40 things

Hasselblad polaroid, taken yesterday by my hubby

I turn 40 today.

I know I am not done learning, growing, and living.  However, I wanted to make a list for my daughters of what I have learned from these 40 long years.

For Kyle Elizabeth, Dani Sara, and Sammy Joy… this is what Mommy’s life has taught her so far.

1. Make bread when you are angry. Not only do you get to punch the dough, but by the time you allow it to rise and bake, you won’t be so angry anymore.

2. When given the choice between having to love and having to fear, choose love. Every single time.

3. A friend is someone that at one time loved you when you didn’t deserve it and you, in turn, did the same for them. Everyone else is an acquaintance.

4. Know and respect the difference between a friend and an acquaintance.

5. Good toilet paper is worth the extra 32 cents.

6. It is acceptable to put a little perfume on for a boy.  However,  if he doesn’t love you when you fart, he isn’t worth it.

7. Hope even when the world seems to be screaming it is impossible.

8. Sometimes a long nap in the middle of chaos is exactly what you need.

9. Never underestimate the gentle art of just sitting quietly with the broken hearted. It is a gift only few experience and fewer master.

10. Kissing is like coloring.  Everyone knows how to do it, some just color outside of the lines.

11. Always forgive. Unforgiveness leaves little weights in your heart and prevents you from flying.

12. Give books a second chance. Time changes your heart, mind, and perspective.

13. People are like books.

14. My father once told me, “A whale never had to tell anyone he was big.”  This is good wisdom.

15. Sometimes you don’t understand your parents advice and wisdom until you are grown.

16. Never underestimate the power of love. I have seen it change many things.

17. Watch a sunrise.

18. Twice.

19. There are some things that are worth the wait.  A few of these are a good man, fresh bread, and Polaroid film.

20. Take time to sit and watch people.  A few good places to do this are museums, cafes, and train stations.

21. Remember, people are always watching you.  Don’t let it define you… but don’t let it mislead others.

22. When your babies are new and never sleep, you will be very tired and very frustrated.  However, take one night to just enjoy the sweetness of them.  Smell their head.  Kiss their toes.  Hold them until they are fast asleep. I promise, this time will never come again and you will not regret the memory.  I don’t.

23. Never pass up a warm cookie.

24. Especially if your child made it.

25. Kiss your husband often.  And a lot.  And time and time again.

26. There are a few things in life that this world does not value, but that doesn’t make it less valuable.   A new box of crayons is one of these.

27. Sometimes you just can’t get to where you are going by yourself.

28. No matter how many studies there are and the number of scientists who say otherwise, boys are different than girls.

29. When you can’t control your mouth, read the book of James… and make a loaf of bread.

30. It isn’t always what it seems.

31. Sometimes it is exactly what it seems.

32. People change.

33. So can you.

34. Sometimes being cute is very much enough.

35. One morning you will need coffee.  Very, very strong coffee.  On this morning, call your mother.

36. Everyone will be an idiot. You will be an idiot. I will be an idiot. Friends will be idiots. Family members will be idiots.

37. Forgive idiots.

38. Make time for girlfriends.  They are a gift that I don’t know what I would have done without.

39. Remember that no mater what, going home to mom and dad is always an option.

40. When making a big decision, ask what would make your 80 year old self proud.   I know this 40 year old hasn’t been disappointed.


  1. Dani · August 11, 2012

    Great advice! Loved it 🙂

  2. Kylelizabeth · August 11, 2012

    I love this!! Thank you for being an amazing mama. ❤

  3. Shawna Lemay · August 11, 2012

    these are allll great but i do love 36 and 37. so true! enjoy your day!!

  4. Michelle Sanford · August 11, 2012

    Great words, Staci. I couldn’t agree more with #22

  5. Staci Kennelly · August 11, 2012

    Thank you. Love you. xo

  6. Staci Kennelly · August 11, 2012

    Thank you. I love you. xo

  7. Staci Kennelly · August 11, 2012

    Yes, I think they are my favorite as well!

  8. Staci Kennelly · August 11, 2012

    Yes, I remember it so clearly. Thank you for coming by.

  9. Megan · August 11, 2012

    38 is my favorite, of course! but they are all good and so you! Hugs to you!

  10. Dani Sara · August 11, 2012

    I love this!! Thank you so much, mama. ❤ I love you!!

  11. a view from a brown dog · August 11, 2012

    Happy Birthday Staci! What a wonderfully fun and wise list,enjoy your day xox!

  12. Sara Lamp · August 11, 2012

    This made me laugh and cry perfect advise !!! Big hugs!! Xoxo hope your birthday was glorious!!!

  13. k · August 11, 2012

    LOVE this list, Staci, and LOVE you! Have a great day, sweet lady! Love, Kristin

  14. Jacqui · August 12, 2012

    This is such a great post xo

  15. Staci Kennelly · August 12, 2012

    You are one of my favorites! I love you! xo

  16. Staci Kennelly · August 12, 2012

    I love you baby girl! xo

  17. Staci Kennelly · August 12, 2012

    Thank you!

  18. Staci Kennelly · August 12, 2012

    So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for coming by! xoxo

  19. Staci Kennelly · August 12, 2012

    Thank you so much! xo

  20. Staci Kennelly · August 12, 2012

    Thank you, Jacqui! Thank you for coming by!

  21. Kirstin · August 12, 2012

    You are just the bestest! x

  22. . · September 7, 2012

    What a brilliant list! I hope you had a beautiful day. 🙂

  23. Lesley · October 5, 2012

    This list is so awesome- wise, funny and definitely going up on one of my Pinterest boards. I think you'd like the book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter. Also (since this is my first time visiting your site) you take lovely photos!

  24. Staci Kennelly · November 14, 2013

    Thank you!

Thank you for your kind words.

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