In recognition of my 36th birthday, I thought I’d write up this post, because, well you only turn 36 once.  Granted, you only turn any age once, but I don’t know…  Something about this year feels a little extra special.  Maybe because 36 is the age everyone turned on “This is Us.”  Or maybe because it’s in the middle of a life decade that I’ve come to really love.  Whatever the reason, I thought I’d take some time to make some official acknowledgements in honor of where I’m at today in my 36th year of living.

  1.  First I’d like to acknowledge that I truly have married my best friend and I could not be more thankful.  I’d definitely like to point out that we are by no means perfect.  We have our bad moments and days just like everyone else.  But overall, I could not be more grateful for this man.  For his love for me and his love for our kids.  For his passions and his support.  For the incredible ways that he lives his life.  And most of all, for his solid love for Jesus and his desires to love and serve Him.

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2.  My second acknowledgement would be this.  At 36, may I continue to find delight in the little and simple things of life.  My favorite times are spent with my family and even though things like playing King of the Mountain at 9:00pm in the old Waldbaums parking lot on a week old pile of dirty snow seems a little silly, it brings belly laughs and memories that will stick for years to come.  Life is lived most excitedly in the big moments, but it’s also lived most consistently in the small every day ones.  I truly believe that finding gratitude in these moments is the foundation for a good and happy life.

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3.  Thirdly, I’d like to acknowledge the ways that I’ve learned that God always provides.  I’ve lived now for 36 years and have seen so many instances of this.  Most recently had to do with a Lands End bathing suit.  I found it last year for about $6 at a thrift store.  It was in beautiful condition and it’s fit was slimming and flattering (something that is always a bonus when looking for swimwear).  I spent countless days at pools and the beach in that suit last summer.  So you can imagine the disappointment I felt when I went to wear it this year and found out that a plastic part had worn itself out and was making the suit uncomfortable and unbearable.  But God, in His constant provision, prompted my heart to check out the Lands End return policy where I learned I could return the suit for a store gift card.  They sent me one for $70 which I used to get a new suit for me and one for Ellee as well.  Life is not always easy and many difficulties, both small and large will turn up.  But trusting God always results in seeing the incredible ways that He promises to provide for everything that we need (bathing suits included).

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4.  My fourth acknowledgement would be in recognition for the incredible town that we live in.  When I first heard of Long Island, I had to look it up on a map.  I had no idea then that I would spend the next fourteen years living in an absolute paradise.  We are an hour and a half away from New York City and ten minutes away from the ocean.  We have the most incredible seasons and get the kind of snow that comes in strong and then melts away a few days later.  We’ve come to know and love the small town of Eastport and it’s community so very much and I consider it a true honor to live and serve in this place.

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5.  My fifth acknowledgment would be to the joy I have as a mother to this sweet girl.  I adore her.  She is a light and she is always looking out for others and for me.  She is fun and funny and she always makes us smile.  She is a delight and I am so very thankful for her.  The girl will rock a pair of wedges or heels, complete with a fancy outfit or simply her pajamas and not even care one bit.  I could not be more thankful for having Ellee and I can’t wait to see the great things God will do in her life.

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6.  My Sixth acknowledgement would be for our son.  He’s twelve and already much taller than me and quickly gaining on his Dad.  He’s way smarter academically than I ever was and he amazes me with how much knowledge he can fit into his brain.  He is also athletically gifted and lately our delight is in watching him excel at volleyball.  Yes, he gives us a run for our money at times and often thinks he knows it all.  But underneath his awkward and annoying Jr. High facade, is a boy that I truly love and admire.  He has a heart for Jesus and I am most thankful when I see him put his faith into practice.  He took me out for a birthday lunch yesterday before his tryouts and paid with his own money.  We had an amazing time together and again, I can’t wait to see the great things God has in store for our Christian.

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7.  Seventh is that at 36, hot chocolate is still best with whipped cream and sprinkles and that a fruit tart with a chocolate covered crust is the best kind of dessert ever.  That being said, I’m quickly realizing that I can’t continue to eat all the fun foods I want with no consequences.  Granted, it’s not like I really ever could, but I know things will change.  So I’ll keep doing my Hot Yoga and Spin and keep pretending that occasionally I’m a runner.  I’ll also add a new dimension of exercise to my regime because my amazing husband is getting me a really nice road bike for my birthday this year.  I’m excited to connect it to an indoor trainer and hook up with a riding program called Zwift and hopefully continue to give myself a balance to eating the fun sweets that I love.

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8.  My eighth and final acknowledgment going into my 36th year would be to say that at 36, I’m really, truly settling into my own skin.  I’m using my God given gifts and talents to love and serve others and I could not be more happy.  This year, I was blessed to pick up a part time Children’s Ministry director position at our church and I’m loving it.  My twice a month Moms group is going great and I’m also continuing to serve in three different Youth Ministry groups.  My photography business is steadily thriving as well.  I continue to love the clients that I work with and have alway expanded to marketing for a few businesses as well.

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And in between all of that, life is good.  And because of that, I want to acknowledge that in my 36th year, this is where I’m at.  I know life won’t always be so full and hectic, but right now, it’s full and wonderful.  Because my strength and hope continues to come from Jesus and my biggest desire is to do each day whatever it is that He has for me.

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*Photo Credit… Mirror in the tiniest elevator ever from our hotel in Paris

So today is my birthday and I’ll only turn 36 once, so these are the things that as of this year, I truly want to remember.  Overall, I’m thankful.  Thankful and blessed, no hashtag required.  Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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