Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Dear Daughter,

I was bracing myself for a huge wave of sadness about you turning seven but it hasn’t hit.

I don’t know if seven feels a lot like six, or if we just see so much of each other now that time doesn’t seem to be going quite a fast. Except for when it does.

One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed in you this last year is your desire to stretch your wings a bit more. I’m noticing your self-determination to go for what you want and achieve your goals.

You made a dream board last year and you’ve been crossing items off left and right. As you continue to shoot for the stars, I want to be there to help you reach them.

Letter to my daughter- Mommy and me self-protraits in Disney Leggings LulaRoe

Call me selfish but I love how much you value time spent with me. You are enjoying homeschooling and having me as your teacher. You enjoy traveling with me, but you also have fun just sitting on the couch and snuggling next to me. Your desire to cuddle hasn’t diminished with age at all.

My bedroom or near me is your preferred choice for sleeping, but recently you decided it was worth trying to sleep in your own bed if it meant that you could earn a slumber party with me after a certain amount of time.

When you set your mind to something you go for it. That’s often to my own detriment because you’re constantly negotiating and usually winning.

Letter to my daughter- Mommy and me self-portraits in Disney Leggings LulaRoe

I love how much you love finding reasons to celebrate. From movie nights to poetry tea parties at the end of the week, to desserts for achieving a goal–You love having a reason to have a party. Your joy helps me notice more things I should be grateful for.

You are so full of questions. You question everything. From politics to history to religion and science. I’m constantly telling you to ask me again later so we can research–Not because I’m trying to put off your questions but because I have no clue what the answer is, but I’m just as curious as you are to find out. My goal is to always help you seek out answers to your questions. No matter how hard they get.

I’m so proud of the girl you are becoming. You challenge norms, aren’t afraid to stand up for yourself, and for others. You are so kind. I’ve noticed you are embracing who you are more and more every day. Your dark skin, curly hair, your peppy attitude and curiosity are all qualities you proudly share with those around you.

Letter to my daughter- Mommy and me self-portraits in Disney Leggings LulaRoe

I am so lucky to be your mom. I’m trying my best to raise you to be confidant in who you are, and courageous enough to be your best self.

As you start your 8th year of life I have one piece of advice: Let your light so shine baby girl. Shine bright.

 

Love,

Mom

Apr
07
2017

FOUR


My sweet little boy, where do I begin?

This last year with you has been full of surprises. That’s because you surprise me daily. The things that come out of your mouth, and the ways you try to shock me.

The most common word I use to describe you is “weird” I know I shouldn’t do that. It’s probably not great for your complex, but I often don’t know how else to put words to the way you are.

“My wildcard” is another term I sometimes use. Because you’re so unpredictable. For others–Your teachers, babysitters, and friends–you’re an angel. They haven’t a clue about the side I see. But I guess I should be glad you save your silly side for us.

I think part of the reason I find you a little odd is because you’re nothing like me. Which if course is totally ok. But you’re also nothing like anyone. You’re so hard for me to describe, define, and predict. But I’m going to try.

One thing I do know is you’re not shy. That’s evident every time we go to the store together. It’s gotten to the point where we order our groceries online and pick them up, or take turns going to the store without you because every trip with you is like a comedy show. You say hello to anyone and everyone. You strike conversations with complete strangers about the weather, your shirt, their hair, my shoes, or bodily fluids. Or sometimes you’ll just chase people. Yes, actually chase them down the aisles, telling them to come back. Occasionally you’ll do this while roaring like a dinosaur.

I underestimate you all the time. Maybe it’s because you’re my youngest. I forget you can say and do things on your own.

You build train tracks with ease now and they’re almost never sitting on the floor. You take unit blocks and build your tracks as high as you can. We know better than to try to help, or ever take down one of your creations. While you’re extremely independent when it comes to construction, you can’t stand being alone.

