You know me I am all about documenting and making list. I wanted to reflect on 31 a little. It is easy to keep looking for the next great thing instead of what has happened.
Its also easy to chalk up a year to being “bad” because the things (like life) have been hard or challenging. For example especially due to these stomach problems lately I could push 31 into a bad year or sick year. So I wanted to sit down and list out some good and true things, in no particular order.
Spent celebrating *almost 31 birthday on a boat with my humans
Moved to Beaufort
Became a turtle lady
Trip Disney at Christmas
Trip Disney at the end of June
5th Anniversary trip to Greece
Sold our house
Was a complete badass and got our house on the market despite some major headaches
Made two craft dream Disney ears
Had gallbladder removed
Taught myself to make homemade cinnamon rolls
Saw a mama turtle lay a nest x 2
Spent some good weeks with Em
Quit my job as a NICU nurse
Started my summer Sabatical
Saw The Struts in concert
Trip to Dallas
Saw Mumford and Sons in concert
Built raised beds
Planted a garden
Trip to Maine
Made some good flower arrangements
Downsized our stuff
Here is to 32. Im dreaming of roots, community, friends, finding an avenue for some love in my heart, writing, growing, wellness, adventure, Disney and a whole lot of love along the way.
I want to look back next year and say I created magic and I found joy in the mundane. I loved my people big, loud and well but also in the small, quiet too. I read 52 books. I wrote, it doesnt have to be big or fancy or published but a I got a little fiction ish tucked in my heart and some good and true truths as well. I soaked up the salt life. I spent my money on the things that make you richer, memories. I traveled. I held a live baby sea turtle and gave it an air kiss and Em was with me. I took Em to see her first mama sea turtle on the beach and it was as Holy and as beautiful as we dreamed.
I focused on the the things and actions that I hope people will talk about when I die. My legacy. Loving well. Like whoa loving people was her super power. Living life, no matter the sun or storm, truly living it. Taking control and not going through the motions of letting life happen to you but truly living it.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Yall know how to make a girl feel loved.
A letter to myself on our wedding day five years in retrospect.
Dear Beautiful Bride,
Today is the big day. You have stressed and worried and wished you NEVER had done a wedding but simply eloped. TREASURE IT! It will likely be the last time in your life that most of the people you love will be in one place. Because the miles are long, the years are short and humans often can not behave themselves and act like cordial adult humans.
You are beautiful today, tomorrow and always. You will look beautiful. Christopher will make sure your hair is gorgeous and your curls wont fall out because he is magic. You will always be beautiful even when you do not feel it.
Take pictures (maybe make sure the camera is charged), dance some more, laugh, relish in it. Make sure Uncle David knows your are “cutting the cake” although on second thought don’t because his photo bomb is one of your most favorite photos ever. Record the speeches. You will wish you had. Soak up the love and joy.
Soon you will leave for your honeymoon. Get ready. It will surpass your wildest dreams. You and Ryan will fall more in love with each other, Iceland and travel.
Oh baby, it’s just the beginning of a lifetime of adventures. You will travel more than you ever dreamed in the next five years. Travel will become your greatest teacher, passion and saving grace.
Spoiler alert you will spend anniversary five in Greece.
The years ahead, they hold things that are harder than you could dream. You will live, you will grow, you will survive and you will come out on the other side a better,stronger version of yourself and with a better marriage. And beautiful girl although the hard times are abundant so are the good times and take care to note and remember them. It is so easy for the traumatic times to be seared into your memory forever. But cling and hold onto the pockets of light in life for they will help illuminate the oppressive darkness.
Mama will get sick. It will be trying, frustrating, you will wonder if she is going to die. She wont. You will lose faith in the healthcare system and it will be hard but a humbling experience for your career to be on the other side of the hospital. Ryan will be a rockstar through all of this. You will wonder what you did to deserve him. You will look back and wonder how you lived that spring and summer but you do.
Oh precious, precious girl you will sit in a hospital room at UAB and you will say, I always have felt like Ryan and I will have a hard time having a baby but maybe this, you being so sick is paying our dues. Tender-heart, you will lose your first baby girl at 13 weeks pregnant the following year. This will almost destroy you and your marriage (that is totally normal). Keep putting in the effort, keep communicating, keep going, even when you do not feel like it. You make it. Ryan again will be your rock. This time will be the darkest of your life. Grieving together will not be something you are good at. Try going to couseling together sooner than you do.
But also here you will also find the greatest love. To others and from others and for Riley Kate.
You will take Em to the trampoline park. You will be sitting there literally looking on with joy thinking this is the most fun you and Ryan have had together since March. And then Ryan will break his ankle. He will be out of work. He will lose his job. You will fret and worry and all will be ok. It possibly might lead you on your bravest adventure yet. Eventually.
There will be other hard times, family difficulties, you will make some wonderful friends and they will move away. You as always will have a hard time taking things on and carrying the weight of them even when it is not your weight to carry. This is infuriating to you but it is what makes you you and your heart and love and empathy so big.You will spend the better part of 2018 wondering if love truly wins in the end. There will be times it certainly does not feel like it. I wish I could tell you love does win and that love is big enough to overcome all but I can’t. I’m simply not sure yet. But keep loving and keep living anyways.
But oh the joys.
You will buy a cute house right where you dreamed it would be. You will spend hours doing home improvement together and it will be a joy for yall.
The friends you will make. The love you will experience. The snuggles. The good food. Eventually you will learn to laugh off the trashcan situation.
The trips. Oh the trips. Iceland. Chicago. A cruise. Italy. California. Paris. Banff. Nashville. Memphis. The Beach. The Mountains. Chattanooga. And then Greece. And you get to do it all together.
You have more people than you can count that love you and you love more people than you can count. Your heart will break open with love for Riley Kate but the cracks will leave room for more love to give and receive for the entire world.
Best of all you have someone in your corner. Even when it feels like no one’s there and you are lonely. Also normal at times in marriage but do a better job of communicating how you feel. That’s on you not him. He can’t read your mind but also thank God he can’t right?
These five years will grow you and stretch you because change is going to happen. You won’t always love the events that happen but you will be proud of the woman you are five years from now. There is so much growing to do always I can’t wait to see the woman you are in five more years.
Marriage is hard work. But all good things are. You will feel stuck in a rut and like you go through the same things over and over. Try, fight, work through the tears to communicate because it is all worth it. The only thing to do is to believe in love. Believe love will win and love is enough to triumph over all. Because without love to believe in what else is left in life.
Your braver, bolder, stronger, more loving yet slightly older version of yourself
I thought I would try something new this week. Click the picture to be taken to the website. I nearly made my head explode trying to figure out how to make a gallery with embedded links, as I think they look nicer. I tired the plugins and everything but could not figure it out. Picture credit to the websites that I linked, except of course the picture of me.
When I was younger (and possibly because I was single…) I never like buying into the “Hallmark” holidays. But aren’t they all commercialized now? But the older and wiser I have gotten I realize we need to celebrate everything, even the simple, mundane day to day life. So in honor of celebration all the things here are some favorite Valentine ideas. Continue reading “Loving Lately: Valentine’s Day”→