Today is my 43rd birthday. Some days I feel older than 43 and some days I have no idea how I’ve gotten here so quickly, one day I’m a teenager and the next I’m looking at these birthday flowers from Flowercard a friend of mine got me and I’m looking at look back at how fast my teen years passed and how I feel like it was only yesterday when I was with my friends trying to figure out What to do in Magaluf!
There was a day when I was a kid, and maybe I was almost 11 or it could have even been my 11th birthday. I spent about an hour crying in my bedroom. I remember not knowing why I was feeling so emotional but also distinctly remember being upset about turning 11. My mom came in and I can still remember her voice saying, “Why are you crying?” As I cried, I told her I didn’t want to be 11. I wanted to stay 10. I liked 10. 10 was easy and fun.
I told her I just knew life would start getting harder after 11.
It was a weird conversation for a 10 year old to have. I remember my mom holding me in her arms and allowing me to cry. It was a safe place where I felt like I could remain 10 forever.
But time moved on and here I am at 43 with a husband, 3 daughters, and a cute little dog. I have had a full life – fuller than most people ever deserve. It’s full of exciting experiences, fun adventures, a husband who gives me a romantic love story, lots of giggles and laughs, and 3 children who think I can make the sun rise and set. I have found my passion and calling in life and that alone is a blessing because I realize that not everyone is this lucky.
My life is full of amazing people. I’m so incredibly thankful for all the people I learn from, that challenge me and give me reason to grow, and the people who support me in my parenting journey and my business.
I wanted to share my birthday post with some of them today. I asked each of these people, “What was your favorite birthday gift that you received during your childhood?” Some responded quickly. Some took some time. Some immediately thought of a gift they gave instead of received. Some of the gifts they received as adults were so amazing that they came to their mind first. To be honest, all that I really care about is the thought behind the present. I love it when it’s clear that someone has put some thought into what they’ve brought you. For example, even being given something simple like a Photo Wallet can be a great thing.
Here are their answers:
owner of my favorite Instagram account
Alana always reminds me to live in the moment with my children. She inspires me to make life more fun for my family.
“One of the best gifts I ever received was a recipe box from my mom. Inside were recipes hand written by women who that were special to me. Handed down recipes from generations by my grandmas, aunts, cousins and family friends. Every time I pull it out and look for a recipe I’m reminded just how special these women are to me and when I cook their recipes it’s like a little piece of them is with me.”
writer at Writing at the Table
Dana is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She is always supportive and willing to listen when I need an ear.
“The best gift I ever received was from my husband last Valentine’s Day. Instead of the usual flowers or chocolate, he gave me a beautiful bird feeder with a copper top and hung it from my office window. I look at it every single day and am reminded not only of the beauty of nature, but the kind and thoughtful nature of the guy who bought it for me.”
photographer at Erin Joyce Photography
Erin is amazing at focusing on the small, every day moments that comprise the most special time of our lives. She’s a constant reminder to be thankful for them and not let them pass me by.
“As I’ve gotten older and especially since becoming a mom, gifts have become less and less exciting for me and less important. I’ve been blessed to have many thoughtful gifts in my life, but one that stands out the most was what my husband did for me for my 31st birthday. We were camping for the weekend in Lancaster.
Driving to our campground I commented on how stunning all the landscape was, particularly at sunset. On the late afternoon of my birthday, he loaded the kids in the car and told me to get in. His gift was to drive me all around the amazing country roads of Lancaster during golden hour and stop to take pictures where ever I wanted. It was amazing. Watching he sunset with my family and taking some landscape pictures that continue to be my favorites. The effort to plan it and time it with the sunset was amazing. I just love the guy!”
write at Kori Telling
Kori has a love for life that I’ve never seen before. She embraces and makes the most of each moment. I hope I can have the same zest for life that she does.
“My favorite gift was always a one-on-one shopping day with my mom.”
writer at Really, Are You Serious?
Krystyn is the kind of friend that everyone should have. She’s an amazing listener and is always supportive. She’s the person I want living next door to me.
“I think my most memorable was the purple Popple my biological father got me. It was like theeeee only thing I wanted that year and I actually got it!”
Montessori trained teacher and writer at Carrots are Orange
Marnie reminds me that childhood is a journey. She inspires me to be the best parent I can possibly be – even when I’m tired and worn down.
“I like to think about birthdays as a celebration of life. So, my fondest birthday memories have to do with my giving to others rather than the opposite. I have a twin sister. So, being together is a big deal and getting harder to do as we get older and have babies in separate cities. Some of my fondest memories are making my way to see her in college, or vice versa. The time we spent together and the surprise were BY FAR the best gifts I could have received…”
writer at Phase Three of Life
Meghan is constantly giving and asks for nothing in return. She has shown me the true meaning of selfless. I can’t imagine having a heart with that much depth.
“I’ve wanted to be a writer and/or journalist since I was a young girl watching Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on my 13-inch black and white TV in my bedroom. The year I received my very own handheld tape recorder circa 1995 from my grandparents, I knew I was well on my way. Finally – FINALLY – at 13 years old, I had a way to capture all those poignant yet fleeting thoughts and ideas a writer can have when she finds herself on-the-go or just about to drift off to sleep.”
Program Manager, Education & Training at Postpartum Progress, Inc
Susan sees the good in every person. She’s constantly working hard so others can see the good in themselves too. She inspires me to do more for others and my community.
“So my birthday falls right before Christmas, so I have one of the dreaded “Chrismabirthdays.” In actuality, I loved it as a kid, because when I was little, I believed all the lights and decorations were for me. My family were also so generous, separating the two events and never lumping me in with the holidays, and so my birthday was a very special family event.
For my 13th or 14th birthday, I got what every teenagers in the 90’s wanted: A boombox CD player… with a remote control. Music was actually a really big part of my life, with my parents playing vinyl records in the evening and years of music lessons under my belt. Getting my very own boombox, (with remote!) felt like such an important, grown-up gift to me at the time. I hadn’t explicitly told anyone it was on my wish list, so the fact that my parents knew what I wanted? Made it even more special. I will also admit that it came packaged with a Batman Forever soundtrack. It was the icing on a pretty awesome cake.”
writer at I Said Be Nice and doula and owner of Baby Love Birth
Susie is the mother of 5 children who are closely spaced siblings. Despite the noise in her home, she is always thankful for her blessings and reminds me to look for the joy in the moments of mess.
“My favorite childhood birthday gift was an afghan that my grandmother made me. It was given to me on my 13th birthday. At the time I didn’t realize its significance but my grandmother passed away when I was 17 and I treasure that afghan more than anything. It’s what I grab whenever I am under the weather or life gets a bit hard. It’s like she’s still with me.”
What was your favorite gift you’ve received or given?
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