June 19, 2013

My Birthday: Things I've Learned (in as many years)

1. I've learned that I love places that are new & unknown to me.

2.  I've learned the joy of revisiting old places as well, and that there is no place like home.

3. I've learned that sometimes laughter is the best medicine. 

4. Other times,
   I've learned there is nothing like Nature to soothe a soul.

5. Both of them together are a big boost for the immune system!

6.  I enjoy learning about my grandparents & where I came from.

7.  I've learned that everyone looks nicer when they greet you with a smile.

8.  I've learned how to photograph a waterfall to capture it's movement (wherein lies it's magic).

9. I've learned how to knit a few things.

10. I've learned that friends & family come in all forms.

11.  I've learned that I am strong!

12. I've learned that children grow super fast.  Enjoy them.

13. I've learned to identify each of the wildflowers that grow in our woods. 

14. I've learned to play a few tunes on the piano and guitar.

15. I've learned the value of sleep.

16. I've learned that there are early birds and night owls.  I'm a night owl by nature.

17. I've learned nine million and ten things about raising our five uniquely extraordinary kids. 

18.  I've learned about being a carpenter's wife. 
  (One who is almost as stubborn as me.)

19.  I've learned that I'm an extroverted introvert.  Or an introverted extrovert.  Or something like that.
I chat with strangers everywhere I go.  Yet I strongly prefer privacy & solitude over a busy social scene.

20.  I've learned that sometimes when it rains it pours.  
(Like my birthday last year..) 

21.  But it's true that without rain, we wouldn't have rainbows.

22. I've learned that life is far more enjoyable without television.

23. I've learned that growing your own food is rewarding. 

24. I've learned that peoples' ideas of being "educated" are sometimes not all that intelligent.
Learning is something we all can do, anywhere, anytime.  I like to do it everywhere, all the time.   

25. I've learned it's good to go out on a limb now & then.  Especially daily, moderate sized limbs.

26. I've learned how to clean almost anything.   Just ask.

27.  I've learned there are times to color inside the lines...
And definitely times for coloring outside of them.

28.  I've learned the importance of working together, and the value of a helping hand. 

29.  I'm learning tricks to help me be on time. (Really, I am.)

30.  I've learned that originality is pretty much my favorite thing.  

31.  I've learned that being nice is easier for some people than it is for others.  It's not your fault.

32.  I've learned it's OK to say no.  (This took me quite a while to master.)  To put my foot down.  To be in charge of me & my time!

33.  I've learned it's good to look back at things.. but important to look back at the right things.

34.  I've learned who I am.  My unbudging values.  My strengths and weaknesses.  My tastes & preferences.  Who I am and where I'm meant to be.

I had a pretty fantastic birthday, and as Michelangelo was quoted to have said at age 87: 
"I am still learning." 


  1. Happy Birthday - so it's your 34th?
    You've learnt much about yourself and the world in a relatively short time.
    I wonder what the next 34 years will hold - plus more...

  2. You have learned a lot in a short space of time. Congratulations! Also, a very Happy Birthday. No. 19 applies to me too. I think I must have been a hermit living deep in the woods in another life.
    I always wanted 4 children but my cardiologist drew a big, fat, black line under two. Lucky you to have five free spirits.

  3. Wonderful post!

    The latest post on my "other blog" was the result of reflections on a birthday - but the structure is very different to this post. I invite you to have a look!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Amanda,
    You are awesome! I love this post and can relate to so many of your life lessons. We seem to share many of the same thoughts and values.

    Glad you had a great 34th (?) birthday!

  5. These are just wonderful. You could also say you have learned how to photograph your world in a very magical style, one that tells who you are, and what your world is. Happy happy birthday and have a super wonderful year! :-)

  6. Let's try this again. At first, I thought you had 7 kids from your family photo. You and your hubby could be models. Just sayin'.

    This post is awesome Amanda and I'm very fortunate to have discovered your blog. xo

  7. What an utterly amazing post! Just really went to my core. Loved it from top to bottom. Truths all of them.

  8. awww. happy, happy 34th! you young thing! :)

    your #19 was copied right out of my playbook. if you read my 'just me' tab on my blog, you'll see it. :)

  9. Beautiful photos and great words of wisdom. Happy Birthday!

  10. Happy Birthday! You've learned some very valuable lessons in your young life. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  11. I love this list! That photo of the waterfall is stunning. You really did capture the magic! I love the photo of your kids by the rainbow. And I totally agree with growing your food being rewarding. I am just starting to learn about that one!

    Happy birthday!!!

  12. Wishing you a fabulous birthday! You are wise beyond your young years. Beautiful shots.

  13. Fantastic list! I had to laugh at all the fellow bloggers loving/relating to #19. That's the one that I also related most to - my family always calls me a hermit. I like people, really I do, but on my own terms. Give me a roomful of kids, rather than a roomful of adults every time. I like their honesty without playing "games". I'm so glad you had a great birthday and even more glad to know you (and yours). :)

  14. I love all of your photos but the ring picture is amazing! Stopping by from http://sarahcarlettiphotography.blogspot.com

  15. I enjoyed reading this post, just wonderful. Gorgeous photos! Happy Belated Birthday!

  16. This is wonderful, every bit of it...that being said, I really like #31. Made me smile, actually made me laugh out loud. It's so very true! Glad you had a beautiful birthday.

  17. Amanda,
    This made me feel very weepy! I am just a sentimental woman-but wow! You write so beautifully and of course your photography is amazing and so are you!
    Happy Birthday!

  18. This was so wonderful! What an awesome idea...I hope I can remember to do this for my birthday! Unfortunately 31 is totally me...I find it a lot harder to be nice then it should be.

  19. I Google +'s this post. It was very enjoyable to read!

  20. Happy Birthday Amanda! I cherish each and every line and photo - learning also to be on time, and pondering about an intro-extro-vertism or the other way around ;)Teamwork, thoughts about learning, Family, parenting and partnership ... I'll mark this post so I can come back to it!
    Lots of love,

  21. laughter gets me through so many tough moments. (fun post)

    nature is my life ...there are moments where life is totally nuts & i step outside to quiet my mind & restores my soul totally.

    without sleep i am so mean & hateful. i love my sleep!! ha. ha!!

    1. Happy Birthday!! hope it was a great one. big big hugs. ( :

  22. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful list of things you learned paired up with photos. I would love it if you would share with us at Photog Show and Tell Link Party.

  23. I adore this idea...and the photos that come with it! I turned 40 in June, and couldn't be any happier about what I've done, where I'm at and what is still to come!