5.16.2011

Today I Am...


...officially one year older. I'll let you do the math:

10+10+10+10-1= ?

Yep...that's right. It's hard to believe I only have one more glorious year in my 30's. Yikes! I gulp as I type that. I can't believe I'm so close to the big 4-0. No worries though...Oprah swears the 40's are the best years and as I get closer to them, I can really see why. While I still feel like I am in my 20's... thankfully, I am much wiser and smarter because of my experiences and time on this earth. Life is good and I am grateful to be alive and healthy to celebrate this birthday.

I have been out of town since last Wednesday, hence the reason I am so behind on my blog posts. My sweet hubby planned a special anniversary/birthday weekend for me in Dallas last week. He had to be there all week for work, so he decided to fly Noah and I in town on Wednesday to be there with him for the remainder of the week. We were so excited to be able to make a trip to the Big-D! The only real bump in the road during our trip was when we ended up getting stranded in the Houston airport for over 6 hours!!! There were terrible thunderstorms in Dallas, so we couldn't fly out. I won't even rehash the gory details of that event other than you can only imagine how "lovely" that experience was chasing a 4-year old around the Houston airport for 6 hours by myself. Most definitely a "mud puddle" experience for both Noah and me.

It turned out to be a beautiful week/end in Dallas once we arrived and I was able to spend some quality time with my parents, Jody's parents, and all three of my brothers, sister-in-laws and my nieces and nephews while we were there. I was especially touched by the planning my husband did behind the scenes in getting my family together for my birthday on Saturday at Sandy Lake Park. We all had so much fun together -- I laughed more this weekend than I have in a long time! I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than with the people I love most in this world. Here is a glimpse of the fun we had over the weekend with my family...










































































(Special thanks to my sister-in-laws Katherine and Sheri for taking all these pictures -AND- for helping Jody make my birthday weekend so special...most definitely a "cupcake" memory I will forever cherish!)

I'll post more pics later of our weekend....I have so many to sort through in the coming days.

As you get older, your birthdays have a way of making you pause and reflect on your life. When I think back to the wonderful home I was born into and the loving parents, grandparents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, sister-in-laws and dear friends who have loved and cared for me over the years...I am humbled by these special individuals God has put in my path and the blessings they have brought into my life. I am even more humbled when I think how fortunate I am to be married to Jody. He is my best friend and there is no one else on this earth I would rather spend my life with. In this personal journey of mine, I have come to understand that life is sweeter when we live a life of service and stay close to the Lord. The more focused we are on ourselves, the more unhappy we tend to be. Having had the opportunity to travel outside the country on more than one occasion, I have seen and felt how blessed we all are to have been born in this great country. A country that is still young when compared to others and one that affords each and everyone of us so many freedoms and opportunities. The most precious for me being freedom of religion. I am a better person...a happier person because of my deep faith .

But without question, probably the greatest blessing in my journey these past 39 years has been the opportunity to become a mother and share this exciting journey of being a parent with Jody. Recently, I had the opportunity to give a talk at church on Mother's Day. It was an emotional message for me to give. I'm still a little embarrassed because I think I probably cried more than I spoke. One of the thoughts I shared with my church family that highlights the blessings that I have experienced as a mother is this:

For many of us, the road to motherhood comes with challenges and setbacks. As many of you know, my husband and I have struggled with infertility for over 9 years now. While it has not been an easy road to travel, I'm amazed at how many blessings that have come into my life as a result of this personal trial of faith. My greatest blessing of all is of course being Noah's mother. I love him with every fiber of my body and the minute I heard him take his first breath {almost 5 years ago}, I knew a loving Heavenly Father knew what He was doing....He wanted us to be together. I understood on a deeper level why one important door in my life as a woman had been closed…. my prayers had been answered in a different and more special way. I am humbled beyond words to say that as a mother, I have felt God's hand in my life --countless times-- most often while on my knees in sincere prayer...pleading early on desperately for the blessing to be a mother and then now as I have been given this sacred gift—pleading for guidance and direction on how best to teach, train, discipline and instill gospel principles in my son. It is in these tender moments that Heavenly Father and the Savior have comforted me, calmed me and assured me that all will be well. I have seen how when my desires as a mother are righteous, during those times when I fall short—He will succor me and make up the gap in any of my failed efforts.


Yes indeed--when I reflect back over the past 39 years of my life and all the experiences I have had--I know I am blessed... more than I feel I deserve.

Well enough of my mushy, gushy birthday thoughts....I'm off to unpack suitcases and catch up on laundry from our trip. That's the only bummer part of traveling I guess-- the unpacking and doing all the laundry. I'll share more memories and pictures from our fun weekend in the coming days. Jody is out of town again this week with work (boo-hoo) and Noah and I are on the mend. I am fighting one of my "lovely" migraine headaches today, so I need to get off this computer. I think I'll treat myself to a big Dr. Pepper for my birthday to help nurse this headache. Noah started running a fever last night on our flight home and is coughing up a storm, so we may be heading to see Dr. Naylor today. Something my little man won't be happy about, I'm sure. :-)

Have a blessed Monday, my friends...

XOXO...

Jennifer

4 comments:

  1. Well Happy Birthday!! I hope you had a great day! By the pics you look like you had fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember that day well, 39 years ago. My little "Diva" was 15 days late, and we had a police escort to the hospital from Houston to Pasadena in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You invented the phrase "fashionably late." Dad and I love you with all our hearts! God blessed us when He sent you to us. You were more than worth the wait! Happy Birthday, precious daughter.
    Love,
    Mom

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved loved loved my 30's...no matter what Oprah says about the 40's I will miss those the most. How encouraging I am! :) And by the way you LOOK like you are in your 20's, no kidding! I would have NEVER guessed 39!

    ReplyDelete