I am writing this post on my new laptop I got for my birthday! Josh is amazing and bought a simple laptop so I could write more! He is such an amazing man. I felt lucky to wake-up next to him this morning. I loved how as each child woke-up, he prompted them to wish me a happy birthday. I loved it! I loved each "habpy birfday momma," from my four sweet children. A birthday wish and hug from each of them made my day!
This morning my parents called me bright and early to sing an early morning rendition of "Happy Birthday!" They told me that the family was celebrating by going to the World's Oldest Rodeo tonight. I love that my family celebrates even when I can't be there ;) I love that my parents called me before it was even 7am their time.
When I hung up the phone, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for them. It is because of them that I am even alive. It is because they were brave enough, after having four boys in four years, to have another baby. It is because they are such great people that I have such a great life. They nurtured me, raised me, taught me, and helped me believe in myself everyday for 18 years. After that they sent me to college, and on a mission. They never stopped loving me, nurturing me, and strengthening me, and providing opportunities for me to be the best person I can be.
Shortly after I hung up the phone, my mother-in-law came to take me to breakfast, and birthday shopping. I was again overwhelmed with gratitude for my "in-law" family. I have lived near them for 7 years now, and I have always known that I was an important member of the family. I have been loved, encouraged, taught, and cherished. Maybe it is because I gave them the cutest grand kids alive; but I think they kinda like me even on my own.
While I was eating breakfast, my brother called to wish me a happy birthday. My sister called later in the day--I am thinking, maybe, even a few more phone calls might be in store for me today.
I got to have a picnic-birthday lunch with my sweetheart and the kids. When I went to go meet up with Josh, I met his new boss. He is a great man with an endearing smile. He shook the kids hands and looked them straight in their eyes. I was very impressed. As we were eating lunch, my cousin walked by--it turns out that he works in a building across from Josh! He wished me a happy birthday and gave me a warm hug. I came home and read over 30 Facebook birthday wishes.
It may sound like I am bragging, and maybe I am a little ;), but honestly I just have an overwhelming feeling of love for the people in my life. I honestly felt so grateful for 34 years of experiences with people that have touched my life, and made it so wonderful! From childhood friends, to youth I looked up to growing up, teachers, kids I babysat, Adults that took interest in me, primary teachers, leaders, roommates, companions, families on my mission, families I worked with, co-workers, Of course my parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and in-laws. I can't believe that I get to love all of these people!
Yesterday I finished reading Les Miserables. I started reading it over a year ago, and had a hard time sticking with it. I kept picking up other books instead. About a month ago I set the goal to finish it before I turned 34. I am so glad that I did. I am glad that I get to start out my new year with a new heart. There is so much wisdom in this book. Yet one of the most poignant lines, is also such a simple line. It is one of the last paragraphs in the book. Jean Valjean tells Marius and Cosette, "Love each other dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another."
If you are reading this blog--I love you. Even if I don't know who you are! The fact that you take the time to read my, less than perfect, writing about my life means a lot to me. Thank you so much for allowing me to share part of my soul with you everyday! Sharing my life with others is what makes living so worthwhile. I love growing older! Even if I am in my "mid 30's" now!