July 12, 2013

29 Things I Learned in my 29th Year


Tomorrow is my first annual 29th birthday (please laugh, I've been waiting to use that joke for years now), and this past year has been challenging and exhausting in a million small ways I can't articulate right now. And Blessed. Blessed with my sixth child who is hands down the happiest baby I've ever met, blessed with friends who know me and get me and see the needs of my spirit far more clearly than I do and blessed with a marriage that is stronger today than it was a year ago, that speaks safety and strength and love as truth into both of our lives, and into our children's lives as well.

And so to celebrate my birthday, and because I'm a list maker by nature, I want to share 29 little (and big) life lessons that I have learned this year:

1. When a kid says from the back seat "I think I'm going to puke" pull over. Immediately.

2.  Having two year old twins is pretty much never ending chaos. Beautiful, messy, exhausting, blessed chaos. Is it nap time yet?

3. Every time I step out of my comfort zone and share my soul with another person I discover that they can relate and we are all pretty much silently struggling with the same stuff. Every.Single.Time. 

4. Dark coffee actually has LESS caffeine. I feel gypped.

5. When we apologize with a simple "I'm sorry" without any excuses, we give the other person a chance to truly, freely, unconditionally forgive us. And being forgiven like that, not because you could excuse your behaviour or defend yourself well enough but simply because the other person values the relationship? That is a great feeling.

6. Grace. Far from perfectly, but increasingly, I am coming to learn the meaning of grace.

7.There's this thing called "yarn bombing" and it is both nonsensical and awesome.  Go google it if you don't know what I'm talking about. 

8. Telling people "You're wrong" has a way of really shutting down discussion. Must work on that.

9. Facebook arguments are stupid. Really. Ain't nobody got time for that. Also, refer back to #8

10. I think I've finally convinced myself to stop trying to put an "a" in the word definitely.

11. I am officially too old to dye my hair fire engine red. I'm not saying that you are too old for it, just that I am.

12. That cute little kid Anakin turns out to be Darth Vader. Don't Judge me, I hadn't seen all the movies until this year.

13. Feelings are real, but they aren't always true. Accept your feelings, but don't let them lie to you.

14. Building your own sofa and covering it in patchwork fabric? Really stinking time consuming.

15. Children's birthday parties don't need to be big and fancy and themed. In fact, they can be planned without any crafty ideas from pinterest or custom invitations. Back in the day, our moms made us a cake from a box and stuck a dollarstore pin-the-tail-to-the-donkey on a wall in the basement and what happened? We had a blast.

16. I will never ever be the June Cleaver mom I thought I would be. I own pearls and a vacuum, but I rarely use either on it's own, let alone at the same time. And that's okay. (Full disclosure: the idealized mother figure I hoped I would be was more of a June Cleaver/Angelina Jolie cross with a dash of Martha Stewart thrown in.  Either way, I'm not it.)

17. Grains make me tired and moody. Paleo makes me poor. I'm at an impasse.

18. If you are having trouble loving someone, serve them. Humbling yourself in voluntary service to them will soften your heart for them.

19. It is really *really* easy to pass our fears and insecurities on to our children. Sometimes you just have to choke on your own terror and say "Go ahead, sweetie, try it. I'm here."

20. When someone is suffering and you don't know what to say and you are afraid to open your mouth because what comes out might be trite or awkward, say something. Something is better than nothing. I was told this by a friend after the tragic loss of her baby and it speaks so much truth to my avoid-the-awkward-at-all-costs tendencies. Those awkward words of sympathy are so much better than avoiding eye contact or pretending that the world as they know it hasn't just shaken and broken and changed forever. So say something. Even if it's a stammering "I'm so sorry, I wish I knew what to say...I love you"

21. You will never be caught up on laundry. Ever. You would have to be naked to be caught up. So stop trying.

22. Giving away an item a day for 100 days will totally completely change you. It will change your home, your shopping habits, the way you clean and declutter, your attitude towards stuff and people and life. And there is a good chance you won't even miss the stuff.

23. This need to make everyone think we have it all together and that we don't really need anybody? It is drastically, devastating contradictory to what God wants for us.

24. It's okay to feed your family convenience foods once in a while. Aunt Jemima is not the devil.

25. Facebook is not real life.

26. A splash of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water several times a day can help cure a sinus infection.

