My 29th Birthday is on Saturday and I always like to do a birthday themed post each year. As I enter my last year of my twenties, I wanted to reflect on 29 important things I’ve learned. My twenties have by far been my best decade. I made many great memories and experienced huge changes, from having the time of my life during my second half of college at Oklahoma State University, marrying the love of my life, buying our first home, moving out of state, and now we’re expecting our first child. Bring on 29!
For my birthday, Jake and I are actually heading to Miami, Florida for the Super Bowl. Jake and his family are huge Kansas City Chiefs fans, so we’re going to watch the game. He converted me to a Chiefs fan. Jake was working a night shift in the ICU on my birthday last year, so I’m very excited to actually celebrate on my real birthday this year.
29 Things I’ve Learned in my Twenties:
- God’s timing is better than mine: If you saw my pregnancy announcement post here, God has shown me that his timing is better than mine. He’s shown me this on multiple occasions, but especially when trying to get pregnant.
- Marry your best friend: Jake and I started off as best friends and ended up falling in love. Marrying my best friend has been the best decision of my life.
- Family is everything: The older I get, the more I realize that family is everything. Both of our families live out of state, so it’s important to cherish the limited time we’re together. Jake and I both lost grandmothers in our 20s, so it’s shown us to really savor the precious time together. We never know when our last moment together will be.
- Everything happens for a reason: During my 20s I learned that everything happens for a reason. Before my brother attended OSU, I wasn’t familiar with the university at all. I fully believe that God sent him to school there so he would meet his wife, and then I would follow in his footsteps and later meet my husband there too. When I first started off at OSU, I honestly didn’t love it. I was homesick and very much considered transferring back to a school in Texas. Luckily I made some amazing friends and found out a lot of my credits wouldn’t transfer (I fully believe this happened for a reason). I stayed and ended up having the time of my life. There have been many other instances where I have been shown that everything happens for a reason, like Jake’s residency match.
- Attitude: Every day is a gift and I’ve learned that we’re fully in control of our attitude. With a good attitude, I’ve fully changed my perspective in my 20s.
- Travel as much as you can: About 2 years into our marriage, we really got the travel bug after traveling to L.A. for a board exam of his. Our favorite memories are from trips we’ve taken together. We travel as much as we can! I am trying to get as much traveling in during my pregnancy before I am no longer able to.
- Have confidence/learn to love yourself: During my teenage years, I struggled with self-confidence. I have learned in my 20s to become confident and love myself.
- Take care of yourself: I struggled with major body image problems in my teens and learned that taking care of myself is so important. I’ve learned that exercise and eating healthy is the way to go. I am proud to say I’ve been regularly exercising for over 6 years and have been able to lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Experiences are better than material things: This goes along with travel, but I’ve learned that experiences are much more valuable than material items. Jake and I prefer to spend money on cool experience like attending major sports events, concerts, etc. instead of material items. Memories last a lifetime!
- Be yourself: When I was younger I tried to do everything to fit in. The older I get, the more I learn to love myself and to truly let me personality shine. I would find myself trying to wear clothing trends that were very much not my style. I am a girly girl and love to dress up, so I am embracing this.
- Save money/budget: One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how important it is to save money and come up with a budget. You never know when you’ll need to go into your emergency fund for a big home repair, medical expense, or car repair, etc. Jake and I are very big about living within our means.
- Be kind: You never know what someone else is going through.
- Nothing worth it comes easy: Jake’s medical training has taught me this. It’s been a long road, but so worth it to see him follow his dreams.
- I love cats:I used to think I hated cats until I fell in love with Jake’s cat, Wom-Wom. It took a long time, but now we’re best friends.
- Embrace change:You may have seen my word of the year post with my word, embrace. Pregnancy has taught me to embrace all of the big changes.
- Take risks:Jake has taught me to take risks. He has taught me that in many cases the worst thing that can happen is I will get a “no.” This has been true for applying for jobs I didn’t know if I was qualified enough for, reaching out to brands, etc.
- Time flies:The older I get, the truer this becomes.Writing this post, it has been crazy to look back on memories that feel like they just happened yesterday but really were many years ago at this point.
- Do what you love:Blogging has taught me that it’s important to chase my dreams and do what I love. I’ve also learned with work it’s not worth staying with a job you don’t truly love.
- Pray and give thanks:I have learned to always start my prayers by giving thanks.
- Show Appreciation:It’s easy to forget to thank people for things that they do for us, but nothing is more gratifying than appreciation. I try to make a point to thank Jake when he does little things around the house without me asking, like the dishes.
- Appreciate moments together: With Jake’s crazy schedule, I have learned to appreciate any moments together.
- Date your spouse:The best marriage advice I’ve ever been giving is to date your spouse. One of our marriage goals was to make a point to take dates. This really helps keep our relationship alive.
- Quality over quantity:This is not only true with friends, but also material things like clothing too.
- It’s okay to say no:I’m the biggest people-pleaser and have learned it’s important to say no when I’m too overwhelmed.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Get out of your comfort zone:Moving and starting my blog taught me this.
- Self-care is important:I’m the worst about self-care, but it’s so important to do things for yourself. Working out is one of my biggest self-care things I do.
- If it doesn’t bring you joy it’s not worth it:This is a huge one, it goes along with saying no. I’ve learned this with jobs especially.
- Be organized/routine:I have learned I function best when I’m on a routine and organized.
Happy Birthday Courtney!!! These are such great life lessons. Your 30s are going to be so amazing I know! 🙂 Cheers to you!
Thanks, sweet friend! I know they will be amazing too 🙂
Beautiful lessons learned! I love posts like this! Happy (almost) birthday sweet cousin!!
Thank you so much, Katherine 🙂 Love you.
Happy Birthday Courtney!
Thank you so much, Jennifer!
Happy belated birthday wishes to you in Miami Courtney!!! It is nice you can celebrate this year with Jake and his Family . God knows what is best for us. It is so nice you were best friends! Everything does happen for a reason, God puts people in our lives to lead to others. Loving and taking care of oneself go hand in hand. Saving is important we dont know what is around the corner. Kindness is a virtue! You certainly have had to embrace a big change in your lives expecting a baby Girl! I need to take risks too. Time flies , please take every day as slow as you can with your baby Girl. our baby Girl is 12 now !!!Praise and thanks to God, amen! It is a good idea to date your spouse, I need to work on it ! I can tell by how nice you are that saying no does not come natural to you,but we all have to learn to do it. Routine is always good! That is a wonderful list Courtney , enjoy the game, Terri xo.
Thank you so much, Terri 🙂 It was such a fun way to celebrate. We had a lot of fun. I cannot believe that was already a week ago. Time really does fly. Aww they grow up so quickly. My pregnancy is flying by too.
Happy belated birthday, Courtney! These are all such fabulous lessons. I especially relate to learning family is important.. and experiences are more important than things.
It sounds like you had an incredible time at the Super Bowl! How incredible! And I absolutely love your outfit here – so glam, and perfect for a birthday girl.
Thank you so much, Lindsey 🙂 I am so glad that you agree. IT was such a fun experience.