I’m almost a year older. On Wednesday I’ll be 32.  In the past year I’ve experienced knee and back problems and a couple of weeks ago my hip hurt, which seems a little premature.  Recently I saw my reflection and I thought to myself, “You look ooooold and very tired.” My kids are getting older and Jonah can do math exponents faster than me and actually get them right, which must mean I am very old.

Another year…and wiser? I don’t know about that. I do know that I’ve accomplished a lot in the past year. And I haven’t done a lot of things I wanted to do.  I should have already wrote the second post to the previous blog but in reality when I start writing it’s usually right after our kids are in bed, and Chris will sit by me and then ask what I’m doing…and then we end up talking about it and then I’m too tired to finish, or we argue about who is going to look for Grace’s baby, and then he turns on a show that I’m not even interested in about fresh water flesh-eating serpents or people who collect junk and I end up entranced.  I’ll write it soon…unless it’s Shark Week and even though I can’t stand it, I’ll watch it.

In the past year I’ve realized I still LOVE mascara and my new favorite is “Falsies” by Maybelline.  Kaitlin my sister recommended it and I’ve been getting compliments on my lashes when I wear it.  I’d give it a 9, which is almost the best! It’s got a curved wand and isn’t clumpy at all. For my birthday my friend Rose just sent me an all natural, fruit mascara…I’m trying that next. 

Here are some other things I’ve learned, and some of them the hard way I have to add.

I’ve relearned and still think the best parenting book/method  is “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Foster W. Cline M.D. and Jim Fay. Why? Because its effective. Because consistent parenting is the only thing that works long-term. And because there is nothing worse that hearing someone consistently asking their child to stop, and giggle about how funny they are, as they cut off your child’s hair…or  something like that.  And eventually it’s not cute, eventually they are the kinds of kids that are sassy and disruptive.  And sometimes mean, and their parents still laugh at them and think they are cute. Because that’s their kid, but nobody else does.

I’ve learned that sometimes I’m not as supportive of other parenting styles. Refer to the last paragraph.

I’ve learned that though I like my pediatrician going there 5 times in one week is a bit much. Especially when every time I’m there someone is diagnosed with something different.  Grace is the big medal winner, with a double ear infection(her first ear infection), another kidney infection, and two appointments in one day. 

I’ve learned that I can wear skinny jeans with my boots, but I’m still pretty sure they don’t look that great on me. I also still have a long way to go on how I view myself and am realizing that I may always have a poofy belly. But everyone should have my kids, because they each tell me at least once a day I’m pretty.

I’ve learned that you can come back from a pretty serious injury and stretching is so important. So very important.  And I finished my first half marathon and am running another in May and September. Also I fell in love with my running buddies the Betty’s especially Legs, HC, The Gazelle, The Machine, and no-back-fat-Angi …and I LOVE running with my friend Koya. On Thanksgiving I ran with my new friend who I am so grateful for, Christina, it was freezing and so worth it. I am blessed with people who don’t think I’m too slow, laugh at my witty side, and don’t mind that I talk the entire time. Other running inspirations worth mentioning: Mandy D, Mandy K and Amber B, Hannah, Kaitlin, Missy, and Liz.

I’ve learned that we need outlets. I did a cake class with my friend Renee and I’m pretty sure did not learn a thing. I’ve joined a book club which I love. I got a job teaching aerobics so that I can work out for free.  I’ve learned that I have to make my needs known otherwise I get resentful.

I’ve learned that I LOVE FRUIT!

I’ve learned that one of the hardest things I will ever go through is watch my bonus Dad suffer from cancer, and have two very dear people to me suffer from very serious depression and mental issues.  There were some heart wrenching months and it was a very helpless feeling…I have never prayed so much.

I’ve learned that good health care is amazing and that preventative care and medicine can save someone’s life.  I am so grateful for that!

I’ve learned that as hard as it is to be away from family, which it is still very hard…I have family here. I don’t know what we’d do without our amazing friends! I hope that I am half the friend they are to me. And our niece Mikaela is here now at U of O!

I’ve learned that I still have really strong opinions on cheating. Cheaters are cowards. And don’t get me started on people who come onto married people at parties…

I’ve learned that I can get a headache from a movie. It was “Inception.” Good movie, equally good headache.

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s really hard to tell someone the truth when you love them and don’t want to hurt them, but if you pray enough you can do it the right way.

I’ve learned that sometimes you can hit a breaking point. And we did financially and starting doing – The Dave Ramsey Method. And it has changed our lives.  I’m not kidding, it’s that amazing. We already have our first emergency fund saved and are building AND have paid off two debts.

I’ve learned that by cutting back I can get used to only going to Winco. Because where else can I see someone shopping in a leopard print snuggy and ALSO save money?  Hello? Awesome!

I’ve learned that I am still very much addicted to coffee.

I’ve relearned that God’s Grace is sufficient for me and the power of prayer is really phenomenal.

I’ve learned that while I have my Momzilla moments I am so incredibly blessed by my family. And I’ve also learned not to find my self-worth in my kids, but to be myself and just love them.  They are all so unique and still completely mine.

I’ve learned to say sorry a lot this year. I’d say this was one of the most blessed but hardest years of our marriage.  I’ve had to work a lot at becoming a better wife, a better friend to my best friend Chris. I learn everyday how incredibly blessed I am to have someone who loves me so much.  Imperfect me!

I’ve learned that I’m still not okay with not being published. I’ve submitted a lot and heard nada back, except for my columns in “The Troubadour.” I go over my writing. I’m not cheesy. I write what I know. And I wonder maybe if it’s not meant to be. I think that a lot lately.  My sister, who is an amazing writer and published though she says she’s not, says I need to write every day in a blog to get noticed. I guess I can try though I know I won’t succeed, because I always forget to read blogs I love, let alone write in my own. But as much as I wonder if I should stop writing, I don’t want to. I have funny kids and until I’m standing in my yard, waving a cane I’ll write for the 10 people who read this…or however many read this. 

I feel like I’m a little kid again waiting for my birthday.  I’m really excited for another…I’m excited to be 32. This is the Life I want to Live.