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f o r t y – s i x

Dear 46,

You were an adventure. Some days I felt 90, and other times I had to remind myself I wasn’t 16. We had a good time. We made some big moves and took some big chances.  You were a good age. Nothing to be ashamed of sister…nothing at all. You will be an age that forever comes up during my life stories…”Remember when I was 46 and…” or “I was 46 when I…” You made your mark on my life. Good job. You will not be forgotten.

This Q & A was circulating a while back and I filed it away knowing there would be a time later to answer it…that time is now.  Before the clocks strikes midnight…this is how I did 46.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THIS YEAR THAT YOU DIDN’T DO LAST YEAR:

Wow. So much! Most importantly I moved to Louisiana! Funny how a state that borders the state I was born and raised in can be SO DIFFERENT! I’ve felt like the new kid in 7th grade with a bad perm all over again. I’m the queen of awkward but I love people, so basically I’m constantly, awkwardly trying to hold conversations with strangers. I went from having my three daughters, several lifelong friends and my sister/bff nearby, to knowing only 2 people in a town of half a million. It doesn’t matter how old you are, unfamiliar territory is unfamiliar territory and it’s weird.

DID YOU KEEP YOUR 2015 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:

I don’t remember making anything in particular, but if it was get in shape or pay off debt I flunked. Here’s to 2016.

GREATEST CHANGES THIS YEAR:

Became a grandma in September to the sweetest baby boy on the planet, John Luke Gardner. I’m completely smitten and totally get why people said to me, “just you wait…it’s the best thing ever!”

Unemployment rocked because I was blessed to be with Paige before she had Luke, be there WHEN she had Luke, and return when he was 2 months old for 2 weeks! Something about watching your daughter become a mother…there is a sweetness I can’t put into words. Next greatest change would be my new state of residency and the 10 pounds I picked up since being here…I credit this to the amazing cuisine and a man who likes to take me on dates to places where it is served. (ps: don’t stop dating me…ever…)  I refuse to say “it’s an age thing”. That’s an excuse just like childbirth. I know it’s time to get back to clean eating and respect for myself. I joined a gym last month and found REfit and some crazy wonderful new friends that make it difficult to miss class because you don’t want to miss being in the same room with these energetic beautiful souls!  I leave class on top of the world and encouraged and if you have an opportunity to join a class near you…GO! GO QUICKLY!  Scale might be heavier but at least my heart is lighter. different. I’m super hopeful and there is a calm about me that was foreign at first, but now it’s becoming a steady friend. I credit this to My Miller. He has made me better. The puzzle box my pieces needed to find. My love. My best friend.

GONE ON ANY TRIPS:

New Orleans, Austin, Birmingham, Daytona. I’ve always wanted to travel more but WHO you travel with is just as important. Kurt and I love road tripping to East Texas and Lubbock and Mississippi to see the family.

DID YOU BUY ANYTHING WORTH TELLING US ABOUT: 

Of course!…I’m a girlfriend’s girlfriend when it comes to sharing product finds. If I buy anything I like, I’ll tell you about it. Here are 10 products you should  try:

1. AVEDA smooth infusion glossing straightener (this is a must since moving to Louisiana…second to this is Living Proof humidity shield)

2. Essie nail polish in mint candy apple (toes only, but LOVE it)

3. Too Faced bronzer in chocolate soleil (blog on this whole contour trend to be posted in the future)

4. Philips Sonicare toothbrush (I’ll never go back to a basic toothbrush)

5. Big Sexy Hair powder play (tiny bottle of wonder and love)

6. DoTerra essential oils: grapefruit, bergamot, elevation and spearmint

7. St Ives skin renewing body lotion (skin friends since 2008)

8. it Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara

9. Mary Lou Manizer highlighter (night time only girls…night time only)

10. Lush sugar lip scrubs

GET RID OF ANYTHING:

more like did I keep anything…

WHAT DID YOU DO WITHOUT IN 2015 THAT YOU’D LIKE IN 2016:

ummmm….a job.

WHAT MADE YOU SMILE:

So many reasons to smile but in particular, I am so grateful to have Facetime! Thanks a million to the creator of this app! I can see my kids faces and hear their voices at any time! It helps bridge the pain of distance and brings a smile to my face.

WHAT MADE YOU CRY:

Oh, honey…I cry when people win on game shows, but what comes to mind is standing outside the door of the delivery room and listening to Paige and Jag team up to bring John Luke into the world. They were playing the You Make Me Brave album from Bethel music… I could hear Jag counting and encouraging his bride. I cry now just thinking about it. I’m so blessed.