We’ve given up on trying to put you to sleep in your room. You’d come into ours in the middle of the night anyway. Instead now you’ve set up camp on a little mat at the foot of our bed. Your sister is often alongside you.

You love jokes. You may not understand the process of a knock knock joke but you try anyway. And you never seem to tire of the “high five!” “too slow” trick. Laughing hysterically every time I miss.

You don’t like to color, draw, or anything like that unless it involves Lightning McQueen. But you love playing with cars, dinosaurs, and riding your bike. Last year we started hiking together. In the beginning you didn’t like it, but you’ve really come around. You look forward to exploring places with water you can play in.

I can see you trying to figure out the world, and understand how things work. You ask more and more questions every day, and you have the best memory. You always remember where you put things, and places we’ve been.

My favorite quality about you however, has got to be your kindness and sensitivity. You’ll act all big and tough most of the time but the second your sister is actually hurt, or crying, you’re the first to run by her side to help. You cried more when she got her shots than when you got your own.

As a toddler you’d play by yourself for a little while, then come over to my nap to snuggle for a bit. You still do that, and I love it.

“I missed you Mommy!” You still say that to me days after coming back from a trip, or when I get back from the store.

You’re everything I never knew I’d wanted, yet exactly what I need. My sweet little boy.

I love you so much and I can’t wait to see what this new year of life holds for us.

Love,

Mommy

 

PS: When your party VIP list only included members of our family, we decided to skip a party and just have fun with you. Here is how we celebrated your birthday this year.

PPS: It’s so hard narrowing down a few favorite photos of you from the last year so I’m going to share a bunch. I especially love the one of us together on the escalator. I believe we rode it up and down 692 times that day.

 

I just finished Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and she has a chapter where she goes on about women not being able to take a compliment, and how we should own our talents, and not shy away from them for fear of being seen as arrogant.

Every day I tell my children how amazing they are. I give them affirmations to say in the mirror. I want them to know they are incredible. They can do anything, and they are great.

So why don’t we believe those things about ourselves?

This weekend I’m celebrating my 31st birthday and I’ve decided to give myself a gift. I’m going to own my blessings. It’s going to feel a little uncomfortable. It’s going to be unusual, but I’m going to lay it out there and hit publish with reckless abandon.

Ok here we go.

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My name is Jennifer. I am a devoted wife and mother. I would fight for my family. My husband my kids– They are my everything. Beyond my family, I put heart into my life.

My hair? It’s awesome. People tell me my smile is contagious. My joy–infectious.

I am unapologetically a big dreamer. Like, HUGE. My husband calls me “whimsical”… But says it like it’s a bad word. I take it as a compliment.

I can do anything.

I’m also a hard worker. I try to focus and work at things I love. This makes my work feel more like play and even when I’m working incredibly hard it doesn’t feel like I am.

Maybe the name “Jennifer” mean luck in some other language. I am INCREDIBLY lucky. Though I believe luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I still feel like I’m insanely lucky. But I also don’t doubt God’s hand in my life. I’m extremely blessed and I feel lucky to have discovered the talents He blessed me with early in life and use those throughout.

I believe anything is possible and I am not easily discouraged. I attract positivity and good things come to me.

Learning is my life’s mission. I love to learn and soak up knowledge like air. I have a desire to learn so much. From new languages, history, culture, and music–I will spend the rest of my life learning new things and yet never try to give the illusion of “knowing it all.”

Writing is a passion. I can always tell when I’m going to write something great because it’s preceded by a jittery and burning feeling I can’t contain. I love that feeling. My best work comes when I sit down and write in that very moment. I am a good storyteller. My stories can go beyond type on a screen or piece of paper using my photographs and video. I love it, and I am good at it. Or maybe I am good at it because I love it.

I also love people–Meeting new people, befriending people, talking to people, laughing with people and learning about people. I believe we all have so much to learn from one another.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve hit the peek of my success but then a voice inside reminds me that’s nowhere near the case. I’m just getting started.

