Sup, Ishes? Happy birthday to me, 35 years old! How about a random list of 35 things I have learned in 35 years to celebrate? This is going to be a rollercoaster of ish, I have no doubt. Heck, have I even learned 35 things? That is the real friggin question!
In no particular order, here we go!
#1: Everyone has a father. Not everyone has a dad. My dad is going to get his own blog post soon. But, here is what I will say...It takes one act for a man to be a father. And a lifetime of love and support to be a dad. For some a father and dad are found in the same man. For me, it took one man to be my father. And at 18 months, I met my dad. He showed me that heart makes a family, not blood.
#2: A good book soothes the soul. My aunt Diana taught me so much even though I was only blessed to have her in my life for a 10 short years. One thing that she taught me would have seemed so small to some, but she molded me into the bookworm that I am today. My Aunt Diana always had a book in her hands. That is me. I am always reading at least one book. In fact, this is a book I finished recently that I LOVED. This book was right up her alley of an easy and sweet romance 🙂
#3 Moms know everything. Ok, this is a total lie. A lie my mom tried to pass off as truth. But, my mom got by telling me this lie for almost 4 years until one time I asked her a question and she responded “I don’t know” and just like that, I called her out because “I thought moms knew everything.” Can you even imagine being my mom? HA! Listen, moms don’t know everything. And usually half of what they “know”is definitely made up. Or at least in my experience of being a mom! But what we don’t know, we make up with our hearts 🙂
#4: Unsweetened tea is just as delicious as sweet tea. Listen. I know this is a fact. Please don’t unsubscribe because of this stance! I used to drink sweet tea until calories meant weight gain. Then, I switched to unsweet with Sweet N Low, until that meant cancer. So, here I sit, typing this out while enjoying an unsweetened tea…knowing that you are judging me. And I am ok with it.
#5: Pineapple belongs on pizza. It does. Get over it.
#6: You can’t walk the halls of an orphanage and leave the same person. I walked the halls of my daughter’s orphanage. I’ve seen the babies left behind. I watched this woman, Maleigh’s nanny for 21 months sob as she said goodbye to one of so many babies that she has helped raise and love. Because of this moment, I’ll never be the same.
#7: The Lost Sibling Club is a real thing and joining it damn near breaks you. I joined this club in 2003….and renewed my membership again only 9 months later. I lost my brother, Steve in 2003 when I was only 19 years old and my other brother, JR when I was 20, only 9 months after losing Steve. It was then that I learned that so many people walk around carrying the burden of losing a sibling. They walk around like me, waiting for something to trigger the unstoppable sobs. They know the feeling of burying yourself when you bury a sibling.
#8: Marriage is friggin hard. I once heard “if you’re not working on your marriage, you’re working on your divorce.” And I felt that deep in my soul! I’ve been married for 12 years. We renewed our vows in July of last year. We didn’t do it on a token year anniversary. Instead, we did it after we survived year 9. That year we lost sight of who we were apart and who we were together. We were working on our divorce that year. We now make it a goal to always work on our marriage. We are better and stronger for it.
#9: No matter how much money you make in an MLM, people will still call it a pyramid scheme. I don’t think this needs an explanation. Even people close to me know the business I’ve built and still call it a scam. Don’t be that person.
#10: You can love your kids but also want to sell them on Etsy. I am sure that will tick some people off but kids are jerks sometimes, man. And some days I think I should sell them and be single. I am only half kidding. I swear, I love them. But, parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever love.
#11: PTSD after childbirth is a real thing and we don’t talk about it. Not all childbirth experiences, but many are trauma filled and we don’t talk about that enough. It wasn’t until I was about 30 weeks pregnant with Everleigh that I realized that Jayce’s birth left me with so much trauma that the idea of delivering Everleigh spun me into mini panic attacks.
#12: Office supplies anonymous should probably be a real thing. I love all things office supplies. Currently, I am obsessed with these pens, and I feel no shame about it.
#13: Couples with zero fertility issues adopt every day. I don’t know why, but many people think adoption is a plan B. Not realizing that healthy and fertile couples all over the world provide these children with homes. I know, because our family is one of them.
#14: Glamping is a thing and it is GLORIOUS. I am not made for a tent or that roughing it life. But, I love all of the camping things...mainly the sitting with a book by the campfire. But, I love none of the camping quarters...AKA I need a real bed and AC. Enter, glamping! Best thing we ever did for our family is buy a travel trailer. Real camping or not, I am a fan!
#15: You can survive (barely) in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. 2 weeks spent in China for Maleigh’s adoption were the hardest...possibly of my life. But, we survived with not only us, but a child who didn’t speak our language. Turns out, love can be a language in those times.
#16: Water goes down faster with a straw. You aren’t drinking enough water...ok, maybe YOU are. But, most aren’t. You should be drinking way more water than you are. Yep. Calling you out 🙂 Half of your body weight in ounces is key! So, get you some stainless steel straws and get to it!
#17: Skipping breakfast is a thing, and it is good for you! I know, I know. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and whatever. But, I have learned a lot, especially in the last 2 years about intermittent fasting. If you haven’t, you should check this out.
#18: Eyelash extensions give you the best “I woke up like this” look ever. You don’t have to agree, but they’re one of my favorite accessories.
