When I reflect on changing moments in my life, I have always thought about how big my 18th year was for me. In 1995, I became Miss Teen Utah, I graduated from high school, moved out of my parents' home, took an amazing and creepy trip to New York City where I think I almost got abducted, competed on national TV for Miss Teen USA (and almost won, but I got 12th in swimsuit, which I still struggle with and have bitter feelings about, ha ha), entered college, started dating Bob, and met Gordon B. Hinkley.
It was a pretty big year for a kid.
But in two weeks, I end my 35th year, probably the most eventful of my life.
This is how it all began:
On my 35th birthday, November 16th, my sweet Bob got the most beautiful Patriarchal blessing I have ever heard. We were married in the LDS temple 14 years before, but he had missed most of the teenage milestones in the church. I was so grateful to be with him and hear some of the things the Lord was preparing him for.
The next few weeks brought a cancer diagnosis, surgery, radioactive iodine, and a body going a little crazy from all the change in hormones and medication.
That time also brought the most spiritual experience I have ever had and solidified my belief in Heavenly Father and His love for us.
Soon after, my youngest child, Blake, turned 3 and later started preschool.
Can I get a big Yeehaw?
I became the mother of a teenager for the first time. Rilee turned 13,
Whitley decided to get her hair cut off and to be baptized.
Trevor got his Arrow of Light in Scouts.
And Brock turned 5 and has remained alive. Perhaps my biggest accomplishment so far.
Bob also had his 20th anniversary with the company he works for as a sales rep for.
(Photo by Blake)
I went back to school because I finally figured out what I want to be.
My dad almost died and has spent the year in a wheelchair,
I became a GREAT Aunt, Kibba calls me "Grammy Love", in gurgles.
I met Mitt Romney and his worst staffer grabbed my phone from Rilee and
took this great picture of us, thanks for that.
Then these final weeks of my birthday year brought the sad death of a very dear friend we weren't ready to lose, and I watched in pride as my Bob humbly conduct her funeral.
The 35th year was kind of like my, "This is Adulthood-Here is some reality and do you like what you have done with yourself?" year. It's been my hardest year, but man, do I have a great life. I have some coolio kids, a husband I have never regretted marrying, and I am friends with the greatest girls in the world. I love my neighbors, my kids are healthy and Bob, who prefers I call him "Maximus," adores me. My car is too small and smells like spoiled milk, still, I feel like Looney-Tunes and my kids fight ALL THE TIME, so don't think I have it ALL together, but the life I have made, is the life I wanted. With less money.
So here's to my 35th year! A year of great new experiences and a year I am happy to leave behind. May 36 be uneventful and calm and full of health, God, gold, jewels and leprechauns!
And may you bring me presents November 16th.