Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It happened...

And, just like that I'm "30." I have to admit that the night before my birthday (my last day in my 20's), I did shed a few tears. Life just seems to be flying by. The days are going much faster and I don't know that I'm exactly where I thought I would be at 30. I'm not sure where I really wanted to be at 30, but at an age like this, it makes you stop and reflect on your life...
Am I the person I want to be?
Have I done anything significant up to this point?
What's in line for the future?
Am I making healthy choices?
I mean, I'm probably close to 1/3 done with my life on earth. It really puts things into perspective. Life is so short. So, I am going at this year with a new plan. Usually, I make resolutions (in the spirit of New Years and my birthday), but this year it's this:
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious. Slow to anger, abounding in love." Psalm 103:8
I want to be more like God, more like Jesus, more like the Holy Spirit. More like them. More like HIM. I want to be slower to get angry and full of more love than ever before. Afterall, the world needs to see HIM, and at the end of my life, if I've shown HIM, then I've accomplished all that I was purposed to do.
I'm so thankful that:
" '...My grace is sufficient for you, My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
With Christ, I can do all things. With Christ, even my weaknesses can be turned to strengths. I have a lot to look forward to in the coming years with HIM inside of me.
For my birthday, we played in the snow as a family, and I didn't have to cook or do any dishes...which is a HUGE blessing to me since we don't have a dishwasher! :) Sometimes, I feel like I've spent all day in the kitchen!
Then, last night, my MedWives Girls Group friends took me out for appetizers and desserts at a great little train station restaurant. So fun!
So far, 30 is looking pretty great!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The BIG 3-0

Yes, I'm turning 30 in two days. I know I don't look that old (wink, wink), but I really am about to cross over to the 30-something category. There are plenty of things that have happened in my life to bring me to this place, but some of these things have really surprised me:
1. I am okay with turning 30! I'm thankful to be alive!
2. I don't dress like a 19 year old anymore...and I'm happy about it.
3. I like who I am more now than I did when I was 15, 20, and 25.
4. I feel confident in (most of) my decisions.
5. I've learned what it is to live off of next to nothing.
6. I'm okay with my hand-me-down clothes and my bargain groceries.
7. I love being home with Madilyn (literally just being home).
8. I'd rather skip a hair cut if it means I can have a sit down dinner date with Cameron.
9. I should've paid more attention in history classes because that stuff really is important.
10. Home is where Cameron and Madilyn are...even if it's a 22 hour drive from all that is familiar.

I am happy to be turning 30. I love what God has done in my life. There has been so much He has brought me through, and there have been so many blessings along the way. He is a FAITHFUL friend and a loving, just God.

A song that has spoken volumes to me in the recent years is by Nichole Nordeman, called "I AM" and here are the lyrics:

Pencil marks on a wall, I wasn't always this tall
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed.
You watched my team win, and watched my team lose
Watched when my bicycle went down again
When I was weak, unable to speak, still I could call You by name
And I said Elbow Healer, Superhero, come if you can
You said, I Am

Only sixteen, life is so mean
What kind of curfew is at 10 pm?
You saw my mistakes and watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I'd never love again
When I was weak, unable to speak, still I could call You by name
And I said Heartache Healer, Secret Keeper, be my best friend
You said, I Am

You saw me wear white by pale candlelight
I said 'forever' to what lies ahead
Two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it is 2 am.
When I was weak, unable to speak, still I could call You by name
Oh, Shepherd Savior, Pasture Maker, hold on to my hand
You said, I Am

The winds of change and circumstance
Blow in and all around us
So we find a foothold that's familiar
And bless the moments that we feel you nearer

When life had begun I was woven and spun
You let the angels dance around the throne
Who can say when, but they'll dance again
When I am free and finally headed home
I will be weak, unable to speak, still I will call You by name
Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer
Lord and King, Beginning and the End
I Am, I Am

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas in TEXAS!

