This is 40...

It's the moment you've all been (not) waiting for.

It's time for my sappy 40th birthday post.  

Where do I even start?!  Can I wish my allergies away?!

Maybe you should just buckle up while I let things get real.  Like really real.

There's a reason I've taken almost a year break from blog posts.  My last year would have left you with too much emotional vomit and a back and forth of "am I sad or mad or stressed...or so pissed off I might write an entire blog entry of swear words in ALL CAPS"?!  Good news friends...good news.  My balance has been found once again, and even though sometimes I'm still a crooked is so so good.  

To think I would have made it through 2018 without the incredible people in my life would have been an incredibly false truth.  More importantly, had I not been able to work through certain details of my life without the patience of these amazing people, I would not be celebrating my 40th birthday as excitedly as I am.  Change is hard...and when you were the catalyst for change, it's oftentimes incredibly difficult for those not closest to you to understand why that change was absolutely necessary.  Today I look around my circle...and as I reflect on this last year, my heart can't contain the beauty of things having fallen in place.  Today is more than a birthday.  Today is a moment in my life when I can look back on snippets of time when I did not think everything would be okay...but now know in the depths of my soul everything is absolutely okay.

To the "Secret Angel" that has left boxes of goodies on my porch for the kiddos and were a blessing in days when we needed that surprise and those smiles.

To those of you that reached out last year with incredible words of wisdom and are who I need to remind myself to be.  

To the unexpected new friends that have chosen to listen and're rockstars and you don't even know it.

To my closest know I love you.

To my parents... My eyes keep getting blurrier and blurrier as I type.  You are my rock...and to try and put my gratefulness into words would be a disservice to my intentions and emotions.  I only wish everyone could have the security you have given us with your love and support.

To Jared Kallio...can I keep you?  

When I ventured into writing this post, my intention was to dig in even more.  However, instead of digging into the past, I must always remember to embrace where I've been, and to have open arms for where I get to go.  Life after 35 seems to move so quickly...and sometimes it's soooo hard to pause, and breathe, and smile.  I'm hoping life after 40 continues to teach me more strength, more grace, and more gratefulness.

I may not have accomplished the strict pull-up or rock hard abs that I originally hoped for on my 40th, but I believe I have accomplished something way more important.   My life since age 23 has been revolved around protecting and molding these amazing children, but will now involve expanding the people that love and care for them.  In several weeks my children will gain a stepmom.  Of the many difficult things a mother will do, having another woman brought into their children's lives requires a grace I may have not yet attained. I'm working on it...but until then, I at least know this...

I have taught my children their home is not broken.  I have showed them how necessary it is to be strong in the face of adversity...and I have showed them it's okay to love even when there's pain.  My hope is that I've taught them healing is a lifelong process, and not something that can be fixed in a day, a month, or even a year...and throughout that journey the tears should not be suppressed and that pain should always be allowed a short visit.  I have showed them the imperfection in myself...and pray that they've accepted it in themselves.  I've allowed them to see each day provides a lesson, and although failure will always find us, we have a choice to learn or give up when it does.  I've showed them it's a beautiful thing to be loved even when it's in the non-traditional way, and having more people...more family...more contributors to their growth might just be a wonderful thing.  

Lastly... I hope I've shown them that everything is okay...and even though the pain has been sharper and the tears just might be better than it was before.  

This song has been heard over and over in my house...but mostly being played as a duet between Sophia on ukulele and Hattie on guitar.  Every time I hear them practicing I turn off my music and beam.  I can't tell you if my obsession with the song is because of them or because it just emits my mood.  Either way, I felt it was perfect.  

Please...kick some ass today and do amazing things.  Our potential is so much greater than we allow ourselves to accept.

Here's to having arms open wide...


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