27. Building blanket forts is so much more important than washing dishes.

28. Kids will make a mess. If it's not at the kitchen table with watercolour paints it will be in the bathroom smearing 5 dollar hippie toothpaste all over the mirror. May as well choose the controlled chaos and let them paint.

29. My readers are a fabulous, encouraging, funny and delightful community of women who really "get" me. Thanks so much for reading. I love having this happy little corner of the blogosphere.


 

66 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! I love this post - soooo many good and true points. Even with just my four littles running amok, I relate completely with your blog. Thanks for being real, loving Jesus and sharing it with all of us out here. Praying that your special day is blessed with lots of hugs, kisses and naps. :-)

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  2. Happy Birthday, Kelly!! May you have a marvelous day and a blessed year ahead!

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  3. What a great list! Thanks for sharing! And thanks for being real as you blog! I so enjoy reading what you write!

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  4. I'm quite a bit older than 29, but you are really starting to get it at a good age ;) It's too bad that more people aren't like you :) Happy Birthday!

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  5. Happy Birthday! I really enjoy your blog. This post in particular I am forwarding to my husband. I think he would agree with quite a few of your bullet points, and he just happens to be turning 29 next week. :)

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  6. I turned 30 this year, and you are right on the money. How awesome for you to be wise a year earlier. :) BTW, I am a new reader, and am very much enjoying your blog.

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  7. I'm soon to celebrate the 18th Anniversary of my 29th birthday!! Happy Birthday to you!!! Thank you for blog, humor and faith. I wish I had figured out about half of these points by your age!

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  8. You are so wise. Your wisdom makes you seem older, but you look young. You are just wise, and beautiful (Hello! Have you SEEN your hair, skin, smile and eyes?!). We went low carb this year and I've been pinching pennies in other areas to pay for more expensive groceries. I've also noticed, though, that when we cut out the grains/starches, we eat less overall so that helps too because we are buying less. If you have a second freezer, you can usually purchase large quantities of meat at a discount which can help also (here we can get boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.79/lb, but you have to buy 40lbs and organic, grass-fed beef for $2/lb but you have to buy 1/2 cow). You could even split it with a friend if you can't store, say 1/2 cow ;) Hope year #30 is a great one for you. Happy Birthday!

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  9. Thank you!!! I turned 49 this year and still have most of these to learn!!!!

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  10. Happy Birthday!!! I turn 30 next months (eek!) and this is such a great idea for a post! I agree with each one sooooo much too. #3, #4, #9, #10, #19, #20, #23, #24, #25, and #28 YES! I love them all, but those ones especially! (and really, why #10, why do I ALWAYS type it with an "a"!)

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  11. Happy Birthday! What a great list.

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  12. Happy Birthday!! Great list - all of it is so true! I had to google yarn bombing - that is AWESOME! And I also always want to put an "a" in definitely.

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  13. So true! Happy Birthday!!

    I love #'s 5 and 8 the most.

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  14. I'm 33, and just dyed my hair red! lol My thinking was, I'm old enough to do whatever I want to my hair- and red hair makes me happy! haha Happy Birthday Kelly! 30's are wonderful- one more year and you'll be part of the coolest club I know ;)

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  15. Happy birthday, Kelly! May all of God's dreams for you come true!

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  16. Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

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  17. Wonderful list and soooooo true!

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  18. Time-consuming or not... I love that couch!!! But yes, given that I'm sure it is horribly time-consuming, I will just vicariously enjoy yours! ;-)
    #21: YES!!! Preach it, sister.
    Happy, Happy Birthday!!

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  19. #17. Oh yes!!! Great list. Happy Birthday.

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  20. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I'll shortly be celebrating my 10th annual 29th birthday (yep, I have been using that joke for a decade.... my kids are getting wise. My husband thinks it's funny when he takes me out to dinner and tells the waitress that I'm celebrating my 29th..... when we have teenagers sitting at the table calling me "Mom"... HA!)

    Love this list. Such an awesome start to my day as I leave behind a house of yesterday's chaos and undone schoolwork because I went out on a 5 hour date with my hubby and left 5 younguns to fend for themselves.... :) Totally love your priority/reality check!

