SO I never really did a post about my birthday because I guess I was sort of in denial that I actually was turning t w e n t y - s i x. But we all have to grow up and in lieu of that fact, I decided to share a few tid bits about me at 26 that I sort of want to remember about this time in my life. SO here they are.. things I want myself to remember and whats on my mind. Because time if fleeting and I never want to take for granted this stage in my life where I am. A letter to myself.

Dear Amanda,

You currently are very content with your life and the fact that there really is no need to rush any sort of life changing event just yet. As much as you desire to be married, engaged, with children, in your home for years to come....you and I both know that time WILL come and you WILL have all those things..... but patience is something you must learn. You have gotten much better at dealing with those jealous innate feelings..seeing friends have it all or so you think of them. BUT you will fall back into those pits of dangerous self distructive feelings and you must realize everyone wants what they don't or can't have..especially in your middle twenties. On another note..you have a love and passion for life like no other and can always see it in your eyes. You seek to help others and love your little nieces and nephews with all your might. You love to nurture, especially children. Everyone tells you your going to be a natural at motherhood and it makes you happy knowing this as well but remember to remain humble. You also must realize just because you are a full time nanny you don't know EVERYTHING about being a mom and you DO need to understand (have compassion) when your sisters struggle with parenting or you see strangers/friends parenting in a way you wouldn't. Stick to your advice Amanda.."to each their own." You have become such a homemaker and you get it from your mama. She really taught you how to be a phenomenal woman and you just MIGHT have to accept that you MIGHT just never be as wise or incredibly amazing as she. BUT that is okay... and the apple sure didn't fall far from the tree so you have something goin for ya ;). You need to work on your anxiety this year and roll with the punches a bit more. You have a type A personality and like to be "in control" so when life's challenges have you feeling like a backseat driver... just take it in... and don't get so uptight. Brody will always help you relax more and he has been the best companion to have. Your boyfriend wants the world for you too and you need to keep loving him with all your heart. It is obvious you both will have some amazing triumphs in life... yet there will always be obstacles to overcome..this is the harsh fact of life. You are working on getting into a masters program and you might be one inspiring teacher in the years to come (always with a PR mindset). On a more comical note you have become obnoxiously OCD about cleanliness and have developed a hate for unwashed feet. You also swiffer and dust almost every other day which could end up being excessive but for now it's fine in moderation. You also won't touch milk even if it's only a day after the suggested use by date. On a more serious note... You don't go a day without missing your dad and that probably won't end... HOWEVER you do need to realize he is always watching down on his little gal and is keeping you safe. You need to pursue what always brings you joy...from classic 70's music to photography to overfilled bubble baths to those recently desired appletinis. Let this world be your oyster and live your life in everything you do for Christ. 26 is going to be a killer year..just you wait and see.