#19: Sisters really are built in best friends. And if your sisters aren’t, you got cheated! My sisters make me super crazy 75% of the time, but I could not nor would I ever want to do life without them!
#20: Dogs are the best kind of people. Mom of 2 mini schnauzers and mom of 2 angel greyhounds that I miss every day. Let me tell you, my dogs are my favorite people. You can’t tell me that they aren’t the best kind of people. No one will ever love you like a dog. Not even possible.
#21: Marrying a firefighter isn’t all bunker gear and six pack abs.. In fact, it is basically none of that! But, here is what it is and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
#22: Personal development matters. Seriously, for EVERYONE! We think that this is only important for entrepreneurs, that could not be further from the dang truth. I have grown so much in my marriage and my parenting and my business through TONS of personal development! The most current book I have read to help grow my mind was Own Your Everyday and listen, you should read it. It was incredible and I LOVED it!
#23: Gluten is the dang devil. This is just science. Even if you don’t think that you don’t react to it, I guarantee it is causing inflammation in your body. That ish is EVIL. Can’t tell me different.
#24: Cheese isn’t life, you can live without it. Don’t throw things at me haha! I love cheese too. But, you CAN live without it. You don’t WANT to. Those are 2 totally different things. I know because to heal my body I went without cheese for 18 months and even still have it very rarely.
#25: The 90 minutes after my kids are in bed are pure magic. I love my kids. But, seriously, that 90 minutes where I get to do whatever I want (read: sit in a bubble bath with a book) in complete silence is pure.friggin.magic.
#26: Driving on backroads with your windows down and 90s music turned upppppp can flip almost any mood. I consider this self care and necessary often when the weather allows! So good for my soul!
#27: Brussel sprouts are the best veggie. I feel like I am so late to the sprouts game! My mom never made them because she didn’t like them growing up. But, let me tell you, cut those suckers up, shake in olive oil and cook them in an airfryer till crisp. Good grief. So good!
#28: I don’t have to wash my hair every day. I don’t know how I lived for 33 years thinking I had to wash my hair everyday or every other day! LOL! It took me about 6 weeks for my hair to adjust but now that it has! The first 6 weeks though were so dang painful LOL. I wash only 1-2 times a week and keep a rotation of dry shampoo on my bathroom counter. I use Monat, Not Your Mother’s, Batiste, and Dove. I just rotate them around so that my hair doesn’t get used to them. I swear by rotating multiple brands!
#29: Breastfeeding is friggin hard. Everyone talks about how natural and rewarding it is and no one talks about how friggin hard that ish is. Oh sure, don’t have to warm up bottles or waters. We hear that if they have a proper latch, that it won’t be painful. I am here to tell you that is NOT true for all of us. Breastfeeding is like parenting. It is one of the hardest jobs you will ever love.
#30: iPhone vs Android is basically a joke. I thought Android (specifically a Samsung Galaxy) was superior. Appleheads think the iPhone is superior. Listen, I own both phones and use them interchangeably. And, multiple times a day, I want to throw each of them for different reasons. Neither is superior. I am not even sorry that I said it.
#31: You will outgrow people and it’s ok. Not everyone is meant to be there long term. Eventually, you decide to grow, while others decide to stay stagnant. The real problem isn’t that you could outgrow your friends. The REAL problem is too many people choose to have friends that let them suck. I’m not even sorry. If your friends give you crap about focusing too much on your career or business, or give you crap about “working out too much” or give you crap because you are eating healthier...then, those people don’t want you growing. Makes them feel like you’ll expect them to level up. And not everyone wants to level up. Outgrow some people. Do it. It can be so dang freeing.
#32: Chronic Lyme Disease is the new Fibromyalgia. Chronic Lyme is the biggest epidemic of our time. This is fact. MOST traditional doctors refuse to acknowledge it exists. This is also fact. Remember twenty some years ago, when doctors didn’t have meds to treat Fibromyalgia? So, they said it didn’t exist? Then, Lyrica was approved for Fibro and all of a sudden, they decide it exists. Sameeeeeeeee thing will happen with Lyme, just watch. I have Chronic Lyme. I will FOREVER stand by this lesson. FOR-EV-ER.
#33: Whether you birthed a child or not, the second your child is placed on your chest, your soul knows them. I knew this to be true when Jayce and Everleigh were placed on my chest right after delivery. But, when Maleigh was placed in my arms for the first time, a screaming and terrified 21 month old, my soul knew her every bit as my as Jayce and Everleigh. Without question.
#34: Someone will ALWAYS be better than you, skinnier than you, richer than you...but comparison will be the death of all of your success. For real. Stop comparing. We were all created for incredible things. Be HAPPY for the people doing better than you. Cheer for them! I promise that will take you further than the comparison game.
#35: You’re being judged every dang day by someone. Whether it’s because of your job, your clothes, your body, how you do your makeup, your parenting…seriously ALL OF IT. Do that ish anyway! Listen to me! Do the ish that sets your friggin soul on FIRE. Let them judge your success. Otherwise, they’ll just judge you for sitting still. Don’t do it. Chase those dreams. You’re worthy. You’re deserving. You sure as hell should have everything you want ❤️
Happy birthday to me! I hope you learned a little something with this post. Heck...I learned how hard it was to come up with 35 things, ha!
Keep embracing the ish, friends!