Birthday Blessings



Another year has passed and as I woke on the morning of birthday #39 I found myself reflecting on the past year and all that transpired. It was a year of learning, a year of growth and a year of experiences.

I am finding that with each passing year I become more comfortable with myself and am slowing evolving into who God created me to me. There is a steadiness and ease that comes with each passing year and I find myself more comfortable in my own skin and in my own circumstances than I ever was when I was younger.

With each passing year I find the nonsense and noise is filtered out and the things of most importance have come into focus.

This past year has been a year of learning. I exit year #38 with a better understanding of what I need as a person and what my family needs. This past year began with a lot of stress and worry as we navigated the sticky road of helping 3 little ones who had lost their mother and grandmother over the course of 6 months. Their wellbeing consumed my thoughts and my free time as we tried to get them the help they needed, and in the process I learned the lesson of surrender.

From that added stress erupted a myriad of heath struggles as I began having symptoms of the Myasthenia Gravis that had laid dormant in my body for the last decade. The months that followed taught me the lesson of prioritizing as I had to say “NO” to the “less important” for the sake of being able to manage the “most important”…a hard and humbling lesson for someone that feeds off the joy of service and doing.

Those health struggles led to a delay in our long-planned cross country bus trip. A decision that turned out to be the greatest of blessings. And I was reminded of the perfection of God’s timing.

During the 38th year of my life I was able to go on the adventure of a lifetime as we packed up our converted school bus and traveled to the most beautiful vistas of the United States of America with the people I love most. As we traveled 10,000 miles over 7 weeks I learned more about my family, the goodness of humanity, my country, and myself then I ever imagined. I discovered that there is a gypsy within me that finds joy and life in adventure and travel, something I didn’t realize about myself. On that road trip I felt more alive and at home than I have in years. I discovered that there is a rest found in tiny home living, in minimal possessions, and in simplicity of life, and it wasn’t until I lived that simple life on the road that I recognized the voice within crying out for that need to be met.

Then Toby left for 2 months and life as we knew it fell apart as Reactive Attachment Disorder demons reared their head in ugly ways and I parented and loved my boys through behaviors and situations that I never in my life imagined would be part of my story. I lived though tragic, scary experiences and lived to tell the tale and discovered that I am stronger, braver, and more resilient that I thought I was. I am a survivor and I don’t know that I would have ever discovered that about myself had Toby not gone away and forced me to tap deep and find strength from within and from above. I discovered that I CAN do hard things and find joy in the journey, even through the darkest patches of life.

Through the ups and downs of this past year I have become better acquainted with myself. I am stronger and braver and more comfortable considering what I want or need. I have a clearer vision of my calling and purpose and feel better equipped to step out in faith and not worry so about what other may think. I feel an excitement and eagerness when I think about the upcoming year and all that could be.

I am 39 years old and it is time to be bold.

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday celebration. Toby treated me to an easy day of parenting when he invited the two little boys to go to work with him for the day. This meant 12 hours of “one on one” time with my three teenagers. I was able to enjoy my three “originals” and was able to relish a day full of the joys and delights of motherhood without any of the work of motherhood. It was a very special gift from Toby. One I am so grateful for.

The day began with slowly waking up. This, in itself, was a gift. I wake daily to Tyler hollering, “Good Morning, Momma!” through the crack of the door.It seems that regardless of what time I set my alarm for I can never beat him awake to enjoy five minutes of silence before the circus begins. He always wakes up happy and pleasant, but he wakes up FULL of energy, enthusiasm, and noise. Being woken up by Tyler is like waking to a smoke alarm going off every morning. Daily I am jolted awake from a dead sleep with adrenaline coursing through my veins, as I try to catch my bearings.

So, to be able to wake to sunlight shining on my face and slowly stretch myself to wakefulness…

To lay in a quiet bed, taking five minutes to gather my thoughts and say a prayer before my feet hit the floor…



Then the big kids treated me to a crepe breakfast. We had a lazy morning as we watched one of my holiday favorites that I didn’t get a chance to see before Christmas, while the girls gave me a foot massage and pedicure. Then we were out the door.


For lunch we went to Moe’s for Mexican food and then enjoyed an afternoon of shopping. (Everyone had gift cards burning holes in their pockets) It was so lovely to slowly walk through a store, and browse, without having to mindlessly rush through the experience so as to make it back to the car before a meltdown.


We spent an hour at Barnes and Nobel flipping through books, relaxing in the easy chairs, and looking at magazines. Molly even bought me a cookie from the café to enjoy while I looked at books.

Then we headed to the movies where we spilt up and Molly and Rusty went to see the new Star Wars movie while Grace and I went to see Passengers. What a delight it was to sit and get lost in a storyline that didn’t revolve around talking animals.

When we got home Toby was there with the boys and they all had flowers for Momma. *heart melt*


The big kids also had gift they wanted me to open.

From Molly I received a calendar filled with photos of my favorite people and Grace surprised me and painted me a picture on canvas of baby Dumbo. This has special significance because this scene from the movie is the background to our song. Each of my kids has a song, a special lullaby that I sang to them every night before bed. Gracie’s song is “Baby Mine” from the movie Dumbo, which makes this picture she painted a special gift of love.


The next day the celebration continued with a birthday get-together with my best friends. Since I was unable to host our annual gift wrapping party at my house this year because of Toby being out of town it was suggested we have a post-Christmas get-together to celebrate the December birthdays in our group. I had the most wonderful time. Nicole offered to host and we enjoyed a night of appetizers, cake, and lots of laughter. It was so much fun being together as friends rather than fellow moms, as is the case when we are at co-op.


I truly could not have asked for a more perfect birthday.

What a way to begin the new year. 2016 was a crazy ride. I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring. I have a feeling it won’t be boring!

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!


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