    An I gotta add, with 4 of my babies in heaven, a hug and an "I wish I knew what to say," ;D especially when coupled with a giant bar of chocolate is absolutely better than avoiding me, pretending it didn't happen, or worse, telling me that it was because of my own sin or that I'm a bad mother that my baby died. Yes, real people actually DID say those things to me! I realize that is a self defense mechanism they use to insulate themselves from the possibility of it ever happening to them.... and it isn't true.... but still. Love, compassion, and an admission that you love me but don't know what to do either ('cause I guarantee you I certainly don't know what to do! Even after burying 4! That first year still throws me for a loop.)is just what I need. You can't fix it, I can't fix it, so please don't pretend to try, just love me.

    Happy 29th!

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  21. Happy birthday anniversary! I was introduced to your site by my daughter and I appreciate all the "good
    stuff" you have to say. Please keep up the blogging. Even for someone who is celebrating their 29th birthday for the 31st time, you have really good stuff to read and remember and follow. Thank you!

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  22. Love 9 and 18! So funny that you just learned the Anakin thing. I still wonder if the survivors on LOST really were dead. :-) Happy belated birthday. Hope it was wonderful!
    from The Dugout

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  23. Happy Birthday! I stopped at 30 but I have to say in truth, every year gets better and better! I just found your blog a few months ago and am really enjoying getting to know you and your wonderful writing!

    Keep it real!

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  24. Love your post - and happy birthday! At 60 I'm still learning, and some of the things on your list brought tears to my eyes. Blessings to you and your family!

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  25. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!

    I also learned #1 this year. No fun, although my son just said "My tummy is hurting really bad...."

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  26. Happy Birthday, Kelly! Thanks for the inspiration, humor and frankness of your posts. I really enjoy reading each and every one. ♥

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  27. Yes Yes and Yes!! What a great list! I turned 30 this year but I told everyone that if people are going to lie about their age, I would rather tell people that I am older than I really am. Eventually people are like "yeah...YOU'RE 29....SURE...." But if you say you are like 4 years older than you really are than people will be all "You look so GOOD for your age!" everytime!!

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  28. Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing. There is something about the 29 thing. My mum's in her 70s and she's had more 29ths than I can remember. :)

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  29. Happy Birthday, Kelly! I hope that you have a wonderful day. I just came across your blog through your Home Staging 101 posts. We're getting ready to sell & they are so helpful. I love your list & was so thankful to read 26. I'm struggling through a sinus infection right now & will definitely try the apple cider vinegar! I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. Take care & enjoy your day! :)

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  30. I laughed when I read the joke 'first annual 29th birthday.' Made a mental note to use that myself in a few years. Then laughed even harder when I read 'please laugh, i've been waiting to use it for years'. lol I love your blog its wonderful and covers so many topics I find interesting and inspiring.
    Happy Birthday!! Hope it is filled with lots of laughs and a few quiet moments when needed :)

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  31. Hugs and Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! Let yourself get a little bit spoiled on your special day.

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  32. Wowza I met another doppleganger . . . Happy Birthday! You're three days older than me and it'd funny how half the time I'm reading your big going 'yup, that's exactly me!' Lol!

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  33. Happy Birthday! love this list!
    I am celebrating my 6th anniversary of my 40th birthday this year. I also was one, who would celebrate many anniversaries of my 29 birthday for a while but when your kids reach their 20's, the math wasn't working so I jumped to 40 :(
    yah, it really is ok!
    Love reading your blog, you write so honestly and openly, I certainly appreciate it!
    Autumn

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  34. Great list - especially about the feelings. Happy birthday - don't worry the memory is the first to go so you really will forget how old you are. Me, I have no clue - late 30's that is all I remember!

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  35. Happy Birthday! When I read #12, I almost fell off the couch laughing. Even when you have seen all the movies years ago, just seeing it in a sentence makes you see it all new again. #21...I have been saying this for years, but it is the first time I really thought someone else got it!
    I just turned forty-eleven, so hang on to 29 as long as you want!

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  36. awesome list! Wish I had known all these things when I was 29!

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  37. Love this list, and love your blog! Happy Birthday!

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  38. Wonderful post. Very wise for 29. Thanks for sharing. I'm learning many of these still.

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  39. Happy birthday. What a great list!

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  40. Happy Birthday!! I love the list, lots very true points and funny realizations. I laughed when I got to #12, I too had not seen all the Star Wars episodes until I watched them with my boys this year.