Well, Christmas came and went...and a few weeks later, I still feel like I'm recovering from it. I know my laundry is still recovering anyway :) Madilyn got EXACTLY what she wanted...which was Squinkies...and thankfully those babies only cost $10, so Mom and Dad could provide this year. No disappointment here :)
We had such a nice time seeing family and a few friends while we were in town (though we would've loved to see lots more friends). Time literally flew by. It is nice to be back in Erie, PA but I seriously miss being close to family.
We have a lot of cute pics from the trip, so I'm just going to save some time explaining each one and just show them to you. I found a pretty sweet little editing site, so I was able to caption the pictures for your viewing enjoyment :) Go with me here...
We had a nice time seeing family in Amarillo and opening presents. Madilyn got SO MANY GIFTS that she literally had to stop and take a break in the middle of present opening. She is a very blessed, loved little lady.
Madilyn also took the time to enjoy a good story with Poppy. I'm pretty sure she told him the story because she kept interrupting while he was reading. After all, 3 year olds know pretty much everything :)
One night, while in Amarillo, we went over to Tyson and Jenny's (my brother's) home, and they made us some delicious, spicy potato soup and we played Scrabble. Madilyn loved getting to spend more time with them, and I'm pretty sure she talked their legs off. The girl loves a captive audience of those that adore her.
Cameron and I got to visit some of our favorite places while in Amarillo (i.e. Trinity Fellowship Church, Thai Arawan), and we had lots of great meals from various spots. My mom made my favorites (enchiladas), and we enjoyed mostly relaxing and taking it all in. One of the days there, we were able to drive to Dalhart (my hometown) and eat at LaEspanola and see my Gang Gang and Anna.
Madilyn got to read stories with Anna, and she almost fell asleep. I have vivid memories of always falling asleep at my grandparents houses...I think the combination of quietness, loads of love, and the fact that house is always warm makes it easy for any kid to relax. Hmmm...maybe I should take note of that :)
While in Amarillo, we were also able to visit the Discovery Center with my family, and Madilyn had such a wonderful time. We saw an IMAX movie about the weather and it had aliens (Ach-ew-onns, as Madilyn says). Her eyes were as big as they could be during the entire 20 minute movie :) They had lots of fun experiments and gadgets to play with. I'm pretty sure Cameron and I had as much fun as she did!
Next, we drove 4 1/2 hours to Abilene with Cameron's grandmother "Grandma Patsy." I wish I had gotten a picture of her this year, but somehow she didn't make it on my camera...but she was there, and we enjoyed the car ride with her! She told Cameron to drive 55 so he could save gas. She said it only took an extra 45 minutes to get there. Cameron told her that 45 minutes could be life or death when it's concerning a car ride with a 3 year old. He drove 70. We still got great gas mileage. She said we must've had a tail wind. I said thank you to Cameron because another 45 minutes would've done us in! :)
While in Abilene, we visited the zoo. Weird, but we actually get in free with our Erie Zoo Membership. They're in the same network...so we enjoyed it quickly because it was FREEZING COLD that day...like literally not above freezing. I think we must've brought the cold to Texas when we came. When we left it warmed up again. Ugh. Oh well.
We had nice family time with the Smith side of the family. Aunt Melissa played the guitar and she even took the requests of the 3 year old of the house. Madilyn enjoyed getting to know Uncle Colin and Aunt Melissa even more this year! She got a book from them, and when we got home, she was reading it and said, "Mommy, they love me. Colin and Melissa love me." Very sweet.
She even let Uncle Colin take a picture with her, which doesn't happen very often.
And, Madilyn got to decorate cookies with Papa and eat all the frosting she wanted. She loved being in control of the decorations, and she did a great job telling Papa what to do. She didn't want to decorate. She wanted to eat frosting and tell Papa how to decorate. So, of course, that's exactly what happened :)
What an exhausting, exciting and fun trip! We came, we saw, we conquered, and now we sleep...and sleep...and do laundry...and sleep :) Blessings on 2012 to all of you friends and family! Much love from the Erie, PA SMITHS!