Saturday, July 7, 2012

Embracing My Fortiness!

I know "fortiness" is not really a word, but I like it, I am 40, and I am going to use it!

I have to be honest and admit, I was dreading turning 40.  I really gave Rick a hard time when he turned 40 just because I like to tease him.  After celebrating his 40th with him doing "40 Days For 40 Years" that ended with a big party with friends, we began talking about my 40th celebration.  As we talked, I decided the thing that would be most relaxing and enjoyable for me would to have some time alone with my hubby somewhere tropical.  We threw around the idea of a cruise, but the timing wasn't right for that, so we ended up planning a trip to Destin, FL.

As the time approached for the big day and our trip, I began to think back over the last 40 years of my life.  I was evaluating, where I am compared to where I thought I would be.  As I did that, I began to feel really grateful.  Grateful that I can celebrate 40 years of life.  Let's just agree that celebrating a 40th bday means I am still alive to celebrate.  Getting older is part of living.  There are many things about my life that are just as I have imagined.  There are quite a few other things that I never could have dreamed up, but God knew what would be best for me.  I wouldn't trade any of it.  I love my life.  I don't want to go back to the earlier years.  Heck, I have paid my dues.  Why would I want to relive the past when I have a whole future before me?  

I hope I am only halfway through with my life!!  I have an amazing husband, 6 unbelievable children(2 of which are from Africa, I never saw that one coming!), a nice home, friends around the world,  I get to be a stay-at-home mom, partner with my husband in ministry, and I am healthy(I just went in for a check-up and got a glowing report!).  Our culture does not value age, but I plan to celebrate it.  

Don't get me wrong, there are things that I would change about myself.  I have so many areas where I need to grow and mature.  There are some struggles and weaknesses that I have faced for most of my life.  I had hoped they would be resolved by 40, but they aren't, so I press on toward that goal daily.  Without the struggles, my dependence on the Lord would be so much less.  I would like to improve my health and physical fitness.  I could and sometimes do dwell on that fact.  It is what it is, and beating myself up over it, won't change it, so I strive daily to make healthy choices.  Some days I do great, others, well you know how that goes.  The things I am most disappointed about myself really are such temporary things in light of eternity.  

So, all of that to say, I wanted to share some pics from our trip and celebrate my Fortiness with you!

Rick planned this whole trip for me.  I did not have to lift a finger.  That alone was truly a gift that spoke loudly to me!!  We stayed at an amazing resort called Sandestin Resort.  It was huge and had lots of pools and fun things to do and see.  
This fabulous palm tree was right by our patio and was our view each morning as we at breakfast.  

We spent at least 20 hours on the beach.
We read, ate food, listened to music and podcasts, watched people, and soaked it all in!
"Happy Bday to me 2012"
Can you guess why this is called the Emerald Coast
I have never seen such beautiful,  green water and such soft, powdery sand.
My love, he got big brownie points for this gift!
The view from my chair.
We literally walked to the beach each day.  It was so close to our condo.
The view from the top deck of the condo
After 6 hours at the beach each day, we would cool off in the pool.
Another view of the pool
The pool at night
Once we finished our days at the beach and pool, we would shower and go out to eat and drive around and explore the area.  We found some really cool beach towns and fun touristy shopping areas.  We went to see "What to Expect When You're Expecting" at the movies.  That was hilarious.  We had no schedule that we had to keep.  Sleeping in each day was fabulous!!
Our condo
Chillin' on the couch
As Laila would say, "I kind of like this 40 year old stuff!"
The life I wish I could live every day
Rick had a bunch of bday messages he had collected from friends.  
I sat in this chair with this drink as I read the bday love from them.
That was so special!!
We rode bikes around the resort.
When it comes to palm trees, I am a "tree hugger"
This was our last day.  As you can see, I am sad to leave.
Goodbye, sweet, sunny, beautiful Florida!!
On the way home, I said to Rick, "So, when do you think we can do this again?"  It was such a great trip.  Thank you, honey, for making me feel so special.  Thanks, Papa and Grammy and Grandma for keeping the kids.  We could not have done this without you!!


  1. Happy birthday! By sharing the pictures, you have shared the blessing of it all..... of Rick's loving planning, of the beautiful beach, of the relaxing pace, of the celebration of you! Thank you for sharing and for being my friend!

  2. Welcome to fortiness. I wonder why it seems we all have reluctance to come here. It was big for me too. I loved the pictures. In one picture, I had to double-check. I thought it was Lauren! Loved the tree-hugging picture. My boys hugged palm trees on our CA trip. :)