Monday, April 11, 2011

Twenty-Two



This is me on my birth day, all red and swollen from being born.
Today is my birthday.
I am twenty-two.

Twenty-two is pretty young to be married with two kids, which is maybe why most of my friends are a few years older than me.
I forget that we're not all the same age, since I tend to think of everyone as the "stage of life" that they're in, not their actual age.
So my friends who are newly married and maybe have a baby or two are in the same stage of life as I am, whether they're 20, 26, or 32.

I love birthdays. One year ago I looked like this:


I got  breakfast in bed, and was serenaded at the library.
Oh, and not from my husband, from my friend Suzie.
Travis bought me about 25 presents (all pretty cheap - except the Hunger Games and the Sound of Music) and individually wrapped them because he knows how much I love unwrapping presents.
He threw me a birthday party, but I had to make my own cake.
All in all, it was a good birthday (not that I really have had any bad birthdays).

This year, my husband is out of town and most of my friends are not allowed to come over (as per doctors orders).
We had dinner at my in-laws last night, and my mom will probably make me a cake for tonight...
but all in all, it's a pretty quiet day.
And yet, it's just perfect.
I have two, very cute little birthday presents (which, unfortunately, need to be "unwrapped" and changed over a dozen times a day each)
and even though another year doesn't seem like much of a change, I've stepped into another "stage of life."
And so far, it's my favorite.

And now, I'm going to write a nice long post about myself:

I grew up in Minnesota, in a little town that didn't seem small until I went back after my freshman year at college.
I love it there, the humidity, the water, the lakes, the rain, the snow.
I even love the cold.
I used to miss it constantly, but I've started to fall in love with Utah, so now it's not so bad.
 


I always wanted to travel, but the place I wanted to go most was England, which -frankly- is not that unlike the United States.
When I finally left the country for the first time it was to go to Hong Kong and China, and then a few years later to Kenya and Uganda.
We stopped in England on the way home from Africa, and I admit that I'm glad we spent a month in Africa and only 2 days in England, and not the other way around.
I love Africa, and Travis and I plan to take the boys there someday.
Sometimes we call our babies by Swahili names.

me in Uganda, by a giant anthill

I love to read and write and planned on being an author my entire life.
I feel like this blog gives me a chance to be an author, even if it doesn't seem like the real deal to some people, it's nice that hundreds of people read my blog.
I also wanted to be an actress and singer all through high school, and auditioned for every solo and musical ever performed at my school.
I never made it, and I never took the hint. I just kept trying.
(and stinking, really really badly)
 


I am 5'8", which is pretty tall for a girl.
But I used to be really tiny.
In fact, I was under five feet until about tenth grade, when suddenly, I was not.
My family used to take me to doctors all the time so find out why I was so small, and why I didn't hit puberty until I was 17, and pretty regularly doctors told me that I might not be able to have children.
You can imagine my surprise when I became pregnant quickly - and with twins!
I guess everything works after all.
 


I was one of very few Mormons at my high school, and was constantly answering questions about my religion and always felt the need to be the best Mormon I could, so people wouldn't judge the religion poorly based on my actions.
When I came to BYU and was surrounded by other Mormons I suffered a bit of an identity crisis. Being Mormon was what set me apart and made me different. What set me apart and made me different when everyone was Mormon? It took me a long time to be okay with being here and figure out what makes me special.


I do not like school. I do not like academia. I feel that I am way smarter than many of the people who graduate with degrees and thus, actually don't care if I never graduate.
If I end up needing to work for some reason (like Travis' death), I will probably try to work as a photographer, writer, or videographer or something along those lines and in artistic careers ability is more important than degrees.
And if I need a real job, like with a salary, then I'll go back for my last year and get a teaching degree and teach English.
Whatever. School just isn't worth it to me.

The first thing we bought together for our house: a Martha Stewart silverware tray.


