Friday, August 31, 2012

29 Again? Happy Birthday!

I just had a birthday and I am glad I didn't just turn 29 again! I have a couple of friends that continually comment on how old we're getting (Let's just say I'm closer to 40 than 30, but barely!). The only thing that makes me a little sad about my age is that I'm reminded how little of this beautiful, precious, life I have ahead of me and it does feel like it's only beginning. That being said... I am SO happy about where I am in life and I am so blessed to have all the gifts that I have.

I believe I've worked hard to get to where I am at this point in my life, but I also believe I am incredibly blessed and that a lot of what I have has just been handed to me by God, my family, and Cliff's family. We're lucky and we're showered daily with blessings. I believe that it won't always be this way. I feel like we will struggle some day in ways we haven't yet. I believe that our day is coming at some point, and we really need to thank God every day for the blessings we have at this point in our life. We are rich with overflowing love, incredible families who would and do give and do anything for us, good jobs, a comfortable work-life balance (finally), a few really close and wonderful friends upon whom we rely greatly, our parents and families' health, a safe cozy comfortable (although occasionally messy) home, a vast and adventure-filled yard for our son to explore discover learn and play, and time... time to spend with those we love and truly enjoy all that we have been given.

I will admit feeling some jealousy when we see other people's beautifully manicured sprawling lawns and gardens, gorgeously remodeled old farm houses and perfectly restored old barns and farm buildings, hallmark-card worthy family photos, and other "cover-images" that are often out on display. I even catch myself asking the questions, "Why do they get all that and we don't?", "How did they get that job they absolutely adore and can't wait to go to each day?", "Why are they better at _____ than I am?". I do have those feelings and when I realize it, I just want to drop to my knees and ask for forgiveness for even thinking those things! I KNOW how blessed I am and I still find it hard to be grateful all the time! It still takes me a few moments of quiet reflection before I remember how much I have, how rich I am in every way, but most importantly in the ways you can't always see at first glance, the ways that aren't reflected by bank account balances, the cars we drive, or the art hanging on our walls. I am incredibly rich in the way of love and support from my wonderful, amazing family! I have family who shows our love for each other by giving of ourselves to each other, by sharing our time and our talents with eachother. I have sisters who sneak over to my house when I'm not home and weed my vegetable garden when their bigger gardens at home have even more weeds than mine, who send over a big yummy home-made dinner and dessert so that I can have a night or two off of cooking, who spend hours with me patiently showing me how to use a certain software or computer program that I'm not used to, who meet me for lunch when I just need to get out of the house. I have brothers who help us with big projects around our house and yard that we're not quite sure how to go about starting, who take Gavin out for a walk when I am at my wits end and completely out of patience, who let us use their boat for a bit of play and relaxation while they're busy working and can't get away, who would do anything for me if I only ask. I have parents (and Cliff does too) who send us home with awesome leftovers, who send us all their vegetables because they know that as much as I love having a vegetable garden, I just don't have the self-discipline to keep it weeded and watered and tended the way it needs to be, who go through all the work of freezing and canning some of their fruits and vegetables for us so that we can enjoy them in the winter when the produce isn't so fresh and abundant!

I am so, so, blessed. As I celebrated my birthday this year, I was reminded of all of this and it even scared me a little because I can't imagine that it can stay this good forever. Can it?      

For now though, I am going to revel in it. I'm going to enjoy every moment. I'm going to appreciate all that is wonderful in my life and celebrate!!! I just had another birthday. I just celebrated another year! How lucky is that!!?!

Friday night the three of us went to dinner with my parents.

While we were waiting outside for our table, Gavin took these pictures of me and Cliff. For a three-year-old, he's pretty good with the camera! Especially since it's a D-SLR, so he has to actually use the viewfinder, as the display doesn't show what he's about to take a picture of!

Gavin told us to make silly faces. Cliff must have confused Gavin's directions for "make it look like you want to throw up"!

This one below is better, although I still sorta prefer the silly faces!

On Saturday, I met two of my oldest girlfriends up at the lakehouse for a day of just hanging out. We sat around for a while and caught up on what we've been missing in each others' lives and then we headed into town for a little walking and shopping.

I ended up finding a light blue enamelware dipper for my collection and it's a size and color that I didn't already have. This is so exciting because nearly all of my dippers have a story of when and where I found them and who I was with. It seems I only find them when I'm out with a special friend on a special trip or celebrating something. It makes each one a momento of that day or that trip or that friend and I love it.

While we were out and about, my good friend Katie bought Baby Jennings an absolutely adorable bib that is reversible and has brightly colored stripes on one side and super hip and cute owls on the other side (along with two awesomely calming Lifescapes music CDs - one for me and one for Baby Jennings. Although I admit that Gavin and I have already been enjoying both of them!) We found the adorable bib in the most unique store that is both a trendy yarn store and a game store along the lines of Dungeons and Dragons (rather than Monopoly and Yahtzee). The yarn store sells a few hand-sewn treasures like hand-bags, bibs, and throw pillows in the most adorable fabrics! It's all about the fabric, anyway, isn't it? I love fabrics, wallpapers, and scrapbooking papers. Maybe I'll be a print designer when I grow up...   some day.

My friend Carrie bought me a throw pillow that makes my heart sing. The fabric is a gray, yellow, and white graphic floral print by Joel Dewberry called Bloom from the Aviary 2 line in the Granite color scheme and I just had to have it. It was not only calling my name, it was singing it, loud and beautifully! Carrie got a giggle out of the fabric print because she actually has the same fabric at home waiting for a project that's already on her sewing list. I love the pillow and its one of the first things you see now when you walk into my house as it sits on an old ladder-back chair on the edge of my dining room.

Carrie also baked me a coconut birthday cake. She is a fantastic baker and I can always count on her to bring a delicious dessert!

Sunday we had a few more friends come up to the lakehouse with their kids for some boating, fishing, and playing on the beach.

We all had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather, even though the water was too green for swimming and we didn't catch any fish! We sure enjoyed each others' company and Gavin had so much fun with friends closer to his own age!

Gavin and Ava got to sit at the front of the boat and catch all the waves!

The Delwiche boys didn't have the patience to fish for too long without catching anything, but were excited to go swimming and wanted to jump in the middle of the lake!

We enjoyed a little picnic in the shade down near the beach while the kids all played in the sand and the grass and climbed trees.

It was a wonderful weekend and a great way to celebrate my birthday. I am so blessed and so happy for all that my life is right now.

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