On the eve of my 34th Birthday..

Tomorrow is my 34th birthday. I haven’t decided how I feel about that number yet, but I think I’m pretty okay with it.

34 years
Source: Amazon

Isn’t it funny how New Year’s resolutions can lead to things like reading books, making your bed, working out, and organizing your entire home in the month of January? I refuse to make resolutions because I know they don’t last. The new year is a great time to reflect, and I try to take advantage of the opportunity to create goals and map my growth over the past 12 months. Since my birthday is at the beginning of the year, I always find myself in a reflective mood the first couple weeks of the new year. Somehow, all of that momentum dies off.. for me that’s usually sometime in March. If I’m lucky. But maybe I’m just talking to myself here.  😉

Blogging is one of the things that I seem to pick up annually. If you notice my history, you’ll see.. the posts are mostly in the first months of the year. Because of that, I find that it’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything. And now I can’t begin to describe what has happened over the course of this year. Last year at this time, I had no idea I would be here this year.

Okay. You have no idea what I’m talking about, so let me go back a little bit..

2018, my 33rd year, was the worst of my life.

– It was tougher than all of the awkward elementary years that I struggled with braces, bad hair cuts, and needing reading glasses.

– It was worse than the year I changed from private to public school: The second year of middle school, when everyone had already established their cliques.

– It was harder than my first year as a single mom.

– It was worse than the year+ that we spent fighting for our marriage and didn’t think we would make it.

– It was more difficult emotionally than the year we had a house fire, lived with my parents for 4 months, and built our new house.

For about 12 years, our family stood with my Dad as he fought leiomyosarcoma.  He fought soooo hard. That type of cancer really isn’t curable, but his optimism and aggressive action gave him 12 years of blessings. 12 years of watching kids get married and grandkids being born. 12 years of working hard and serving others, like he always did. 12 years of loving God and loving people.

When 2018 began, Dad had already hit the point in his cancer battle that made us consider the fact that he might not survive. None of us were ready to give up hope or admit that we were truly scared. Besides, we needed him to live longer.  Early in the year, he was looking into the option of immunotherapy, a newer treatment option. The news came back that he wasn’t a match. Around the same time, he had PET scans done in Hershey that revealed a lot of cancer throughout his body. Those results of the scans were so hard for him to swallow that he didn’t even read the paperwork. He knew.. but he didn’t want to know. And so, none of us saw the results. We just continued to live, and love, and be there as much as we could.

I am so proud of both of my parents. They have always made it a point to be there for us. The first year that we moved here to Emporium, I remember my mom saying that they planned to come stay over Labor Day.  I actually scoffed at her, because I couldn’t believe that they wanted to do that. Why would they drive here for the weekend when they could stay there? I had the same feelings when they drove 4 hours in one evening to watch our youngest son in his school Christmas concert. Again and again, I was befuddled when they came for multiple events over the past 2 years we’ve lived here. The thing is: I am eternally grateful that they made a point to make the trip. All of the memories we have this past year, I cherish. Especially the ones when they made the drive to visit us.

I don’t want to get into all the details of my Dad’s final days right now. I might not ever get into it here. But it’s all I can think about as I enter my 34th year.

Even though 2018 was such a tough year, I believe that 2019 and 34 is a year of promise. It will be the first full year that I’ve operated my own storefront: The Kitchen & Bath Studio. The business is growing, and I am busy here in this small town.

We have hopes to finally make a cross-country trip with our family this year. My husband has been wanting to do that for several years now, but this should be the year that we make it happen.

I have also come to terms with this big ugly house that we live in. We’re not moving this year, unless something major happens. {God, if you’re listening, we would really love it if this were a boring year…} Since we’re “stuck” here for a while, I plan to work on making this house into more of a home. I have several DIY project ideas in mind, and I think it could really turn into something nice. We’re wrapping up the remodel of our 1/2 bath in the next couple weeks, and I can’t wait to share the results.

I really am fortunate. Even though I’m having an incredibly difficult time figuring out how to navigate the future without my Dad, I’m so thankful to have had him there for me the first 33-1/2 years of my life. He taught me not to mope and to make the very best of the life we’re given. If he could have such a great outlook while battling cancer, I think that I can be thankful for the things that I have. I am blessed with an amazing husband, 3 great kids, relatively good health, a fun career, and so much more.

Yes, I think 34 will be a good year.


Published by CDH Designs

I am a Mom and self-employed Interior Designer. I own a small design studio & home decor shop in downtown Emporium, PA. It’s a small town in the PA Wilds of north-central Pennsylvania. We have some of the most beautiful scenery, and Fall (my favorite season) is breathtaking. I blog for fun to keep my friends and clients informed of what's going on in the design and decorating world, to share my designs, and to show what we're working on in our own home.

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