Sunday, July 31, 2011


Today marks my 27th year living this crazy wonderful life!  Pop the confetti...Hammers and High Fives all around!!! 

okay moment of honesty...
I have to admit, last week a crazy feeling suddenly struck me: I am leaving the "mid-twenties" and moving on the slope to the BIG 3-0.  I am sure some of you out there are laughing at me, but really, 27 all of a sudden felt SCARY.  I guess I am just stuck on the fact that I still think and feel like I am 22 and can't possibly identify myself as a real grown up (which is what people always are at 30, right?).  Maybe that is how the rest of life goes...maybe you always feel like that same young twenty-something even though you are a responsible grown up with a house, job, spouse, family, dogs, cars, bills, etc? Guess I'll just have to keep living and learning to get this all figured out, I'll let you know that answer once I hit 40 :) 

Also, I started to realize that I have spent the majority of my 20's here in Minnesota.  I guess I sometimes feel sad knowing that this time in my life hasn't been spent with my family and friends back in Michigan.  But, who knows if we will move back there in the future anyway? 

Okay, well, now all the SCARY is out there!
Moving on...

On this 27th birthday, I was inspired by my friend Amy (who also felt scared of 27) to write a list.  Not a to-do list, or a list of goals, or things that I want- but a positive list instead!  I know everyday life isn't completely perfect and I don't have everything figured out... But this is a list of the 27 things that I am happy about and thankful for in my life as it is right now- on this birthday.

At Twenty-Seven Years Old...

1. I am finally starting to feel like I am no longer a ‘newby’ in my career.  After almost five years in my field within the corporate world, I am realizing that I do have a lot of knowledge and experience, it is a pretty cool feeling. But I am always learning something new- and I love that!

2. I am a homeowner (even though sometimes I wish I wasn’t- ha!)

3. I travelled to China earlier this year, Europe is next! Then who knows….?
At the New Heights Restaurant looking over the Bund in Shanghai, China

4. I've always wanted to travel the world, I now feel like I am actually doing it.

5. I can now kill bugs on my own without screaming or asking Alex for help! Awww yea, that is what living in an old house does for your ‘bug killin’ courage!

6. I am getting much better and braver at saying what I really think and not what people want to hear.

7.  I don't have to cook very often, because my husband LOVES to cook and he is good at it (talk about a bonus).
Alex showing off his master chef skills this past Thanksgiving

8. I feel lucky to have the job I have- I will always remember that it didn’t come easy.  I took a lot of chances, but I am glad I never gave up on what I wanted, stopped believing in myself, or settled for something that wasn't what I dreamed of doing. Not everyday is perfect but I still think what I do everyday is pretty darn cool. (I know my coworkers might tease me about this).

9. I love babies, but I am happy that I have none of my own at this point in my life. This also may be because of #4 and #8. (Sorry Mom and Dad, no grandkids planned from us anytime soon.)

10.  My husband still makes me laugh everyday, I love our odd sense of humor- we're both weird, nothing ever gets old.

A few of my favorite Alex moments... hmmm, I might have to explain some of these in detail later :)

11. My Home has experienced a weather disaster (the tornado), now that we’ve checked that off the life lessons list I hope to never go through it again.

12.  I turned 22 five years ago, I am shocked at how shockingly different life was then and now, but that means I did a heck of a lot in five years!
Left: Alex and I on my birthday in 2006- Young, single, wild, crazy college kids (do we look a little tipsy or what?!?); Right: Alex and I in 2011- Older (wiser), married, settled 'grown-ups'

13. I know how to tile and grout a floor, install wood flooring, tuck-point brick work, sand and refinish wood floors, install beadboard, fix a tripped GFCI outlet, install a sink and faucet, sand and refinish cabinetry, and all sorts of other house related crap-ola, take that Bob Villa! 

14. I have mastered the use of chopsticks… but if you ask anyone in China that I dined with, my table setting was the messiest.

15. I have amazing in-laws and a wonderful sister and brother in law (who also made me a new auntie), they feel like they have always been apart of my life. 
Me with my little nephew Henri playing in the snow during their last visit to Minnesota

16. I know how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet- boo ya Better Homes and Garden!

17. I have a blog to capture our home renovation and DIY adventures- it is a hobby I LOVE!  Being able to capture and write about these life experiences is amazing.

18. I have found great new friends through blogging that share the same interests and passions that I have. Hey, not everyone gets super excited about sifting through salvage junk- but I have found a group of gals that love it just like I do!

19. My hair is finally long again (thank goodness), the short hair was indeed a poor look on me.
Seriously, BARF!  What was I thinking with that 'do?  Even Rocco has a bad haircut in that photo, I must have been making him suffer since I was, ha!

