Tag Archives: Friends

Better with age

28 Feb

There are things that get better with age: wine, artwork, architecture. But some of my favorite things in life also get better with age and experience. People often fight like hell against getting older. Me? I’m pretty ok with it. I look around at my life, and I realize that my twenties had nothing on what my thirties have in store. These are the things, in my life, that just keep getting better.

Friendship – My best friend has known me forever. Literally. Well, since junior high school. It feels like forever. At that time, we were typical friends. We would hang out, talk about boys, laugh. And we still do. We get together as often as our busy lives allow. We still talk about boys and laugh. Only now, we talk about our marriages and our children. We talk about the most important things in our lives. We share our dreams with each other. We share our greatest heartbreaks. She knows me so well and I would be a mess without her! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also made a couple of other close friendships with some great women. They challenge me, they support me, they teach me, they help me grow. I am so grateful for these women who have enriched my life.

Marriage – I haven’t been married very long. Maybe I can’t say much on this subject. I’m no expert. But, I have learned a few things. I have matured. And because I didn’t get married until I was older, I think I appreciate it more than I would have when I was 20. I fight harder than I would have when I was 20. I understand better what it means. It is still hard and it is still work, but I remember what the alternative is. And I’m looking forward to what lies in store for the future.

Motherhood – When Isaiah was just a tiny guy, I made some mistakes. I made some mistakes that could have resulted in my child being one of those kids other parents talk about and nobody wants to be friends with. Someone who loves me a whole lot called me out on it and I stepped back and evaluated. I didn’t really like what I saw. Because it was just Isaiah and I, I had a tendency to let him get away with everything. He was not turning into the young man he needed to be. So, I changed. I made the concerted effort to be a better mom. I learned to let go of some of the things that don’t really matter and focus on what’s important. To focus on raising him to be a strong, confident, Godly gentleman. To focus on making memories he will remember. And, sometimes, to focus on me so that I can be relaxed and happy and better able to be his mommy. Of course, I still make mistakes. I am not perfect. I could probably stand to do some things better. But, I realize now that teaching him and correcting him are the best things I could ever do for him. They will make him a better man. And, aside from loving him, that is my purpose in his life.

I also have acquired a fantastic little girl in the last couple of years. The challenges of step-parenting (I hate that term, by the way. There should be another way to say it.) are more than I ever could have imagined. And the benefits are more than I could describe. There is an inexplainable bond that grows between a parent and a child. Every parent knows that. But there is something completely different, yet equally beautiful, and somehow so much the same about a parent and a step-child. This person that I didn’t love automatically because they were created by me. This person that I fell in love with just as I fell in love with her daddy. This person that I chose to love. That I chose to treat just as if she were my own. That I chose to vow to protect and sacrifice for. There is power in that kind of love.

Me – I hear people all the time talk about how they would love to go back and relive high school or the year they were 21 or 25. Not me! I look back at who I was then. I think back to the stupid mistakes I made. I remember the way I let other people treat me. I would never go back. I am in the best stage my life has ever held. I am confident (mostly). I am happy. I am in love. I have surrounded myself with people that make me better. I know who I am. I know what I want out of life. I am learning when it’s important to stand up for myself and when it’s important to let something go. I am learning how to be by myself sometimes. I am learning how to balance being a wife and a mother, and still being me. I know how to love someone without losing myself. I know how to make myself happy and not look to someone else to do it. I am learning how to be a little less stressed and a little more open to change. I am learning that life doesn’t always go as you have planned so you need to take what life gives you and run with it. The me I am now is better than I’ve ever been.

Go back? Not a chance. It has only gotten better with age.

What about you? Would you go back? Would you stay and look forward? Why?

Reflecting on the good

6 Feb

English: A cup of masala chai Polski: Filiżank...

There have been some national news stories and some happenings around my house recently that have led me to take a step back this evening and be thankful. I have so much to be thankful for and I don’t always take the time out to really appreciate my blessings. Tonight, I am doing that. And I urge you to do the same.

I am thankful for the love of a good man. I waited a long time for him. And while, it’s not always perfect, it’s ours. And at the end of the day; after the stress, after the arguments, I go to sleep holding the hand of a man who loves me in a way I could never put into words.

