So here I am on the edge of thirty...less than twelve hours away, actually.
I'm sitting in bed with a beautiful little girl who is curled up with her favorite stuffed animals under a blanket watching The Jungle Book. My husband of three years is sitting on the computer downstairs, presumably working on something related to the sale of baseball cards on eBay. I live in a spacious three bedroom, two and one half bath home that has an awesome playroom for my girl upstairs. In the upcoming month I will enter my ninth year of teaching in the same district who hired me straight out of college. Although not large, I have a wonderful group of friends with whom I share a unique bond with each and every one.
Ten years ago...
I was a single Pi Phi girl living in an apartment near the University of North Texas with my very good friend, Elaine. There were lots of men in town, but none that were really worth keeping around for longer than a few months. Elaine an I lived in a modestly furnished two bedroom, two bathroom apartment that was close enough to campus so that we could both walk to our classes. I was about to start my junior year of college and was entering the true "education" portion of my college degree while also working as an after-school day care worker. I knew the life I eventually wanted to live but I had absolutely no idea as to how I would get there.
But yet, ten years later...here I am. With everything I ever envisioned I wanted...sitting in the palm of my hand. It was my degree in education at North Texas that led me to student teaching in my current district which ended up in my hired position at my old school. That's where I met Craig which turned into a marriage and a transfer to my current job as well as the beautiful girl that I have the pleasure to call my own.
Looking back it's amazing to me the amazing adventures (and misadventures) that took place in a mere ten years.
As I sit here tonight, I am far more emotional about my 30th birthday than I ever imagined I would be. I'm not sad and I'm not depressed but instead I'm overwhelmed at the many different facets of love I have in my life.
There is the unconditional love I feel from my parents - a love I truly didn't understand until I gave birth to Natalie.
There is the day-to-day love I share with Craig as well as the I'm-with-you-until-your-dying-day passion that I have for him.
I have my close group of friends, with each of whom I share the most unique and intimate relationship - in a different way, they each fill my soul with so much laughter, support and joy.
And then even on top of the love I have for my friends, it's amazing to me how much I adore their children...I didn't give birth to any of them, but yet my heart swells with pride and love when I am with them just the same as with my Natalie.
Then there are the puppy dogs who show such love and devotion to me, but who have absolutely no idea how much peace and comfort they also provide.
And then with my students...I never knew that I could love and care for the children of strangers as much as I do. If you are in my school then I care about your education and your overall well-being.
Which brings me to Natalie. I look at her and I am absolutely amazed. She is not only incredibly gorgeous and smart but funny and athletic as well. And I helped to create her. What in the hell did I do in my life that was so awesome as to deserve such an amazing creature for a daughter?!
Above all, there is a God that has given me the gift and grace of life here on Earth. He alone has provided me the brains the the brawn to go after what I wanted, whether it was a husband or a job...and the sensibility to know when to stop looking and just be content with what I was given.
So I guess that's all I have to say about my 30th birthday. Thanks for all the love I've been shown in my life - hopefully I can repay it in my next 30 years.