34 years old; it ain’t the end, but it sure ain’t where I began…

The past two years I’ve written a post on my birthday and even though I guess I don’t write much anymore, I would feel remiss if I skipped this year.

I re-read both of my previous posts and wonder if I’ll be able to do them justice…they were just a perfect reflection of where I was at the time.   Funny how that works.  You can read 32 here and 33 here.

But I think the one that struck me the most was last years.  I had listed six thoughts about the coming year.  So I thought it would be fun to go back through them and see how things turned out.   Ready?  Ok.  (Hit it!)

1. 33 will undoubtedly be the hardest year of my adult life. I know this already because I’ve spent the last 10 weeks with a little taster of what’s in store for me.

I should probably just go ahead and buy a crystal ball to set up shop, because this prediction was dead ON.  Wow.  This past year has been hard.  Really hard.  I’ve struggled with a lot with things….big things like “who am I now?”, “what kind of mother do I want to be”, “can I handle this?”,  “am I happy?”  “do I want/need to work?”  and “how the hell do you get a kid to nap?”  to little things, like “what am I supposed to feed my kid?”, “should I really go to Target every week?”,  “where can I buy dry shampoo in bulk?”  and “can I really wear yoga pants every day?”

Let’s just say it’s been an adjustment.  Having kids is hard.  Do people talk about this?  Am I supposed to be talking about this or should I just gloss over all of the tough times?   I feel like it’s ok to talk about it, because yes, it’s hard.  It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do….but it’s also the most important.  To acknowledge that something is bigger than yourself, and LET it be bigger….is very humbling and surprisingly rewarding.

2. 33 will also undoubtedly be the most rewarding year of my adult life. As hard as it’s going to be, I believe that it’s the most important job I’ll ever do.

Yes.  Just, yes.

3. I want need to make sure I don’t lose myself in all of the changes happening in our lives. I still want to be me.

This has been harder.  I had really good intentions to make myself a priority, but it’s obviously easier said than done.  I think the resounding question regarding this is….WHEN?  When can I focus on myself?   At 5:00 a.m. before Abby gets up at 6:00?  During one of the ONE hour naps she’ll MAYBE take?  Or is it after she goes to bed at 7:00 when I’m utterly exhausted?   To be honest….none of those are appealing.  Obviously.  I think that’s why I’ve struggled with blogging.  I desperately want to.  And I guess if it were more of a priority I would MAKE time.  But there are so many other things I need to do that it unfortunately takes a back seat.

So, obviously I need to work on this.  And I think I’m doing better.  Now that I’m done nursing, Abby doesn’t physically need me.   She’ll always need me, but not in the same way (where I’m her main food supply).    I think this has helped me mentally as well.  The Hubs can feed her just as easily as I can now.

I didn’t expect it to take so long, but I’d say now (within the last month), I’m finally starting to feel like me.  To feel adjusted.  To feel normal.  So I joined the gym so I can return to Oula (you should really watch that video, it’s kinda hilarious).  I signed up for a training class to run a half marathon.  I’m getting back to me.  Slowly but surely.   This is something I’ll continue to work on….and hey.  Maybe soon I’ll get back to blogging (I mean, I’m dying to tell you about the awesome rug and play area in Abby’s room, my ombre kitchen stools and my banishment of all-things-red from the kitchen!).

4. I want to create an environment where Abby can learn and explore her passions.

I consciously make an effort towards this everyday.  I know Abby is still young, but I think if I start now it will help when she’s older and starts forming opinions.

I just really hope she likes to ski.  Please please like to ski!

5. Speaking of passions…I want to explore my own. Lately I’ve been feeling a little lost…as if I don’t really know what I’m passionate about anymore.

Still working on this one too.  But after a conversation with my step-mom about this, I think I’m re-defining my view of passion.  Just because I don’t feel passionately about things like hunting, running or rafting ….doesn’t mean I’m not passionate.   I’m passionate about family.   Being a mom.  Being a sister, daughter, aunt.  I like to make things with my hands….like healthy meals and (ok) cookies.   But I also (strangely) like to build things with wood, paint, decorate and refinish things.  I like the outdoors….hiking, skiing, walking and taking in the beauty of this wonderful place.

I have a lot of interests and maybe I don’t need to have strong passion for one thing. Maybe it’s ok have a little passion for a lot of things.

6. I want to slow down.   I want to refocus on what’s really important: Friends. Relationships. Family. Memories.

I actually think I’ve done ok with this.  I don’t over-extend myself often.  I’m learning to say no.

Of course there are times when things just get busy.   For instance, this is our first weekend home in three weeks.   But you know what?  We were spending them with friends and family having fun.  Making memories.   Is my house a disaster?  Of course.  But it can wait.   And I’m learning to be ok with that.    It’s not easy, but it’s important.

So yeah, I guess overall I’m doing ok.   I would still love to blog more.  But I’d also like a new house and a stylist (seriously, probably shouldn’t be wearing yoga pants and torn jeans all of the time).

For now, I’m just trying to be ok with the way things are.  My best friend here in town has always worked hard to be happy NOW.   Not “when “x” happens,” or “as soon as “y” happens.”   Be happy now.  Because life is short and you don’t know what tomorrow holds.  And you know what?  She is one of the most optimistic, happiest people I know….even though life isn’t perfect for her.    Heck, is it for anyone?

If I know anything, it’s that life is precious…and tomorrows aren’t guaranteed.  So hug your kids (hug yer wife!) and live for today.

(Please tell me someone got that little play on words??)

Anyhoo.  Guess I’m getting all sentimental this year.   I’m sure I’ll read this next year and wonder why I’m being such a sap.

OR, I’ll be running a very successful psychic shop and TELL you why I was being all sentimental last year.

As always, I’ve borrowed my title from one of my favorite Jewel songs, Stephenville, TX.   This year I thought I’d share it with you so you know what the heck I’m talking about.



  1. Janna,

    I was so excited to find you had a new post this morning before a long run I am nervous about! Read it with my morning coffee as I love to do. I’m getting married this year and look forward to having children within the next few years. But I am terrified about having children for many of the reasons you discuss in this post and other posts on your blog. Your blog makes it feel a bit more possible and a lot less scary. Thanks for being willing to be so candid about a topic that others often “gloss over” as you said. Love your blog, as always!


  2. Great post Janna. I always enjoy reading your birthday blogs, they are always so honest. I think you touched on topics that a lot of women face and struggle with everyday. It’s hard enough finding time for yourself let along finding out who you are. Yes, partenting is hard but like you said it’s one of the most rewarding things you will do. I struggle with questions like how do I raise Ella to be confident, happy, make good decisions and know that she is beautiful inside and out and? It’s scary and hard. Abby is one lucky little girl to have you as her mama. You have been and always will be a very loving and caring person. Happy Birthday! Green Pigs!

  3. A couple of comments on your lovely birthday post…
    1. Did you forget you are already a practiced fortune teller? You have been looking into crystal balls for years, so it seems this may really be your destiny…. Grandma would be thrilled! :)
    2. Gloss is great for shiny lips, but not for skipping over the important conversations or questions in life. I completely agree and admire you for asking the hard questions of yourself and striving to find the answers that work for you and your family.
    You are striving to build the life that you want to live and I can’t think of a better way to find happiness. But if you ever need an ear or a sounding board feel free to call, I think you’ll find that you are not the only one that ponders these things.
    Happy Birthday, I hope it was a wonderful ‘be happy now’ kind of day!
    xo E

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