Well today is the day… the big 2-3!!! I expect your gifts of coffee and Target gift cards on my front step by the end of the day.
Just kidding… kind of.
I really was excited for my birthday this year. Not because I am having some big extravagant party. And 23 isn’t exactly the most *exciting* number. BUT something got me going this year… and that’s the fact that I am the best ME that I’ve ever been.
I’m not saying I’m perfect or living the perfect life- far from it actually. But I’m feeling good. I’m feeling hopeful for whats to come. I’m feeling F R E E. I’m free of all the shame and discontent that I’ve carried for so long. I’m free to express myself and what I really want in this life. I’m FREE to just be me- the quirky introvert who laughs too much and has this joy in her heart that needs to be shared.
But I couldn’t have gotten to this point without A LOT of grace and love from those around me. So, I’ve decided to make a list of 23 things and/or people who have made an impact on who I am today.
- Jesus and His undying love, grace, hope, joy, peace, etc. He is here. He is present. I (literally) wouldn’t be here without Him.
- Drew, you have believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for putting me in my place when I need it and loving me all at the same time.
- My little Ollie Man. You’ve showed me what complete and utter joyful chaos with a dash of sweetness looks like. You are everything and more than I could have ever imagined.
- My mom and dad, and their around-the-clock being there, even when I think I don’t need it (I always do.) Thank you for making me a princess.
- Nick and Ben, thank you for making me into the tough firecracker that I am. Without all of balls thrown and fighting over the remote, I wouldn’t be able to stick up for myself the way I do now.
- To all of my beautiful and constant friends. You have been there through my high highs and low lows and CHOSE to still be my friend. You always know when to shoot me that text to cheer me up. I don’t tell you enough, but I LOVE all of you!
- To all of Drew’s friends- every single one of you- you have ALWAYS brought me in and included me, even when I don’t want to. Thank you for reminding Drew that I will kill him if he gets unneccesary things at the store and for taking my side when he is wrong, which is all of the time.
- Our church family- past and present- thank you for showing me 100% Jesus and for every prayer you have sent my way.
- One Youth, thank you for challenging me to better myself daily and for making me feel like a kid again. There is always constant laughs and good times with you guys!
- Work family, thank you for letting me cry and rant and laugh- all at the same time. There is no other “team” I would rather have.
- To my “Momma Tribe,” whether I know you personally or through all of the social media pages, thank you for sharing your stories and for passing no judgement, only love and encouragement.
- To coffee, my one sweet love in the mornings. You are there for me when I need you most. Thank you for keeping me sane.
- Target, thank you for being my home away from home. I feel comfort every time I step foot in your stores (which is daily.) You are my quiet place.
- Iowa fall weather, I miss you when you’re not here, and miss you even more when you leave us after only two weeks. I love everything that comes with you- sweaters, flannels, boots, leaves, and on and on and on. I just love you.
- Netflix and Hulu, thank you BOTH for letting me watch my favorite past times, while also keeping caught up on Grey’s Anatomy and This is Us.
- To the Chicago Cubs, you give me hope and dreams, even if that means it may take 100+ years. Go get #2.
- To the Chicago Bears, I will never give up on you, even with every hair pulling, stressed out Sundays.
- To sweatpants, thank you for letting me breathe after a long day. You are the perfect comfort clothing and I am not ashamed to wear you out in public.
- To kids everywhere- school, church, and beyond- you bring me endless laughs and hugs. Always stay innocent and kind.
- Donuts, you are the cure to any mood I am in. Thank you for your sprinkles and perfect on-the-run breakfast.
- To headbands, thank you for covering up my mess of a hair. You keep my 50 pound hair in place.
- To my house, you may be little with lots of repairs, but you are slowly but surely becoming the perfect homey home. You keep me warm and safe.
- And last but not least… YOU, THIS, MY DREAM! Thank YOU for the love and hope and support and for being all-around the best people on this planet. You are kind and make me want to keep on growing and going.
Well, there you have it folks. If you’re reading this, you made the list somewhere!!
Thank you for letting me be free, and 23.
T H E B E S T I S Y E T T O C O M E. ✨