Ten years ago, I said goodbye to my teenage years. I awoke on my twentieth birthday in my off campus apartment to find a yellow rose and a card on the shared nightstand between my roommate and I's beds. The gifts were from a boy who I had just recently started dating (who had given the flower and card to my roommate the night before so I would wake up to them), a yellow rose because they were my favorite kind and card with just the right amount of humor and flirtation. Nothing sappy or serious, because we were just in the beginning stages of our relationship. It was a Sunday and I spent the day going to church and hanging out with my room mates. That night, the before mentioned boy came over and made homemade olive and mushroom pizza which we followed up by cake and ice cream and cramming way too many people into our tiny college living room. I talked to my family on the phone and thanked them for the package and the cake my mom had ordered through the BYU creamery.
Ten years later, I wake up next to that boy who had so sneakily arranged to have the flower and card waiting for me on that birthday ten years ago. Our three children sleep soundly down the hall from us and the single yellow rose, long since dried and now weathered and brittle with age sits in it's original vase on our bookshelf.
Today, I officially say goodbye to my twenties. I have to admit, I am have a tiny bit of a hard time with it. I wasn't expecting it to be any different than any other age, but it just seems old. In ten years, I have went from a college student solidifying my major, hanging out with my friends, and beginning what would become the most important relationship of my life to a graduate, wife, mother of three, full fledged adult.
And now for a glance back at the last ten years (notice there are no pics. of Mike and I are dating. That is because that was back in the days where you actually had to take film in and get it developed...told you I was old. Those pictures are in a photo album and frankly, I am to lazy to scan them or take a picture of them to include one)
Years spent in school: 3
Years spent teaching school: 1
Years spent dating: 1
Years married: 9
Pregnant: 27 months
Nursing: 3 years
Different places lived: 5
Jobs held: Day camp counselor, computer lab assistant, college janitor, sixth grade teacher, and a mother.
Biggest change: I became a mother. I also started eating meat again (twenty was at the tail end of my four year long attempt at being a vegetarian). Mike is especially grateful for this one (me deciding to eat meat again, although I'm pretty sure he appreciates the fact that I have brought our three children into this world also...)
Most memorable vacation: Going to New York City with Mike
Mike and I. Spring 2003
With Mike and siblings, Christmas 2003.
Graduation from college. April 2004.
At sixth grade camp with one of the other sixth grade teachers. January 2005.
We're parents! Little Man's blessing. July 2005
Checking one off the bucket list. Ice skating at Times Square in New York. Oct. 2006
Kiwi arrives. At her blessing, Sept. 2007.
First trip as a family of four. May 2008.
At BYU game with Mike. Sept. 2008
The day we got the keys to our house. June 2009.
Mason's here! July 2010
When I think back to that girl ten years ago, it feels as it were a life time ago. If I could go back in time and tell anything to that young (who thought she was old) girl, I would tell tell her to just dump out the jars of Skittles she had counting down the days until some missionaries came home, because her future husband was right in front of her making mushroom and olive pizza.
I would tell my twenty two year old first year teacher self to relax a little bit and trust her instincts. That D would not respond to ultimatums, but would immediately become less belligerent when humor was used.
I would tell my twenty three year old brand new mom self to hang in there, brighter days were ahead. I would assure her that her despondent feelings were nothing to be ashamed of and did not mean she wasn't grateful for her beautiful baby. I would promise her that the first few months after subsequent babies would be much, much easier, so to not be afraid to have them.
I would tell twenty five year old, now adjusted to being a mom self, to give her husband a break and not sigh as if it was the end of the world when he called to tell her he was going to be half an hour late. I would remind her that how hard he was working and tell her to just chill out and that moving dinner back twenty minutes was not going to ruin the whole schedule.
There are definitely things I have done in the last ten years that I have regretted. Things I've said and wished I could take back, decisions that weren't the best. There are also things I didn't do that I wish I would have. Opportunities not taken because of fear, service not rendered to others as a result of good intentions never followed through, growth not made because I didn't feel like stretching. But if I could truly go back and talk to that young girl, I don't know if I would really tell her anything, because the path that she took lead me here. And here is a really good place to be.
So, Happy Birthday to me! And to that girl waking up ten years ago, you did pretty good kid.
Friday morning Mike went into work a little late so I was able to sleep in a tiny bit, shower, and get ready while he started the morning routine with the kids. Kiwi and Little Man came tearing up the stairs at about 7:40 telling me to come down (actually Kiwi came tearing up the stairs while Little Man wailed at the bottom that she didn't wait for him and he wanted to come get me too, but minor details). When I came downstairs there were pink roses on the table, cards from the kids, and a yummy parfait breakfast waiting for me.
Later in the morning, my mom came and and stayed with Kiwi and Mason while I went to a lunch at my friend Angie's house (thanks again Angie!) and then went shopping all by myself. Which was fabulous.
That evening, Mike and I took the kids to the fair and enjoyed a fun night. We stayed four hours which I think may be a new record for us at the fair. The kids did really well and the highlight had to be seeing Mason in the petting zoo. Every time Mike reached out his hand to touch the goat, he would get this huge grin and let out a very loud squeal. Kiwi also got to see some real life cowgirls with boots, spurs, hats, and their horses which she was pretty excited about.
Mike also got a a beautiful necklace with three little pendants with the kids names and birthstones on it that I absolutely love (and may have dropped several hints about).
We came home exhausted, put the kids to bed and then Mike and I enjoyed a tasty fruit tart that he had made instead of a birthday cake.
It was a good day.