three times her age

My mom turns 50  29 today. Last week she rode the MS 150, a 150 mile bike ride that begins in Houston, and two days later, finishes in Austin.

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For all those keeping track at home, that’s three times as many miles as years she’s lived.

So basically, she is the coolest 50-year old I know.

We cheered her on at the finish line, watched her ride the last 100 yards down Congress Avenue and then met up for pictures, hugs and stories.

I mean seriously, look how awesome she is. All smiles after 150 miles.

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BP Team for the win.

I am really proud of my mom. 

Not just because she woke up in the wee hours of the morning to ride a bike 150 miles over 2 days on terrain that is incredibly hilly. Although, that would be enough.

Mostly, I’m proud of her because of the 50 years she’s lived, and of how she’s not slowing down. The mentality of living life to the full doesn’t end simply because we grow older, and I’m so thankful to have a mom who is not just pressing on, but pressing in to her life. Pressing in to her work, to her community, her family, her own dreams. Becoming more and more present as the years go by.

Life is a miracle. It’s meant to be lived fully and adventurously. Spent stepping out and risking, doing things that make you afraid, learning to trust and love more. Life is meant to be celebrated.

Here’s to you, Mom, on your 50th birthday. I’m celebrating you today.

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birthdays + bonfires

Taylor turned 25 yesterday, and it was pretty close to the perfect day.

It is such a gift to watch the person you love come alive with the knowledge that they are so loved and valued. To come alive because they’re in their element, and being nurtured on a soul level.

That’s what yesterday was for my sweet man, and I loved every minute of it.

We had a surprise breakfast together before I went to work, served on the special birthday plate of course…

Then, Taylor got to spend the whole day fishing with his dad (they are the same person). Talk about being in your element…

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We all met up at his parent’s house and enjoyed a delicious birthday dinner and amazing chocolate cake, again served on the special birthday plate…

And topped it off enjoying a bonfire with friends in the crisp Austin air- the perfect nightcap.

Those are the types of days I want to remember for a long time. The days where I’m ok with them going by slowly because I’m trying to soak in every moment. It was a simple, rich, gift-filled, ordinary, amazing celebration of life.

I was so physically exhausted by the time we got home, but my heart and soul were filled. In my book, that’s a day well lived.

So, I’m heading in to this weekend thankful. Thankful for community and the gift of life, for time to rest and prepare for a little trip coming up next week, time to just be and soak in the days.

Hoping for a restful weekend for you as well.

my favorite part of the day

Sunday was a glorious summer day- perfect for a celebration. And if there is one thing you should know about our friends, it’s that we can come up with any excuse to celebrate. This weekend, we didn’t even have to search very far. No one had to make up any holidays, or use the excuse that they have extra beer/wine/cake balls from a wedding they worked. We had a birthday in the group. A real, live birthday. It was just too easy.

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The birthday boy himself. In all his light saber glory.

Our good friend Gregg turned 25 yesterday, and in his generosity he invited us all out to celebrate at his lake house over fajitas on Sunday afternoon. We’re thankful for him. Mostly because of his lake house. Also because he’s a really great cook. But seriously because he has one of the biggest hearts, marked by the most unforgettable laugh that you’ll ever meet.

It didn’t take long for the emails to start flying back and forth. I’ll bring tequila leftover from a party I worked. I’ll bring 24 Shiners leftover from a wedding. I’ll make cake balls. Put me down for tortillas and peppers and onions. I’ll bring guacamole. I’ll get tortilla chips. I’ll bake brownies. I’ve got the margarita mix. Before you could actually read all the emails in the thread… Boom. Party.

And a party it was. We spent the afternoon at Gregg’s jumping off the dock, avoiding speed boats while paddle boarding, kayaking, playing pool games with all the intensity of 10 year olds, drinking margaritas, dancing, playing basketball, laying in the sun, catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and eating delicious fajitas. It was just wonderful, and I couldn’t have thought up a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

DJ Haircut droppin' beats.
DJ Haircut droppin’ beats.

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My husband, Taylor, couldn’t make the party. He’s a manager in the restaurant business and works Sundays. Typically his shift ends at 4pm, and on a normal day he could’ve met up with us after work. Today was different due to a work-related boat party (ironic) that he was committed to attend.

Let me say this before I go any further: I am not one of those girls who doesn’t know what to do without her husband. I am completely an introvert. And completely fine on my own.When I studied abroad in Ireland, one of my favorite things to do was wander around the city by myself. To learn how transportation worked, get a feel for the place, the culture. I loved figuring it out, and I loved doing it on my own. It made me feel free and alive, like I was living on the edge. Needless to say, I will be the first to admit that I’m fiercely independent, most of the time to a fault.

But on Sunday afternoon, I missed Taylor. Like, ache in my heart missed him. Don’t get me wrong, I was having a blast. It’s just that part of me was missing. I didn’t have my other half. My person. I didn’t feel like I was fully myself  because all of me wasn’t there.

When Taylor is there, I’m home. It doesn’t matter where we are. I’m completely comfortable in my own skin. I’m free to be who I am fully. And even in the midst of my people… my people who make up an incredible community of support, prayer, laughter and growth, a community of people who are pivotal to Taylor and I’s marriage… I am not at home without my person, without Taylor.

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We both headed home from our separate parties around the same time later that night. I made it to our apartment a little before him, and was at the bathroom sink when he walked in. He peeked his head around the door, his face lit up with excitement as he greeted me in his playful tone.

And that’s it. That was my favorite part of the day. More than margaritas or pool games or even being with my best friends. My favorite part of the day was coming home to Taylor. If I’m honest, that’s my favorite part of every day.

*Photos of Gregg’s birthday courtesy of Caroline Boudreaux. I’m glad someone remembered to document the event.