Cherish-365-14-birthday

I did it. It took me three days to write those short paragraphs. I was cringing throughout and after every compliment I was started to type a flaw to counter my self-praise. Even now I want to explain that I’m not vain and I know I’m not perfect. But I’m not going to. Today I’m going to leave it as that because it’s the anniversary of my birth and a much-needed gift to myself.

On to make this year awesome.

Write a letter to YOU! A birthday gift to give yourself every year.

I’ve now been a mom for six years. My little girl is SIX!

Lil’ J’s 6th birthday snuck up on us– well, as much as it could with her reminding us every other minute. She was involved in the planning of her birthday party, from the theme to the venue, the guest list and goodie bag contents.

6 year old finding Dory birthday party

I felt as if I was just there to facilitate as I watched my little girl give her input, write lists and draw blueprints.

Since her birthday is the day before Independence Day we scheduled her party to be a few days before. If you asked her what kind of party she was having she would give you a hearty reply: “I’m having an art party because I’m passionate about art!”

If you’ve ever been to one of those sip and paint classes, this party was a lot like that. But instead of ladies sipping on wine it was little kids sipping on juice boxes.

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I of course was mamarazzi capturing all of the fun with not one, but two cameras. I had my EOS 80D rolling for the video and my Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens on my EOS 5D Mark II to capture the entire scene in wide-angle beauty.

When it comes to parties, I’m all about outsourcing the venue and not having the party at my house, but it can feel rushed sometimes when you have a limited amount of time. I loved that we had a full two hours plus set up for her party. It was more than enough time for everyone to paint their masterpieces and enjoy themselves.

Jaydas-6th-Birthday-Party_0093-copy

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re capturing your little one’s birthday party:

  • Open that aperture up in low light situations for a better shot (f/2.8 or lower).
  • A low f-stop will also keep the focus on your happy birthday girl or boy and blur out more of the background.
  • Use a wide-angle lens to capture an entire room and all of your party guests.
  • Raise the ISO in rooms with less light to avoid dark images.
  • For those cute candle photos you’ll want to make sure your flash is off, have a wide open aperture, crank up your ISO and lower your shutter speed as much as you can while still staying steady. Set the exposure to your little one’s face and fire away!
  • Be ready for the birthday song. Have your settings set, lens cap off and finger at the ready to hit record before it starts so you can capture the grin at the first “happy birthday” down to the cheers after the candles are blown out.
  • Enjoy the moment. Don’t be afraid to hand your camera off so you can enjoy the moment too, and even be in a few photos yourself. Setting your camera to AV mode and choosing your aperture is a great auto-mode to set and forget about the rest if you want to let someone who’s unfamiliar with your camera help.

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6-year-old-paint-with-a-twist-birthday-party

6-year-old-paint-with-a-twist-birthday-party

You can find more birthday party photography tips on Canon’s website, and for even more photography tips, check out my Canon course for photographing children where I share tips on photographing siblings so and much more.

The one picture I forget to get almost every year and I always say I won’t the next year is a photo of both my husband and I with the birthday child. So don’t be like me and make sure you get in that photo. If I miss it I’m always happy to make up for it later. I can never have enough photos of us together.

Lil’ J was also so excited to do her birthday interview this year and I was pretty pumped to work on it with her. I set up my Canon EOS 80D on a tripod with my EF 24-70mm 2.8/fL lens and asked her a series of questions then hilarity ensued. She’s really growing into her own personality and I love it. Watch for yourself:

What better way to bottle a child’s personality than to do a birthday video time capsule? Check out my blog post on birthday interviews to see my full list of questions to ask for older and younger kids each year.

I love that she loves doing photo shoots with me and that she even mentioned that as something she loves about me. We started when she was a tiny little thing giggling and laughing in every photo and she has just as much fun with it today.

