I really can’t believe I’ll be 33 years old tomorrow. That just seems so close to 40, which is crazy. I’m not upset to age another year and I gladly tell people how old I am, it just amazes me that life is going so fast. I try not to dwell on that. So instead, I decided to think back on allllll of these years and choose my 33 favorite memories. I’m sure I forgot some and these are not in any kind of order because frankly, that would take too long. This was a fun trip down memory lane and reaffirmed the fact that I am one lucky girl (am I supposed to say woman now??). Some of you, or maybe all of you, reading this may have been a part of these memories, so thank you! I tried to find pictures for as many as I could, I may have to update this down the road when I find more! Enjoy this loooooong post ;).
My wedding day. Self explanatory, but truly the most special day to have all of my loved ones in one place to celebrate and I got to marry the best guy in the whole world. Wearing a big poufy dress was fun too.
The births of my babies. I didn’t want to split these into two because I didn’t want them to complain to me when they are teenagers and read this and wonder why so and so was listed first. Two moments I will never ever forget.
Aiden’s 1st birthday party. We celebrated making it through our first year of parenting and got to surprise all of our family and close friends with the big news that Aiden would be a big brother.
The summer after high school graduation. Okay, now these may not be as sentimental. Those three months were full of anxious fun and preparing for college in more ways than one. Wink wink.
The day Andrew proposed. I came home from taking my second Praxis exam and he was down on one knee. The flowers, candles, music…it was all perfect. And then, naturally, we celebrated with friends in Columbus at an 80’s roller skating party.
My first trip to the beach. When I was 9 (I think? Somewhere around there…), I was lucky enough to go to Myrtle Beach with my Aunts, Uncles and cousins. The beach was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and I will never forget rocking on the porch, watching it. Randomly, it was also the first time I ate cantaloupe.
Beer Olympics. I’ve “competed” in 4 and they were all equally amazing. If you think it’s pathetic or strange that I included these in my list of favorite memories, you obviously haven’t participated in one. So. Much. Fun.
Our honeymoon. Jamaica in December/January is something everyone should get to experience. And bonus points for getting to do it with the love of your life.
Seeing Phantom of the Opera with my mom. It was the first time I’d been to a big production and it was so much fun going with just my mom. It was a rare treat for both of us and I’ll never forget the chandelier or the hot chocolate.
A trip to Gatlinburg to celebrate 6 months. Andrew and I went on our first vacation together and stayed in a little cabin in the mountains. I’d love to do that again.
The beginning of our senior year of college. Six of us lived in two double wides in Oxford. We always had a big party at the beginning of the year and that year it seemed like we had one every weekend. Most, if not all, occasions required dressing up or a homemade t-shirt.
Mission Trips. My high school youth group was amazing and they remain some of my closest friends. It was so incredible to travel and work hard to help those in need.
Lakeside, AKA church camp. I truly believe these weeks shaped me into the person I am today. I think back on these times often and love that I am still close to those who experienced it with me.
Holding my babies after surgery. It was several long weeks before I could hold Audrey or Aiden. I never want to wait that long again.
Spring Break – Puerto Vallarta. Over a dozen of your friends together in an all-inclusive resort, in a gorgeous part of the world. I’m glad I got to have this classic experience. Not sure I could handle it now, though!
Horse Shows. I started taking horseback riding lessons when I was 5. I’ve always loved horses and it’s a life goal to own one someday. I still remember riding in horse shows and of course, winning every time.
Band camp. Yes, I was in marching band, I played the clarinet. I was actually pretty good. The week we spent in the hot, humid valley in West Virginia was always a good time and just a little like the movie American Pie ;).
My first Opening Day. I received tickets from my friends for Christmas and Andrew and I went. The weather was perfect and I was so excited to finally experience one of the best Cincinnati traditions.
Hearing Aiden’s heartbeat for the first time. It was our third pregnancy and the first heartbeat. Third time’s a charm indeed. Not sure I’ve ever felt happier.
Finding out baby #2 was a girl. We didn’t know yet, but would soon find out that Audrey would have to be our last baby due to my pending surgery and ongoing medication. I thank God for blessing us with a boy and a girl to help ease the “what ifs” just a little.
Green Beer Day. The biggest holiday in Oxford, a party that starts before the sun comes up and ends way after it goes down. I had some pretty good ones in my 4 years at Miami.
The day we found Ollie. We somewhat randomly decided we wanted a dog and went to the Kenton County Animal Shelter right before it closed on a Saturday. They brought him out and we immediately knew he would be our first baby.
NYC trips in high school. New York City is such a magical place; I really wish I could go there more often. The trips I took there in high school (with band) were a blast.
Whitewater Rafting. The summer after 5th grade, I went to a YMCA day camp. Our end of summer trip was to go rafting in West Virginia. I loved being on the water and the adrenaline rush.
My bachelorette party. Such a fun night celebrating and the upgraded bus (complete with pole) kept things interesting.
Choosing a name for our baby girl. We were stuck between two names and I was playfully asking Aiden what we should name his baby sister. He wasn’t talking very clearly yet, but clear as day he repeated, Audrey. I melted and we had a name.
Lifeguarding. I was a lifeguard for four summers in inner city Cincinnati. It was the perfect summer job and I loved the kids we saw everyday. I still pray for them and hope they followed their dreams that they so often talked about.
My first trip to California. Although she’s so far away, I’m glad one of my best friends moved to California and gave me a reason to visit. I’m ready to go back!
Officially becoming a teacher. After 8 years of working in education and looking for a teaching job off and on, getting that phone call was one of the most rewarding moments of my life.
Italy trip in high school. Because I went to the best high school ever and was crazy enough to take Latin AP, I had the opportunity to go to Italy the summer after 10th grade. I wish I would have appreciated it more, but I do have 20 rolls of film to look back on.
The day after each of my surgeries, especially this past one. Relief, gratitude and the prospect of a healthier future.
Being home with my kids. I realize this isn’t one specific memory, but as I wrote these, I came to the quick realization that most did not include Aiden and Audrey. Now Aiden is only two and Audrey 9 months, but I still felt bad. Life has been different these past two years, it’s not filled with events or trips, and that’s okay. In 33 more years, I know I’ll look back and remember the simple moments of kisses, wiping muddy hands and splashing in the tub. Life is full of different seasons and while it’s fun to look back and remember the previous ones, it’s just as important to appreciate the one you’re in right now. 33 is looking pretty darn good.