I turned 31 on Monday. It's almost an anomaly to see it written because a part of me still feels like an 18-year-old dreamer, but I'm happy here at 31. I've had so many thoughts swimming in my head that I want to share. They bounce around, sometimes forming a full idea, sometimes just giving me glimpses of a distant awakening, but one word sustains them all, and that's grace.
It might not mean anything to you. I've kept the word in my pocket for, well, about 31 years now. But recently it's taken on a new life. I'm asking for it. I'm seeking it in the simple moments and the hard ones.
Grace to be kind when I want to judge people.
Grace to be patient when I just want to move.
Grace to love myself as I am.
Grace when I fail to meet my own benchmarks.
Grace when I sleep a little longer because it just feels right.
Grace when I don't cross off everything on my to-do list.
Grace to be thankful when work is hard.
Grace to have peace when work is scarce.
And most of all, grace to be kind to myself. I'm not afraid of aging, though this year has been the most difficult for me to accept. But I'm choosing to use my fear as fuel: my time here is a blink and I want to make it count.
There was hardly any talk of my birthday between Matty and I because he was planning the entire thing. The only clue he gave me was, "You're going to be so in love with me this time next week."
Ha. I should have known.
If you've been following this blog for awhile then you know we loooove to surprise each other. I planned an entire day of fun surprises for his birthday in December and felt very proud of myself! Meanwhile, he took it as a challenge.
On Saturday Matty went to work and I stayed home, cleaning a bit, did some yoga, worked on my computer, etc. He said he wanted to take me out to lunch when he got off, so I got ready to go and waited.
At 2:00 there was a knock on the door...and there stood Matty, my sister, Lauren, and my parents - who had driven 3 hours, to my very happy surprise.
We had lunch, did some shopping, and that night Matty and Lauren cooked us dinner. Matty made apricot chicken, the dish he made for me for my birthday while we were dating, and my heart and tummy were in heaven.
The next morning he was getting ready to go to work and I was getting ready to go to church. He left and shortly after there was a knock on the door. No big deal - my fam was coming to pick me up. I had an egg on the stove, so I ran to let them know I needed a minute...
When I opened the door it was sensory overload. There were a lot of people standing there and a baby at my eye level.
It was my cousin, Chelsea, with her husband, Brandon, and their daughter, whom I'm obsessed with. Chelsea and I are 6 months apart and total BFF's. Safe to say I flipped.
They also drove the 3 hours from Fort Worth just to spend the day with me. I was floored that they'd drive a round trip 6 hours to hang out for about half a day. EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WAS PERFECT.
And then Monday came, my actual birthday. We had brunch with the family and then they patiently waited and applauded (or nay'd) as I tried on every last thing at Anthopolgie.
Matty and I had dinner together that night and (should I even fess up to this) were asleep by 9:30. (I loved it.)
This was the first time Matty and I were together on my actual birthday, and he set the bar rather high. I'm so thankful for his love and how freakin' well he knows me because nothing means more to me than my family.
And his apricot chicken.
Cheers to 31!