For her 6-year-old photos I focused on photographing her doing things she loves or is currently “passionate” about. This week I think I’ve officially decided that my Canon EF 100mm 2.8/fL lens is my favorite–at least for dreamy portraits. I keep my f-stop open to 2.8, bump up the shutter speed to at least a quick 1/800 then let her jump around and do her thing and freeze the emotion. You’ll see more of what we got below.

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6 year old finding Dory birthday party. Art Creative Escapes, Painting with a Twist.

And carrying in our tradition I owe her a birthday letter. These aren’t getting any easier to write because it’s so bittersweet watching her turn from my tiny baby into a walking, talking opinionated little person of her own. But I’ll give it a shot!

Happy Birthday My Sweet Daughter,

You’re six! I still can’t believe it. You sometimes half-jokingly say you wish you were a baby again so I could carry you around and cuddle with you all day. You love to cuddle, snuggle, and be close to people in general. You’ve pretty much always been that way and I’m beginning to think that’s just your nature.

Sometimes I miss the days you were a tiny baby too. But since there’s no turning back, every time I feel that way I remind myself that a few years from now I’m going to look back at these moments with you now and wish we could do this all over again too.

6 year old birthday photoshoot

You are so funny. Not in an intentional way, but you make me laugh with your questions. I’ll be reading a story and you’ll look as though you aren’t paying attention but then you’ll jump in and ask a question or explain what’s going on in detail.

The level of compassion you feel for others is admirable. Even for your little brother, who I know can be hard to get along with sometimes. It’s just one of the many qualities I love about you. I also love how big of a dreamer you are. You often catch people off guard when you talk about your passions. It sounds like it’s deep talk for a 6-year-old but you’re all about it. Your passions right now range from singing and dancing, to art, swimming, planets and space.

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6-year-old-Birthday-photoshoot_0176-copy

We got you a telescope for your birthday and you’ve been having so much fun aiming it at the moon and hunting for stars. The look on your face when you finally captured the moon in your sights was priceless.

Your smile, your joy, and your bouncing curls keep drawing people in. I hope as you continue to grow, you’ll keep enjoying life and grow into the woman you’re meant to be.

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This last year of life was full of new adventures. From vacations to Disney, learning to swim and read, starting kindergarten, dancing on stage and making new friends, you accomplished a lot. I feel so lucky to be your mom and learn more about the world right along with you.

I’m always here for you. When you want to talk, debate or snuggle, I’m here with open arms and a lap to sit on no matter how big you get.

Happy birthday sweet girl! May this year be your best year so far!

Love,

Mommy

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From birthdays to family vacations, to holidays and more, I’m teaming up with Canon every month to share how we capture our special milestones. I’ll also dish out tips to help you better capture your special moments with your family. Shout out to my favorite camera brand for sponsoring this series.

What was your favorite movie when you were 3? Can you remember your favorite toy or song from then?

For the last several years I’ve thought it would be fun to ask my daughter a set of questions every birthday, and see how her answers compare. I’ve been so upset at myself for not doing it on her third birthday, and the fact that I’ve continued to forget each birthday since.

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But there’s no use in fretting about the past when I can do something about the present. I’m going to do a Q&A with my 5-year-old Lil’ J soon, but for now, here’s one with my little guy.

I mentioned before how I have a hard time trying not to compare my kids. This is one of those situations. I know at 3 my daughter would have had a hayday with this. My son wasn’t as amused, but to be honest, he did a lot better than I thought. I didn’t think he’d be able to answer all of my questions, but I tried anyway, and some he answered in hilarious ways I never imagined. See what I mean:

So here’s a few different lists of questions to ask your kids each year. The first 10 are easier for younger kids, and the next list are a little more inquisitive and deep. I’ll pull from more of those for my daughter.

Birthday questions for younger kids

1. What’s one of your talents? (Or ask them to do something you know they can do like count as high as they can)
2. What’s your favorite animal?
3. What do you like to eat?
4. What do you love to do?
5. What do you want to do? (When you grow up?)
6. What’s your favorite toy? (thing)
7. What’s your favorite song?
8. What’s your favorite movie?
9. What’s your favorite book?
10. What’s your favorite TV show?

