Tomorrow is my 28th birthday! We have so much happening right now, which is scary and exciting all rolled into one. 28 will be the year our family grows, it will bring another move (hopefully the last for a while!) and so much more. Life moves incredibly fast and one of my goals for 28 is to cherish every day, the good the bad, and learn to adapt a little better to changes and life stress.
27 was wonderful, hard, stressful, magical, and exciting. I started full time at a new job, with co-workers I love to pieces, we explored local towns, I ran a half marathon, I grew my blog and photography business, we moved in with my in-laws, my dad moved to NC, my childhood home was sold, and we decided to start a family. I made new friends, let old friends go, succeeded and failed with goals, loved hard and tried my best to soak in each and every day.
27 things I loved and learned in my 27th year.
1 // The days fly by.
I spend too many weeks wishing it was the weekend, I love my job but it can be exhausting and stressful. Living for the weekends is NOT the way to spend your life, it makes the time pass even faster and before you know it you are missing so many good things that happen each and every day.
2 // Seltzer water is amazing.
I have never liked seltzer, too bubbly and an awful taste. Well, somewhere along the lines I had a sip of a new flavor and fell in love. Now I get so excited when the seasonal flavors are released! Anyone else loving the Raspberry Rose and Strawberry Sunrise. So good and a great replacement for soda.
3 // You only have one body, so take care of it.
This was the year I invested in good skincare products, cut back on the soda and junk, drank more water, and consistently worked out. I started reading more, turned off my phone, and tried to find a balance of work/life. I still have so much to learn and to grow, but I learned how important it is to take care of yourself.
4 // Do you.
Find something that makes you jump out of bed every morning (or most mornings), stop being afraid of what others think and be you! Wear the funny leggings, dance in the middle of the sidewalk, sell the lipstick, go back to school, whatever it is that you are afraid of and whatever it is that is stopping you from being you, knock it off! Nothing is better than feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin, and trust me it is still a daily practice!
5 // Switching up your workout routine helps you stick with working out.
I love to run, don’t get me wrong. I also tend to only run, which can make it feel old fast. Running with groups can change it up but also is convenient to my work schedule. Find something to mix it up, I recently started working out at home with BOD and taking a few classes here and there, it has been such a breath of fresh air!
6 // You don’t need 6 cups of coffee a day to function.
Since getting pregnant I have had to significantly cut back my coffee intake, from 5-6 cups to 1. It feels good to not have to rely so much on it and sometimes I wish for a second cup, but overall I feel better with my one cup!
7 // Blogging isn’t for the faint of heart.
If you truly want to grow your blog it takes time, hustle, and passion. You need goals and motivation and someone to help hold you accountable. Prioritize what is important to you and blog because you love it and have passion for it, that is the only true way for growth!
8 // Family really is everything.
Trying to juggle work, friends, hobbies, side jobs, family and everything else is hard. What I realized this year is no one will be there more for you than family, so make them a priority.
9 // Buying a house is awful.
Ever dreamed of house hunting and thought about how you are going to “Joanna Gains” a house when you get it. Yes, I just used her as a verb. Well so much more goes in to buying a house than I ever ever thought, your finances get scrutinized, there is SO much paperwork, the market it currently for sellers which makes it hard to find something worth the money for a buyer, so many things can fall through and it is so expensive. Lots of tears have been shed and I will be excited when the whole thing is over! Buying a house isn’t for the faint of heart or those who are pregnant. Make sure you have tissues!
10 // Waking up early completely changes the mood for the day.
I started waking up early to have a cup of coffee and read a few pages of a book. It has changed my mindset of the morning and waking up early and not feeling rushed has been so good for my mood and energy to start the day!
11 // Joanna and Chip Gains are incredible.
Need I say more? I love her style and his humor. One day I will get to Magnolia Farms.
12 // Putting yourself out there is terrifying but rewarding.
Good and bad will happen when you put yourself out there. People will judge. People will love you. Don’t be afraid to do what you love and do it with pride and vulnerability! This year I took a huge step offering mini sessions and doing more photo sessions than ever, every time I hit send on another family session I get a gut wrenching fear they will hate them! The more you put yourself out there though, the more you will grow and learn.
13 // Failing is okay. But you have to get back up.
Fall down over and over, but have the courage to stand back up.
14 // Instagram is still the best social media tool.
I still love it just as much as I did when I downloaded it. I love finding new people and interacting. I love editing photos and curating my feed. I love it all. Come find me. @jenniferblake13
15 // Waffles and/or cereal are always appropriate dinner choices.
Always. Because lets be real more times than not I get home from work and don’t want to cook.
16 // Parks and Rec, How I Met Your Mother and Friends will never get old.
Sometimes there is nothing more comforting on a rough day than putting on a show you have seen a million times. Grab the wine, the chocolate covered pretzels and put on an old favorite.
17 // I will always be type-A & I will always be anxious, but it’s okay.
I have definitely learned to control my ever changing emotions and thoughts, but I will always be a list maker. I will always over-analyze. I will always fear the worst but hope for the best. I will always hate the unknown and losing control of situations. I will always hate change, but learn to adapt.
18 // Rainbow Ice gum and Champagne gummy bears are incredible.
Don’t knock it until you try it.
19 // NYC will always have a special place in my heart.
I love the hustle and bustle. The bagels. The coffee. The people. The views. The small tucked away villages and bars that only locals know about. The shopping. I could never live in the city, but I love going back to visit, it never gets old.
20 // Carrying a baby is the most incredible and magical experience, but gaining weight is still uncomfortable for me.
She is growing daily and sits very low! Nothing turns my day around like feeling her kick. Every time I step on that scale though internal panic sets through! Gaining weight is uncomfortable, but it is for such an amazing and wonderful reason!
21 // It is okay to say no.
It is okay to say no to going out with friends. It is okay to say no to doing something with your family. It is okay to say no to taking on another project at work. It is okay to say NO. We can’t do it all and we can’t please everyone. Remember that you are just as important as everyone else and you need to take care of yourself and take time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes, it really is okay.
22 // You don’t always deserve the ice cream, the new shirt or the fun new notebooks at Target.
I am great at going to Target and justifying that I deserve X,Y, Z because I made it through the week or I haven’t bought anything in a while, but it just isn’t true. We seem immediate satisfaction when we buy unnecessary things, save the 20 dollars and really spend money on things that your truly love or need.
23 // Your finances are important.
Figure out what you make each month, what you spend and how to budget. It is more important than you think.
24 // Letting others define you or judge you, only hurts you.
When someone says something about you and you accept what they say to be true, it only hurts you. Do not let others define you.
25 // Life is hard & Life is not always fair.
Remember when you were little and felt like life was this magical wonderful place? Well it is wonderful and magical but sometimes you have to work for that magic or change your view to see the magic. Life is a constant up and down battle, days tend to be good and bad, and how you react to others and how you respond to the bad days, says so much more about your character and how your life will be/feel. You have the ability to change your life, to change your outlook, and to make life magical and wonderful, but know that it is not easy all the time.
26 // Your happiness depends on you.
You cannot rely on others to make you happy. At some point they will let you down. You need to learn what makes you happy and that you are in charge of it.
27 // Life is short, it passes in the blink of an eye, you need to be grateful and happy for every day you get, even if it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
If you made it this far you deserve a hug!
Cheer’s to 28!