But for just today, I am still officially closer in age to the big 3-0. And to anyone in their 20's who may fear that number. Let me take a moment to assure you that I have never loved life more unabashedly than I have during this decade. Even the moments that were filled with despair, I know myself now and I never truly got me before.
I have always been somewhat offended by people continuously telling me how 'Young' I look. Being carded at movies. Going to dinner with friends who were years younger and being the only one asked for ID. People would always laugh and say how one day I would appreciate it...
Let me take a moment for a declaration...
That day has arrived. Tell me I appear young. ID me when I buy sudafed. See if I care. More so like you will be my new favorite. True story, everyone was right; one day I would crave being mistaken for younger than I am, that day is today.
I think that 35 definitely looks different than I had pictured growing up. I was under the assumption I would be a mom of 5 kids or maybe 4 and the belly full with the 5th. Obviously, not the case. While this past year has been one of the hardest, I think I can safely say it was one of the best and most fulfilling. I have finally come to realize and understand what it encompasses to love your life. I may yearn for other realities, but embracing the one that is mine...has made it that much more worthwhile.
When Wiki turned 35 in June, I wrote my 35 favorite things about him. So, in honor of tomorrow, I will write about 35 memorable moments in mine. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. But each moment helped to build who I am now. (you should know I got tired at 17 so the other 18 will be on Monday, who knows, maybe I will make a memorable moment to add this weekend;)
(in absolutely no particular order of importance) and enjoy the pictures of my life sprinkles throughout.
1) My first ESPN job. college basketball game on ESPN 2. It was Hampton vs Norfolk St. Gus Johnson and Dan Bonner were the commentators, I was the stage manger and I had been 16 for all of 2 weeks. It was a done deal what career I would pursue from that.
2) Summer camp trips to Hastings, MI. Camp Michawana and getting there on a 14 hour bus ride from Virginia. 4 years I went and it is still some of the most fun I ever had. Church camp rocks, my people.
3) Feb 2001, April 2002, May 2007 & Jan 2013 The days that Isaiah, Elijah, Titus and Loretta were born. (plus, a day in either late December 2013/early Jan 2014) the days I was made an aunt. Over and over.
4) My dad teaching me to drive. including the time I ummmm. thought I put the car in park and when we got out it rolled over the bump. or the time I ran his jeep into our tree. I still haven't won a driver of the year award. Oh, well. Own your inadequacies.
5) Feb 2011. How one phone call literally changed my life. it all started here.
you want a crazy, how they met story, probably like one you have never heard before. read it.
6) August 11th 1994. I died. Just for less than a minute. But for reals, y'all. and I still have brain damage from it. No, my personality isn't it.
7) The many, many trips my mom and I took. and probably the biggest memory is the 'Gween witeaid' Yes, you had to be there. Wine trips. NYC and the Naked Cowboy. The play Contact. the one we didn't realize was all about 'sexual contact" I think I had to go to the bathroom roughly 36 times that night. My cheeks still burn at the memory. and after was the first time I ever witnessed my mother drink an alcoholic beverage. yea.
8) August 1999, July 2008, August 2007, May 2010. The days I gained not only sister in laws, but real friends. Oh, how blessed and beyond lucky I am for these girls and my relationships. My heart loves them so. They fill me with joy. and laughter.
9) The many nights I spent at my grandparents. So many weekend nights as a teenager I preferred their company to going out. There is still nothing more than that to make me appreciate the simple things in life. and let's not pretend, her biscuits and macaroni played a small factor.
10) My tenth birthday when I was a princess for my Halloween and my mom took me to the mall to get my ears pierced. Baller status.
11) The day I hit the 91lb weight loss mark. hard work realized. and new wardrobe found.
12) Harry Potter World with Theresa. Oh, my gosh. I was 31 and loving every single second. Guess who is going back soon!
13) Feb 28th, 1999. The day my aunt Kim passed away. She was 31. She died of a heart arrhythmia in her sleep. It was one of the worst days of my life and it didn't prepare me for Dec 5th 2006 when my cousin Jeremy would also pass away. at the even younger age of 24. My heart hurts from the moments missed.
14) June 28th 2003. The day I became a Mrs. What a road it has been. 10 years and just the two of us. Our relationship has taught me everything I love and absolutely do not like about myself. and I still learn every day.
15)The farm growing up. The lowgrounds. Finding new spots every day to make my own playground. My three brothers and I. How I desperately wanted a sister and how I am so glad I got what I got.
16) my first trip to NYC, I was 16 and so enchanted, It began my love affair with the city I know better than the one I live in now. I may be a country girl at heart, but my spirit loves the city.
17) August 1992, when I chose to make my beliefs an action. I love the Lord more than I could ever really say. In all of my struggles, the love He has for me was the one thing I never questioned, even if I sometimes wondered if he really knew what He was doing. ( He does;)
35, I am ready for you. Come and get me!