THIRTY

Today, I turn 30. 

I have been torn for months between treating this birthday like just another day and making a bucket list of crazy and adventurous things to do before I roll over to another decade. I have to be honest, I have felt a bit more nostalgic than ever about turning thirty. I'm usually one who is SO focused on the future and looks ahead with anticipation for every new stage of life! But, right now? I just want to freeze time.

I LOVED my 20s. I married my dream guy, graduated from college (twice!), went on my first overseas mission trip, bought our first and second homes, made lifelong friends, recorded albums and started a family. How could it get any better than that?!?

I am praying for vision for my 30s. That God would guide me in how to live intentionally with the time he has so graciously given me on this earth. I definitely believe that begins by praying for faithfulness in the every day mundane. While my 20s were filled to the brim - and I was able to experience and accomplish many life goals and dreams - I want my 30s to be even more productive for the things that will matter long after I'm gone. 

I nixed the bucket list, "30 things to do before I turn 30" idea, because my twenties truly were an adventure of their own. But I had to do something to honor this last decade of my life. So I put together a momento of photos from every birthday in my twenties and under each photo you will read a short description of that day. I'll let you be the judge if I've aged any (the answer is absolutely NOT, right?!) 

Tonight, Josh has planned to invite a few friends over to our new home to celebrate! I was challenged recently to have a new outlook on aging - instead of looking at how old I'm getting, I'm choosing to look at how long God has allowed me to continue living on Earth with people I love. If there's anything I've learned from looking back on my twenties it's that, God is my constant.  While people and places have come and gone over the years, He has remained. And when I am restless, I find my rest in Him.

Twenties, you were good.
But it's time to move on. 
Let's do this, thirty

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Blogging like the Old Days

I'm the kind of person who likes to be in a crowd of people, but doesn't mind sitting alone or off to the side chatting with just a few. As the internet is getting more and more crowded, I find myself drawn more and more to this little space.

In the early days of blogging (I'm talking 2008-2009, been here a long time!), you could do things like blog without a specific topic just because you felt like it. You could share photos of your kids and family, without worrying about someone stealing them. In those days, blogs were more lifestyle and less promotional. 

I want to keep blogging. And I want to keep doing it the old-fashioned way. And yet, I can't ignore the fact that social media has basically killed the blogosphere.

I miss the community that once existed in the blog world. I miss the encouragement and humor. The life updates that let you hear the stories that the photos don't always tell. There was something so honest about it. You couldn't just hide behind a pretty picture - you had to use your voice to engage. 

When I think about blogging these days, it's usually only when a certain topic is heavy on my heart. The little stuff is for Facebook or Instagram. And the even littler stuff - like those one liners that are usually not as funny as I think they are - for Twitter.

But, there is a lot of life going on behind the little snippets that we all share. There are a lot of really great moments that never get Tweeted and a lot of really sad moments that are barely ever captured in a photo. And maybe that's a good thing, because some things do deserve to be kept private. But, for the amount of time that we spend engaging online - the facade has got to be stripped back every once and awhile to let people in. Just getting "likes" on social media doesn't really mean much, anyway. I want to have conversations

So, here's to blogging like the old days again. And me getting my nice camera out every once and awhile to capture my babies in their favorite element. And telling the fuller stories behind the photos. 

Like this one... we spent the morning at the park the other day. Micah and Hannah had a blast! They love getting out of the house and, especially, meeting and playing with other kids. It's funny, at one point, they both wanted to ride the same horse and Micah (being the taller one) beat her to the saddle. As I was snapping away, I captured a photo of Hannah falling backwards after being bumped by the booty of the horse Micah was proudly riding! It was a photo to cherish. But probably one I wouldn't normally share on social media - just because, you never know what people will say (she was completely fine, by the way, and got up as quickly as she fell!)

But I'll share it here. Here in my little space. And who knows, I may decide to make this place my more permanent home on the internet, using social media only as a tool to promote it. Because there was a day when engaging on the internet was inspiring for me, and most of the credit goes back to those early days of blogging. 

Oh gosh, I'm starting to sound old.