WHAT STRESSED YOU OUT: 

job searching. I’ve never NOT gotten the job…many times on the spot…before the interview concludes, I’m in. I’ve received calls from companies asking if I’d be interested in a position they have available.This whole finding a job in Baton Rouge has been character building and exhausting. The positive side is time to work on other things…like my blog and photography and a few other ideas swimming around in my brain.

WHAT QUOTE SUMS UP YOUR YEAR:

I love quotes but I can’t think of one that sums up 2015? I’ll get back to this…

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO:

I will forever listen to Greg Laswell and if you know me at all you know that…he broke my heart a little with his last song release…ugh…someone needs to wash his mouth out with soap. Add to my musical affection some new 2015 discoveries. They all came from watching Reign and Parenthood on Netflix. (I think the BEST artists can be found in the music score of film and television) Luke Sital-Singh, Nathan Reich, The Lumineers,  Ag + Silver…all worth checking out… and points to Taylor Swift, Adele and Coldplay for their new albums in 2015.

When I met Kurt he had Lithium and Octane on his Sirius channels…big stretch from my taste which he thinks is just a bunch of “sad” men…so we found some middle ground with country. He sends me a song via text almost every morning …Wild Child by Kenny Chesney, Top of the World by Tim McGraw and Crazy Over Me by Dylan Scott…#smitten And Chris Stapleton is ridiculous. Loving him.

WHAT ARE YOU WEARING:

black. white. heather gray. boots. pencil skirts. ball caps…a bigger size.

WHAT ARE YOU EATING:

Bistro Byronz Wasabi Chicken Salad, The Rum House Salad, Avocado Toast, turkey burgers, Trader Joe’s Tarte d’Champignon pizzas…salads…more salads…some apples…Stauffer’s animal crackers….I’m obsessed with raspberries…my go to snack when I’m blogging.  I don’t eat red meat. I love blackened chicken and a well cooked salmon. Asparagus. Basil on everything. Did I already say avocados?

WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING:

coffee with ghee (I cannot express enough the joy and health benefits this adds to your java) and to counterbalance the health initiative I crank in some flavored, and some say poisonous, creamer. Hey, it’s my cigarette. We all have a cigarette. I have not eaten off the food menu from Sonic in probably 4 years but I brake for Sonic water with extra ice add mango and mint. You shall find me all day chugging water with lemon, and then to infuse my system with beneficial antioxidants there shall be wine. I’m a sun up coffee, sundown wine kinda girl. My daily thirst timeline looks something like this…

File_000
mad art skills

 

WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING:

Netflix. Just finished season 6 of Parenthood. I’d watch it all over again beginning with Season 1. Call the Midwife. Lie to Me. House of Cards. Reign. I watched 3 episodes of Madam Secretary. DVR’d The Voice. I catch reruns of Fixer Upper and have a total girl crush on Joanna Gaines…we are doing some remodeling and I dream of being her best friend and wooing her over for a consultation and glass of pinot.

WHAT ARE YOU READING:

I love books and I love to read but I have a problem…I have too many going at once…Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf, I just finished 7 by Jen Hatmaker followed up by For The Love…both sooooo good. Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck… Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Scary Close by Donald Miller. Listening to Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling on audiobooks. Love my new devotional, Savor by Shauna Niequist and on my 4th year of being amazed at  how personal Jesus Calling feels. Always up for book recommendations…

WHAT ARE YOU DOING MORE OF:

Going to church. We have found a church home and it feels wonderful! I’ve missed this element in my life and I am so thankful to walk beside a man that loves it and will not miss. Sundays are our favorite! A good message and then brunch. We like Sabbath-ing….

WHAT ARE YOU DOING LESS OF:

Caring what anyone thinks.

BEST DISCOVERY:

Goodwill’s 99 cent paperback section

ANYTHING POLITICAL YOU WANT TO ADDRESS:

I’m thinking we will get exactly what we deserve and I’m nervous yet hopeful. I have to have hope. It fuels me. That’s all I care to say about this.

ANYTHING SPIRITUAL YOU WANT TO ADDRESS:

God is good and real and not up for argument with me. I will share my testimony with anyone who wants to listen but I will not argue His existence.

IF YOU HAD ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD IT BE:

world peace…seriously…that or a million more wishes…one of which would include being able to grow beautiful nails…cheers to computer camera selfies at 11:59 pm, cabernet and whatever this next year holds for me. I’m ready. So ready.

Snapshot_20160212_4

Hello February 13, 2016. Hello 47.

love gina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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