Tag: birthday

Almost 40…

getting-old

So this week I turned 38. That means I’m almost 40. Wow! At least I’m not actually 40 but it’s coming! I can feel it!

I am not one to moan and groan about my age but it does kind of shock me that almost 40 has come so fast. Where did the time go? 2018 marked 20 years since I finished high school. That makes sense because that feels like another millennia ago. But other stuff like the end of my mission in 2005 seems like it just happened. Even something like moving into my home has somehow ballooned into 6 years! Mind blown.

Luckily I can’t feel to badly about turning 38 because I’ve had such an amazing year. Currently I am busy covering the Sundance Film Festival and you can find my reviews on rottentomatoes.com! My podcasts/channels are both doing well and I’m super proud of them and things are going well with my job. So life is great. I am very blessed.

So I’m not really sad about turning almost 40 but it is a little sobering. I certainly thought I would be married and have a family at this point but it just hasn’t been in the cards for me. (If you know anyone who might be interested please let me know 😉 ). It makes me a little sad to think about that but there’s nothing I can do about it so oh well.

38

The other day I was thinking about the people in my life who didn’t get to be almost 40 (my cousins Lisa, Riley, Raquel RIP). A family and spouse may not happen (I’m aware it could happen but it might not) but think about the many experiences I do get to have which they did not? It reminds me to be grateful for the gift of life and another year on this planet. Even in the bad times I am growing and changing into the person God wants me to be. He is behind all the lessons of my life, and I’m confident He has something special in store for the almost 40 version of me.

If January is any test 2019 is shaping up to be a very memorable year and I’m ready for it! I’m a little overwhelmed and wish I had more time but I’m as ready as I can be. Fortunately, I have tons of support both in real life and online for which I am truly grateful.

So to almost 40: Bring it on!

35 and Sundance

So I am writing you all as a 35 year old woman.  I know in the grand scheme of things it isn’t old but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel old.  I still feel like the same old person I was in my 20s and here I am 35!  How did this happen? 🙂

Well, I ended up having a really fun 35th birthday.  I was worried because I had been sick all week (as I reported a few days ago).  But I tried to rest up and was feeling mostly better for my birthday.  It was a good thing because I had a great experience and a unique opportunity for my birthday.

A few weeks ago Morgan over at Rotoscopers.com asked if I would be willing to represent their website at a screening for a film at the Sundance Film Festival.  I had always wanted to go to Sundance but I didn’t know they had a Sundance Kids section.  Now I will totally be going every year!  She said I could see the film and then have a chance to interview the creators afterwards.

I jumped at the chance but was also very nervous about the interview portion.  I’ve never done an interview before and worried I wouldn’t have professional enough questions.   The movie is called Snowtime and I will save my review for rotoscopers.com but I really did enjoy the film.  It’s a sweet little story about kids playing in the snow.  It reminded me of the Peanuts Movie quite a bit, which I loved.   Here’s a trailer for the film:

So I did my homework and came up with some questions that I ran by some friends who had done that kind of thing before.  I also had my camera, phone to record the interview and notepad ready to go!

The big ticket

Waiting in line for the show to start

Dog Cleo from the movie was there

snowtime

Then I saw the film and enjoyed it and they did a Q and A afterwards where the kids in the audience asked great questions.  This helped relieve my nerves a little bit.  I figured if little kids could do it, so could I! 🙂

So, I was rushed into a little green room area and I met with director Francois Brisson and producer Marie-Claude Beauchamp.  I got to ask questions for about 5 minutes and I think I did pretty well.  I will pass the link on to you guys when I get the interview written up for Rotoscopers.com.  It was so fascinating to learn about the behind the scenes of an animated film- even a small scale animated film like this one.  I enjoyed hearing about their inspiration and how they came up with different elements of the design and story.

It ended up being a really cool experience and a great way to spend my birthday.  I finished the day with a quiet dinner with one of my best friends also named Rachel.  I had tons of love shown my way, which I greatly appreciate it and heard from many of my family and friends.  I am so blessed.

I hope 35 is one of the best years yet!!

Birthday 2015

Last Friday I turned the 34 and had a great birthday.  I decided to meet up with friends at the local aquarium because I thought it would be an easy place to bring kids and my friends wouldn’t need to find sitters.  It ended up being very crowded and we had a hard time staying together as a group but I felt like I spent time with everyone who came and really enjoyed it.

