May 13, 2015
This is 28! No really it is, today is my 28th birthday. I know most people save their 30th birthday to divulge all their life's realizations, but 28 somehow feels like 40 in a lot of ways for me. So I am meeting in the middle. When Chris asked me what I wanted for my birthday I said "just a picture. A picture of our life, right here, right now" and that was that. We loaded in the car...drove a few miles and took a picture of everyone. Don't mind the fact that I stole Avalon's birthday balloons. She didn't even notice.
But, 28. More importantly I have been out of high school for ten years. If you would have told me that this is what my life would look like in ten years, I would have laughed in your face (as any 18 year old would). I am pretty sure I was sitting with my mom telling her that all I wanted for high school graduation was to get my tubes tied. Truly another story for another time, but I didn't want kids. I didn't even want to ever get married. I thought of myself as someone very content with being alone. I was fiercely independent, and I didn't want someone to interfere with that. I had these grand ideas of going off to college, being on my own, getting a job and never looking back. Still with this idea of having my horses and living a life of me time.
Ten years ago I met a boy. I found out what love really meant. My ideas of marriage being this awful thing very quickly disappeared. We couldn't wait to get married, time wasn't on our side in our minds. Deployment was on the horizon. Years ago I was experimenting with different hair colors. My style was all over the place. I was incredibly opinionated, and not so very humble. I had a great job and spent money like a crazy person. I drove a Mercedes, Chris had a motorcycle. We didn't own any pots and pans because who was cooking? We talked about kids...four kids. We never knew when that was going to happen. A couple years and a few moves later and my whole world changed. Ace was born and I realized that suddenly I had a purpose in life. Maybe I should open a savings account. We should possibly sell that motorcycle, that we would hop on with no helmets and drive way too fast up the hills of Scottsdale. And we did.
One kid after another, one move after another, one more time being separated for this reason and that. One more year would bring me closer to this. To that picture up there. To finding myself in the greatest promotion life could give me. To being a mom, which honestly if you asked anyone who knew me growing up would say, call CPS because Kelsey should never have a child. To loving these people so deeply that it hurts. To watching my body expand and be molded into what it is today. To being comfortable in my own skin. To valuing the difference of opinions and learning and growing from the people around me. To loss and heartache. To learning to keep people around me who only bring in the positive, because I have the crazy part on lock. To not having it all figured out, and not knowing where the future will take us.
Ten years ago I was unhappy.
At 28 I can truly say I am happy. I am a mom to four (!!!) wild and amazing kids. I am a wife to the only man that could possibly want to put up with my tornado of insanity all day everyday. I am a daughter who now fully understands the sacrifice and selfless act of parenting. I am a woman with stretch marks, varicose veins, dark spots, and wrinkles. I drive a minivan with more cup holders than one knows what to do with, and five pounds of goldfish on the floor. I am me....and this is 28.