Sunday, March 13, 2011

On Turning Thirty

During my first decade, I learned:

To watch for the bubbles if you want to catch a sandcrab.

That cinnamon and sugar on toast is a perfect meal.

That my father's arm makes the best pillow.

That lighting matches is a lot of fun unless you get caught.

How to cross-stitch.

That all those earthquake drills in school weren't a waste of time, and a doorway is a good place to be in the event of one.

That if you pretend to fall asleep in church, your mom will stroke your hair for an hour

To memorize poems and Shakespeare and Bible verses.

To play jazz music on the trumpet.

That a sprained ankle is excruciating.

To love the smell of a warm barn full of horses.

How to keep a runt puppy alive, and what a broken heart feels like when he went home with someone else.

That if you don't know anyone, look for the one person in the room who looks more uncomfortable than you and ask them to be your friend.

That Dolly Parton is indeed worthy of a fifth grade oral report.

That sloths are the scariest animal on the planet.

That if you stick a penny in a power outlet, blue sparks will shoot out.

That running through the forest in wild abandon will give your imagination wings.

That if you write to Paula Abdul to see if your third-grade girl group can have any songs she's not using, she probably won't answer you.

That if you decide to become a mute in protest of your family moving to another state, no one will care.

During my second decade I learned:

What snow smells like.

How to crochet.

That tucking your sweater into your pants is not cool.

That snowboarding feels like flying.

That shyness can be misinterpreted as snootiness.

That one good friend is all you need to face the world.

That the library is a magical place.

What espresso is and how to make a rockin' latte

That riding a dirtbike in shorts and sandals is a bad idea. Especially if you hit a pothole.

That Thailand is lush and green and full of warm and generous people.

What regret tastes like.

That my parents are brave and hardworking and would do anything for me,  including let me learn from my mistakes.

How to drive a car.... right into a parked boat.

That there are a lot of creepy people in chat rooms. 

What HTML and hex codes are for. 

What a polyester fast food restaurant uniform feels like. 

That everyone was right when they said missionary dating doesn't work. 

That a benefit of having only three kids in your graduating class is getting to put "valedictorian" on your scholarship application. Colleges like that. 

That the most effective prayer I can pray is this: "Whatever it is you want to do, wherever it is you want to go, I'll go with you heart and soul." 

That boys with sun-kissed curls, a nice tan and a guitar can sweep you right off your feet and onto a completely different course than you had charted. 

In my third decade I learned:

How to scrapbook, and why.

That getting married years before your friends can be a lonely road. 

That dissecting a cat is nasty. 

That you don't have to purchase something just because someone came to your door and asked you to.

Not to get within three clicks of the home shopping network unless you want to own an electronic pressure cooker. 

That I don't want pets. 

That it's possible for a man who is only 44 to have a massive stroke.

What the V.A. Hospital smells like. 

That repossessing cars for some quick cash is scary.

That in order to have friends, you must be friendly.

That some women are adorable when pregnant, and others inflate like a balloon until even their earlobes are puffy. 

That castor oil does not make a baby come out. Neither does pineapple, Mexican food, three-mile hikes, breast pumps, blue/black cohosh, bumpy roads, or laying outside under a blue moon. The gravitational pull of the moon does absolutely nothing.

That there is a lot of stuff the What to Expect When You're Expecting book failed to mention. 

That doing medical transcription with a toddler running around is a waste of time. 

That becoming someone's mother can feel a little like losing your identity, until you remember that you were a daughter first. And no matter how much you change, God will always see you that way. 

That I should research every important decision about my family's health and nutrition for myself and not do anything just because the pediatrician told me to. 

That I love photography. 

That I am extremely impulsive, like a flash in the pan. 

That Mama is the sweetest thing you can be called. 

That I'm a technology geek.

That you must buy samples and test out colors before purchasing five gallons of paint. 

That blogging is a lot like the website I had when I was 16, only a bazillion times easier to set up.

That reading allows me to take a vacation in my house. 

That even people who were "born messy" can be organized. 

That bosom friends can come out of nowhere. 

How to be supportive of people who are deeply grieving. 

That unspoken expectations lead to resentment, resentment leads to bitterness, and bitterness chokes love. The only cure is thankfulness and repentance. 

That emotions are fickle and not to make important decisions based on them. 

That God is big enough to handle all my tantrums, my disappointment and my apathy. I cannot drive Him away by ignoring Him, I cannot control Him with my will, I cannot make Him stay in the parameters of my comfort zone, and He does not have to give me the desire of my heart. I am free to go my own way and try to fill my heart with everything but Him, but when I am finally emptied out, burned out, and ready to come home, He will run to meet me with open arms. 

Thirty years of lessons...10, 950 days numbered and accounted for. It seems so brief when you say it that way. 

Whether I get another 10,000 days or not, I am thankful. 


  1. The Happiest of Birthday wishes to you!!

    This was such fun to read - you are a gem, Kira!
    God was certainly showing off when he created you. ;)


  2. A very Happy Birthday to you Kira!!! How fun to read all those wonderful things about you. I hope you had a grand weekend to celebrate with your family.

  3. Happy 30th! I have about a month left before joining you in the 4th decade. (Yikes, that just sounded really old...10,950 days sounds better!)

  4. That was the list of all lists! Awesome! Yes, Happy 30th :-) I'll send you some pictures soon.

  5. I'm turning 30 in less than a year and now I feel like i need to start writing down things that I have learned :P Seriously though, you have a great gift for reflection, and your way with words really helps us all to see your heart and how maybe we can see ourselves a little in those thoughts and feelings also. Thanks for this!!

  6. I love this list. Insightful, funny, poignant, relatable (yes, I just made up a word)...

    And it gives me a whole bunch more reasons to want to know you for reals. :)

    Hope your day was sweet in every way.

  7. The best "list" Ive seen to date. God is so good and you are truly blessed:)

  8. you are just the cutest girl ever! i love this post. so sweet, funny and inspiring. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! i hope you had a WONDERFUL day! :)

  9. Good stuff there girl, I am glad to be along with you for the lessons you will learn in the next 10 years!

  10. Love this post!! I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Oh Sweet Kira, my eyes are filled with tears of joy. After having just been a part of 1 of your decades, I feel blessed to have watch your transformation into the woman you are today. I love that you acknowledge that even when we have children, we are still the Daughters of our Almighty King. I am grateful to know you and your sister, your families, and Grandma Anne. May God continue to bless you in the good and the bad. Love you girl!!!!!!

  12. Loved this list, Kira. A very happy (and belated) birthday to you. Your witty humor and light-hearted nature constantly makes me smile. I know the Lord has good things in store for you (as He does for each of us) in our next decade, too. Thanks for sharing your joys, struggles and life with us. You ROCK!

  13. Wow... I'm sort of overwhelmed with all the BEAUTIFUL things you guys said. Thanks so much for reading and responding. I am amazed every day at how many wonderful people I have met through blogging. Thank you!


I adore reading your comments; they bring sunshine to my day. Thanks for reading!


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