OK, friends if you don't already know .... It is in fact my birthday today :) I was greeted with big kisses this morning from my hubs and the littles too! but I got to thinkin' I am now a quarter of a century old!? I typically don't care much about my age but for some reason 25 is proving to be a bit harder to swallow ... I even tried to convince my sweet mama that I was in fact 24 not 25... but she gave birth to me she was there and sweetly reminded me that I turned 24 last year. :) ...So 25 ... Umm while I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about this yet... I want to look back a little over the years and share what my quarter of a century has been like this could be fun... and random... and super all over the place are we ready?? Here we go...
Shannon Naomi was born in California. I've lived in California (obviously), Canada, Montana, Colorado, Louisiana, and now Texas! I attended a small little school called ASA Wood Elementary in Montana the first birthday that I can remember was probably my fifth, sixth, or seventh birthday (I don't have a real great memory) and I remember my parents took me and some friends bowling there was pizza and root beer. I can't remember much else from that birthday but I do remember it was fun knowing that my family thought of me and spoiled me rotten! Then I remember how my mama established a tradition, from that birthday on, the birthday girl (or boy as I have two brothers) could pick a special birthday dinner and have whatever type of cake or dessert treat we wanted... I just love my mama she is just tops!
I don't remember every single birthday I've ever had but the next one that kinda sticks out is either fourth or fifth grade ... I don't remember how old I turned or who all was there but we had recently moved to Colorado and I was still kind of the "new girl" and I shyly invited about 5 or 6 of the friends I had just made to my birthday. My folks once again spoiled me and took us all to a chinese food restaurant and then we all went go kart racing. I remember it was a blast and I was thankful for those friends that came and celebrated with me even though I was that "weird new girl" :) Fast forward a bit ... I remember my mama made me crab legs for my birthday dinner for my twelfth birthday and I had decided that I was more sophisticated than chocolate cake and chocolate frosting with sprinkles so I requested a lemon cake with vanilla frosting... oh the thoughts of a preteens mind... :) My next few birthdays are kind of fuzzy but I know somewhere in there I went to my first concert with my mama and a good friend (Rebecca St. James and I actually bumped into each other in the ladies room it was cool) and then one of my birthdays I think my thirteenth my awesome dad took me and my good friend Amy to Joe's crab shack for dinner and then to the World Arena to see The Little Mermaid on Ice! And you know I felt pretty special for that!! Highlights of that evening were my dad singing along with Sebastian (with a full on faux Jamaican accent, mon!) and watching my best good friend attempt to shuck her first raw oyster... sorry Amy but 'That's the Way It Is' or the way it went, you know who you are and you know that I love you!! :)For the record I love me some seafood, always have, and had been downing raw oysters for quite some time prior to that particular birthday. ;)
I started highschool shortly thereafter and met my wonderful husband the very first day of my freshman year when I walked into Mr. Cox's painting 101 class, tardy, on my first day... which of course mortified me and I then blamed on my mother but now realize that she had a kiddo in each level of school at the time... elementary, middle and highschool so it's a miracle we were ever on time!? I love you mama and I just don't know how you did it??! Mad props to mi madre! ;) Anyhow where was I, oh yes, meeting my husband in art class.... Well that was a memorable day because people typically say oh it was like love at first sight... not quite the case with me and mine ;) From the moment I sat down next to that fella (as he was polite at first and offered me a chair next to him... so I could quickly escape Mr. Cox's wrath while he scolded me for being late on my first day and was informed that I needed to find a seat.) but from the second I sat down that boy just teased and picked and teased some more... Anything and everything he could possibly make fun of he did... my sneeze, my laugh, my walk, my jeans... and when we were given our assignment to sketch (not trace) a photograph we found in one the national geographic magazines I was dutifully sketching my wiggly version of a bunch of violets next to a pond and he very irritatingly and much too loudly inquired, "Is that a cow?" I informed him that my picture was in fact "this!" as I angrily shoved the magazine photo across the table to him... Finally after what seemed an eternity to my freshman brain painting 101 ended and the bell to change classes sounded I quickly gathered my belongings and hurried to find my next class and that guy I met kept buggin' me anytime he saw me in the hallways or at my locker and it seemed he just sought me out whenever he could just to mess with me. When my day ended and my mama picked me up I was so frustrated with "this dumb boy I met in art class" I was in tears as I recapped my day and the "is that a cow" comment... my mama curled my hair behind my ear and said, "Honey, someday you'll probably marry that dumb boy" WOW.... when they say mama knows best... right?! Because here after almost 11 years after we met we are back together, happily married with two kiddos and maybe thinkin' about more ;)
Anyhow back to the ghost of birthdays past ... My sixteenth birthday was memorable because I had a track meet (I did the hurdles, shot put, and sometimes the mile... none of which I did well haha) Hubs was on the track team and by this time we had put our first impressions aside and were smitten with each other and had been dating for awhile so he surprised me with a dainty crystal cross necklace as my birthday present ...my mama couldn't make my favorite dinner because the meet was somewhere in rural town colorado and the bus ride home lasted well into the wee hours of the next morning (but she did make me "after birthday breakfast" complete with candles the very next morning ;)) but back to the track meet I remember sitting with Hubs on the bus ride there and I remember that I tripped over a hurdle and finished dead last and I remember my coach let me get out of running the mile... thanks coach! :) and I remember eating at wendys afterward because "you can eat great even late" ;) Hubs bought my cup of chili and a baked potato and we shared a frosty. We rode home on the bus together, I slept, and then my mama picked me up and wished me happy birthday and when I got home I showered and got into bed because it was already tomorrow....
