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happy 29

14 Aug

Friday was my 29th birthday.  In past years getting 3 hours of sleep and then spending much of the day doing laundry and housework would have been a horrible way to spend my birthday.  But this year there isn’t anything I’d have rather been doing.

After making myself an awesome breakfast of eggs, cinnamon toast and a soy latte, Lincoln, Vivian and I spent the morning playing, napping and doing the above.

Then we hopped in the car to meet Jon for lunch.  Linc and Viv still can’t frequent public places, so I picked Jon up and we drove to one of our favorite little mexican food places, Big Truck Tacos and then continued on to Sonic where we sat and ate while the babies chilled in their carseats.  You absolutely cannot beat the fried avocado soft taco and chips and salsa from BTT.

After lunch I ran back home just in time to feed L and V, and then my mom came over to hang out and keep us company!  Awhile later when Jon came home he brought with him cakes from a delicious little bakery near our house and plans for a fun outing with the babies.

First we stopped by Babies R Us to pick up something we needed for Linc, then we cruised over to one of our favorite pizza places, Joey’s.  This time instead of Sonic, we headed down the street to McDonald’s where we got two large drinks in styrofoam cups and then cruised around enjoying my birthday dinner.  It was quite funny when Jon pulled up to the window at McDonald’s to order our drinks.  The employee asked how our night was going, and Jon said “it’s great.  It’s her birthday!”  The girl literally just sort of shrugged and nodded, then turned to get our drinks.  I told Jon she was probably thinking “poor girl.  You’re taking her through McDonald’s with a pizza box in her lap for her birthday dinner?”  While I do wish we could take the twins out and about, there’s something about all these car outings that is so special.  I’ll always remember them as such a sweet time in our life.

Later that night, Jon topped off my birthday by feeding the twins bottles and letting me sleep (aside from pumping of course) through a feeding.

Obviously Linc isn’t really holding his own bottle…it’s just propped for a cute pic

Two years ago on my birthday I posted 27 things to do during my 27th year of life.  At the time, I was already in the trenches of infertility, and the top thing on that list was to have a baby.  I didn’t add it because I hadn’t yet told my infertility story, but it was heavy on my heart.

I didn’t get to have a baby during my 27th year, but I did face infertility head on and grew and learned so much about myself.  And now, finally, just before my 29th year began, God gave me not one, but two precious babies.  And I still can hardly believe it.

While it doesn’t sound like my birthday was very glamorous, it was the absolute greatest way to celebrate being alive.  I do believe my 29th will be my best year yet.

twenty-eight years

16 Aug

Last weekend I celebrated 28 years of life.

The husband worked so hard all week to put together the best birthday party ever.  It was themed. And there were drinks.  And an incredible spread of food.

And of course….the best cupcakes in town.

There was homemade lemonade and non-alcoholic sangria.

And best of all?  All the people I love most in the world.

And when everyone was full of tacos and salsa, we played games.

Of course there were gifts (which were perfect), despite the “don’t bring gifts, just a good time” printed at the bottom of the invitation.

One of my favorite students, Blue, and favorite co-workers, Shelly, stopped by to visit.

Earlier in the day, Blue cooked an amazing spread of Arabic food for my family to enjoy.  He made everything from some potato pastries (that’s what I call them anyway:) to kabobs, to fruit salad, pudding and cake.  It really was incredible.  International students are awesome.

Falling three days after my actual birthday, it was such a perfect way to celebrate a whole new year of life.

Last year at this time, I made a list of 27 things that I wanted to accomplish in my 27th year.  Some of them I did succeed at, and some of them I didn’t.  This year of life showed me that sometimes our best thought out plans are not quite as great as we imagine them to be.

So, it turns out that I didn’t quite get 20 books read, didn’t get our car paid off, have yet to open up a CSM t-shirt shop and definitely wrote a lot less.

But, here are the unexpected things I did do: started trying to have a baby and instead began my battle with infertility, had surgery for said infertility, became a certified yoga instructor, tutored the sweetest students in the world, said goodbye to our sweet little house and our college town, lived with my mom and step-dad for four months, moved to Oklahoma City, supported the husband in accepting a new job, built a house, started a new job, became an aunt for the first time, quit the new job and then started another new job (more on this to come!).

Needless to say, aside from our year spent living in Thailand, this has definitely been our craziest year yet.  And even though we’ve faced some of the most trying challenges of our lives, we have grown so much.  Number one on my list was “fall more in love with my Savior.”  I have to be honest and say that for while the opposite was happening.  At times my anger and confusion over infertility gave way to questioning and stepping away from God like a small, defiant child.

And while I still have many questions, and I still don’t understand everything I want to understand about God, I’ve come to one conclusion.  And that is despite whatever happens in life – whether good or bad – He is there.

For the entire first 26 years of my life, I took what I’d been told about God and I counted it as absolute truth.  I never questioned it.  I never really thought much about it on my own.  And for the first time this year, I’ve questioned God.  I’ve doubted Him.  And while I wish I could say that my faith has been perfect, I have deepened my relationship with Him far beyond what I imagined before.  I’ve come to the realization that I would much rather question Him, than never be challenged enough or think deeply about Him at all.

I can not even begin to imagine what this next year will hold for me.  My prayer is that our family of two will become a family of three.  We will be able to continue pursuing our dream of launching our own business. I’ll be able to love my job.  And we’ll continue building and deepening relationships.  But I’m holding onto those things very loosely, with an open fist, keeping in mind that He is in control.  And remembering to not count too much on the plans that I lay out for myself.

Here’s to another year.