Friday, October 19, 2007

'74 was a Good Year

Tomorrow marks 33 years I have been on this Earth. I am happy and content. I feel loved and appreciated by my family and friends. I feel accepted and secure. Honestly, I don't really care about any sort of celebration. My children, on the other hand, are extremely excited about a birthday. They keep asking me what kind of birthday it is going to be. When I say "33" they look confused and say, "But what KIND of things will be on your cake?"

33 is sort of a dull milestone. I am finally at the age where I have to do quick math in my head to remember how old I am. I love being old enough to have seen a good bit, yet really aware that there is still MUCH I have yet to learn.

Since I do want this blog to be a keepsake for my children, I thought I'd try to think of a memory from each year of my life so far. I tried to write the first thing that occurred to me for each year. Warning: These are random and may make you wonder what kind of crazy person sits behind this keyboard.

1974: I was born in Columbus, GA. I was the first breach Lamaze baby delivered at St. Francis Hospital. The first child for my parents and the first baby in their group of friends. I had lots of "aunts" and "uncles."

1975: No memory.

1976: We moved into the home in Phenix City, AL where my parents still reside today.

1977: My little sister, Aunt Boo, was born. She completely rocked my world. I had been the only child for my parents and all their friends. I did not adjust well.

1978: I still have vague memories of Ms. Barbara's house where I attended day care while my parents worked. My Daddy worked directly across the street at the bank.

1979: I actually have very fuzzy memories of playing with my favorite little "boyfriend" Israel and climbing through the concrete tunnels on the playground. I also remember that my 5 year old cake was Wonder Woman and my Mom wore a black armband to protest the Iranian hostage crisis.

1980: I started Kindergarten and then was moved to First Grade within 2 weeks, forever sealing my position as the youngest and smallest in every class from that point on in my educational career.

1981: My most vivid memory of second grade was writing sentences during recess for talking too much during class. I seem to recall I missed a lot of recess.

1982: My favorite teacher, Mrs. Brown let me ride in her Trans Am on a field trip to Ft. Benning. She had a CB radio. Her handle was "Brown Sugar" and she made up one for me "Little Bit"

1983: My Granddaddy left my Grandmama for another woman. A defining moment in my life story.

1984: I began to feel God tugging on my heart. Church going had not been a major part of my family's life up until this point, but that year at VBS (under the teaching of precious Eileen Skipworth) I realized the church is where I wanted to be. I spent much of the next 8 years at First Baptist Columbus in GAs, Youth Choir, Sunday School, Wednesday Night Bible Study, etc...Despite all this, it was still a few more years before I made a real decision to not just be a church person, but to truly follow Christ.

1985: Honestly, all I remember about this year is my 5th grade teacher's horrible wig!

1986: During the 6th Grade Presidential Fitness Test I weighed 49 lbs and was 4 feet tall. My PE teacher, Mr. Screws, told me he was going to put fertilizer in my socks.

1987: As the congregation sang "I Surrender All" I accepted Christ during the end of Summer Youth led service at church.

This is also the year my sister, my aunt, my cousin and I were hit head on by a drunk driver traveling 70 miles an hour 2 days before Christmas. It is an absolute miracle we survived! This was before air bags...and it had only recently become a big deal to wear seat belts. Remember the whole Barbara Mandrell campaign?

1988: Starting high school in a new school, I remember what I wore as I stepped out of the car that first day and dropped my books all over the parking lot!

1989: I wore clothes that were entirely too big--ridiculously large, but I sure did peg those ankles and wore double socks...two colors to coordinate with my outfit!

1990: The smell of Aussie scrunch spray sizzling on a hot curling iron as we worked on our big hair at Jenny Colvard's house. I had a very thick, very curly, poodle-like bob. It was so big we called it "fi-fi" and in my yearbook picture all my hair didn't fit in the frame.

1991: Rewinding songs on cassette tapes over and over and over so we could write down every lyric (no google searches then) and memorize songs. Our greatest feat was REM "End of the World As We Know It."

1992: Senior year involved lots of pranks. Most memorable was the time my a half dozen of my Catholic school girlfriends and I toilet papered our boyfriends cars in the parking lot of their large public high school across town. (We didn't skip school, we had a half day.) Our boyfriends thought it would be cute to get their revenge by telling on us to their principal. The next day we were all paged to our principal's office and he sent us to apologize to the other principal across town. Two principals' offices in one day was a huge accomplishment for goody-goody honor students!