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  41. Happy Birthday! I'm halfway through my thirties and they're awesome. Yarn bombing? Also awesome. And your blog: awesome.

    About number 4: most people don't know this--I didn't until a few years ago--but the word "gypped" comes from "gypsy", based on the stereotype of that ethnic group as theives and criminals. I only mention it because I know I had no idea, and I bet you didn't either. And you definitely (!) strike me as the kind of person who wouldn't knowingly use a racial slur. Hope I'm not coming off as Obnoxious Correcting People Girl.

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  42. #20 was awesome. I too lost my baby this year, it seems like so many people choose to not to say anything at all. And boy does that hurt! Loved your list. Hope you have a great (recurring 29th) birthday!

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  43. That’s so true. I agree with these facts.. Wish you a very happy birthday !!

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  44. I love your blog! I've been reading it for couple days now and got so much inspiration for my home and kids, thank you!

    -Anu from Finland

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  45. I LOVE your blog. You are honest and insightful and inspiring. I've shared it with my friends and they all adore you as well. Thank you for sharing your world with us and for being honest. I love this list. I know I'm overusing the word love, but hey it's the best way to describe how I fell. I'm 31 and you have such graciousness that I'm still trying to grasp, way to go you!! Thank you again for sharing your list and your world with me. I admire you and appreciate momma's that tell it how it is! I've read this list a few times simply to remind myself of what really matters.

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  46. I really love this list! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  47. Hi :) Great list - and that giving away 100 things idea is awesome. I just may have to go set up a facebook page! :)

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  48. You are very wise for 29! I am seriously twice your age and haven't yet come to some of your conclusions - congrats!

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  49. Haha Happy belated birthday! I agree with what you said about the birthday parties for kids. I gave my daughter a theme for her bday which was 7/13. I had the kids wear their favorite rainbow colors, we set up a bouncy house, and left her sandbox open. Those kids had a blast and I didn't need fancy decor or anything. The fanciest thing was her cupcake cake which was shaped like a 3 and a pinata. I too will be re-celebrating my 29th bday in September. This time I get to do it in Germany.

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  50. I died laughing through your entire post. First of all, I always spell definitely wrong. I seriously spell check it every time...I love how you say Facebook isn't real...so true. I always enjoy reading your blog and I love your outlook and your faith showing through your blog.

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  51. LOVE this post!! Happy birthday! :)

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  52. Fabulous post! Many thanks for the giggles... Especially #1! Ask me how I know: 1 new car, 1 hot day, 1 motion sickness 4 year old!

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  53. I'm late to the party, but happy perpetual 29th birthday (been there and done that a few times now)! I too will probably never spell definentely correctly and as much as I'd love to be June Cleaver/Angelina Jolie/Martha Stewart, it's not gonna happy here either! Great reflections on life!

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  54. Thank you for #17. Story of my life lately.

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  55. There's a lot of truth in this list! Happy Birthday!

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  56. Love #18. I hope you post about your couch! And happy birthday! :)

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  57. I love you so much. Stranger to stranger. Mom to mom. Woman to woman. Reading your blog does to my mind what lying down and sipping tea does for my soul. Seriously.

    Also "Grains make me moody. Paleo makes me poor." totally resonates with me. I feel awesome on Paleo but $300 in groceries every 10-14 days for just my family of 4...*sigh* I just can't win.

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  58. Happy (belated) Birday! I came across your Year of Less blog, read it all today, and found my way over here. I'm struggling with clutter and so many of your posts have been so helpful.

    I wonder if something is up with sixth kids, because my sixth is hands down the happiest baby I've ever met. On the other hand, my husband is a sixth, and he was reportedly not a happy baby, or toddler, or kid.

    I also hear you on the paleo thing (though it's primal for me). Have you looked at Weston A. Price? His actual writings, not so much the WAP Foundation stuff (they just don't float my boat). I haven't done it in a long time, but soaking my grains made a big difference. Also, since soaking requires planning and is kind of a pain, I naturally cut back on grains.

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  59. Happy belated birthday! I am thankful for your blog and your honest sharing. God bless!

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  60. THANK YOU! for this list, it is brilliant. I love your blog, found you in Pinterest and have a serious crush LOL...

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