The End of One Thing, The Beginning of Another

Nowadays, not very many people can say that they have worked in the same job for 35 years. Not very many people can say that they stuck it out, worked their hardest, and lived a full life. I feel like in a lot of ways, longevity like that is a lost art. So many people nowadays start one job and are on the to the next the blink of an eye. 

Not my dad. He finished strong. Now he's ready for whatever else life has for him. 

I was able to celebrate a major milestone in my father's life on Monday: his retirement. It's pretty crazy to think how many years he has spent as a firefighter. He has been a firefighter longer than I have been alive...35 years of his life have been spent in this career, this life. 

When I was little, I used to try and not think too much about what my father did for a living. Honestly, it scared the crap out of me most days. I remember a few nights waking up and praying for him because I wasn't sure what was going on but I was sure that he was probably heading into a burning building, or on his way to car accident, or something else that most people will never witness in their lives. I'm certain my dad has seen many things and been in many situations that he will never tell me about. 

The respect I have for this man is unending and massive. He has sacrificed his life over and over again with every fire he has fought, with every crew he has fought those fires with. He has always stood strong, fought hard for his crew, and worked hard. I am honored to be his daughter and to have witness him throughout the years as he went to work day in and day out. 

On his last shift, firefighter crews from all over Fort Collins came to pay their respect. They lowered the station flag and gave it to my dad. 

I know my dad is now leaving a job well done and I know that whatever he does next, he will approach the very same. 

I love you, Dad. Thank you for your service to this community and for dedicating most of your life to helping others. I am excited to see what is next for you in this thing called life. 

A List | 31 Things Before 31

I entered into a new decade on Wednesday. I am no longer in my twenties and I still haven't quite grasped that. A lot happened in my twenties. Heartbreak. Living in the northwest. Going to college. Playing lots of music. Moving home. Meeting Ryan. Marrying Ryan. A few different jobs: coffee houses, churches, a dental office. Playing more music. We bought our first home. We had our first kid. 

Many things can happen in the span of a decade. Now I find myself in a fresh one, untouched and totally unknown. The idea of being in my thirties is actually pretty appealing. I'm ready for a fresh start, a clean slate. In some ways, I feel like I need to be a real adult now. In other ways I feel like I never will be and that's totally alright. 

Every year for the past few years, I've written a list around my birthday. This list consists of many things that I want to accomplish in the new year in front of me. Last year, I did alright with my list but didn't accomplish quite a few of them. You can see the list here....30 Things Before 30.  It's no secret that I love making lists and I love making this list every single year. I'm excited for what 30 holds. So many things in our lives feel like they are currently in transition. I'm sure I will move into 31 in a totally different place. 

Below is my brand new list. Fresh and new. 31 things before I turn 31.....

1. Read 31 books.
3. Get pregnant with #2.
4. Paint the outside of our house.
5. Embrace a side hustle.
6. Play a show.
7. See the ocean.
8. Make a big purchase with cash.
9. Get another tattoo.
12. Get a deep tissue massage.
13. Redo our basement: paint everything, new flooring, doors, etc. 
14. Finish a song. 
15. Go to a drive-in movie. 
16. Start writing a book. 
17. Thrift more. 
18. Increase our curb appeal.
19. Travel somewhere new. 
20. Build up an emergency fund. 
21. Meal plan and decrease our grocery budget. 
22. Purge the entire house, every room!
23. Develop a product or new venture.  
24. Get family pictures taken. 
28. Take a class. 
29. Seasonal Fun: pumpkin patch, picking strawberries, the zoo, parades, the fair, etc. 
30. See a show at Red Rocks. 
31. Splurge on the perfect pair of jeans.