Birthday questions for older kids

1. Describe yourself.
2. What are you thankful for?
3. What makes you happy?
4.. What makes you sad or angry?
5. What do you want to be when you grow up?
6. What’s important to you?
7. What do you love most about yourself?
8. What do you love most about your mom?
9. What do you love most about your dad?
10. If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go?
11. Who do you admire? Why?
12. What do you want to learn more about?
13. What’s something you’d like to do to help someone else?
14. What are you afraid of?
15. If you could only keep one thing, what would you keep?
16. What’s your favorite memory?
17. What are you proud of yourself for?
18. What are you looking forward to?
19. What do you dream about?
20. What else do you want to say?

You can ask them and write their answers down, or record it like I did. Next year you’ll have fun comparing their answers from years before! I’m working on making this into some fun different printable forms and should have those ready within the next couple of weeks.

I’d love to know how your kids answered some of these! Get any funny answers?

30 questions to ask your kids every birthday

My Dear Sweet Baby Boy,

Ok, well maybe it’s time I stop calling you baby. You’re 3 now.

Wow, has it already been a year since I last wrote? Let me fill you in on how much you’ve surprised me this past year.

Two was such a big year for you. You started preschool and made new friends. To be honest, you went in already knowing all of your letters and numbers. I wish I could say I had something to do with that, but the truth is, you fell in love with this train named Bob, and he teaches you all of that stuff on YouTube kids. You even schooled me the other day when your pointed out a hexagon. I thought I was correcting you when I called it an octagon but I was wrong. You are so incredibly clever. Sometimes a little too clever.

You don’t really like listening to directions all of the time. You like doing what you want, when you feel like it. It’s proven to be a challenge when we’re out and about and you just don’t want to sit still. Not that I can blame you. Because of this I try to bring you places I know you can run and play and have fun. That’s what you should be doing at this age! There will be plenty of time to sit and be boring when you’re older.

Open letter to my 3-year-old

You and your sister are beginning to play together more and more. You’ve always been mostly kind to each other, but now you both play more and fight more. You love to mess up her creations, but together you like playing tag. Lately you’ve also started to enjoy coloring with your big sister. She’ll draw you your request–usually an airplane or a dinosaur– and you’ll color it.

Around Daddy you love to exercise in the garage, do pull-ups and dance. You guys also have fun going shopping together. Specifically to sports equipment stores and athletic wear stores. You’re on your third pair of Jordan’s and about your 5th Nike jumpsuit thanks to him.

Open letter to my 3-year-old

You’re still very much a mama’s boy. At this very moment you’re curled up on me falling asleep. I don’t always allow this, but I make exceptions when you aren’t feeling too well or are really in need of some extra cuddles. Or if I’m in need of some extra cuddles. You are really so snuggly and sweet. I’m sure some day you won’t like to be known as cuddly and sweet, so I’m enjoying it while I can.

Over this last year you’ve really shown us what you’re interested in. You love trains of course, but you’re also really starting to enjoy other vehicles and dinosaurs. Especially dinosaurs. I’m sure in no time you’ll know the names of different dinosaurs like you know the different kinds of trains.

Open letter to my 3-year-old

You also love vacations. Every day you tell us you want to go on a Disney Cruise, or go to Disney World. I love that you’re starting this fascination at a young age. Your favorite movie right now is The Good Dinosaur. It’s definitely the only movie you can watch from beginning to end, and you even love quoting some parts. It’s hilarious when you yell at people “Nash, get you of your sister’s bubble!” And they have no idea what you’re talking about.

I love watching you grow and discover the world, and seeing your personality develop. You seem very laid back. You don’t always get frustrated, but when you do, you get mad at yourself for getting upset. It makes me feel so bad. You also get angry at yourself for crying. It’s really cute and sad at the same time when you start yelling “Don’t cry! Stop crying!” I’ve started telling you it’s ok to cry, and I try to cheer you up.