I am thankful for the health of my children. I have been the mom in the NICU watching her baby fight. I vowed I would never take his health for granted. I have a son and a step-daughter who have no major medical problems and, in a world filled with cancer and disease, that is not something I take lightly.

I am thankful for a close family. My siblings are some of my best friends. My parents are only ever a phone call away. My grandparents have left legacies for me to learn from. My husband’s family has taken Isaiah and I in and never looked back. I am the woman I am today because of so many of the people I call family.

I am thankful for incredible friends. If you read my A Toast to my Friend post, you know how blessed I am. If you haven’t, you should; it’s about an incredible woman. I also have a few other, close friends, that I can always count on. I am surrounded by people who allow me to be myself, and love me for it.

I am thankful for a good job. I am thankful my husband has a good job. I am thankful we have money to house and feed our family, buy the things we need and some of the things we don’t, and not worry each day about where the money is going to come from. I am thankful that I enjoy going to work and that I get to have a small hand in shaping the future.

I am thankful for the privilege of living in a country where I can worship my God openly. A country where you don’t have to believe the same thing I do, but I still have the opportunity to believe it. I am thankful that I can pray and sing whenever and wherever I want. And I am thankful that you can too, if you choose to.

I am thankful for beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I am thankful for music and laughter. I am thankful for quiet days and crazy nights. I am thankful for coffee and books. I am thankful for bubble baths and candles. I am thankful for manicures and new shoes. I am thankful for people who love to do the jobs I don’t love to do, like car mechanics. I am thankful for clean sheets and clean laundry. I am thankful for barbecue sauce. I am thankful for Kleenex paper towels and Starbucks chai tea. I am thankful for flowers, lazy days by the pool, autumn colors, and enough snow for a snowman.

And I am thankful for each one of you. Thank you for taking the time to enjoy life… as I know it.
What is one thing you are thankful for?

A toast to my friend

26 Jan

imageIt is my opinion that everyone should have that friend. You know the one. The friend that you always call, with everything. The one you could talk to for hours, every day. The one you share your deepest sorrows and greatest joys with.

I am fortunate enough to have that friend. Her name is Anna. She has been my friend since we were 13 years old. I won’t tell you how many years that’s been; but I will tell you, it’s been more than half my life. After that long, we’re family.

Since we’ve been friends, we have both experienced our first heartbreak, and second and third. We have both gotten married; she will celebrate her 10th anniversary this year and I my first. We have both moved into our first homes. We were pregnant at the same time and delivered beautiful babies within 5 days of each other. We graduated from high school together and I graduated from college, while she went on to start a very successful photography business.

We have seen the ups and downs of life together. We have grieved together. We have celebrated together. We have pondered the big questions of life and laughed at the things that don’t really matter. There is no better support system than a friend who has known you so completely for so long.

She is my biggest cheerleader and the first one to give me a kick in the pants if I need it. She is completely honest with me, but in a way that protects the parts of me that need protecting. She has been witness to some of the most embarrassing moments in my life and my proudest.

When I got my heart broken, she was the first one I called. When I bought my first house, she was the first one I called. When I discovered I was pregnant, she was the first one I called. When my husband proposed to me, she was the first one I called. (Actually, she knew before I did.) When I wasn’t sure what the next step was supposed to be, she was the first one I called. When I was ready to take the next step, she was the first one I called. When that step was a huge mistake, she was the first one I called. When that step was one of the best decisions I could have made, she was the first one I called.

She has been the one to leave Christmas presents under my tree and in my stocking when I was going to be waking up alone Christmas morning. She has been the one to sit in the hospital with me when I was in labor for 40 hours, even though she was 9 months pregnant herself. She has been the one to cry with me, because there were no words, when my baby’s future was so unsure. She has been the one to stand beside me while I was vowing my life to my husband, and the one to call me out when I wasn’t keeping up with my end of the deal. She has been the one to call my family when my little guy had to go to the emergency room. She has been the one… so many times and through so many circumstances.

We laugh about what life will look like when we’re old. I am determined to be one of those old ladies who says and does the craziest things; just because I’m old and I can. And there is no question in my mind that she will be there too. So, in 50 years, if you see two old ladies, laughing so hard they are peeing themselves, telling dirty jokes, flirting with younger men, putting false teeth in glasses of water, and reliving the memories of the past, it might be us. And if it is, you can know without doubt, that it has been one hell of a ride!

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