Birthday Gifts All Around Me

Today is my birthday! 
I'm 32 this year, which I'm totally ok with.  I got over the shock of leaving my twenties awhile ago and honestly, the thirties have been WAY better than I could have imagined.  In many ways, I feel more and more like myself than I did in my twenties.  When I look back on that decade, it seems silly to realize how much anxiety I felt regarding all the "big decisions" of life.  "Where will I go to school?  What will I do?  Who will I marry?  Where we live?  When will we have kids?"  etc, etc, etc.  I think I wasted a lot of energy on always looking ahead to the next stage and wishing to be there.  In this decade, I feel like I've learned how to embrace the present stage a little bit better and how to just be thankful for what's in front of me.  I've definitely grown deeper in the Lord these last few years, I think marriage and motherhood will draw that out of you.  All that to say, I'm happy to be celebrating 32 years of a life story that God has written. 
It's been exciting, challenging, fulfilling, surprising and sweet. 
And I'm grateful for all of it!
Especially for the 9 years of birthdays that have involved this handsome man. 
I woke up to a kiss from him and I look forward to falling asleep after a kiss tonight! 
God gave me the most beautiful day today and after Bible study this morning, we got to enjoy a lunch date at the park, with two little cuties who were THRILLED with the sunshine and invitation to play!
I asked the Lord to help me see the many gifts He's given me today and gratefully, He has!  This little guy woke up first today and after I got him out of his crib and took him into the living room, he laid his head on my shoulder and cuddled with me for 15 minutes!!  So NOT like my Carter :) He's usually busy, busy, busy so I was loving every minute today and considered that his birthday gift to me.
The park is a brand new thing for Carter this year and it's so fun to watch him take it all in! 
 I recently told a friend, I never knew how much I loved little boys til I had one.  He is just so cute and sweet and wild and tough.  I cannot get enough of him! 
God also gave me a gift this morning when this little girl woke up dry and happy!  Those two things are not a given these days, so I'll take them when I can :) Today was my day to serve in childcare at Bible study and they graciously put me in Ava's room, which was so fun and hilarious.  She wanted me to sit by her, hold her hand, play with her, color with her, sing with know, all the things she typically doesn't want to do when we're at home!  It was fun to get a glimpse into who she is apart from us.  She made my heart swell when she answered some questions during their Bible story time.  She knew who died on the cross and who was the leader of their "Super Bible Club" but she also tried to take the credit for creating the birds and the trees, so you know...we've still got some work to do :)
Oh, my little 3 year old has been a gift from the day we knew we were expecting her.  She is growing up and keeping us busy as we try to keep up with her.  This past week she has been sweet and spicy, heavy on the spicy!  She may have struggled a little bit after getting all her birthday love.  We've been dealing with lots of meltdowns and sharing issues but even after a long day with her, to hear her thank Jesus for "obeyin mama and daddy" and asking him to "help me be kind to Carter" she is the gift that keeps on giving!
 These three are the loves of my life!
If I never recieved another present in my life...
...they would be all the present I need!
But today I got a gorgeous day...
 ...a sweet chunk of family time...
...the world's best husband and Daddy...
...this little muffin...
...a carbon copy of his Daddy...
...and my very own mini me.  The cutest 3 year old I know!
I am a blessed woman indeed, complete with my very own birthday ribbon, compliments of my sweet friend Eleisia!  I am having a great day and not because I've received diamonds or my husband whisked me off on an exotic vacation.  It's great because of the three people God's given me to love and care for, because of all the precious friends and family members who are making my phone buzz and ring off the hook, and mostly because of my Savior who created me, died for me, redeemed me and has blessed me with another day and another year.  His love for me has opened my eyes to the many gifts He's graciously poured out in my life.  I'm grateful to be 32 today!! 
 Suddenly the 30's don't seem old at all, right???

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