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My hope for you this next year, is that you continue to explore the things you love, and try new things. I hope you keep making more friends, and show the world how bright your light shines. I’m excited to see how much you learn, and hear more of what you’re thinking about.

Everyone we know mentions how sweet you are, and I hope you never lose that. I hope you grow up to be a polite, brilliant, handsome young man who is kind to others.

I’m so proud to be your mommy. I feel so lucky that you’re my son. Even though you give me a run for my money sometimes, and you have so much joy just bursting out of you all the time (which can be tiring), you are the perfect little boy for me, and for that I’m so thankful.

Know that I’m always here for you, and I love you more than you know! And you know what? No matter how big you get, you’ll always be my baby.

With love from the bottom of my heart,

Mommy

Some kids like trains, some kids love trains, and then there’s my son. Absolutely enthralled by trains.

Today my train-loving little boy turned 3. 3 adorable years old, and I’m so happy to say he’s mine.

Canon EOS 80D Stop Motion Video Review

I’m always doing surprises for his big sister and I thought it was about time I started to do some special ones for him.

Several months ago there was a streak of a couple of days where I left the house and came home with plastic bags full of more train tracks. Used, and from friends. Because of this, the next few times I came home with grocery bags, he came up to me and inspected them for tracks. I guess he just assumed that’s where I went when I left him home with daddy.

Mornings before school he’s frequently asking me to help him build his wooden tracks and sometimes when I do, I really get into it.

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Other times we’re in a hurry and I’m rushing him to pack up his trains, get dressed, and get out the door.

Well this day was more like the latter. I was finishing his lunch, fighting with him to get his clothes on (as usual) and running out the door. I told him we could build trains tracks when we got home. It’s true, we were in a hurry and needed to go. But I didn’t plan to build them when we got home. No, I actually had a much better surprise in store. Watch and see…

Pretty cool right? I can’t take credit for the entire video. The wink was 100% Lil’ J’s idea who said “I thought the train was going to blink. You should make it blink!”

This little project was a two-way surprise for my son. For one, he was SO happy to come home and see the tracks he had been begging me to build all morning. And two, he LOVES watching this video of his trains coming to life. I think he may think they really are alive when we leave now. Though I have more fun surprises in store for his birthday, I think this one was a great start.

How did I do it? I think I’ve discovered the easiest way to make a stop-motion video.

I never thought I’d have the patience to make one, but I’m trying out Canon’s new EOS 80D DSLR — an upgrade from my beloved EOS 70D and it has several awesome improvements, including a time lapse setting on it so you can set your camera on a tripod, tell it how many pictures you want it to take and in what interval.

For this video I set the camera to take about 20 pictures in a row, each 7 seconds apart. Between each photo I’d move the trains and tracks a little. I got a good workout running in and out of the frame, and it sorta felt like I was running suicides, and after a while I had to up the time between photos to be around 14 seconds.

About 400 photos later, I had the story in pictures. I put each one on a movie timeline about 8 frames long and POOF! Magical trains, and a video I hope he’ll cherish forever.

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I’m always using my camera to capture memories we were making together, but for this project it was fun to create something he loves, with his favorite toys.

A few other things I’m loving about this new EOS 80D camera and its new lens combo:

  • You can record video and use Wi-Fi at the same time: It may sound a little excessive but it’s been a feature I’ve been waiting for! Now I can not only take pictures with my kids on my own using my Canon Camera Connect App over Wi-Fi, but now I can get in more video shots with my kids as well. Or start and stop recordings, and adjust my manual settings without needing to get up.
  • Full HD-60p video and smooth autofocus: If you have a DSLR that does video you may have noticed how frustrating it is trying to manual focus the lens. With this camera you can touch the screen and tell it where to focus, and it’ll do the rest.
  • The new EF-S 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS USM’s: Not to get too technical but this lens now has a new Nano USM Autofocus system, which is what makes the lens deliver high speed Autofocus and also allows for quiet and smooth AF transitions, perfect for movie recording. In other words, it’s fast AND quiet so I can snap photos of my kids when they’re jumping around and not miss the shot, and you don’t hear it trying to search for the focus in video mode.

