That is the one phrase that kept going through my head today, on my 37th birthday...
My Life is Beautiful ~ Ma Vie Est Belle ~
Yep...honestly and truly....that kept floating through my head all day long.
My life isn't without hardships, and my life isn't always joyful. But my life, even with difficult times and sadness, is still Beautiful.
I have a wonderful husband who is the best partner I could've asked for. We support each other in all things and I know no matter what, he's here for me. We have a true and amazing partnership. There is probably nothing I could ask of him that he would refuse, and vice-versa. How beautiful is that?
I have two amazing healthy kids that I love more every single day we have together. They make me laugh, they amaze me, and they show me that sometimes it's really the simple things that are most important. How beautiful is that?
I have a GREAT family. From my wonderful Dad, to my three amazing brothers, and all those connected to these people....I simply have such a wonderful supporting loving family. We completely support each other in whatever is going on...total and complete acceptance. They have all played such a pivotal role in who I am today. I love that we're always picking up the phone to razz about how our weather is better than yours, or our team beat yours, or just to say HEY...how's it going?!!! I know people who don't talk to their siblings and/or parents, and I am so incredibly filled with joy that this is SO FAR from the case with my Dad and brothers. We're always there for one another and would literally do anything for each other.....How beautiful is that?
I live in quite possibly the most awesome neighborhood in the entire world. These neighbors look out for one another, help when needed, and just generally reek of awesomeness. It's not just in times of chaos and crises that we come together, but also in ordinary day-to-day help. We watch each others kids/dogs/houses when someone has to be gone. We're just there for each other, all the time. These neighbors have become some of my best friends and I so look forward to seeing them daily. How beautiful is that?
And, finally, I come to friends. Some of you I have known since grade/high school....you know me as Laura! Some of you are college friends....you know me as, well....let's just not go into the crazy details there! Some of you are former colleagues....you know me as Lori Martin the professional, but also the office crack-up! Some of you know me from my childrens' school....you know me as Drake and Avery's Mom. Some of you found me somewhere along the way from one journey to the next. But, all of you are great friends. You have seen me at high points in my life, and several of you have carried me through the lowest points of my life. Some are casual acquaintances, and some of you are my best gals. The common thread is that I wouldn't be who I am today without you touching my life in the way that you have. I am so blessed to have great friends that are still hanging around, even after all these years. Great friends....loyal friends...reliable and honest friends....How beautiful is that?
So today I start my year as the 38-year-old Lori Martin. So many things are different from the 37-year-old Lori Martin. The biggest change is that the 38-year-old Lori Martin no longer has her Mom to call with every bit of needed advice, encouragement, or just a shoulder to cry on. She's gone. Another big change is that Schuyler is gone...never again will I hear his hearty laugh or feel his gigantic embrace.
Those things make me sad, but I also feel both of them with me every day, which makes up for not having them physically here. They may be gone from this Earth, but I feel their presence. Sometimes it's at the most random time, and others it's when I really need them the most.
The 38-year-old Lori Martin is staring down the barrel of 40. The actual number doesn't freak me out as much as the fact of getting older and what that does to a person. I worry about my health and well-being. That's why the 38-year-old Lori Martin is hitting the gym like a maniac and trying really hard to be "Fit By Forty". I'm not going to get derailed this time...it's time to make the changes and get my health in order.
See, I figure with all of this beauty and all of these beautiful people in my life I owe it to them to find a way to be with them as long as possible. Who else is going to harrass them if I check out early? I love that you all make my life beautiful. I love that I can make most of you laugh, even when having the worst possible day.
So, here I am...the 38-year-old Lori Martin. Thank you for being a part of my beautiful life. I'm so thankful for having such amazing family and friends...I love you all and wouldn't trade you for anything in the world....how beautiful is THAT?