Perth’s March 3rd 2011 is about to draw to a close, and I didn’t want the night to end without a post. I know it’s been awhile since I last wrote, but my life is still work and sports. Not much to report!
My birthday is much more to me than the day I get a little older each year. On this date in 1986, my Grandma Wetherall celebrated her own 54th birthday with her first granddaughter as an extra special gift. Sharing March 3rd with my grandma has always meant a lot to me. It’s almost like a legacy I share and inherit. It’s also a day that means a great deal to Matt’s and my relationship. But more on that later.
As I am always down for a list, I thought I’d share my top 5 birthdays and my top 20 favorite life accomplishments. 25 tidbits from 25 years. Please, take a stroll with me:
In no particular order…
March 3rd 2007 – My 21st birthday. Even though I fell asleep pretty early, I remember my friends making a huge deal about my special day. W&L girls certainly know how to celebrate a friends’ birthday. I felt really loved that day.
March 3rd 2004 – My 18th birthday. Lauren brought me a giant loaf of Breadsmith banana chocolate chip bread. Even though my friend Dan ate about half of it during first period, I’ve never forgotten how surprisingly awesome it was. Lauren has always known exactly what to get me. This has led to many an attack hug. Which leads me to…
March 3rd 2002 – My sweet 16. Mom surprised me with a limo! A handful of friends drove around the city with me before dinner, ice cream, and a sleepover. Lauren got me the Garth Brooks Double Live album. It’s the only country cd I’ve ever owned, and only she could have known I wanted it. My cousin Dominic even came over to do our hair for the big evening.
March 3rd 2000 – My 14th birthday. I was in Madison as a part of the Regional Honor Choir for four days (a choir of about 300 kids from 6 different states). I remember being so proud to have been accepted. There were some other great girls on the trip from school. The whole weekend was about inside jokes. On my birthday, the whole choir sang to me, and throughout the day almost every person in that group came up to pat me on the back. My friends made a giant banner and hung it over the interior railing. They accidentally wrote “Happy Emma!” instead of “Happy Birthday!”
March 3rd 2009 – My 23rd birthday. I was on a two-week break from teaching in France. My friend Courtney and I had arrived in Budapest a few days prior. We had an amazing time there. This is when I met Matt. We were sleeping in beds right next to each other in the dorm room at the Goat Hostel. On my birthday, all three of us were up early to leave town. Matt remembered it was my birthday and gave me a hug. Our first hug, and the beginning of our friendship. It only took 2 weeks for us to become more than friends. Had a few things just gone slightly differently, who knows if I’d even be here today…
So there you have it, my most memorable birthdays! Now it’s time to countdown some of the highlights of the last 25 years:
Again, in no particular order:
1. Getting accepted to teach over in France and living there for 2 school years. I look back on it and realize how brave I was. At the time I knew I wanted it more than anything else. There WAS no other option.
2. Swim team senior year of high school: Getting Captain, making my state cut, winning sectionals and winning state.
3. Cementing my friend group toward the end of high school. Trish, Kathryn, Emmy and Kristen: you are my besties for life.
4. For that matter, cementing my college friend group as those 4 years went on. When I saw them over Memorial weekend, it sure didn’t feel like it had been 2 years. I love you girls!
5. Meeting Matt and taking the leap with him. My relationship with Matt has been the most fulfilling of my life. It matches what I feel for my amazing family. He is family to me now, and I’d be lost without him. He’s the Paul to my Linda.
6. Graduating with the first class at Normandale Elementary. I can trace every life changing thing I’ve done back to where I went to kindergarten. How many people can say that?
7. Being a Green Bay Packers fan. This is such a big part of being an Axt. Every time I watch the team win, I still think of my grandpa. Winning the Super Bowl this year was amazing. We all thought of him right away, and how happy he’d have been to see it. I feel an undeniable urge to check in with my dad during and after every game. I’m so glad we’ve got Matt converted!
8. Going to Juarez, Mexico (twice) to build houses and play with impoverished kids. Helping people in this way made me feel better about the world in general.
9. Getting personal proof that God exists. This one is just for me. It happened in the mountains of Colorado in 2002. I was a much more spiritual person back then, but no matter what happens to me in this lifetime, I’ll go to my grave knowing God exists. It’s a relief, really. Lack of faith seems like such a burden.
10. Having so many wonderful one-on-one friends, many of whom have been my best friend at one time or another. I have two incredible groups of friends, but those one-on-ones have been so essential in helping me become the person I am, that I hardly know how to thank them. Lauren, Elisa, Trevi, Katie K, Kat G, Cary, Jack F, Becca T, Mark, Nikki, Elodie, Lulu…there are too many to mention, but thank you for being amazing friends at those various times when I needed you most.
11. Working at 3 different Ruby Tuesdays. I think being a server is a very important perspective to have in life.
12. Reading 55 books in 2009. I didn’t make the cut in 2010, but I’m going for it again this year (50 books a year). There are so many books and so little time. Why not challenge yourself to get through 50 of them in 12 months?
13. Taking part in 2 theater productions: James and the Giant Peach (42 performances in one summer) and Kiss Me, Kate (spring term, junior year of college). With all the sports I was doing, I didn’t have many opportunities to do things like this. Both were a tremendous amount of work, but very rewarding.
14. Being an alto in the Chambers Singers in college. I got to go to Argentina, Uruguay and Turkey with this group. I also improved my singing immensely.
15. CURRENT JAM! TWICE! I think being in Current Jam (the spring show-choir-esque production) was one of the biggest highlights of high school.
16. Moving to Australia. I suppose this could be lumped in with the Matt category as we didn’t have much choice if we wanted to be together…Living here hasn’t been as challenging as France, but then again, I haven’t seen my family for 8 months.
17. Writing in a diary everyday since I was 9. Speaks for itself.
18. Playing summer house league soccer with all the other ’04 girls in Edina. There is no way summers are that fun everywhere.
19. Living close to my grandparents and the Wetherall clan (Mom’s side) for so long. Grandma and Grandpa Axt used to live right in St. Paul until right before he died. I’m so thankful I had 11 years with him. She’s one of the smartest and kindest people I know. My mom’s side are quirky and I’m so grateful for them. They never missed a major event in my life and I know they’ll always be there for me. Grandma Wetherall is my book and birthday sister and the most fascinating person I’ve ever met.
20. My family. 25 years with the best parents in the world, the two people I’ve always admired most. They are my idols and two of the most genuine and well-liked people I know. My sisters are my best friends and the bond we share is my favorite thing about my life.
I know it’s an incredibly long post this week, so thank you for reading it, if you still are at this point. I had a lovely birthday. I’ll tell you all about it after my party this weekend. Until then, I love you and miss you all!