All of the features came together perfectly in making this little project for my little train-obsessed birthday boy. I’m actually not sure how I’ll top it next year, but hopefully I’ll come up with something just as magical.

From birthday parties to family vacations, to holidays and more, I’m teaming up with Canon every month to share how we capture our special milestones. I’ll also dish out tips to help you better capture your special moments with your family. Shout out to my favorite camera brand for sponsoring this series.

I heaved a huge sigh as my head rested on my husband’s chest. We were ready for bed, but he recognized the sign. I wanted to talk.

“What?” He asked me. Probably debating whether or not he should have pretended to be asleep.

“I’m really sad about turning 30,” I confessed. My birthday looming in the not-so-distant future was giving me more and more anxiety. Why was this such a big deal? It’s just one year older.

“How does it feel to be in your 30s?” I asked my 33-year-old husband.

“Old,” he replied. Half-jokingly.

“Seriously, I’m so sad I won’t be in my 20’s anymore,” I went on. “My 20’s were full of so much success. What if I’m a failure in my 30s? How could they be even better? What if it’s all downhill from here?”

I could feel him stifle a chuckle. But he held me tight, sensing my emotionally fragile state. And he addressed my concerns carefully.

“No,” my husband started. “Your 20s were great, but your 30s are going to be even better. There are a lot of fun things ahead for us.”

He is a man of few words, but the words he uses always touch me when I need them most.

Since that conversation, a realization hit me. Yes, my 20s were great. But they were all about accomplishing my anticipated lifelong goals and dreams.

My 20s were about winning awards, graduating college, buying a home, having my children, and acquiring my dream job.

We were blessed to go above and beyond that when we scratched and clawed our way from poor college students to strong adults. We managed to pay off all our loans and save for things we only dreamed of and literally had on our dream board: A new luxurious bed, upgraded camera equipment and computer gear, and vacations. To top it all off we landed on a limitless flexible career for myself, and a solid career for my husband.

We have been EXTREMELY BLESSED. But my 20s were about achieving the expected. Accomplishing the goals I had written down since I was 10, then specified and reaffirmed on a vision board in my early 20s.

Now I’m ready to put all of the hard work, positivity, and dedication toward those customary successes on autopilot. If my 20s were about achieving the expected, my 30s will be about accomplishing the unexpected. About doing what I want not for wealth or praise, but for my own personal happiness.

30th-birthday

I want to learn to play piano. Really well. And I don’t just mean hymns for church. I want to be able to bust out Disney tunes and Adele Covers. I played the oboe in middle school but dropped musical curricular activities to focus on journalism classes. Piano lessons seemed like a waste of time when I was focused on advancing my career. Not in my 30s.

I want to become bilingual. I studied Spanish for five years but I’ve always been too embarrassed to practice with anyone. Not in my 30s.

I want to visit all of the Disney Parks around the world: Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing. And take my children with me to study about different countries and cultures. This seemed like too big of a dream in my 20s. Not in my 30s.

I want to read a thousand books.

And meet Oprah.

  
My 20s were about making babies. My 30s will be about raising them to be extraordinary citizens who will better society. I’ll dedicate this decade to helping them discover their passions and spirituality, and help them form strong roots about who they are, where they came from, and where they can go.

To people on the outside looking in, my 30s may seem like a plateau or even descent from where I’ve been. But behind the scenes I’ll be pushing myself to achieve immeasurable greatness.

So now I am ready.

So long tame dreams. So long to the expected. Goodbye 20s. It was great! But I’m in a new relationship with my 30s.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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