I wrote this on the morning of my 35th birthday and posted it on facebook. The editor of St. Louis Bride Magazine called me + asked if they could publish it. Of course I said yes!

Holly Berry Miss Berry. She likes pizza too.

So this is 35
Morning belly rubs with this spoiled fur baby and a sleepy eyed kiss from my husband (whhhaaaattttt? Still getting used to that). It feels calm and relaxed and just right, kinda like the first bite of cream of wheat when it gets cold. You know my dad sings this song in a deep baritone voice about cream of wheat every winter and it’s one of my favorite feel good memories.

Stanimal + me before my first recital – fave pic of us

Ten years ago I had all these goals, ideas of how life should be each year, what should be accomplished, what should be in the bank, what I should look like, when I should be married, where I should live, what my house look last like, how many kids I should have. Oh and that I would have an amazing yard, every year I think I’m going to grow beautiful things.

And guess what, life does not work like that. You don’t reach a certain age and all of a sudden it all just happens easily. Life flies by. Opportunities show up, and you take them, leading you down another path your 25 year old self didn’t plan on. And ten years later I still buy plants when spring hits with this idea that they will flourish and I will have a green thumb… even bribing them with miracle grow and a fancy new hose. This year is no different.

My therapy

Friends become distant with careers and growing families and new friends show up. I love them all dearly no matter how far the distance or how long since the last chat.

Material things become less important and seeing the world becomes a priority.

First time I packed everything in a carry on… never been so proud of anything in my life

Staying home in jammies is much more appealing than a night on the town. And my will power to avoid sugar and carbs gets weaker every day. I’m not sure if it’s really weaker or if my body and mind is just tired of yo-yo dieting to become something I’m clearly not built for. And because cake and pizza is really fucking good! And even better is putting on a pair of old unflattering jeans because they fit is a damn good day! (That’s usually when I have to treat myself to the aforementioned cake and pizza … in that order please followed by more cake… with all the icing)

Tres Leches… so proud that I made this + it was delish

I used to see the world as a wonderland and strangers as friends, that we all have good intentions and over the years I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not as sparkly and happy as I once hoped for. People aren’t always who they say they are and that’s because they are still figuring it out and might be struggling to find their path. Which in all honesty is not totally a bad thing, just means I hold my goodies a lot closer to my heart, that I protect them even fiercer than before. It doesn’t mean I don’t love any less, but I do know that there is something (even the tiniest bit of) good that comes out of every crazy.

I trust things work out as they should in most circumstances but admittedly having faith is something I struggle with everyday. When I’m not trying to control everything or run through “what if” scenarios or worry about how to protect everyone around me, some really great things happen.

When I allow the right clients to show up, they do. They are my gifts. And nearly every single one holds a special place in my heart, you all know who you are and your first dance song still makes me tear up. Gosh I am so grateful for that because it still brings me so much joy!

Photo by Rochelle Maples Photography

When I don’t bend over backwards and force the sale, or short change myself because I worry about not having enough or being enough, choosing from fear, that’s when wacky shows up. So I’m constantly working on that. Not every match is a match made in heaven just like every potential client is not my client. And that is ok.

Life is now about being present. Adulting, but not every day, that would be too serious. Getting married. Omg I’m married. Never thought that was happening. Ever. But like I said before something good (in this case something perfect and amazing and thoughtful and kind and hilarious and handsome) shows up in the midst of crazy and all of a sudden your life makes sense.

Jay + me in Colorado

So this is 35. Still wearing my 13 year old race shirt (no really the year is on there so I’m not exaggerating), babies (human or animals) still light up my life, still love wrapping presents and not good at receiving them, still love LOVE and still figuring out my path and what lies ahead, but I know and trust this, it’s going as it should and I am surrounded by love and people that I love, and that’s all that really matters.

Disney Marathon 2009… one + done

Happy Birthday to me! Cheers! And here’s to another cup of coffee! ❤️

Fave breakfast spot on earth!

Ashlee Erlinger
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