|Me and Hubs at our prom together.|
Moving on... get scholarship and go to college meet sweet first roommate, she moves off campus, meet not so sweet roommate, get freaked out hide in closet call 911 because said not nice roomie had given her key to a large intimidating male visitor so he could wait for her in the room while I was unaware of such visitor and happened to be getting out of the shower wrapped in a towel... (long story funny now but mildly terrifying then) loved choir, met sweet wonderful Ashley who gave me a place to stay and became my instant best friend for life. met my birthday twin Happy Birthday Jacqs! :) performed so many beautiful pieces of music, struggled in math and theory classes, met crazy awesome people, drank entirely too much (sad but true) and big time learned from it! Moved off campus into the house with the "girls next door" and got engaged over the summer (hubs proposed while he was in Iraq over the phone I love our unique love story! :) came back to school and had the world's silliest, craziest bachelorette party from my girls I love you all and someday I will return the favor muhaha! :) More rehearsals and performances got married over fall break
(we had our small ceremony in my parents living room in front of the fireplace and a few witnesses and I wore a polkadot summer dress and it was perfect!), went back to school found out I was pregnant when we had a miscarriage ... hubs deployed to Iraq, Ashley and I had our car accident driving home for Christmas break. I spent about 2 weeks in the hospital with a broken arm and a severe concussion and spent lots more time recovering in my parents living room. (I was super drugged on percocet so I don't remember much of the recovery time honestly)...
|Us passed out early early am after we picked him up at the airport...|
|Us goofing off at clearwater creek|
We got pregnant with our first baby boy (Big M) ;) didn't find out til hubs had gotten back to Iraq (of course that's just how it works) sent him the most exciting email that said "hey Daddio!" ;) spent more time with hubs family in Alaska... went back to my folks house and baby shopped a TON with my mama and drove her crazy with my mood swings and obscure cravings ... big M's ultrasound and mama went with me. I didn't want to know boy or girl without hubs being there so I closed my eyes and waited we got a sonogram picture announcing the gender and then found out via skype together that evening... IT'S A BOY!! :) hubs got home from Iraq and we moved down to Louisiana and had our first baby!!!
|first family picture with big M|
|Me and my little M|
5 months later hubs deployed to Afghanistan. So I loaded up the car and took the littles and Snickers up to stay with grandma and grandpa for a bit we stayed with my folks and tried to distract ourselves while daddy was overseas... hubs came home for midtour leave and bought a jeep (I still use the phrase for better or for used jeeps just to tease my sweet hubbers.. haha) mid tour leave was coming to a close so we drove back down to Louisiana together. hubs went back to Afghanistan.
I learned to deal with lots of chaos trying to adjust to raising two little boys both under the age of 2 on my own for a while...
|The littles while daddy was deployed :)|
|happy homecoming pic!|
we start packing up for the big move to Texas ... I get glasses and find out I should have had them all along ha! so we keep packing and then we leave behind our church family, friends, and our first home ... move to Texas ... have a pretty rough time adjusting to so much change and new living arrangements as we tried to have my M.I.L. (mom-in-law) stay with us and all I will say is that that just did. not. work! ... Hubs gets promoted... Hubs goes off to school ... our lease ends and we have to move to a different neighborhood ... so I start packing an entire house with two toddlers and a small dog with a few good allies :) ...again lots of tears and prayer... and TONS of frustration. Finally getting it all packed up in storage and driving home with an overpacked car ... mommy panic attack... doggie panic attack... long drive... safe at grandma and grandpas house ... spend time with family breathe easy after all the chaos... reconnect with old friends, and see besties! :) (I love you Ashley and Kailly!) Hubs comes back from school finds us a new place and starts the move-in... I drive back with the kiddos we continue the unpacking process... keep raising toddlers had a messy cheeto incident and we've restarted potty training... and now here we are I'm sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee and reminiscing... and it's my birthday!! WHEW!!! That was a mouthful... but then again that was basically the last 24 years of my life! (Did anybody else get motion sick that was a lot really fast time travel haha:)
But looking over the past quarter century of my life I realize how full my years have been and will continue to be I've seen happyness, and pain, I have had beautiful babies and lost some dear people in my life ... I couldn't possibly write down every memory I've ever had but this is just a glimpse into my extremely full and abundantly blessed life I don't know where life will take me after this birthday but I do know that I'm ready for it! I love being me and I can't describe how grateful I am for all of the amazing opportunities I've had, all the fascinating places I've been able to go, and especially all of the beautiful absolutely incredible people in my life!! I'm so thankful for my life and for the love that I have been blessed with!! I love my two kiddos, my little MnMs more than life itself and I married my best friend so I have the worlds best husband! I have learned so much in my life and I can't wait to see what's next so alright y'all I may have been hesitant at first but officially...
|Birthday outfit of the day :)|
I've been so many places and seen so many new things I am blessed beyond belief and so very loved I just radiate with joy and happiness! I love all of the people in my life I have learned so much from all of you and have been truly blessed to love you and have each of you in my life! I'm excited to make even more amazing memories with my family and friends! I'm ready for the years to come and all the trials and joys in store through the rest of my life... and I just can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!!
Tonight, my mama doesn't get to make me a special birthday supper (I wish haha) and my daddy hasn't planned some elaborate birthday outing this year :) I will be eating gluten free cake instead of lemon pound or chocolate or ice cream cake... but I'm just as happy as ever and even though it makes me nervous to think that I'm a quarter of a century old?! haha ;) I'm absolutely thrilled that it's my birthday AND I'm going to celebrate the previous years that God has given me and be grateful today and everyday as I count my many blessings and see what God has done and... count my many blessings count them one by one...
|This is the way my birthday mornin' started silly faces and a glasses thief :) Love my MnMs! :)|
Huge Happy Birthday hugs and some polkadot mommy love from my all growed up 25 year old self to you... love y'all... Shannon:)