Monday, February 16, 2009

The Big 40!

Well, I certainly dreaded it long enough. I am not sure exactly why. Maybe it was the end of a decade, maybe it was the fact that ALL of my friends and even my husband are still in their 30's (my closest friends anyway), maybe it was my inability to accept change of any kind, or maybe it was just the fact that, well, let's face it...I am getting old. 40 is really old in my mind, but I really just feel the same.
I do struggle with change (and wrinkles and gray hair and arthritis) and feeling like I am closing the door on a wonderful stage of my life. I made 3 precious children in my 30's and to be completely honest, I can't imagine raising kids is nearly as exciting as making them! I even went so far as to say that I didn't know what to look forward to in my 40's... right KL? But she took me out and humorously helped me come up with a list of things to look forward to in the next decade of my life. A lot of these things involve the end of having babies which is probably at the root of all of my sadness, but alas, there are actually some things about being "done" that are why not focus on the positive! So here is the list we came up with 2 nights before I turned 40:

Things to look forward to in my 40's
1. No more breast feeding...I must say aside from the fact that this also means no more babies for me, this is a really good thing!

2. No more diapers...above note applies here also.

3. No more getting up several times in the middle of the night because of #1 or #2. Apparently this means I will get more sleep in my 40's...we'll see.

4. Get a house keeper. Well, I believe KL added this one and all of you that know my husband can rest assured that this will likely NOT happen in any decade of my life.(but one can dream)

5. Get a new kitchen. This is bound to happen sometime in the next decade. I've only been talking about it and planning for it for one year now, so I feel quite certain that I will actually make up my mind...and my husband and Shawn can work something out sometime before I turn 50! :)

5. Kay Lynn will get a clue. This is hard to imagine after reading #4. (but again one can dream.)

6. Go to Vietnam. Jeff and I are planning on a family trip to Vietnam sometime in the next few years. I am excited about going with the kids, but didn't really want to do it until Millie was at least that's not too far away! 3o hour flight to the other side of the world with 3 kids--yikes!!!

7. I plan to find more time for ME (sounds kinds selfish doesn't it)... painting, drawing and reading, and (go crazy) blogging! I have already started by painting a few things for some of my friends (Mandy, yours is almost done!) and I went to the art store and bought some "supplies". There are few things in the world more exciting than blank paper!

8. I will be able to exercise (I would say "more often" but let's be honest-- in my 30's it just didn't really happen!). And I am proud to say that I have already started this. I have been running and walking regularly on my treadmill, as well as a little yoga and strength training (but my inner core has a LONG way to go). Last run was 2 miles! Cooper River Bridge--here I come!

9. Travel more...I know I already said Vietnam, but there are a lot of places I would really like to go. I want to go to Texas (I have lots of friends in Texas), I've always wanted to go to California, and Europe---who doesn't want to go to Europe!

10. Girl's Weekend...this is something I will hopefully get to look forward to each year of my 40's (and beyond), but I am already looking forward to our weekend this spring!

That's pretty much where our list ended. I was really in a funk that night and to be honest it really would have helped my mood a lot if she had just told me that I had a SURPRISE PARTY to look forward to, but apparently it was way too much fun to see me suffer!
A few other things that didn't make the list:
1. Menopause (although that may be in the near future it didn't really seem like anything to look forward to)
2. having "the talk" with the kids...I am cringing just thinking about it right now!
3. teenagers (definitely in the near future, definitely NOT looking forward to it)
4. going back to work--in some capacity (I am struggling to "find myself" so this is a frustration right now rather than a positive in my life--if you have any suggestions as to where I might be "found" please comment.)

Oh, I almost forgot---I am going to focus on the positives....

so...the real birthday celebration began at Tracey G's house for lunch with my Bible study girlfriends. This group has been so great every other Friday morning for over a year now we get together to discuss the book we are's kind of a Bible study/book club. What a great group of friends!cake #1

Then my friend and neighbor Bekah felt a little sorry for me so she had a few neighborhood friends over for dinner and cake.
I really love these kids!
cake #2

Do I even need to 40th birthday party ROCKED!?!?! I went to Allure Day Spa for a full day of pampering while Jeff's sister Joy (with a little help from some friends) turned my house into party central.
I can't believe all this action was going on in my house while I got a massage and facial!