My friend Lisa came over and stayed in the guest room Friday night. She even came with me to a midsingles game night I had to go to (and ended up being very fun!).  We had a great time visiting and reminiscing about our missions (she served in my mission mostly before I got there).

When we all got back from the aquarium we had tarts from my favorite bakery, Bake 360.  They were delish!  My Dad surprised me by getting me a sound box and new TV!!! I was overwhelmed at such a gift.  I also got some new big mixing bowls from my roommate and Mom, Anne of Green Gables from my sister, scarf, swimming shampoo, and my Christmas gift to myself came on my birthday- my dream Le Crueset dutch oven pot.

But more than any gifts I was blessed to be reminded with just how many people love me.  I am so blessed with good people in my life.  I lost track at 49 but I couldn’t even tell you how many birthday wishes I got on facebook and other social media.  When I think of the lonely people I met on my mission and other places I am overwhelmed with gratitude at all God has given me.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday memorable.  I love you!

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5 Years of Blogging

5-year-anniversary1

Quick post.  I promise I will update on day 2 of the amazing LDS Storymakers Writing Conference but I got the notice that today makes 5 years as a WordPress blogger.  5 years!

In that time I have written 608 posts in 63 categories and 2,057 comments (wished more 😦  ),  260,547 views, most popular categories are health, happiness, arts and entertainment and family.  My strabismus posts, movie reviews and general health posts have been the most popular.

My first post was written on May 12, 2008 was entitled The Freedom of Joblessness.

In the post I spoke about how not having a career and being unemployed felt quite liberating.  For once I had no answer to the question ‘What do you do?’  I had been so unhappy in my job that the removing the ‘DO’ had been one of the most empowering experiences of my life.   My thoughts at the time were ““I would rather be doing nothing than doing something I hate”.

Its true.  I would rather be doing nothing than something I hate.

I then add:

“In the meantime I am enjoying my life and looking forward to the next adventure.”

That’s the great thing about blogging is it gives a platform to process all the madness of life.  It allows me to tell my story! How powerful is that!  Now the documentation of the human experience does not have to be limited to the memoir and biographer.  I have tried my best to tell my story as honestly as I can and I’ve learned that people are amazingly supportive and good-hearted.

Some of my personal favorite entries over the years have been

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/09/16/feminism-and-the-workforce/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2011/10/21/solitude-of-self/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2009/11/14/murtaugh-list-and-regina-spektor/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/10/03/things-to-help-and-hurt-an-anxiety-attack/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/03/01/a-modern-ring-of-gyges/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2011/10/15/romantic-comedy-cliches-im-sick-of/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2013/02/12/myths-about-being-single/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2013/04/01/a-god-who-weeps/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2011/02/04/why-i-like-a-book/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/11/07/why-bother/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/05/03/it-gets-betterbully-full-video/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/01/07/interview-part/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/01/11/interview-part-2/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/01/30/interview-part-3/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/11/25/thanksgiving-for-one/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/07/14/great-love/

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2010/10/16/a-note-on-plus-size-fashion/

There are so many.  My most controversial one was probably on teens and reading.

I know that is a barrage of links but checks some of them out.  Remember writing is new if it new to you.

From the beginning of putting pen to paper I knew if I was going to engage in a public journal, it would have to be just that.  The real me, no fog, no illusions.  I have shared with you my pains, anxieties, discouragements but also the successes, loves, and moments of glee.  I am confident a man could come to know the real me from simply reading words. Isn’t that what great writing should do anyway?

On one of my first posts I spoke about happiness:

“It is such an empowering thing to know that we have a say in our happiness. We are not just lifeless blobs that respond to stimuli. We can decide to follow the Lord, sacrificing our egos and desires; thereby, creating happiness both currently as we serve and in the eternities. It reminds me of a quote I have from President Kimball (I had it on my wall when I had a wall!)

“Happiness does not come by pressing a button, as does the electric light; happiness is a state of mind and comes from within. It must be earned. It cannot be purchased with money; it cannot be taken for nothing”

Happiness is a state of mind and for 5 years I’ve had a state of mind of the Smilingldsgirl.  Yes, it has been tough but I’ve always known that smile was inside me.  I never lost hope and my confidence in my Heavenly Father.  God knows my heart and loves me.   I started this blog at a time of great hope and new beginnings.   All I knew is I had escaped a black cloud and felt set free. Since then I have always carried that freedom in my pocket as a reminder to never go back there again. Never allow myself to experience sustained misery again.