20.   I finally feel like Alex and I have real friends here in Minnesota and people that we can depend on when we need.  Might make it all the more harder to move again if we ever do?

21. I have two dogs and I love them like crazy (even though they do drive me crazy most of the time).

22.  Even though I live 3 states away from my sister and have for almost five years now, we can still pick up the phone and talk for an hour about anything.
My sister Holly and I cracking up in the backseat during a car ride with our husbands (I think they were annoyed with our constant giggling!)

23. I carpool to work, a small step to save money and the environment :) Plus, my carpooler and I usually crack each other up during our commute, which makes it fun.

24. Even though I miss Michigan and my family like crazy, I am thankful that it is only a 2 hour flight or 9 hour drive to get back there if we need.  Spur of the moment is still a possibility!  

25. My friends and family are all starting their own families. Even though I know I am not ready for kids, I love playing with theirs and watching my friends become mothers. It is an amazing and beautiful thing!
A couple of the gals I grew up with, Abby (left) and Lisa (right)- Abby's little guy Austin is in the car seat, Lisa's daughter Rylee is chatting with him :)  Lisa was pregnant with her 2nd in this photo, a few weeks later she gave birth to her daughter Reese!

26. I have a great relationship with my parents and see them as friends, but I know whenever I need help or advice I can still come to them (even at 27).

27. I believe life keeps getting better and better, and I know great things still lie ahead for me in this life.

So there you have it, life at 27 isn't sounding so scary now :)  You were right Amy, that exercise does make you feel better!

Here's to starting 27 from where I am right now.


  1. Awww, this is a great birthday gratitude list. Congrats on managing to slip some difficult life realities into the fun and positive and gratefullness. That my dear is a life skill that will serve you well for decades to come! Happy Birthday!

  2. Ummm, that should say "flip" difficult realities into fun and positive things! ha! oops.

  3. Absolutely great post Carla! You have so many things to be thankful for and as I said earlier, you are an amazingly accomplished, beautiful, strong female, that I miss and LOVE so much! The list could go one forever!! Happy Birthday!

  4. Well Happy Birthday! My son is 13 today!!! Oh and I'll be 40 in two months- still feel like the 22 year old- until I look in the mirror... ;)

  5. Happy Birthday Carla! There is so much to be grateful for. I liked this insight into "you" because although you seem so mature now, I can only remember the 18-19ish year old Carla :) Sometimes I forget that everyone else is growing and changing too, even when I don't see them. If you and Alex ever decide to have kids I am positive they will be beauties! Oh and I may have to steal your idea because I think that Thanksgiving gratitude lists are so cliche.

  6. Oh boy Lindsey, I think 18/19 year old Carla was struggling to find herself :( UGGH don't miss those days at all! I agree about the kids part though, I do wonder about if we have kids what they will look like or be like. That is a tough one I know we will have to figure out in the next few years :) TBD! You and Abby are next for b-days! Hope they are amazing!


  7. Happy Birthday! Hope you had a fantastic day! Great post!

  8. Happy Birthday! :)

  9. Wow. Happy Birthday! I had a great time reading your blog, I have always believe that age is just a number. What really matters are the relationships, people that put smiles and joys to our lives and the daily inspirations that we have. Thanks for sharing this and again have a wonderful day!

  10. Happy belated Birthday Sweet Lemonade Girl!

    Such an amazing post! Have you ever considered motivational speaking or mentoring?

    I know that you had a lovely birthday.

    Enjoy your career, travel, and just being you and Alex for a while. We waited 10 years before we became that the kids are grown and out of the house...we have the old days of "just the two of us" to re-kindle! (So that means that you and Alex could be sliding down the stairs again when your 60! HA!)

  11. Love it Carla...You have a great list and btw, you look much younger at 27 wiser and settled than you did at 22 partying and single. ;) Life just gets better with age. Believe, me as I'm almost double your age and loved turning 50 this year. :) Truly, it is only a number. It's what's inside you and what is going on to make your life full and fulfilling that matters. Never, ever let a little number steal any of your joy...
    Are you going to make it out for the JMUG (Junk Market Under Glass) event? If you do, I might just have a little late birthday surprise for you in my booth. :) Let me know.
    Mimi-Toria's Designs

  12. Hi Gretchen, thanks for the b-day wishes and advice :) I think I will be able to attend that event! I am so looking forward to all the fall junkin' events in Minnesota! I hope by then our house is a bit more fixed up and I will need to shop for a few rooms! Can't wait to see what you have! As it gets closer I can let you know what day I will be there!

  13. Happy (very belated!) 27th Birthday!! I know exactly how you feel - I'll be turning 28 in December and I still think I should be 22 or 23!! Time definitely flies as you get older!


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