Monday, February 27, 2017

Turning 30

This month I had my 30th birthday. I am officially three decades old. Or, as I prefer to say, one score and a decade.

I think I'm now officially in the prime of my life. That's what I've heard anyway.

For my birthday, we were able to go up and visit with my family. We had a good time and threw a baby shower for one of my sisters. My parents then took me out to Texas Roadhouse, which was amazing. I wouldn't mind making that a tradition.

I'm not where I thought I would be at 30, but I have very little to complain about. I thought I would have six kids by now, but instead I have an amazing son who says the sweetest things to me.

The other day, he became upset when his dad offered to share a strawberry with him. He began to cry, and we just figured he didn't want to share. However, he finally managed to say, "But if we eat the strawberry, Mommy won't get one!"

It melted my heart. He is such a sweet, little guy. I can't believe how old he is getting. In the morning, he lets the dogs out and is becoming such a good helper. Today he helped me clean out the fridge.
This is an amazing picture that I took. I just wanted to say that.

We have a home and two amazing dogs. We were watching a video the other day about some kids who wanted a puppy. The whole episode was about how much responsibility puppies are. I turned to Kevin and asked, "Are puppies hard or easy?"

He said, "Easy."
He loves his dogs
I laughed and said, "Yes, our dogs are easy, but that's only because we've put a lot of hard work into them."
Here's the dogs right after a bath. Aren't they beautiful? Hopefully Loki will be able to return to his family soon.

My life right now revolves around my son and that makes me happy. When people asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I'd tell them, but my deepest desire was always to be a mom of a big family. I don't know why we've had to wait so long for more children, but I am learning to trust in my Heavenly Father's plan for us.

As far as Foster Care goes, we've been waiting on bureaucracy. There's a lot of paperwork that has to be processed, and there is a checklist that we have to turn in before the home inspection can happen. There were a couple of items that we weren't able to afford until now, so we couldn't turn the checklist in.

So, I don't know if we are waiting on them or if they are waiting on us, but either way, we are still waiting.

It's been nice to enjoy some time with my husband and son though. We're really grown closer together over the last couple of months.

I don't feel any different at 30, but I have high hopes for this year. I think it's going to be a good one.

We also celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary this month. It's hard to believe that we've been married half of a decade. It's been the best experience of my life. I love being married and having a best friend who is with me through the trials and the blessings. My husband exceeds my expectations every day, and though we don't always agree, we are always willing to work through it.
Who sleeps like this?
I set some new goals this weekend, so hopefully I can continue to improve. I'm facing a new decade, so it will be exciting to see what I can accomplish.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Next Door Neighbors

I remember the night they moved into the house next door.

I was only four, but the memory of meeting them that night stands out as one of the clearest from my early childhood. We quickly were introduced and we quickly became friends. For privacy, I won't mention their names, but they became more than just our next door neighbors, they pretty much became family.

Their oldest child was my age, and for every child that was born into our family after that, one was born into their family too. We played together nearly every day, and we played and fought like siblings. We owned a cat together, that we named Bobcat, and played with many litters of her kittens. The boy who was my age was my close friend, but also my rival. We competed over everything. He helped me to push myself to become a better person.

As the years passed, our families became inseparable. As our family grew larger, we ended up moving into a bigger house that still had an adjoining backyard. When we built a fence around it, my dad built a gate between our yards so that we could still have unlimited access to play with each other.

My childhood memories involve our neighbors nearly as much as my own family. I can't begin to express how much each and everyone of them blessed my life. I love talking to the father and mother of this family. They are still close friends and confidants of mine.

One time, in high school, there was a Valentine's Day Dance on my birthday. I wasn't really expecting to be asked, and so I'd already steeled myself to accept the fact that I was going to celebrate it at home with my family.

On the way home from school a few days later, the next door neighbor, who was my age, asked me if I wanted to go to the dance. I thought he was just speaking generally, so I responded, "No, I was just going to stay home and celebrate my birthday."

The next day, the institute secretary told me that she had heard a rumor that this boy had asked me on a date and I had turned him down. I thought it was hilarious. I had no idea how a rumor like that could have been started. So, when I saw the young man later, I walked up to him and said, "You wouldn't believe what I heard today! I heard that you asked me to the dance, and I turned you down."

Completely straight-faced, he turned to me and said, "You did."

After some explanation, we got the situation figured out. I discovered that he had meant, "Do you want to go to the dance with me?" I apologized and he offered to take me to the dance. I had a wonderful time.

He even gave me a birthday present, a small book light that I still carry in my purse.

I don't think I've every told him how much that date meant to me. It really made me feel loved, and is one of my more treasured high school memories.

After I graduated from high school, I was saddened to learn that these neighbors had moved out of town to a beautiful home on a farm. The block just hasn't been the same since they left. When I go home, it's like a part of my family is missing. However, sometimes I am still able to visit with them, and I cherish those moments that we can talk and reminisce.

As I've thought about what I want for my own family, I've realized that I want next door neighbors just like I had growing up. I want Kevin to have best friends next door that he can just run and play with and that I don't have to worry about.

I want for him to have what I did. We have wonderful neighbors now, but no one around us is exactly Kevin's age. Though he has wonderful friends in our neighborhood, and we are so grateful for them, it's not quite the same.

I was super blessed to grow up with the neighbors that we had. I know most people don't have the same experience that I did growing up, but it was one of the things that I loved about my childhood.

I want everyone to have friendly neighbors, and for me to be the kind of neighbor that I had. I want kids to feel free to come into my home whenever they want and hang out. I want people to know that if they need help, they can come and not feel bad about asking for it.

I want those kind of childhood memories to exist for Kevin. Hopefully, we can continue growing closer to our neighbors, so that we can foster those same kind of relationships.

That's one of the things that I really want for my children.