A Birthday Milestone

Today I have a 20 year old. Wow! Crazy to type that. It does not feel like 20 years since we were first sleep deprived, confused, desperately wondering how in the world we were ever going to do this new parents. She's the oldest. That means she's the child we've expected the most of and made the most mistakes with, analyzing and microscoping every detail of her life. Each new stage had a big learning curve and we were forever second guessing our parenting decisions.

Turning twenty means we officially survived her teenage years! Please let's take a moment to fully appreciate this. The rolled eyes, the sarcastic remarks, the up and down emotions, the sulking, the unpredictable moods, the late nights of worry, the negotiations over curfew and when and where and who. The standing our ground and holding the line even when "everyone else is doing it" is pretty much behind us...with this one!

The first time I remember someone telling me that it would all go by so fast was when our daughter was just a few weeks old. At the time, I inwardly scoffed a little. Fast? I am completely overwhelmed and feel like I am doing nothing right. I can barely imagine making it through this afternoon and you're saying it all goes by so fast? But alas, she was right. The days sped up with each passing year. I watched her learn to walk and talk and then it seemed like she started kindergarten in the blink of an eye! I tried in vain to slow time down, but the elementary years made way for middle school and before I knew it, I was watching her graduate. Each new stage, skill, and experience added up and it's been a joy to see her grow into the young woman I'm so proud of today. 

I'm looking forward to the perks of parenting someone in their 20's. I hear these kids generally graduate from college, get jobs, and move out. I've had more than a few parents tell me it's a happy day when your child achieves this independence and is, of course, on their own car insurance! :) And then there are all the intangibles. The friendship, the laughter, the deep discussions, and all the fun you can have with your kids at this age. I count it a special privilege to be able to experience this!

Twenty years. Lots of birthday cakes and candles. I love you my girl! May all your wishes come true!

Days of Auld Lang Syne


Springing forward into the New Year. That's the normal course of things. But this New Year's Eve, my husband and I stepped back in time, to a life we used to live, with friends who have known us right from the beginning of adulthood. We didn't know it then, but we were all in an incredibly special time of life, buying our first houses, having our first babies, working our first jobs. We learned together and supported each other. Some were a little farther down the adult path than others and they were the wise ones we looked to for advice and example. But really, twenty years later I can see we were all on those first few rungs of the ladder, each one lending a hand in the glorious climb. Those were the years of watching each other's kids, working on each other's houses, helping each other move, and encouraging each other just by walking the same path.

Years apart can't extinguish friendships like that. We laughed at old jokes and enjoyed catching up on the big and small things that have made up life since we were together last. For a talker like me, it was awesome!

We walked by and took pictures of the house we brought our oldest son home to, peeked in the backyard where we pushed our kids on swings and set up wading pools. Reminisced over the foreclosure we bought and then spent months working on. Speculated about the different ways your life can go if you choose one path over another. To anyone else they're ordinary houses and streets in an ordinary neighborhood, but for us they hold history. 

We're back in Nashville now. We've fast forwarded again thirteen years to a different house, different jobs, and more kids. This life is real and ours and where God has placed us. It's where we belong in 2016, but it was certainly wonderful to visit Jamestown once again!