I've been wanting to write a little "reflection post" since my birthday in January. I wanted to record what I loved about my 20's and what I'm excited for in my 30's. (Again, mainly for journaling purposes. I picture my kids reading this stuff and being interested in it someday...but I could be wrong. Very wrong. hehe. I guess another way to say it would be, "I don't expect you to be interested in this. It's for me." :) So, it took me a few months to get around to it, but here we go. . .
Highlights From My 20's: *LOVED my college years at BYU-Idaho, good memories, new friends, interesting classes, fun/funny atmosphere, good experience. *LOVED living in Indiana and working at Purdue University for a summer when I was 20, it helped me remember why I loved growing up there, and it was so good spending so much time with old friends. *LOVED serving an 18 month mission for my church to Los Angeles, one of the best decisions I've ever made and one of the best experiences of my life, and it probably deserves it's own post later. :) *LOVED getting back in touch with one of my closest friends after my mission, Ethan, and quickly realizing this was the person I was going to marry! It was so fun, exciting, quick, lovey, perfect! So many good memories from that time: hours talking on the phone, sweet e-mails, planning super fun weekends together, going to the temple often, the BYU/BYU-Idaho scene, the wedding, the reception, etc. But that's all been written about in detail before, HERE and HERE. :) *LOVED finding THE house, and moving in and making it our home. So many good memories there. It was perfect for us. So sad when it was time to sell it four years later. (And loved that we lived close to family again...especially since we were starting a family of our own.) *LOVED being young, married and students at Northern Michigan University. That was definitely not the "norm", but it made it more fun, I think. Loved studying together, telling each other about our classes, and living the student lifestyle...and getting back in touch with old Marquette friends, and making new ones too. *LOVED graduating from NMU with a Bachelor's in the Elementary Education program, with an English Major. It felt so good to accomplish that. And I was so proud of Ethan when he graduated the semester later with a Bachelor's in Sport's Science. *LOVED welcoming all three of my babies into the world, and just felt so blessed each time. I love them more than words can tell. Anna and "The Boys"...our family is complete. I also love that my baby growing days are over, and I can leave that behind in my 20's. Have I already mentioned that I did not like being pregnant, and I'm so excited to never do that again? The answer would be YES! :) *LOVED that Ethan got accepted into a Doctor of Physical Therapy program...even though that meant we'd move away from our family (which we were a bit nervous about, but ended up being great), and do the apartment living thing for the first time. It was fun, at first...then apartment living became not so exciting. But, so many good memories from our time downstate. It was awesome that everything fell into place with graduate school for Eth, and that he will be in a career that he loves! *LOVED being home with my babies. Although I love school, and learning, and would occasionally be jealous of Ethan doing a graduate program :), I was also so happy to be done, and loved staying home with my young kiddies, and being a stay-at-home-mommy. Anna, Benjamin and Caleb fill my life with joy, laughter, and some craziness. *So, a fantastic decade. I know I just mentioned the "biggies," but there were so many other beautiful moments along the way. I loved my 20's!
Dreams For My 30's: *Find a second house that is "The One" and that we hopefully love as much as our first. Make it our home. Continue to create beautiful memories with my sweet, little family there. (I really, really miss being home owners.) *Become a one car family...and not be a "minivan mom" anymore. I tried it out, it wasn't as bad as I thought, but I think I'd prefer something else...like a KIA Sorento. :) Economically, environmentally, simplicity... being a one car family really appeals to us. So, a KIA Sorento, which seats seven, and a few vintage scooters on the side. hehe. *I would LOVE to get a nice camera, and take a little photography class. I love taking pictures, in case you couldn't tell, and would love to become better at it as a hobby type thing...as soon as we have the money for it. :) *This coming fall, I want to start substitute teaching occasionally to "get my feet wet" again. There are a lot of things I'm considering as far as a future job/career goes, including - but not limited to - being a reading specialist at an elementary school, a school librarian (my DREAM job), teaching piano lessons again, or starting my own business as an Organizing/Staging expert, or continuing on as a stay-at-home-mommy. There are just so many factors to consider. *Completing a Master's program - eventually - to make me more qualified in one of these areas would be awesome too. I love being a student, and would love to complete a graduate program. But, my babies are still young, so we'll see when this happens. *After we get our piano out of "storage," I would love to begin to practice/play regularly. Taking a few lessons would be awesome too. I have missed having a piano in our home. *I recently wrote about this, HERE, but I want to become more active. I want to run a 5k this summer, for starters, and hopefully that will just be the beginning. It's something Ethan and I want to focus on for our whole family too...take it to the next step, as we already try to find lots of fun, active things to do together. (We're hoping to have Anna do a race for kids this summer too.) *I want to pay off all of our student loans... even if that is unrealistic, I'd still love for that to happen this decade. :) And I realize it would take a lot of sacrifice on our part to make this happen. . . putting off some "fun" things we would like to do, but I think it'd be so worth it to us. *Okay, these are just a few main things I've been thinking about lately. I'd love for them all to happen, but we will see what time and money and situation allows. And we'll see what else I think of to add to my list of hopes and dreams for this decade. (Any suggestions? :) Mainly, I want my family to continue to be my main priority, and continue to create happy, beautiful memories together. I'm really looking forward to what unfolds in my 30's!