36 and counting...

This past weekend I celebrated my 36th birthday. It was a lovely day, that included my wonderful mother because she is in town with us for a nice visit. I love my birthday, and birthdays in general. Here are 36 things I have learned this past year.

  1. I have a wonderful life. I didn’t learn this this past year per say, but I still am amazed at how blessed I am with a wonderful husband who has truly made my life so much more joyful than I ever thought possible.

  2. I can cook! I spent the last year home with the kids, and had just accepted the fact that I could not cook. After tons of practice, and LOTS of emergency take-out, I have learned that I can actually do it…AND enjoy it! GASP!

  3. Building a village takes time. Slowly we are building friendships with other families, and I have had the WONDERFUL opportunity to make so many new friends this year. I am truly grateful.

  4. Tiredness makes me insane. I think crazy things like, “Why has everyone in this house conspired against me to never let me sleep again?” See? Insane.

  5. Post baby body is not an ugly thing. I am still grappling with this a bit, but for the most part I am learning that I am beautiful (as are you) at any size.

  6. Taking breaks from social media are necessary for me to see the good in human kind again. I know that social media can be used for good thing, heck we use it for A Mom Revolution and that is a good thing! But I need breaks…otherwise the ignorant, arrogant, and cruel comments made about every topic under the sun make my head (and heart) ache.

  7. I love living in Arizona. I didn’t know that I would love living here so much. I thought that I would eventually just tolerate it…but I love it so much now and can’t imagine living anywhere else at this point.

  8. My parents really did the best they could. They were raising 3 kids, on a farm which they primarily worked themselves. I was always harsh in my judgement of them and now I see that they really were amazing and that their best was exactly what we needed.

  9. No one is ever prepared for death. I saw two friends bury their fathers this year, one expected (more or less) and one not. And both were so heartbroken. No matter when our loved ones go, it is never easy.

  10. Being a stay at home mom is HARD. I mean, I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I did not know how hard it would be. I think working outside the home is also hard, but I had been doing that so even in the midst of its challenges, I didn’t know any different. Both are challenging in their own way. Both are also amazing.

  11. I love the library. We sometimes go a couple times a week and I LOVE IT.

  12. I remembered how much I love to read! I had forgotten all about my love affair with reading, but since getting to the library for the kids is a weekly adventure, I had the chance to reignite that great love! (Please read The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani-SO GOOD)

  13. Jesus is using my marriage and motherhood to sanctify me. I have heard that before but did not grasp it fully until this year.

  14. Having 2 babies can feel so overwhelming. I didn’t think that having another child would change everything SO MUCH. I know that may seem silly, but I really underestimated how much our family would change and how much I would change.

  15. The women God put in my life this year are a JOY. Seriously, I feel so incredibly fortunate to be blessed with so many beautiful female friendships that fill my cup until it runeth over.

  16. Both kids love hard boiled eggs. Who knew?

  17. There are so many amazing Catholic podcasts out there and I am learning so much about our faith, holiness, and parenthood, all while I load and unload the dishwasher.

  18. The hierarchy of the Church can disappoint me greatly, and I can STILL see the GOOD the Lord is doing in His Church. Nothing changes that.

  19. I don’t need the house to be perfectly clean…relatively clean works just fine for me.

  20. I love cooking with a Dutch oven. LOVE IT.

  21. The pre-made margaritas from Costco are so SO good.

  22. It is okay if I look chunky in a bathing suit. It is too hot to care about what others think about me.

  23. Baking with my toddler is really fun! Did NOT expect that.

  24. Running one errand a day is a wonderful way to break up my morning and afternoon, and it gets me and the kids out of the house.

  25. The park is nice at 8am.

  26. Keeping things that I “hope will fit one day” is bad for my psyche. I cleaned out my closet with a realistic idea of what to keep and it felt GOOD.

  27. I CANNOT control my children. I can only control how I respond TO my children.

  28. I don’t care if my kids jump on the couch. I don’t allow this at other people’s homes, but in our home, it is fine! I have bigger battles to fight.

  29. Bath time with 2 kids is a LOT wetter than with one. I should have assumed this, but nope…still caught me by surprise.

  30. I need to put on makeup every day to feel “put together”. Even if we don’t go anywhere, I just need a little foundation and some blush.

  31. Buying shoes for the kids is super annoying. Do I get the size they fit in now?? Or the size they will fit in in 2 weeks?!?!

  32. I am looking forward to homeschooling Oliver for preschool next year. I NEVER imagined that homeschooling is something I would consider, and the plan is for him to go to school for Kindergarten…but I am open to that plan changing….I was NOT expecting that at ALL.

  33. There are so many Catholic moms doing amazing things in the world, for some reason this was the first year that I realized that and am loving finding all these new resources.

  34. Little boys have oodles and oodles of testosterone. Sometimes I just have to let them wrestle till the cows come home.

  35. Budgeting and meal planning can be really fun- like a game of Tetris!

  36. It is easy to love two kids with the same intensity as it was to love one. I was genuinely worried about how I could love another child as much as I love Oliver. However, Emilio has made my heart expand and grow and I cannot fathom how loving two little people this much is possible. It has been the best lesson this year.

    I know that normally, as women, we tend to shy away from age, or try to keep it from claiming our faces, bodies, or fashion sense. However, every year to me is a great blessing. I look forward to my birthday each year, knowing that God has blessed me with more time with my little sweet family and friends. I encourage you to take inventory of the things you have learned in the past year on your birthday!

Diana CantuComment