 I have a really good mother. We always had home cooked meals, and she made fresh salsa from the garden and baked cookies for us when we got home from school. She read to us, and helped us learn to read and write and love books. She made quilts for our beds, and awesome unique Halloween costumes every year. We always went berry picking and she canned jams, and peaches, and apples and applesauce.
She took us to church, and taught us to pray and read the scriptures and be kind to each other.  She taught us to love music and singing, even though she doesn't play any instruments or sing anything more than hymns and children's songs, really.
Everyone who knows her is completely dependent on her, because she takes care of us. (She takes care of everyone). She's a really good wife, and she and my dad are still completely in love after 23 years.
When I think about the type of woman I want to be, I think of my mother.
I want to be a mother and a wife and a friend like her. She is my greatest example.
She's leaving this week, and I've been having nightmares about it.
I can't take care of these babies on my own.
 


I have wanted to be where I am (this stage of life, I mean) for my entire life. I want to be married and have children. I want my own home to decorate and care for, and a husband to cook and sew for.
When we were in Africa, one of my friends (an American) was surprised, and said something along the lines of "I guess when you feel that motherhood is your purpose, it doesn't feel like you're giving anything up to start a family."
And that's how I feel.
Even if I was giving something up, what could possibly be worth more than having my sweet boys?
Another friend in Africa (an African) was surprised when I said I wanted lots of children - maybe even 6.
"No," he kept saying, "I know that you are joking. American women do not want so many children. I am sure that you will only have one or two. Families in America are not so big as to have 6 children."
I could not convince him otherwise.
It makes me sad that the rest of the world perceives Americans as not being very family-oriented. Really, even Americans don't perceive themselves that way, right?
 


There's a lot more to me than this blog post shares, but it's getting pretty long.
And I'm running out of random pictures of myself that I don't have to scan in to the computer.
So, I will leave. And go eat some birthday cake.
My favorite birthday cake, by the way, is a three way tie between banana cake, angel food cake, and Texas chocolate.
I also accept pie.
Which is what we served at our wedding reception instead of cake.

Happy Birthday, self.
And Happy Monday to the rest of you.

Painting our first apartment


And give me a nice birthday present, a click on the banner below, perhaps?
Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs
clickity-click. Vote for me. For my birthday.


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11 comments:

Becoming Supermommy said...

Happy Birthday!
And Happy Monday!
It's my birthday next week. And it's going to be a complete non-event, but only partially because of the twins.

It's just stopped being a priority, all of a sudden. But I know ALL about the importance of birthdays! It used to be a week-long affair. :)
http://becomingsupermommy.blogspot.com/2011/03/as-we-always-say-next-year-in-michigan.html

Amy said...

Happy Birthday!! I had NO idea you were only a few months older then me!!

Brittany said...

Love this post! Happy birthday! You share the same birthday as my sister. And don't worry, I'm not quite a year older than you, so I had twins at 22 too. It's basically the coolest thing ever, right? And I'm currently writing a reply to your email with words of encouragement. You'll do awesome. You're a super mama. And I'm coming over soon. Very soon. I neeeeeeed to see those boys.

Marge Bjork said...

oh! happy birthday Becky dear!

Mama Mandolin said...

I love this post-and getting to know more about you! I never knew what I wanted to be. I've never decided. But I'm pretty good at being a mama...and I like it. And I don't feel like I gave anything up. I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

Happy Birthday!

Samantha said...

Happy Birthday!

I agree with you about school and motherhood. And cake. And pie. Basically, I love this post and think we'd get along well in real life. :)

allie said...

Awww, happy birthday! I'm 25, married with a new-ish baby and people say we're "soooo young to be soooo far along..." so you never can win! all that matters is that you are happy and LOVED and you seem to have an abundance of both in your life!

i am so excited to find your blog. and duh, totally voting for you of course!

MARCIE said...

What a funny girl you are. HBD and Love you!

Today's Gift said...

I hope you had a great birthday!

Doreen said...

Great post and Happy Birthday!

able mabel said...

Love the post. As a former Minnesotian here, I'm dying to know which city you grew up in, especially seeing the Buffalo picture....