{ Life At 33 }

The month of November brings me birthday wishes, and a chance to reflect on what my life is like at 33. There are days when I feel so old-I can hear my body creak as I get in bed at night, I am so tired, and I look around at my 7 kids and think, “I must be old, I have 7 kids!” There are other days when I just feel so young. How in the world can I have 7 kids?! I feel like I just left for college, and now I have a houseful of kids that before I know it will all be in college. Then there are all the other days of the year, when I just feel…..CONTENT. Absolutely content at where I am in life. I love being 33. Some say they loved being in their 20’s-as much joy as those days brought me, I would never want to go back to being 23. And I am sure in another 10 years when I am 43, I will be just as happy where and who I am then. I am so blessed, and love all that life has dished out for me.

Here are  {33} things about me and my life right now…

1. I have 7 kids! Wow! Since I have already repeated that 3 times in this post, you can tell my own amazement at that statement some days. Such a blessing!

2. I love that I get to stay home and raise my kids. A much harder job than I ever thought it would be, but SOOOO much more rewarding than I ever could have imagined.

3. I am totally a night owl, not a early bird.

4. I love the chance to ponder. It is one of the most underutilized tools for growth and learning we have, and I wish I sometimes took more time to do it. I like to drive in the car and jam out to music as much as the next person, but I really do love to just drive so I can think. Not always possible with little kids in the car, but something I love to do nonetheless.

5. I do not love to cook. I wish I could say I do, but if I had a choice, I would gladly let someone else do the cooking at our house. I do like to bake things at holidays with my kids, but day to day meal cooking I would pass on.

6. I like to fold laundry. I love to have the laundry folded right out of the dryer so I don’t have to iron very often. I stand next to the dryer, fold, and stack right on top for my kids to come and get their piles. I love seeing neat stacks of clean clothes covering the top of my washer and dryer.

7. I love to organize. I love to have things in order, and know that everything in my house has a place to go.

8. I like to vacuum. Instant gratification. Now it’s dirty, now it’s clean.

9. I like to mow the lawn. Same concept as #8, just the outside version.

10. I love to read decorating magazines. I have been known to keep around way to many magazines, and have cut down that pile-I rip out the pages with decorating ideas I like, and pitch the rest. I love to curl up with a stack of old magazines and look for “new” ideas. I always like to look at old magazines with new eyes as my tastes change.

11. I love photography! I love to read about it, try out new things as I learn more, and have pretty pictures of my family around me.

12. I love my bed. A couple years ago Santa brought Aaron and I new “nice” sheets. (There really is a difference) And last year for my birthday I got a new down comforter and duvet cover. I love feeling cozy and warm in my soft bed. Love, love, love! So do all my kids. They are always begging to sleep in our bed.

13. My favorite go-to movie when I get down is “Cheaper by the dozen”. I don’t know why, but I love the fun chaos that exists there in that home. It helps me embrace our own chaos, and love every minute of it. I actually just watched it two days ago. I love the last lines, and find them true for us as well. “When we left Midland (we live in Midland too, so funny) we had a mess of theories on how to raise kids. We still have a mess of kids, but no theories. 12 7 is still our number. It’s the number of months years my book stayed on the best sellers list, we’ve lived here. It’s the number of job offers Tom gave up until he found one close to home, of years Aaron had to go to school after college to have a job that allows him to be with us at home a lot, and it’s the number of times a day I am grateful there is such a thing as family.” Ah, love it!

14. Walking is my choice of exercise. I do like doing a step workout once in a while, but a nice brisk walk is great for me.

15. I love waking up to a nice clean house. I try to pick up the house every night before going to bed, so I can wake up to a fresh start. Aaron and the kids were so good to me today. I didn’t sleep too well last night because I was up with Ryan, and tried to sleep in this morning. Aaron took the kids horse back riding and allowed me to rest for a while. I dreaded even coming out of my room to start my day because the house didn’t get picked up last night. I knew the disaster that awaited me in the front room. I walked out and they had cleaned everything!!! Ah, a late birthday present for sure.

