times that you'll see how beautiful you really are just because of the way he looks at you. But mostly there are times when you realize, good or bad, that it is worth it all to have your best friend by your side every morning when you wake up and face the day.
- I've learned that I still hate what cell phones have done to our society.
- I've learned that having a baby is the biggest, best, hardest, most beautiful thing a woman may ever do in her life. I've learned, in just mere weeks, what it means to love through exhaustion and what it means to trust God with your child when you're too weary. And I've learned that it is all worth it, everything, when your child turns and smiles just because she heard your voice.
- In the past six years I have learned that a person, no matter what age, will always need their family. You will still want your mom when you are sick, and your dad when something breaks, and your sister when you just need someone to understand without saying anything.
- And in the past six years I have learned to be passionate about what I love. To not apologize for being good at something. And the thank the Lord every day for his many, many blessings.
I wonder what I'll have learned by my next birthday?