10 things I’m grateful for on my 35th birthday

I turned 35 yesterday.

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It was a day just like any other spent loving on Margs and enjoying time with my husband. We had a few friends and their children over for dinner and ate good food and shared many laughs – what better way to spend the day.

When I was in therapy after losing  the girls my therapist helped me work through my constant need to go over the should haves and could haves. It was a process and although I’m much better about it, it does creep up on me. Especially on birthdays where my mind wanders to where I am and where I could have been instead.

She’d ask me to live in the moment – she’d ask me to make lists – she’d ask me to jot down reasons I was grateful to help me remember or acknowledge how great the present really is.

So, I figured what better way to celebrate my 35th birthday.

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10 things I’m grateful for on my 35th birthday

1. My precious baby girl. Margs has changed my life in ways I can hardly describe. She’s taught me to love in ways I never thought possible. I would love to elaborate but I can’t possibly do it justice. Words just don’t suffice.

    2. My husband Mer. Our relationship is far from perfect but it works. He’s the most patient, loyal and considerate person I’ve ever met. Above all he’s my absolute best friend. I love him to the moon and back and I am so grateful to have him in my life.

    3. My mum. She’s been my rock through the most difficult and the best of times. We’re super close and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    4. My physical health. I was warned that after prolonged bed rest I’d likely be facing physiotherapy and painful muscles and joints related to muscle wasting. I’m so grateful that although not completely back to my pre-pregnancy self I’ve avoided therapy and can function almost entirely pain free.

    5. My home. It’s small, it’s drafty and it’s far from fancy but I love it. I love that our small family has a place we love to build our memories.

    6. Good friends. We’ve made a handful of new friends since we’ve moved and we’re so grateful to have these wonderful people and their families in our lives.

    7. Living debt free. Mer and I are finally debt free (except for our mortgage and car payment). We’ve managed to pay back over 20 thousand in credit card debt and save a down payment equal to 55% of the purchase of our home in just over 7 years by living frugally and watching our money very closely.

    8. Having an amazing extended family who are as excited about watching Margs grow as we are. It’s really quite amazing to see how invested some of our aunts, uncles and cousins are in her life. I’m so grateful for the daily phone calls, emails and Facebook messages. Margs is so so loved and I am so grateful.

    9. Having access to good food. We grow a ton of our own produce in the summer and freeze it to sustain us through the winter. Eating well is so important and I’m so grateful to have access to good food all winter long.

    10. The now. I’m so grateful that the now is what it is. I love my daughter, my husband and my home. I don’t love some parts of our journey for obvious reasons but am so grateful that after all of that we’ve finally found some peace and given the opportunity to love life again.

    Now tell me, what are you grateful for today?

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    1. December 28, 2016 / 7:42 am

      Happy belated birthday! I am grateful for my precious girls. The past 4 years following the divorce have been the worst of my life and without the love that my girls and I share I don’t think I would have survived or even wanted to. They make life worth living – again.

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:25 am

        I love this. Tough times always help us appreciate don’t they? Thank you for the birthday wishes.

    2. December 28, 2016 / 7:54 am

      Well Happy Birthday! I’m impressed you grow your own produce. I cannot keep anything alive. It’s a skill I wish I had.

      • December 28, 2016 / 8:34 pm

        I’m with you on that one. I wish I had green fingers too, but I can’t grow anything.

        • December 30, 2016 / 9:22 am

          I don’t have a green thumb at all. It took some trial and error but it works. Also, most plants are pretty forgiving in the summer time 😉

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:25 am

        It’s really not that hard. My gardens aren’t always the most productive but they do bring me a ton of veggies despite my limited know-how!

    3. December 28, 2016 / 8:03 am

      are you Dave Ramsey-ers? We are working our way to be debt free, as well. Can’t wait. It’s so encouraging to hear young people who are (close to) debt free!

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:24 am

        Actually we’re not! I’m working on a post right now explaining how we did it! Check back next week!

        It takes time but you’ll get there!

        • December 30, 2016 / 9:31 am

          we are following the “guidelines” but aren’t as strict as he says to be. i still sorta want to live my life and get to go to dinner with my husband or take my kids to the movies if i want to. we’ve only been on it for like 3 months and have paid off 4 debts. sometimes it just takes a kick in the hiney to remind you that you don’t want debt forever.
          excited to read your post!

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:23 am

        Thanks Trish!

    4. December 28, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Happy birthday and what a great list. My 50th is coming in a few weeks and the half century mark has definitely made me look at and think of things differently. It’s also shone a light on the important things, letting the rest of it fall away. I’m grateful for making it to this milestone. I lost several friends at far too young an age that did not have the opportunity to experience the things I have. It lends a perspective when you look at it like that, as if you you’re experiencing things on their behalf, because they didn’t get the chance.

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:23 am

        Such wise words! Happy early birthday Kelly!

    5. December 28, 2016 / 7:25 pm

      Happy belated birthday! This was lovely to read, I hope you had a great and amazing birthday full of joy! I am grateful for my family and friends! Thanks for making me avare of the things that I can sometimes take for granted xx

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:23 am

        Thank you Chiara! Have a wonderful new year!

    6. December 28, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      Happy birthday, Jenny! That’s a great idea to come up with a list that we should feel happy and grateful about. It’s so easy to just take things for granted. I am grateful for having a supportive family, my health, a secure job and the financial means to support my love for travelling.

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:22 am

        Love your list!! Thank you so very much for sharing with me!

        • January 2, 2017 / 8:17 pm

          You inspired me to create a list for 2016 on my blog too.

          • January 3, 2017 / 7:44 am

            Looking forward to reading it!

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:22 am

        Thank you so much!

    7. December 28, 2016 / 10:51 pm

      Jenny, I’m grateful for a never-gonna-leave me husband (of 43 years), grateful for a church family and extended family that are all like, well, family and grateful to have lived into my 6th decade and leaning into God’s purpose for my life.
      (and I’m thankful I found your blog 🙂

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:21 am

        Such wonderful things to be grateful for! Love this list!

      • December 30, 2016 / 9:20 am

        Thank you!

      • January 3, 2017 / 8:02 am

        Thank you!

    8. January 11, 2017 / 11:24 am

      Happy Birthday! You share the same birthday as my 8-year-old daughter. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and like my post. I’ve been out of the writing arena for a while, but due to some job changes/losses, I’ve decided to put my energy into it again. I haven’t had time to explore your site in depth, but I did see the links and posts about pregnancy/child loss. My husband and I went through 2 years of infertility tests and treatments before having a miscarriage. The next pregnancy brought us our first daughter. I suffered more infertility issues and another miscarriage before having our second daughter 4 years later. Now I’m recovering from a battle with endometriosis and hysterectomy, including one ovary. I understand the loss, the fear, the joy, the pain – and now struggle with losing my ability to choose. Though we decided two kids was our limit, at least it was my choice. That’s been taken away from me and it’s been a struggle to wrap my head around. But, anyway – thanks for stopping by my blog and I look forward to reading yours!

      • January 11, 2017 / 11:27 am

        Hi Andi, Thank you for stopping by. I’m so incredibly sorry for your losses and the troubles you faced. We battled infertility, repeat losses and are now in a position where we can choose but going down that road again wont be easy.

        I look forward to following your blog!

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