So This is Thirty-Two

Tuesday I turned thirty-two. It was a wonderful day – lots of sweet sentiments from family, friends and co-workers. I definitely felt the love.

My thirty-first year on Earth was something else… it’s hard to even put into words my emotions about the past year. I feel like it gave me everything it could – good, bad, pressure, challenges, disappointments, loss, astonishment, joy, unconditional love, strength and so much more. I can’t remember a year in my life that threw so many curve balls, and difficult situations.

My thirty-first year gave us Dane, my biggest and best accomplishment. It gave us this tiny person, whom I would give everything for, and who makes my heart and mind so full I think they could burst. Before he came, I never knew what true unconditional love was. Our time together has been filled with so many learning experiences, MANY tears and breakdowns, so much amazement at his little brain working behind his bright blue eyes. His big grin and silly personality absolutely kill me. I am so thankful for my thirty-first year because of him, and I will never forget how much he changed me.

My thirty-first year forced me to grow up more than I ever have. It forced me to juggle being a first-time mom; deal with a post-partum struggle filled with a TON of second-guessing and questioning of my abilities and myself. I learned a lot about forgiveness – learned a lot about accepting what I cannot change and allowing myself to grow from it.

My thirty-first year made me realize how precious life is, and how quickly it can change. It taught me how important it is to take care of my health – because in the end, good health is vital. It’s not just eating better and getting my butt moving more, it’s taking care of my mind and soul as well. It made me spend a lot of time internalizing my feelings, and dissecting them to figure out how to cope. This blog is a perfect example of a way I’ve tried to take care of my mental health. Writing has become my therapy, and sharing has been my relief. I feel proud of where this passion project came from, and where it is going – even if I can’t make time for it as much as I would like to.

I watched so many incredible things happen in my thirty-first year. I saw best friends marry their best friends, I watched others bring miracles into the world, and I watched my girlfriends grow and advance in their lives and careers. It makes me so happy for them, and so happy that I get to be a part of it all.

I also took part in the battle that my dad and family fought and are still fighting. The last four months of my thirty-first year have been trying and have tested me to the limit. They have made me passionate about health, nourishing relationships and being thankful for people and their gifts. Those months have shown me what kind of person I want to be, because of what I’ve learned from others. They’ve reminded me to love with everything I have and to show those who I care about HOW MUCH I care about them.

I was able to spend some time with a lifelong friend over New Years weekend and she said something that resonated with me. She told me that she saw a new silent strength in me that she’s never seen before. It brought tears to my eyes thinking of that and where it came from because I knew she was right. My thirty-first year has been SO many things, and I am thankful for each of them because it’s given me a hell of a lot of perspective.

On the last Sunday night of my thirty-first year, I became an aunt for the first time. I was able to meet and snuggle her on my birthday and I felt so much joy for this new little miracle. I spent some time reflecting before I went to bed about all the things that I am thankful for and couldn’t help but get weepy. I feel so loved and so lucky to live this life, even with all of it’s struggles and curve balls. So cheers to a really great thirty-second year – filled with hopefully more miracles and happy memories to experience. Thanks always for reading, and letting me dump my guts – thanks for being my therapy and encouraging me to keep being me.

xo, Martha

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Wisconsin wife and mama to Dane (4) and expecting baby girl in May. Navigating life post-cancer. Lover of food, red wine and laughs. Forever grateful for my wonderful life.

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