The blog has been a big key in ensuring the success of my journey.   Again, it has allowed me to share MY unique story with all of you, my faithful readers.  I am so grateful.

Remember:

FAITH is power, LOYALTY is essential, LOVE is pure,  and HAPPINESS goes a long way towards HOPE

If you haven’t gathered I really love my blog.  Thank you all for reading. Have there been any posts you enjoyed?  Please post in comments section!  Sure love ya!

PS in the words of Nora Ephron- “I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”

31 Year Old Breakdown

I’m afraid I’ve got insomnia tonight so to the blog I go…

So as all my facebook friends are aware I had a mini-meltdown today. (ps.  I take facebook status’s as just that the status of my life, good, bad, happy, sad, whatever.  I know others don’t look at it that way but I chose to be this real in my social media interactions).  It has been a long week with lots of work hours, and not as much exercising as I would like.  In addition, this Sunday is my last Sunday in my ward, which makes me sad and freaks me out, but also on Monday is my 31st birthday.  How you ask could a 31st birthday be worse than a 30th?  Well, last year I had just fallen down a flight of stairs and was in great pain/drugged up on my birthday. So, this is the first functioning birthday of my 30s.

Anyway, let me tell you about my ward change first.   For those outside of the Mormon church we have several sectioned off wards (congregations) to suit certain language needs and lifestyles.  For example, there are Spanish wards to help people who speak Spanish to attend and understand church.  There is also what they call YSA Wards (Young Single Adults).   This includes any person unmarried 17-31 (can be divorced.  Usually if you have kids you are encouraged to go to a family ward because YSA wards do not have a primary for little one’s).

I have been in YSA wards since I was 17 years old and at the time the idea of turning 31 and ‘graduating’ out of the singles wards seemed impossible and yet here it is.  This April I am helping to plan our 10 year BYU College Graduation Reunion.  10 years since I finished at BYU.  It boggles the mind.   To me it is a little scary- what did I do with that time?  Did I do the right things?  Is God happy with my efforts? I believe that He is and that knowledge is very comforting.

I look back at my life and wonder in those 10 years did I do enough to help people, to serve others, to mentor children?  Sometimes I’m envious of teachers because they have written into their job professions opportunities to nurture future generations.  Working from home I have limited interactions with other people, limited chances to mentor.  I’d like to find something to volunteer for but haven’t come across the right thing for me.  I’d love to work with Big Brother’s Big Sisters but the closest one is in Salt Lake.  If anyone knows of a teen that could use a big sister send them my way.  I’d love it!

Anyway, today I started thinking about the next 10 years.  What are the 30’s?  The 20’s are so clear- college, mission, grad school, work etc.  30s are much harder to define.  What are the big accomplishments for a single girl in her 30s? Its honestly hard for me to come up with a list.  With no big things coming it is easy to ask the question- has all the big stuff happened or if it didn’t happen, should it have happened?  Is the game for big stuff over?

This left me feeling sad.  As a single LDS woman how does my life matter?  How do I contribute to the world?  What would be the lesser because I’m not here?  I do not have anyone who needs me for physical survival such as a young baby needs her mother; nor, am I a teacher who gets to influence many children and make a difference.   There are a few people that need me for emotional and other support.  My Dad told me yesterday that ‘he leans on me more than almost anyone else in his life’.  That meant a lot to me.  Its nice to feel needed.

My Dad also said ‘I know if you were gone there would be a lot of people grieving at your funeral and I think that says something’.  It is comforting to think about ways you’ve helped people and added value to their lives.  (Not that I’m dying or anything, friends.  Just an example).

This is going to sound like such a pity plea but oh well-  If any of you would mind sharing a way I have contributed to your life  it would be the best birthday present I can think of.  I would love it.

I know I can do better but I also know for sure that the Lord is happy with my life.  If I try my best he will fill these 30 years with excitement, adventure and moments that matter.

I must admit diving into this new huge mid-singles branch with nearly 600 people freaks me out.  I’m just so happy in my little ward family and I love being Sunday school teacher.  Its sad to see a change but as it is in the Lord’s hands I am sure it will be change with blessings at the end of it.  It might not be easy but it will work out.   I am so grateful that my friend Stefanie is going to join in! She is awesome and we’ve been friends since 2005. It will be so nice to have a kindred spirit to share this big new adventure with.  Hurray!

