Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today, I am 30.









My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wells. She loved country music, most of all Garth Brooks, and had beautiful grown-up handwriting.

Mr. Henry, proprietor of the local hole-in-the-wall hamburger joint. He had a dimple in his chin and called me darlin'.

Our small town family doctor's wife. She called me Molly-by-Golly and smelled like expensive perfume.

My granddaddy. When he would get really tickled, his laugh would go silent and he'd tilt his head way back and cover his mouth with his hand. He was a Marine, missing in action during part of World War II. He wrote letters from the war front about Iwo Jima and Okinawa and Hiroshima to his sister in Alabama. By God's grace, he returned home from the war and shortly after his arrival, met my grandmother at a local dance. She thought he was so handsome, but refused him when he asked to spin her around the dance floor. Her daddy had told her to be wary of men in uniforms because they could be fast.

My cousin Kelly. She tight rolled her jeans, shopped at the GAP, and wore their signature fragrances: om, grass, and earth. It was the mid '90s and she was the coolest.

Dave Matthews Band. I remember the exact way my room looked and the exact feelings I felt the first time I listened to his voice croon through the speakers.

My lovely parents. It is a precious gift that they are also my friends.

Panama City Beach. Only an hour and a half drive away from my hometown. My parents each took vacations there when they were kids and continued the tradition with me. Bright sun high in sky and white, sugary sand and brilliant aquamarine waters clear as crystal. We'd stay on the beach all day- getting 'brown as a berry' my mom would say- and then wash the sand off and go to dinner. My dad would always book a room overlooking the ocean and I'd drift into the sweetest sleep to the sound of waves crashing against the shore.

J. My champion. He sees me in the dark and in the light and he loves me wholly.

You might call it trite, but I'll call it true: I am the woman I am today because of these people and places and countless others. My life is by no means perfect or without pain, yet it is with joy and hope unending that I celebrate these thirty years of my story and the people who have made it so.

+

Tonight
We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun
                          (fun.)



My glittered photo shoot in Central Park made possible by my beautiful and talented friend Rachel

25 comments:

  1. these pictures are adorable! happy 30th!! :)

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  2. Happy 30, Molly! You are a light to this world.

    xox

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  3. I hope you have the happiest birthday today, Molly. You're beautiful, inside and out.

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  4. I'm in love with these photos. what a great way to bring in 30! happy birthday to you!

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  5. this was such a great post Molly - the structure and flow and stories. reminds me how lucky I am to have found your blog and luckier still to call you a friend. happy birthday Molly!

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  6. great pics!. Happy Birthday my dear friend! :)

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  7. Happy Birthday!! This is beautiful!!

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  8. You are beautiful! Happy Birthday Molly! My 30s have treated me so good so far.

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  9. Happy birthday, dear friend! This is all wonderful. Thankful with you for 30 years of grace.

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  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY! You are such an amazing light and friend - even having never met you, your words and sweet kindness have impacted my life is such wonderful ways. I hope you have a beautiful, incredible, miraculous day today!

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  11. happy birthday, dear molly. happy birthday to you.

    cheers to a beautiful person. inside and out.

    love you, friend. XO!

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  12. What a wonderful ensemble you have :) And these pictures are gorgeous! Happiest of birthdays to you!

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  13. Way to bring in 30 with beautiful pictures and a sweet, meaningful post. Happy birthday! Here's to many more.

    Sarah

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  14. you are so beautiful! I am loving the long hair! Love you!

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  15. It's such a shame you don't write more often, because seriously you are gifted. Also, I kept thinking "oh this one is my favorite!" and then I would scroll down and think "NO, THIS one!"..."NOooope, now this!" and then finally, the last one was my favorite. You're beautiful in all of every sense of the word and I hope you feel that way on your birthday. I am blessed to know you friend, so blessed. Love and Happy Birthday - me.

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  16. You're lovely. Happy Birthday! I hope you had the best of days--and have the most fabulous year yet!

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  17. Beautiful! Happiest of birthdays, Molly.

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  18. Oh I so agree with Maggy. I just loved the way you transformed this post from a birthday celebration post to a full-tilt loving-life-as-it-is-and-isn't-it-grand post. Happiest of Birthdays, Molly! Though I know I'm a little late :) And yay for glittery birthday photo shoots in the park.

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  19. Happy, happy belated birthday to you, beautiful lady!

    What a fun photo shoot. Well deserved by someone as kind, fun-loving, and generous as you! Here's to 30 knocking your socks off!

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  20. Happy belated, dear Molly! You are beautiful - in every way.

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  21. Poppin' in to say hello to you, dear sister! Miss you already!

    Lub you - Erin James

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  23. Happy Birthday Molly! Erin mentioned that you were famous so I had to see for myself... and it's true!

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  24. i LOVE this molly. love it. the pictures. you look beautiful. and the bit about your granddaddy. i love it!

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and just as hard to sleep after.

anne morrow lindbergh