16. I love traditions. From holidays to everyday routines. I love the consistent nature of the day to day ones like family prayer and scripture reading, family dinners together, and our new one of singing a song to baby Ryan every night together as a family. And I love the new exciting ones that fill our holiday time with joy, laughter, and childlike magic. The most memorable times from childhood I have are from the traditions we carried out through the years. I love to know my kids will have some of those same great memories too.

17. I love chocolate. Favorite candy bar Tomberone or 3 Musketeer bar.

18. I love that Aaron kisses me before he goes to work,even when I am still asleep in bed.

19. My new mantra this last year had been to “Simplify”. I love the idea of paring down the excess in our lives. I think I need to do a post soon just about simplifying.

20. I am a registered and voting Republican, and proud to be a conservative.

21. I love wood floors.

22. My new favorite color is orange. It’s the new red for me. Maybe because it is so abundant this time of year, but I just love it. I love all my new orange fall decorations and I am loving a new orange coat I saw at Old Navy. Me, orange-who would have thought.

23. I am not a big cell phone user. I have a prepaid one I use once in a while or for emergencies. I am not sure I will ever convert. I guess I just don’t have enough friends that I need to have one by me all the time=)

24. I love to read blogs. Lately, I nurse while I surf. I have realized what a time suck this could be (okay, I just reread that-no pun intended). There is just so much out there. Decorating/crafting blogs are my new favorites.

25. I am so scared of mice. I don’t mind spiders or any bugs for that matter, but mice-EEEEEWW. We have had a couple of mouse friends in our house before-they came in under the unfinished part of our Jacuzzi tub-thank you bug sprayer guy for informing us of this. I was so scared that more would find their way into our house that I would kneel on the bed instead of the floor to say my prayers at night. Aaron still thinks it’s funny when I do this.

26. Even though we live in Georgia, and it was 75 degrees today, I still love having a fire in the fireplace in the fall and winter. It just creates that warm homey atmosphere. Top it off with hot chocolate and mini marshmallows, a family movie, warm blankets on the couch, and I am in family fun heaven.

27. I would much rather shop and buy things for Aaron or my kids than myself. The kids kept hounding me for ideas for my birthday. I asked Aaron if I could just buy them all something instead, so unofficially I bought them all new bedding instead of presents for me for my birthday. I did get a new camera battery for my camera, thank you guys!!!Austin came up with that idea, after I was taking pictures of Ryan the other day. I had already spent a couple hours of trying to feed him, calm him, take a picture of him, to have him wake up restless again. I finally got him calm, and my battery in my camera was dead. My super observant son remembered this and suggested to buy me another battery so I always have a backup. That is one great kid.=)

28. I love being creative.

29. I love to make plans for our new house. I love looking at inspiration pictures online, taking out our blueprints and tweaking them, and driving by “our” lot hoping no one has bought it yet. Someday. Patience is a virtue, that’s what I keep telling myself. =) All the planning is so much of the fun, not just the end result.

30. I love to watch the Mormon Messages on lds.org. The one by Elder Holland called “Good things to come” is my favorite. Whenever I am having a tough day I pull that up and watch it. It is so calming, and his sweet testimony just speaks to me. I love listening to the Apostles. What a blessing to be able to do that at the touch of a button.

31. I love a good nap.

32. I love that 7 little people call me mommy.

33. I love that one very patient man loves me so much. After 13 years of marriage, I love our 33 and 37 selves so much more than our 19 and 23 year old selves. There is something about growing old and older together that is amazing. I have loved this journey called life. All 33 years of it. I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring.


Lisa said...

Monae, I just really can't believe how similar we are. I say ditto to MOST of these!! I just love you to pieces. So fun to chat the other day. We could talk for 2 hours every day and still have so much to say. Happy Birthday friend!

Libby said...

Happy Birthday! I did actually think of you the other day and meant to wish you a happy birthday on time! I always have the best of intentions, you know. :)
I love this post. I love that you are so happy!

Dre + Drew - Midwest Living - Iowa City said...

Happy Birthday!!! I do agree the 30's are much better! Loved the post you are a beautiful person! I also love that last one!!! How much better it gets the older we get! Love your positivity and I love how you have taken Elder Uchtdorf's talk and applied it the part of LOVING YOURSELF. you know who you are and love who you are and that is inspirational.