Pour Your Heart Out: 35 Years

Maybe it’s the first line that has me thinking about this song.

Maybe birthdays make me nostalgic  and reflective.

Am I where I thought I’d be at 35?




I never really had much of a plan.

Just to be happy, have a family, friends, work that I like.

As for the bumps along the way, well… we all have them, right?

But if life stayed the way it was
And lovers never fell out of love
If memories didn’t last so long
If nobody did nobody wrong
If we knew what we had before it was gone
If every road led back home
This would be

The very last country song*

If everything were simple and easy, we wouldn’t have much of a story to tell, would we? That might not be the very last country song, but it might be the very last blog post.

But for today, I’ll focus on all the good I have in my life and realize that everything that has happened and everything that will happen: it’s just a part of my story.

No one is promised a perfect life, but we can choose how we see our lives.

I’m choosing to celebrate 35 years… not of a perfect life, but of a good one.

*Lyrics from Sugarland.
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  1. says

    That is a beautiful family picture. The boys look so grown up and handsome! I turn 35 in one week. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m 35. I swear I just turned 30.  Happy birthday Shell. We’re just getting more awesome with age!
    Delilah recently posted..Some TruthsMy Profile

  2. says

    Happy Birthday!  My birthday is tomorrow.  I’ll be 31, I’ve accomplished a lot in 31 years.  I’m hoping for some good stuff over the next 9.  :)

  3. says

    Happy birthday, Shell! 

    And yes, I know the feeling. When I was a little girl, I was going to be a dr, live in the Barbie dream house, be married to Ken and drive a Corvette. Before I was 25. None of that worked out the way we expected, did it? 😉
    Natalie @MamaTrack recently posted..A Day At WorkMy Profile

  4. Oka says

    Happy Birthday Shell

    I remind myself all the time, without the bumps I could never appreciate all the great in my life.

  5. says

    Happy Birthday Shell! 35 is a good age (says the woman who will be 40 next February). The ups and downs are all part of life and yes they make some pretty good stories.

  6. says

    Hi Shell :)

    First time visitor here. I came from Kristen’s place (Thepreppygirlinpink.com)

    I just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday with many years of blessings to come. I love the ‘Things I Can’t Say’ blogging – I’ve seen the badge in quite a few blogs already and finally found the source. :)

    I’ll be tuning into your blog here on. You have wonderful content.

    Cheers :)
    Dylan Lin Calista recently posted..How Do You Deal With Change?My Profile

  7. says

    Happy Birthday! (well in 7 minutes) I love the part about not being promised a perfect life but choosing how we see it. That is so true that we can make that choice. I hope you have a day as wonderful as you, though that will be pretty tough. You’re pretty special :) xoxo
    angela recently posted..For AlwaysMy Profile

  8. says

    It is definitely how we see it. When I was younger I had a very different plan for my future. But it didn’t end up that way. I’m grateful that it worked out the way it did because it led me here. 

    Happy birthday!!! I love that photo!
    Kimberly recently posted..Forever Part Of My HeartMy Profile

  9. says

    Life is indeed what we make of it. If we spend our days being bitter about the what-ifs, about dreams that never came to fruition, we will never see the beauty and untold wealth of the diamonds in our own back yard.

    Happy birthday, Shell. You have given yourself the very best gift of all: of learning to embrace the good in your life.
    Kim recently posted..An important lesson from a toe-curling adventureMy Profile

  10. says

    Happy birthday! Sounds like you already have the best gift ever in your wonderful family. Hope this is the best birthday yet. 
    Tara R recently posted..HomeMy Profile

  11. says

    I never had much of a plan either, and find myself thinking the same thoughts on each birthday. I love where you ended up though – celebrating the good is definitely the answer. Happy Birthday to you, i hope it is a lovely day.
    Tricia recently posted..Just mommyMy Profile

  12. says

    Happy Birthday Shell! What a great thing to do…embrace and be thankful! I will be hitting the big 39 this year. Only 1 year of my thrities left….. where did the time go. Have an awesome day! Loved the song.
    Katina recently posted..Carpe DiemMy Profile

  13. says

    Happy, happy birthday! and I love the song and what it means. I think that is why I find fairy tales boring — there’s so much more to learn and do when life happens.
    IASoupMama recently posted..Bad Nerves MojoMy Profile

  14. says

    The best quote I have heard lately is this:  “Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  A good life is exactly that.  A good life.  Have a wonderful birthday!  It is so nice to know you! 
    ilene recently posted..The First Rule of Fight ClubMy Profile

  15. says

    Happy Birthday, Shell! That is a gorgeous picture and what a great outlook to have! Just want to say thanks for all that you do for bloggers out there. I credit you and Ashley with helping me grow as a blogger. You guys are great teachers and two of the kindest people I know. This has become a passion of mine and I couldn’t have done it without you! Happy Birthday and have a wonderful day!
    AnnMarie recently posted..Memories Captured: The End of an EraMy Profile

  16. says

    Happy birthday Shell!!

    I had the same thoughts when I turned 30.  I wasn’t exactly sure I was where I had hoped to be, but then again, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.  I have a couple years until I’m 35.  It’ll be interesting to see how I feel then.
    Kmama recently posted..That FaceMy Profile

  17. says

    Happy Birthday Shell! May the year be full of joy, laughter and if there are bumps, that you tackle them with your usual gusto :)
    Alison recently posted..BrothersMy Profile

  18. says

    oh my heart.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY beautiful girl. Thank you for letting us pour our hearts out, for sharing your IMPERFECT but fantastic life with all of us through your words, thank you for being the girl we all wish would come over and sit at 0ur table and be our friend.
    There are so many amazing things about you I couldn’t list them all, but I will CELEBRATE you today (and always) for the INCREDIBLE special gal you are.
    Love you…and hoping to share some CUPCAKES with you very very soon.
    Kir recently posted..Capturing Memories: Kind & HopefulMy Profile

  19. says

    Happy HAppy Birthday!!!  I hope you have a wonderful day- you deserve it.  And yes life never happens without a few bumps but those bumps help us really learn and grow.

     Love love that picture! 
    Emmy recently posted..Toddler CutenessMy Profile

  20. says

    Happy Birthday, Shell! What a lovely family you have! I think that’s the key to happiness, appreciating what we have and not dwelling on what we don’t.
    Patricia P recently posted..Manners MatterMy Profile

  21. MommaKiss says

    Pretty sure a perfect life is unattainable. So. We make the best of it.

    Hope you have a super awesome Shell day! Much love to you.

  22. says

    Oh, wow, Shell. 1) I have missed you incredibly. Don’t get weirded out; but I think about you and then feel massive amounts of guilt that I haven’t followed along in far too long. Your writing always touches me, and you have done it again with this post. 2) HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it’s a wonderful one, full of everything that makes you happy. The love of your beautiful family. The comfort of your closer friends. The fact that you are doing what you love. And 3) I promise never to take so long from visiting you here. Off I go now to catch up on YOU!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Shell. XOXO
    Charlotte recently posted..how dating in my 30s is nothing like dating in my 20sMy Profile

  23. says

    I also don’t believe that there is such a thing that is perfect. In our life it is in our hands how we make it. Make the most out of it and you will say you can never ask for more. That’s just how I think every life should be. And the happiest part of it? It’s when we have those special people around us.