Today is my 40th birthday.. Wow- 40 years old!!

As I sit back and look at my life, I think of ALL the wonderful memories..

At the age of 1, I was reading books in my playpen, hence my intense love for reading.

At the age of 5, I remember singing “It’s not easy being green” in front of an entire gym for a high school play. This encouraged my heart for performing!

At the age of 8, I remember getting the part of “Dorothy “ in the school play. This was a segway into my love of singing!

At the age of 10, I remember my mom hosting a super fun slumber party for me and my friends in our camper. This developed the value of girl friendships in my life and my ability to be scared when sleeping outdoors!

At the age of 12, I remember visiting Florida with my family for our christmas vacation! We ventured to Sanibel Island, woke up at 3am, and did the Sanibel stoop. This brought forth my love for my family and making memories!

At the age of 14, I remember meeting the love of my life, Ryan. We’d talk on phone for hours, write mushy notes and were inseparable. This best friend would become my husband 8 years later.

At the age of 18, I remember going off to college. I remember crying wildly when my mom and dad left, yet feeling a sense of encouragement that Ryan and God were with me. This developed a sense of courage and wonder in my young adult life.

At the age of 21, I became captain of my Pom squad. I loved those girls like they were my sisters. This encouraged my leadership and creative life skills.

At the age of 22, I got married to my high school sweetheart! My mom bought us butterflies to represent ‘new life!’ This allows me to always remember to live for each moment!

At the age of 24, I had my first born son – Drew. He truly was a MIRACLE child as I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to have children. This moment birthed my love for children and to remember that I had something to live for that was bigger than myself!

At the age of 27, I had my sought after daughter, Alyssa. She was all pink and perfect!! This fulfilled my love for all things girly and the desire of my heart to have a daughter!

At the age of 30, I had my little, I mean Big, Brycie. This guy came in a week early at almost 10 pounds! He was our bundle of joy and this final baby brought closure to our family of five.

At the age of 33, I started the Inspired Arts Academy. I felt a need to provide quality fine art education to students after seeing how little was able to be done in the classroom. This experience helped me to become a fearless leader, effective communicator, innovator, and creative teacher.

At the age of 37, I moved to Florida! I furthered my career as an educator, rekindled my love for sand, sun and palm trees, and began to rewrite my family’s life.

Today- 40. Today I look back at my life and realize all the moments that have shaped me into the person I am today. I still : love to read, enjoy singing, value friendships new and old, cherish family memories, love my husband, love teaching, am grateful for my children, believe in taking risks and writing new chapters of my life- one story at a time.

I encourage you on your birthday to look back and see what seeds were planted in your life- what has brought you to the place you are today and what has made you the person you hoped to become.

Here’s to 40 more years. The BEST is yet to come!