Turning 31

Things don’t always happen the way we plan. I think that’s the lesson God wanted me to learn this past year and I am just starting to understand and accept it.

So Sunday was my 31st birthday and in all honesty, I was a bit disappointed with how things went.  I didn’t expect surprise parties or a big shebang but I wasn’t in a celebratory mode for my birthday at least.  Kev and I stayed at my parents most of last week since my dad was finishing up another round chemo. Kevin had a busy work week.  Maddie’s birthday was last Thursday and then right after school on Friday, Kevin left on a camping trip for the weekend with my nephew and his Treeclimber’s group.  Me and Maddie were on our own for a girls weekend and we had a busy weekend with wedding and all.  It was just a busy busy week.
My birthday all started when I woke Maddie up for church. The first thing I told her was it was Mommy’s bday.  Her response? 

“No MEEE!!”
Most people would congratulate me and just say “Happy Birthday” but I was left to leave it to a two year old. Since her birthday was only three days before mine, she clearly thought it was HER birthday, not mine.  And so everytime I tried to remind her that it was my birthday, she screamed back at me and said that it was hers. I eventually realized that there really was no use fighting with a two year old and so I ended up keeping my mouth shut for the rest of the morning.  Ignoring the fact that it was my birthday…at least around her.
               bday pic AFTER she locked herself in her room

Maddie honestly did not help me feel that special that morning!!  That same morning as we were getting ready for church, she locked herself in her bedroom.  So much for hoping that everything goes smoothly!  Another reminder to me that things just don’t work out the way we want them to all the time.  And this is pretty much the lesson I’ve been learning all year.

Much of this has to do with the journey of motherhood where at times it just doesn’t feel like you have any control over anything. You buy your daughter the expensive good stuff that’s dairy free for her and she throws it all over the floor. You try to help her with something and she pushes you away and throws a fit.  Then she tells you she wants you to help her again and you go back to help. And then screams at you again.  When you need sleep the most, she wakes you up and calls you by name in the middle of the night trying to use up every ounce of energy you don’t really have.  Inside I have found myself throwing inner tantrums this year because life doesn’t feel fair sometimes.  Part of my growing I’m sure.

I think turning 30+ can also be hard because in our minds we wish things were different. Some wish they were married by now but aren’t. Others want kids but can’t have them. Others don’t like their job and just hate the daily grind.  In the midst of another “It’s not fair!” moment, God convicted me Sunday to remember his goodness even when things don’t happen as planned.  Here we go…my happy birthday goodness list. Because I am still so blessed.
when everyone is gone or asleep, it comes down to selfies.

1. My sister, though overseas, arranged to have a super chocolatey cake delivered to me for my bday. After I got the cake at church, Kevin and Maddie were both exhausted so they both ended up taking a nap at my parent’s house before we headed to our next event.  At first I was a bit sad that they both were asleep and noone could eat the cake with me.  In the end though, my dad, who was the only other person home and who by the way just finished his 4th round of chemo was there to savor the cake with me.  God’s worked it out and it was better than eating cake at a big party.  Thankful Dad could eat a little of the cake even with a bad appetite.  Thanks Yeeg for the super-d cake!

hanging so gracefully!

2. On Friday, I made one of those 1-minute purchases and bought myself a new purse at HALLMARK that I really like.

3. Maddie, her Chinese name meaning “God’s extra grace”, is the perfect mix of beautiful, sweet and silly.  She is SSOOOO precious to me and the best and cutest little gift I’ve ever seen! She gives me drama with the joy=).
4. Kevin, my studly husband, who despite his exhaustion from camping this weekend, driving home from West Va. for hours, and attending his bro’s graduation and dinner on Sunday, stayed up until midnight to catch up with me (even though I know he was sleepy).  I am so blessed because of him, his commitment and his patience with me. =)

A good man. =)

5. Good family.  I have good family on both sides.  My MIL gave me a thoughtful gift, card, dinner and an ice cream cake this birthday. My brother in law was able to graduate after much work from UMUC yesterday. Very proud and excited for him.  My parents have poured their hearts and prayers into my life.  I have the best sisters and the cutest most precious nieces and nephews who make me laugh and smile all the time. I feel so blessed that Maddie, though only 2 has so many friends/cousins to enjoy life with.  If you can’t tell from our pictures she totally just loves them.

6. Good friends!  Throughout the weekend I was blessed with emails and visits from good friends that I really do treasure. Some knew it was my bday and some didn’t but they were still emailing just to say hi.=).  I am so so blessed.

completely soaking in her bday with two of her cousins
No words.