1993: Freshman year at the University of Alabama. Sorority rush. A National Championship football team. Standing on my own two feet. The death of a very close friend in a car accident. A difficult, but incredibly defining, year. Lifetime friendships made in my freshman dorm.

1994: This was the year that Daree, Becky and I decided to sneak into our football stadium in Tuscaloosa one night and take pictures of ourselves on the field. It was so much fun we drove all night to Auburn a couple of weeks later and broke in Jordan Hare Stadium. Why? Because we were silly and invincible in our own minds. We didn't harm anything or take anything. We just wanted to prove we could do it. I am still not sure how we pulled both of those off without getting caught. It never even occurred to us how much trouble we could have gotten in!

1995: The year of the roadtrip. One Saturday started in Tuscaloosa as Alabama played Arkansas. During halftime of that game, a couple of friends and I drove from Tuscaloosa to Baton Rouge to see Auburn play LSU. After the game we drove to New Orleans to spend the night then returned to Tuscaloosa the next day.

Over Thanksgiving, Jennifer Main and I drove from Tuscaloosa, AL to Denver, CO and back over the long weekend (and even managed to squeeze in a day of skiing in Vail).

I cannot count how many other trips we made, especially the 300 miles to Auburn and back singing Indigo Girls or Nanci Griffith at the top of our lungs.

1996: Graduating from college and moving to Atlanta for the Summer. Working for the events corporation that put on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics meant being on the field for the whole grand celebration. Packing up my car, leaving the stadium after closing ceremonies and driving South to Columbus. I arrived at 3am and started my first career-type job 5 hours later.

1997: Bridesmaid dresses and blind dates....double digits of both.

1998: The year I met the man I would marry.

1999: The house on East Wesley in Atlanta where I was reminded of the incredible importance of female friendship. There were always at least 4 girls living in that house. There was a bit of a revolving door due to engagements and marriages...but we had some wonderful times curled up with each other 4 to a sofa chatting about boys, life and love.

2000: I will never forget New Year's Eve with Tanya and Joanna in Highlands, NC. We had all had a rough 1999. We hiked up to the highest point we could find in Highlands to watch the sun set on that dreadful year and toasted to the lessons we had learned. We spent New Year's Day praying and talking about what God had for us in the year to come. (I will also never forget the back and forth cell phone calls that weekend as Suzanne had her 1st son 12-31-99)

2001: Reunited with the man of my dreams in a way that could truly only be described as the hand of God. What a fun time we had re-dating and appreciating the work God had done in each of our lives to mature us to who we needed to be in order to have a solid foundation for marriage.

2002: Married in February and moved to Virginia in June. Our first year of marriage was delightfully simple in a small apartment away from everything familiar.

2003: Received my infertility diagnosis in the 1st Quarter of the year, conceived in the 4th. Moved to a new town as a couple. Learning to be introduced as someone's wife instead of as just simply me. A mini-identity crisis. :-)

2004: The year of the children. I spent 5 months of this year pregnant, 2 months of hospital bedrest, 2 months visitting my NICU babies....then they came home and the rest of the year is a blur of sleeplessness, dirty diapers and LOTS of bottles.

2005: Re-emerging into life in the community. Becoming comfortable being introduced not only as someone's wife, but now also "the one with the triplets."

2006: Learning to embrace my role as stay-at-home mother and searching for God's vision/purpose for my life in and out of my home. Who am I besides someone's wife and the mother of triplets anyway?

2007: Being comfortable with my identity as a child of God...not content to give up the fight on the things in my life that need improvement...No way! Rather, recognizing all my flaws as signs of my need for a Savior. It certainly helps me understand the need for grace!

Moments are stressful. Situations are challenging. But, life? Life is really good.

Good grief! That was long. Makes me feel much older than I am.
Happy weekend!

32 comments:

Fran said...

I have read your entries SOOO many times but don't think I've ever posted. Your children are adorable....I know you know that!
Thank you for sharing your life with us "strangers!" You really do bless me each time I read.

Happy early birthday! One year my boys decided to get me a football cake bc my birthday fell on Super Bowl Sunday!! How sweet of them!! Again, happy birthday!

Many blessings for you during the next year~

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Wow- what a great memory. I'm nearing 40 in mid-November and may "borrow" this idea from you. Happy Birthday! PS - I work just blocks from East Wesley in Buckhead. Pass it every day on my way home. A cute/quaint neighborhood... and these days constant road construction there.

Jessica said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day!

Lynne said...

Happy Birthday! Although, this post makes me feel a little old as I'm with Jill and will be 40 on my next birthday.

Have a great day!

joan said...

Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day with your family!

Renee said...

