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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Established, Free, Preparing - What 26 Feels Like

"So, do you feel 26?"  - A common question a girl might get if she just had a birthday where she turned 26.  And I am one such girl. 
The answer?: I guess, yes, I do feel 26.  And here are the things that 26 feels like. 
Birthday Meal at El Maguey


26 is a great age. One reason I feel that way is that I am far enough past my early twenties (say 23) to feel established.  23 was a challenging age, I had just graduated, was newly married, was learning to be a real nurse.  It was quite a transition year.  But now I am three years past that, meaning, three years of experience that has gained me confidence in my new life as a non-student, wife, and nurse.  We are getting into the rhythm of our lives and we really like it!


Feeling established in who I am in life allows me to experience a great sense of freedom.  Michael and I have really been enjoying being free.  Free to go, free to do, free to spend, free. My friend Linsday introduced me to a description for our stage of life.  We are referred to as DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids).  I love it! It is such a joy to have this time with each other to freely make decisions that will be unique to this stage of life.  So we are living it up while we can!
Michael making my birthday meal


Along with enjoying our freedom, I think Michael and I are progressively in a state of preparation.  Because we only want this DINK phase to be temporary (i.e. we would love to be parents some day---Cheers all around ;-) but note: this is not an invitation to ask us when... because we don't know).  So although we want to get as much packed into this free time as we can - trips, home renovations, and other indulgences, we also see that this is a very important time for us to be preparing for our next stage in life.  Parenthood is hard (side note: it is also a very good TV show).  Correct me if you disagree - parents out there.  Michael and I want to not only enjoy this time for ourselves but to be preparing ourselves for those future littles that will come into our lives, Lord willing.  I want my faith to be central.  I want my marriage to be concrete (or cement?).  I want my body to be healthy.  I want our house to be functional.  All these things are staring at me saying, "you better look out! Everything is going to change!" 

So that is how 26 feels to me. 
Thanks to all who have helped to make this a great birthday! It has truely been one of the best ever! And the celebrations are not even over! I am celebrating with my family on Monday night and then have a couple other celebrations with some good good friends.  I have felt so much love. You are some good people. 
And I do want to apologize that I have not posted any more before and after pictures of the house lately.  We are in limbo right now in a lot of rooms and I am kind of holding off.  But just to keep things interesting, Here is a picture of the dining room with the new curtains! Thanks to all those that chimed in with opinions about the patterned curtains! I love the bold pattern and I'm excited to start painting!
What has been your favorite age?  Do you have your own words to describe your stage of life?

Don't miss a beat.  
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