on 27.

I turn 28 tomorrow..   I remember when I was 19 thinking that if someone was 28 they like REALLYYYYY had their s*** together. Um. Ok. 

Each year around my birthday, I reflect on what I learned in this one year. 

Birthdays are a weird thing my friend. I LOVE my birthday. I have no shame in admitting this. I typically have to remind Matt the night before his birthday that its the night before his birthday. Opposite ends of the spectrum. But I really am one woo woo for self-reflection. Maybe its the all-girls Catholic high school student in me but a good 'retreat' to 'reflect' is something I yearn. 

And so, without further ado..... my list. 

10 Things I learned in my 27th year. 

Tractors are really freaking amazing machines. - Every single day I say to Matt "What would we do without this tractor!?!?" We saved a LOT of pennies for our tractor. It is worth every single one. We would not be 1/100th of the way through our list for the farm if we didn't have this machine. 

Internet friends are not weird. As many of you know, our Instagram account has been a fun project for us this year. A lot of people have their opinions about social media, especially Instagram. But it has introduced me to some of really awesome people. By finding blogs/feeds i love and following them, I've become friends with some amazing florists, creatives, farmhers... you name it. And its allll about interaction my friends. Reach out to someone who you seem to connect with, chances are they will reach back. Because its a magical community of female creatives out there who all want you to succeed, I promise.

The support will surprise you. For months Matt and I worked on the plan to sell our house in Cadillac, buy the farm and start this entire adventure. We were really really quiet about it. But once we had unloaded the moving truck it was time to share the news. I cried the night before I sent that blog post. I was scared people would be mad, or upset. And people were. And thats fine. Because the people who really love us were incredibly supportive. And still are. The people who push you away? Don't take it personally (its hard not to) projection my friend. Support will surprise you. 

Prune your trees, please. When your farm has been neglected for 3 full years its quite 'overgrown.' Imagine if you didn't get a haircut for lets say, 8 years.... what would you look like? Remember your trees. We have spent entire days pruning, taking down & cutting up trees that essentially suffocated themselves to death. Don't forget your other plants! Shrubs! Bushes! Hedges! Prune prune prune. I'm lucky to have a tree expert who loves me & who gives me tons of advice. Call a tree service. Have them come out and tell you what needs to happen. The trees will thank you. 

Date your spouse. Just do it. Put your phone down. Hold hands. Surprise one another. Write notes. Its easy to get really lost in the craziness and go on auto pilot. Trust me. Make an effort to date the person you committed to. 

Hydrate. Whenever I'm about to bite someone's head off, or lose my cool, or need just a few minutes to figure stuff out, I have a glass of water. Take your body weight in lbs, divide by two. That is the number of OUNCES you should aim to have per day of amazing aqua. Your skin, sleep, mood, joints, overall health, ability to stay on task & wine headache when you overindulge will thank you. 

Living on a budget is life changing. Before I lived on a written budget each month, I thought that budgeting was for.... people with major financial issues, people who have spending addictions, people who don't like fun & people who are boring. Boy was I wrong. Matt and I have been making a monthly budget for 15 months now. It has absolutely changed the way we live. And guess what!? We still have fun. We still go out to dinner. Buy wine. I still buy face loofahs on Amazon. Budgeting just helps us lay everything out in its place and have much more control of where our money goes. We use the app, Everydollar and I cannot recommend it enough. If you want to hear our ENTIRE story of budgeting shoot me an email. But its really awesome. 

When in doubt... Pizza - I estimate that I've hosted 14 dinner parties this year. I've glazed, roasted, sauteed, shopped for special ingredients, worked around dietary preferences... you name it. And you know what is the best crowd pleaser time after time? PIZZA. Homemade freaking pizza. Give everyone their crust (get good dough, its all the difference), make a huge buffet of toppings & open the wine. Pizza is untouchable. There is a reason that its one of the greatest foods on the planet. I've taken my 'when in doubt pizza' mantra to other parts of my life as well. When we are still digging flower beds at 9 pm..... 'We have dough in the fridge, lets make a veggie pizza.' When we are visiting friends downstate and want to 'go out' 'lets go to the best pizza place.' Remember, keep it simple. 

Nothing beats a Cafe Au Lait dahila. Nothing. I instagram often about my favorite flowers. Dahlias take the cake. But tulips.... a close second. I also love a good peony. Last year, with serious success, I tossed some dahlia tubers in some pots and sorta forgot about them. Then, like a gift from the heavens... I got Cafe Au Lait dahlias.... do yourself a favor a go google image these things. We've got a lot to grow this summer and I'm so excited I cannot stand it. 

Whatever is really scaring you, you should go do. Terrified of public speaking? Sign up for a class. Scared to travel alone? Book a flight. In our hearts we all have a desire to do something we don't tell many people about. Get your pilot's license. Start your business. Write a blog. I've read a LOT about fear and the grit we require to push past it. If you have an idea you can't stop thinking of. The one that keeps you up at night. The one that you scribble about on Delta Airlines napkins 28,000 feet above the ground. The one that when you've had 4 glasses of wine you whisper about to a friend. That one thing. Do it. I don't care how long you have to save, or how stupid 'it may look,' or how 'crazy people will think you are.' Living in the fear, everyday.... its oddly relaxing. It's almost as if fear were a hurricane, this big scary idea looming and swirling in front of you, but in the eye of the storm? Everything is clearer. Stop living someone elses plan for your life. You do you boo! 

Cheers to 28.