I am 37!

Last year, for birthday #36, Kyle and I went on a bike ride from Gooseberry Falls outside of Duluth Minnesota to the Splitrock Lighthouse. We had a picnic at the lighthouse and then rode our bikes back. He bought me a pair of Tennessee Nike shoes. I was 18-ish weeks pregnant. It is one of my favorite memories from our time in Minnesota. 

This year, I woke up to balloons, streamers, and biscuits and gravy at my in-laws house (three of my favorite things). We took our 6 month old baby girl on a hayride, picked pumpkins from a real pumpkin patch (like out in the field yall) and had wine and pasta for dinner just the two of us while grandma kept our little princess.

I love being a thirty-something. I love knowing who I am better than I ever have. I like owning the fact that Spring is my favorite season (even though for most of my life I’ve said it was the Fall). And knowing that I’m a morning person not a night owl (although I can hang with the best of them to finish a work deadline!). I like coffee and honestly don’t understand others’ love for tea. I’d rather go home shopping than clothes shopping. I’d rather spend a night in than a night out. I don’t really watch tv and I’m totally fine not knowing who the next Bachelorette will be. I don’t have tik tok or Instagram so if it wasn’t for my mother-in-law, I would be clueless about the Applebees dance. 

Although, I’m still learning how to do my hair, my makeup, and how to dress for my body type. Maybe I’ll get those things down by 40 🤷‍♀️. I like being a 30-something because I am much more aware of who I am, what I like/don’t like, and the things that are life-giving to me—with no pressure to enjoy something just because others do. 

Maybe it’s having my daughter. Maybe it’s living 1000 miles away from family for the past 2.5 years. Or perhaps it’s turning 37…. 

What I want most in this next year of life, is to spend time being with people I love, doing the things I love. 

We’ve done the big adventure. We’ve traveled the country. I’ve hustled in business. We flipped a house. We’ve done the big and grand. And I’m sure I’ll be ready for another adventure soon. But the best gift I was given this year was to move back home and to spend my birthday enjoying the rolling hills of Tennessee with my two favorite people on the planet. 

Looking Back: Year 36 Highlight Reel

  1. First and foremost (of course), my favorite part of this past year is having Madelyn. We soaked up and enjoyed the season of pregnancy, had an incredible birth experience, and have loved getting to be a family of three these past 6.5 months. 
  2. My second biggest highlight was definitely moving back to Tennessee just a month ago!! I am so so grateful to be home
  3. While our ten year anniversary didn’t go as planned (trip to Italy cancelled due to Covid 😂), Kyle surprised me with a wonderful trip to Colorado Springs. I cannot believe we’ve been married 10 years. He’s still my very best friend and the person I want to spend all of my time with. I’m grateful everyday for our marriage.
  4. Other favorites include getting to spend the holidays in Tennessee with friends and family (after a very isolating 2020), Madelyn’s baby shower in Tennessee, having family visit Minnesota during the first days/weeks of Madelyn’s life, making the decision to move home to Tennessee in April, joining a moms group at our church in Minnesota in a season when I desperately needed that community, and finding a beautiful new home in Tennessee to start our next season of life. 

Looking Forward: 

This year I hope for more bike rides and nightly neighborhood walks. Lots of hot coffee in the morning and snuggles on the couch with my family at night. Time spent reading more books, watching Madelyn play with her cousins, and meeting my sister to get our nails done. Being grateful for every day I’m given, and living it to the fullest —even if that means staying at home all day in my pjs (because yea… I’m a homebody and that sounds really good to me) soaking up the small, simple pleasures that make me, me. 

Cheers to 37 years!

Shanna 

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