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I learned a very important lesson in 2013:

I’m getting old.

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In 2013:

I turned 30.

I tweaked my knee while walking.  It still hurts six months later.

I found out that I was having a baby.  A few weeks later, I learned that I was having twins.

I fell in love with seltzer water.

And gardening.

I discovered that a small increase in calorie consumption and a small decrease in exercise now leads to significant weight gain.

And four pairs of ripped pants.

I bought a SUV.

I love the idea of falling asleep on the couch at 9pm on a Friday night.

I grew a beard.

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My entire body hurts the morning after I play sports.  That even includes a game of HORSE.

My doctor told me I should take aspirin every day.

I get annoyed when I see teenagers texting all the time.

I turn on the radio and don’t know any of the songs.

The only TV shows I watch are on The Food Network and HGTV.

So, yea, in 2013, I learned that I’m turning into an old man.

I also learned that I’m cool with that.

I’m older and slower, but I’m also wiser.  I’ve learned to be thankful instead of feeling entitled to life, health, and success.  I miss my youth, but I’m thankful for the experiences that have brought me to this point, both the good and the bad.  I’ve overcome obstacles this year that crushed me in the past.  I’ve learned to appreciate the present instead of always anticipating the next best thing.  I’ve found my voice and decided to just be who I am, regardless of the world’s expectations.  I’ve learned to stop trying to be perfect and to just laugh at my mistakes and quickly ask for forgiveness. I’ve learned that I need to knock down my pride and share my flaws with those around me who need to hear that they are not alone.  I figured out that instead of planning, scheming, and forcing things to happen, I just need to make the most of every day and every opportunity.  Most importantly, I finally understand that there is nothing more important than faith, friends, and family.  Everything else will leave you unsatisfied and hungry for more.

In 2013, I grew up.

A little.

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New Life

How do I know that I’m old?

I can’t even remember the last time I went out dancing. I think Bush 43 was still President.

My favorite shows are no longer “Tosh.0” and “The Real World.” My favorite shows are now “Iron Chef” and “House Hunters.” And anything involving Anderson Cooper.

I do all my shopping online. Not because it’s cheaper or faster, but because crowds full of teenagers annoy me. And the mall is full of teenagers. Eww.

Finally, one of my favorite parts of the day is watering our flower beds in the morning. And pulling weeds.

Yea, that’s kind of sad, but the only thing cooler than Justin Bieber is watching those flowers grow. (And everything else in the world.)

And it sure does teach me a lot.

Just a few weeks ago, one of our plants was completely dead. It was brown, it was wilted, it was ugly. Paul, our gardening genius friend, said we needed to cut all the dead stuff off and trim it down. Well, a few weeks later, this happened:

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That little plant is now a rockstar.

Life works the same way. We all have junk in our lives that needs to be trimmed. It will be painful, but in the end, that trimming, whether it is ditching a deadbeat boyfriend, slowing down on the booze, or giving up trashy TV, will make you a better you.

Let your purple flowers shine, people. Let them shine.

Gettin’ Durty

I love brunch. I love college football. I love crazy nights bouncin’ in da club.***

In short, I love Saturdays.

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This past Saturday, I moved a lot of mulch. 1,500 pounds of mulch.

Unlike the New England Patriots’ offseason, it was awesome.

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Most importantly, I got to hang with 34 dear friends. We ate bagels, drank water, and sweated a lot. A whole lot. We also picked up trash and debris, powerwashed dirty stuff, trimmed hedges, moved a bunch of mulch, planted tons of plants, flowers, and trees, and removed one wickedly stubborn stump. We actually used an axe. It was kind of awesome.

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Why?

Because there was a need.

Amanda taught at Poe Middle School for seven years. The school has a huge courtyard that was in worse shape than Lindsay Lohan’s career. Our church, Capital City Church, is always looking for ways to serve the community. Amanda and one of our dear friends, Paul, were the visionaries, Capital City Church funded the project, and tons of church friends, work friends, high school friends, and all-around-awesome dudes and dudettes came out to help. The work was hard and anti-glamorous, but thousands of little kids will be able to enjoy the beautiful flowers, plants, and trees in that courtyard for many years.

And that is what life is all about. Loving and serving others. Our church is launching a new site in Kingstowne, Virginia in the fall and it is our desire to continue to do lots of community events, so stay tuned. Not all of them will be this dirty and sweaty.

I hope.

***Things I don’t actually do on Saturdays: go fishing, wear pants, or bounce in da club.

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