Today, I turn 27. Last year, today, I was in a busy market in downtown Manila picking out souvenirs for our family back home in America, desperately trying to hurry as my husband herniated a disc and could barely move. He wouldn’t have at all, except that it was my birthday and he wanted to buy me some local pearls to lift my spirits from an otherwise overwhelming few months.
The year that followed was no easier. In fact, it continued to get more difficult. I can easily say, hands down, that my year 26 was the hardest year I’ve ever faced, and perhaps ever will face. I know deep within my bone marrow that my optimism for 27 isn’t unfounded, and one year from today, my post will look much different than this one.
I’ve already described how hard this year was in this post. So, if I can look back on an incredibly difficult year and find 27 amazing things about it, then I believe I can face anything. So, in honor of turning 27, here I go:
1. I had an amazing labor and non-medicated delivery, birthing our darling baby girl in water.
2. I’ve been able to spend every moment of my darling baby girl’s life with her, aside from some “me-time” that I’ve needed.
3. I’ve discovered how incredibly precious life truly is. After losing belief in eternal life, it has made my daily choices in each moment so much more valuable.
4. We parent our baby girl with love, kindness and gentleness. I’ve learned there is a name for this philosophy — attachment parenting. I am SO grateful that we have established a secure attachment with her, and I have now become an advocate of Attachment Parenting for all.
5. Our baby is the happiest baby I’ve ever met. Ever.
6. I’ve noticed the smells of flowers, the colors of leaves, enjoyed the mountain air, beautiful sunsets, sips of tea and delicious lattes more than ever before.
7. We’ve gone on more hikes this year than any other year. And every single time, our little darling came with us.
8. I’ve fallen more in love with Silver as I’ve watched him adore our little love, fathering her beautifully. My heart melts and drips through my eyes every time they make one another laugh.
9. I’ve found a creative outlet for my thoughts — thank you, blog.
10. I witnessed my favorite color in the world: The pacific ocean water in Big Sur Calfornia at 5pm in June wearing polarized sunglasses.
12. I’ve tasted the sweetest, juiciest, most flavorful strawberry picked minutes before eating it feet from the ocean.
13. I’ve faced and conquered my greatest fear — the extreme disappointment I created within my parents upon telling them I no longer believe in God.
14. Despite the humiliation, rejection, and disappointment with everyone in our surrounding community, I have maintained my authenticity for the sake of my integrity. I have discovered how truly courageous I am.
15. I’ve discovered health in a new way. Healthy eating, whole foods, making conscious and intentional choices with our bodies has become a renewed priority. This is partially because of how fragile I’ve realized life can be.
16. I successfully made my first batch of kombucha.
17. I found my favorite chocolate: Theo ginger dark chocolate (and it’s fair trade!). And I’m eating it now, thanks to my best friend sending it in the mail for me 😉
18. I’ve become more open minded in every way. I’ve learned of the reality of global warming and discovered a passion for green, clean living.
19. Also within that open-mindedness, I’ve become less judgmental of others.
20. We have paid off all of our debt. We have nearly nothing to our name, but we also don’t owe anyone anything.
21. Despite our dysfunction, I still love my family and I know they love me.
22. My body is resilient. I’ve recuperated from delivering our baby, feel amazing, am active and healthy.
23. I’ve done much of our shopping at farmer’s markets.
24. I found 2 beautiful real opal rings (my favorite stone) at a local farmers market for a great price.
25. My sister-in-law is marrying a local organic farmer. We visited the farm and in addition to free produce whenever we want, he is going to teach us all the how-to’s with farming whenever we want to help harvest and/or plant.
26. We have successfully camped with our darling girl twice!
27. Teavanna had an incredible sale, and I stocked my cabinets with a year’s worth of delicious, aromatic teas.
Here’s to my greatest year yet!