Why, hello January 2015. I’ve been expecting you. Actually not really, I’ve just been taking each day in manageable 10-minute increments since the beginning of 2009. Before that I was probably drunk.
You really snuck up on me, 2013.
This month marks 9 delightful years of blogging. It’s a nerd thing to do, for sure, but when I started, it was all about keeping in touch with the Florida fam…and I just couldn’t stop.
At 25 years old, I had just come off a long, hard 10-year stretch of being one bad bitch, and God was just beginning to break me down to the more humble, more virtuous version of me that stands before you today. I’m laughing because I assumed that by the year 2015, I’d have a better handle on wifing and mothering and living in general.
And of course, here I am, and here I don’t. In fact, in many ways I feel less together now than I did then. More confused about parenting stuff: did I completely screw up my teenager? Am I reading enough with my son? Will my baby be sleeping in my bed for the next five years?. More worried about my health: Am I going bald? Is this what a heart attack feels like? More scared: of tornadoes, plagues, and aliens. Not calm. Not cool, not collected. My dogs still make messes, my kids still try my patience. I still forget to save receipts. I still struggle with the same weight. I still haven’t gotten used to the frozen tundra that is Oklahoma in the wintertime.
9 years, 100 paintings, 99 (+ a thousand) bottles of beer, a metric butt ton of dollars spent on children’s shoes, 5 Trips to Florida, 1 new (to me) car, 1 never-ending construction process, 2 buried dogs, 1 stray puppy, a high school graduate and a couple more babies later…
34-year-old Toni stands strong where 25-year-old Toni was passed out in a drunken stupor. I can make hotdogs without setting the house on fire. I can clean up dog puke without gagging. I have 4% more patience with the kids in their wildest days. I teach people how to art. I am more cared for here and now than perhaps I have ever been in my whole life. I love my husband a hundred-thousand times more than I did in 2006, which is saying a lot because I thought I loved the crap out of him back then. My kids bring me more joy than I ever thought possible.
And I came back to God, who, as it turns out, was amped to see me again…presumably because God loves his children matter what they do, where they go, or how hard they fight. When they return to Him, fat cows get slaughtered and parties ensue.
And while my life may not have made much outward progress over the last decade, I got inner peace like a freakin’ river in my soul, and that’s something no alien invasion can take away.
Impressed? Just wait until 2014, when I learn to bake cookies.
In the oven.