In Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of My 29th Birthday

This summer marks the last year of my fourth decade. I’m officially scaring the hell out of forty, and I’m grateful. The alternative really sucks.

Much has changed for me over the past ten birthdays. I turned 30 in a pop-up camper near the beach with Mr. Jenn. The camper rocked, but only partly because of the reasons you might think. A tropical low blew through with gusts of about fifty knots. Most people would have left, but we drove out on the beach and watched the storm roll in. The flood tide almost trapped us out there, but God invented four-wheel-drive for dumb ass rednecks like us. We made it out just in time. We didn’t know it then, but that storm foreshadowed an interesting decade.

Over the last ten birthdays, we’ve experienced the following:

  1. Two miscarriages—we learned that I have a miscarriage-inducing genetic configuration called Robertsonian Translocation. It means that I have 45 chromosomes, instead of 46. I’ve written a book about it—if I can ever get it published, the story will explain everything. One less chromosome, and I could have been a fish. I always knew I was special. If you read this blog, then it all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
  2. Two little miracles, Lil’ K. and Lil’ P.
  3. Two teenagers driving
  4. Two teenagers graduating from high school with honors
  5. Two serious cardiac scares with Mr. Jenn
  6. Two major hurricanes, a tornado, and an earthquake
  7. Two promotions for Mr. Jenn and numerous storm/budget-related school transfers for me
  8. Two ailing grandparents and one death
  9. Two college tuitions
  10.  Two teaching endorsements and a Master’s degree.

We’re damned lucky. The six of us are all still here as are most of our respective extended families.

As you probably realize, we’ve had some extensive llifestyle changes as a result of the above list.

  1. We own a big-ass generator. I can fire it up and light the house all by myself.
  2. I’m hell with a Stihl chainsaw.
  3. We bought an elliptical—exercise keeps me sane, and Mr. Jenn alive. He can kick my ass on the thing. He’d better–he has a lot to live for.
  4. I finally figured out the FAFSA form. I keep forgetting what the letters stand for, but damned if I can’t get some government college money. Wait, they want it back? Shit.
  5. I now own more Sterilite tubs than Wal-Mart. I can move a classroom faster than a bunch of midway carnies can pack up an entire state fair.
  6. We grow and preserve our own food. If it grows in the garden, I’ll pickle it and put it in a Mason jar…just in case the Mayans were correct.
  7. Don’t get your pants in a bunch, though. I’m not afraid of some lame Apocalypse. I helped teach two teenagers how to drive, remember?
  8. I can take an exam and change a shitty diaper at the same time.
  9. I can also write papers and breastfeed simultaneously.
  10. We count blessings around here faster than our kids’ university raises its book prices. Who needs 46 chromosomes anyway?

Here’s to scads of wonderful birthdays in the future for us all.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hughcurtler
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:03:01

    Happy Birthday!! And many more. And keep the blogs coming: they’re more fun than a night in a pop-up camper! :)

    Reply

  2. Sword-chinned bitch
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:09:40

    I hope that you enjoy your birthday and continue to appreciate moving forward!

    Reply

  3. motormouthblogger
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:12:19

    Happy birthday!!!

    Reply

  4. Carrie Rubin
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:58:34

    Chromosomes are overated. ;) Happy Birthday!

    Reply

  5. Jamie@SouthMainMuse
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 21:02:56

    Happy birthday…I’m in your same boat, only 10 years down the road. This was my last birthday before the BIG birthday day. It is great to look back and see all the progress and change that has happened over 10 years.

    Reply

  6. Larks
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 21:03:46

    What an amazing decade! And yay for embracing it warts and all! The alternative *is* pretty sucky.

    Reply

  7. dianasschwenk
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 22:45:58

    If the Mayans are correct and since you have all that food and all…I’m just wondering…(shuffling my feet)….well if I ….. you know….can move in with you?

    Reply

  8. Sperk*
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 01:05:02

    Incredibly inspiring. I may print this and post it on my wall when I am feeling sluggish. Really, very impressive and inspiring. Love to you and yours!

    Reply

  9. Tessa
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 01:12:18

    Happy Birthday!

    Reply

  10. newsofthetimes
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 01:58:39

    Happy birthday. That is an impressive list. Looks like you are truly living!!! Welcome to your 40’s…I just turned in February and it has been really good for me! Enjoy it! happy birthday!!!!

    Reply

  11. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 02:17:50

    Funny, yet sweet list. Forty-five chromosomes, eh? I knew you were special.

    You killed me with this line: “I now own more Sterilite tubs than Wal-Mart. I can move a classroom faster than a bunch of midway carnies can pack up an entire state fair.” Ellen

    Reply

  12. Ronalee
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 02:27:20

    Happy Birthday. I enjoyed reading your lists. Interested to see what the next decade brings. (BTW, the 40s are awesome)

    Reply

  13. Jo-Anne Meadows
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 02:45:17

    So your entering the 40’s good for you I am leaving the 40’s by the time this year is out……………what a great list and yeah I have taught teenagers to drive and that takes some doing althoug I have you beat as I have taught 6 different people how to drive at last count…………lol
    I have no idea how many chromosomes I have I am guess the normal amount though……..

    http://jo-annemotherandnanna.blogspot.com.au/

    Reply

  14. chapterfourfivesix
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 03:39:05

    What a marvellous list!

    Reply

  15. Robbie
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 05:02:09

    i’m with Ellen and Erin…entertaining and sweet list. you’ve been through a lot over your last 10 birthdays. here’s hoping the next 10 are only eventful in the ways you want them to be.

    Reply

  16. Stasha
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 06:44:46

    46 is a rubbish number anyway. 45 is way more hip. And fish are friends, 44 and all. Happy today to you! May the upcoming 5th decade be the best one yet!

    Reply

  17. the howler and me
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 10:13:52

    Happy Birthday :)

    Reply

  18. mylifeisthebestlife
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 13:24:35

    Happy birthday!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  19. dinnerversions
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 14:51:19

    Happy Birthday!! Hope your next decade is equally interesting but without too much drama! I hope you get the book published. I’d love to read it, I have a special interest in chromosomes. And if it’s anything like your blog there’s nothing else out there like it!

    Reply

  20. Audrey Neilson
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 15:12:43

    What a sweet list! Look at all the things you have been threw. And so many more things you will go threw

    Reply

  21. Recovering Supermom
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 18:57:43

    These are grea lists! It’s amazing how much can happen in 10 years…. The time goes by so quickly, but looking back, you see how much life changes. It sounds like you’ve learned and accomplished a whole heck of a lot!

    Reply

  22. craftcrazygran
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 08:09:16

    fantastic post, Happy Birthday too!

    Reply

  23. English Rose-C
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 21:38:51

    Belated Happy Birthday!!!
    You make me feel ashamed….

    Reply

  24. Jill
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 00:01:59

    Hysterical! Loved the last #10. Great list.

    Reply

  25. doncarroll
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 18:19:01

    agreed!! the 40 isn’t so bad. the 50 takes a bit to swallow. been there and it’s not so bad. looks like you got a solid camper though…hehe

    Reply

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