It was a great day thanks to my husband--who went all out with a spa day and a party (he's pretty awesome) and friends and family who tricked me, lied to me and traveled from afar just to see the expression on my face...I hope it was as good for you as it was for me! :)what a surprise!
here come the tears!

a second moment of disbelief...where did everyone park? (Little did I know that Jeff had a shuttle service from a local deli so I wouldn't see any cars when I, who knew he had it in him?)
Mom (from Chattanooga), and my sister (all the way from New York city!) came to celebrate the fact that I am finally growing up...oh no, wait, that I am OLD, but I am never growing up!

good friends helping out with party prep

Mandy flew in from Alabama...what a great friend! I really didn't want to turn 40 with out you...thank you so much for being there!

Me and Bekah---she traveled all the way from across the street!

and of course...cake #3!

everyone enjoying the yummy food Joy made...ALL BY HERSELF!!! She is amazing!
the winner for "sister in law of the year" and "party guest who traveled the farthest" celebrate together

the party is over and the party planner/sneaky husband is pooped!

I love you all and I am so glad that you are all a part of my life...I look forward to being with all of my wonderful friends and family for many years to come!
I'll leave you with this lovely pic of KL...and you didn't think it was"blog worthy"...I beg to differ!

First Post of the New (well not so new) Year!

Yeah, it's almost March and I am making my first post of 2009. I do believe I have already admitted that I am not so good at this blogging thing. I can't keep my house clean, laundry done, beds made, painting orders completed, Kids For Christ schedule why would I keep a blog up to date? The fact that I still have a blog is just to prove to my husband (and myself) that I actually can do it. I never said I would do it well---just that I could do it!!!

Since my last blog mentioned my New York city trip I think I better post a few pictures of that fantastic family vacation. I was nervous about going to "the big city" with small children (big place, lots of people, small kids...seemed a little scary), but it was AWESOME! was great!

We had so much fun with my sister Brenda and her family. On Halloween day we went to Toys-r-us in Times Square---there were people in costumes everywhere! I don't get to see Brenda as much as I would like and it was so much fun to be together and laugh!
We even got to celebrate Chloe's 8th birthday when we got there.The kids loved it and I wish we could have stayed longer---let's face it, there is a lot to do in NYC. We managed to squeeze in the Bronx Zoo, The Museum of Natural History, the Statue of Liberty, the Staten Island Ferry, Ground Zero, China Town, Time Square, Central Park and I'm tired just thinking about it! We definitely packed a lot into the short time we were there, but I wouldn't have done it any other way. Here's some pictures of a few highlights:

Jeff and Eliott doing a little shopping in China town

The Family at Central Park

Eliott and the sharks at the Museum of Natural History

hanging out at Starbucks with cousin Laura

Millie terrorizing the ducks at the Bronx Zoo

Where are we? Lost in New York City!

I honestly don't know what my favorite thing was...the Bronx Zoo was fantastic---lots of animals and a beautiful setting, (it was really cold that day) but I also really loved the Museum of Natural History--I could have done 2 days there because there was so much to see and learn...and the kids really loved it too (I don't think they knew it was educational)! I am so glad we went and look forward to our next visit.

About Me

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I am mommy to 3 wonderful children. I love them so very much! My life is consumed with kid stuff...some good, some not so good...Somehow the good stuff totally outweighs the bad and makes it all worth doing. I have an amazing husband who loves me completely. He multiplies the good and divides the bad. Such a great husband and father. He completes me! kind of a cheesy thing to say, but it is true so there you go! Before kids I was an art teacher. Now have a small home based buisness. I hand paint children's furniture and accessories. It is fun and I love doing it, but since #3 came along my work time is slim. I am still painting, but my customers have to be very patient. Most customers are moms too so that isn't really a problem. I have also been blessed with many friends--near and far. I am so grateful for all of the people God has blessed my life with. Life wouldn't be nearly as much fun with out all my girl friends! They have really been there for me and I hope I have done the same for them. Well that's me...marriage, kids, family, friends.. not so bad huh!?