I'm just a little more than a month older than you and remember some of the "same" things...the Aussie spray, big clothes, and even skipping kindergarten. Being the youngest was never that easy. Sounds like you've had a great 33 years though and love the way you captured it for your kiddos. Happy Birthday!!!

Big Mama said...

Happy Birthday! I loved reading all your old memories, especially the college ones. You are my kind of girl with all those road trips.

Courtney said...

Happy Birthday!! I think in your time zone, its like in 10 minutes or something! Hope its a good one. That was a great idea for a post near my birthday...I am not so sure I have as great a memory...but it'd be fun trying!

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a great day. I'd have to agree that 74 was a great year, both my husband and I were born that year as well. Fun memories!!

Kris said...

have a wonderful birthday! Thanks for the funny memories you brought back about hairspray sizzling on the curling iron. That takes me back. We're the same age - I think it's a great one! happy birthday.

Lisa@Take90West said...

Have a wonderful birthday with your family!

Perri said...

Have a great birthday weekend! I never knew you liked Nanci Griffith. I never knew anyone besides
Andi and I who did.

We LOVE Nanci!

Mayhem And Miracles said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, J! Your blog has been such a blessing to me over this past year. I hope you are equally as blessed as you start a new year in your life. BTW, you share your Big Day with my hubby! We threw him a Surprise 40th tonight. What great people are born on 10-20!

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Happy birthday, sweet J! You are a blessing and an inspiration. May your next 33 be as blessed as the past 33! *wink*

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

74 was a good year!! I'll be 33 in December so it was funny to read your memories and think about where I was during that time.


Hope your day was filled with love and lots of cake!!!

blessings,
stephanie

Peach said...

Happiest of birthdays, even if it is a "dull milestone". I love it that you have 3 who are 3 and you are turning 33. I think that's significant in and of itself.

Have a fabulous day and eat some cake for me : )

I don't wonder at all at the "crazy person" who "sits behind this keyboard."

You are sensitive and have a depth that far belies your years. You are tender-hearted and an insightful, learning, and growing mommy who does a fantastic job raising three rambunctious, darling children who will grow up to love Jesus because they've watched their mama do it right in front of them for their whole lives.

I'm so glad our paths have crossed and hope to get to know you better over time.

Happy Birthday, Jmom!!

Katie said...

Happy Birthday. May the next 33 and more be filled with love, laughter, and MANY blessings from God!

Katy said...

Happy Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Mindy said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Barbie@ Mamaology said...

Happy Birthday Jen!!!! Hope you are having fun celebrating. It was fun to read your memories from the years past! What a great idea for your children.

And I never knew how close in age we are. I was born in Jan of 75:)

Aunt Boo said...

Happy Birthday!

I love to hear that you were a little jealous of me! It makes me smile! :)

Love,
Aunt Boo

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday! I love that you are able to write down your memories, you children are so blessed! Hope today was an amazing day! Blessings, Ashley

That Girl said...

Happy Birthday!
Gosh, I'm not sure I can separate out each year of my life to have one distinct memory--they have tended to meld into "elementary" or "jr hi" or "high school" memories, "college" then "adult yrs." Good for you to blog something for each year. :-)

I really love your blog... your writing is thoughtful, and your passion for the Lord and your desire to honor him in your parenting and marriage comes through!

Emmy : ) said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! We are so glad you were born!

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday! We are the same age so we have a lot of the same memories! That's such a neat walk through your life!

laurenbrewster said...

Happy Birthday, sweet friend! So, what kind of birthday did you have? Princess? Diego? HSM? I hope your day was wonderful.

Room for Grace said...

I started reading you list last night, but got side tracked on your Grandma and her story, via your link. So, I came back today to finish your great list and wish you a Happy Birthday!
Love your idea of writing a memory for each year!

Hi. My name is Alanna. said...

Happy Birthday!

I don't know you personally, but I pray your birthday is full of reminders that the blessings of God never fail to supercede the trials and tribulations of life.

Love, Deep Abiding Joy, and Peace that Passes Understanding Be Yours in Abundance This Day.

Alison said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!

You really are amazing. There is no way I could look back and remember anything about most of my life. Well done!!! This blog really will be a treasure for your gang!

Mandy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I just turned 34 and loved reading about all those things you mentioned that I had forgotten. Hope all is going well with you and your precious family.

Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.com

Keri Ann said...

A happy belated birthday to you! I enjoyed your trip down memory lane! :-)

Tara said...

Enjoyed reading this and learning you are an Alabama alum. Just got back from the game. Roll Tide and Happy Birthday!