I also am no longer considered young by my church- rude! 🙂

How do you get through your 30s?  What worries you about growing older?  Do you ever fret about your legacy or lack of one? Do you worry that your life doesn’t matter like you hoped it would? I have felt all of these emotions and asked each of these questions and I am a mere work in progress at this point!

I found this quote by President Hinckley that gave me a lot of comfort (as he always did.  I miss President Hinckley sometimes). President Hinckley said  it best when asked about his legacy:

“I don’t know and I don’t care! That’s not my concern. I’m not trying to build some legacy of some kind. I’m just trying to move the work forward the best way I know how. And as I believe the Lord would have it move forward. And let the future take care of itself.” 🙂

I hope I can follow his counsel and keep moving forward with whatever the Lord puts in my path.  I am positive that will lead to peace and a recognition as a good and faithful servant  in the hereafter.

The Big 30

Well I don’t have long to post but suffice it to say I am now officially 30 years old.  Shocking, astonishing, amazing but true.  I remember an interview I saw of a 103 year old woman.

When the reporter asked her “How does it feel to be 103?”

she said “Well, as you age you don’t really feel older.”

“What do you mean?” said the reporter

“Well, inside, my brain wonders about the same things it used to wonder about, it loves the same things it used to love, and it longs for many of the same things it used to long for.”

When I think of myself at 10, 15,20, or 25  I see many changes in my intellect, career knowledge, accomplishments, testimony and with many other areas of my life.  However, my heart, the core of who I am,  hasn’t changed much in those 30 years.  I still love a good book. (The books dearest to my heart are those I have loved for years- read again and again.They are like old friends.) I still love to laugh with my girlfriend’s over a stupid sitcom or reality show.  After all these years the Simpsons still makes me laugh (22 years and counting).  I still love to cook and explore new recipes. I still love a delicious meal ended with a lemon meringue pie  with tons of real lemon juice (anything citrus I love!)!

I still love to talk and to listen.  I still treasure the  kindred spirits in my life.  I still love a great play (or even a lousy one put on with gusto!).  I still love an entertaining movie or concert.  I still have passion for great music. I am still taking voice lessons after all these years and the music from Les Miserables still makes me cry.  I still enjoy politics and feel a grand sense of passion for my country.   I still love to pull together outfits and find cute jewelry.  I still hate camping and sleeping outdoors.  I still am not an animal or bird lover.  I still love a good, or even greasy,  piece of pizza.  I still get cranky when I’m tired or hungry, and I still don’t enjoy exercising (but now I do it anyway!).   I still love to travel especially New York City and any beach anywhere especially Hawaii.

The list could go on and on.-

There are many things in my life that I am proud of- that I feel are a part of my eternal plan and that I’ve worked very hard to achieve. However, of all my accomplishments, I am proudest  of the hard work I’ve put in to cultivating relationships and building friendships.  I love my friends and family more then I can adequately put into words. I will do anything for them and (as I’ve seen with my injury) I believe they would do anything for me.

This is not a great poem but it expresses how I feel today (so perhaps it is better than I am giving it credit for)

Moment in Time
by Cynthia Kepp

We talked,
We walked,
for a Moment in Time.

You passed through my life that day and left your mark.
You may never pass my way again,
Or you may stay for a lifetime.

No matter what,
I want to say thank you for the impression you made
that will stay with me for eternity.

I enjoyed the walk,
I enjoyed the talk.
I am blessed for that moment in time.

The first time I saw you I knew you would affect my life,
though your role I did not know.
I asked myself, “Why is he alone?
Why does he sit so quiet?
Is he sad?
Is he glad to be alone?
Is he alone?
Is he lonely? ”
There is so much I want to know.

I asked myself, “Why him?
When so many people pass through my life each day,
why him? “

What attracts me to you?
What makes me want to know more?
I want to know.

Even if my questions are never answered,
There is one thing I want you to know.
I have been blessed by the effect you had on me in that
Moment in Time.

 

Thanks for all the moments.   Thanks for all the walks, talks and especially the love.  I love you all.  I love My Lord, and I LOVE MY LIFE!

This song is appropriate given the day.