a birthday reflection | olive june

a birthday reflection

a june evening: i went to bed as my birthday began to my husband rubbing my back and the warm sound of summer rain pitter-pattering a soft birthday song outside our bedroom; one year older, one year more grateful. and awoke to: "happy birthday, mommy!" and a beautifully curated rattan breakfast tray (with my favorite clay mug and cloth napkin and a homemade trolls card with purple crayon scribbles) ... i spent some time stretching and then pondering, dreaming, reflecting on this past year. it was a hard one. really hard at times... two young boys- a toddler and a baby. yet, it was one of my very favorites... if not, my favorite of all. thanks to so many things; things i am forever grateful for. 

i made it a point this year to try and dismiss the following thoughts: "i don't have time," "i am too busy," "i am not able to accomplish that," "summer isn't my season," etc. the simple fact is that life is now and i am indeed living it. i always try to embrace each season; intentionally trying to not wish it away and trying my very best to make time for the people and the priorities that are closest to my heart- the ones that mean the most and the ones that will make the biggest impact over time. despite our best intentions, i feel like it's easy to get caught up in these thoughts and stressful situations. most of us find ourselves longing for outcomes, but then quietly tell ourself that we will start next month or next year or in another season. but we are only here for a brief time and ordinary moments and the spiritual mysteries that hug each day can get lost so easily. 

i want to spread the light now.

this past year brought a lot of changes and a lot of growth in ways i am really proud of. thanks to our beloved church and the enneagram, i learned a lot of about how other people view the world and as a result, i became a lot closer to God, to my husband, to loved ones- and to myself. i honestly felt seen for the first time and finally believed that my presence and that my opinions do matter- and that sometimes conflict is healthy. i have also been focusing on attending to my own agenda- and not just to others- without shaming myself. as an enneagram nine/a peacemaker, i have always struggled with all of this. i want connection with others and internal + external peace more than anything. i also became more conscious about what i put in my body, how i move my body, and how to use essential oils. we consumed so much less, recycled more, donated often and we took note of the toxins and products we use in our home. i prayed more than ever before and meditated almost daily, i used the library often, started practicing yoga again and launched an online thrift shop. an old fashioned became my new favorite cocktail and i grew an appreciation for opera music (esp. this song). and i have plans to volunteer more in our community. 

it all feels really good. 
a lot of baby steps towards goals i have been wanting to do for so long... 
but finally told myself 'now' is a great time. 
i felt so much love yesterday- so much.
thoughtful messages and cards and wishes
and took in each moment.

my husband, my life: he is thoughtful and kind and loves me more than i could ever imagine anyone loving me. he knows my favorite things in life are those you cannot hold in your hands- simple pleasures and time alone and beauty and time with my family + loved ones. 

he surprised me with a massage and a morning alone around charlotte while my father-in-law watched the boys. i picked up an iced coffee, had the most peaceful experience at the spa and then went to a thrift shop. it was wonderful. 
things i always want to remember //

01. breakfast and coffee in bed (and the effort to make it my style) 
02. spa music, essential oils and a deep tissue massage 
03. dance parties and playing cars with parks + nash
04. last year i prayed for a mom tribe that would embrace our family and God delivered in the most breathtaking way. i now have the best support system- full of like-minded mommas. moms who love us so deeply and allow me to be my true self... i can be vulnerable and sensitive, i can take as many photos as i want without judgment, and can talk and laugh about the enneagram over and over. i can show emotions and have deep chats. we love to thrift and go on play dates with our kids during the day and have cocktails and swap clothes at night. and i am so grateful for each one of them and how they also love to take in life's beauty. i have been blessed with so many genuine and loving friends throughout life, but really yearned and prayed for a group of women as a stay-at-home mom and God delivered. and i am so thankful. kindred spirits... they just really get me. 
05. hello sailor - the perfect summer birthday spot on the lake (with the best vibe, view food and drinks) and a photo booth- i did a session with each one of my sons and it was so much fun! 
06. an episode of dateline and a quick nap
07. slow dancing to this version of 'somewhere of the rainbow' with nash (it's his favorite) as he played with my hair, was mesmerized by my bright coral lipstick and as tears rolled down my face in our master bathroom before we left for dinner. just so thankful for a full year with him, my littlest love. and then my husband walking in and saying- i can just see you two dancing to this song someday. 
08. an afternoon ice cream run with the boys (we also dropped off a donation bag and went to the post office - things we do almost daily) 
09. reading a book and meditation  
10. each and every thoughtful note and card sent my way 
11. all day i just thought about how grateful i am for this one life and all that it has given me so far.
some birthday snapshots |
to my 36 trips around the sun
to a year full of beauty, growth, pondering and dreaming

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