All that remains...

from another school year is the debris from the bottom of the kids' backpacks. As I looked at the things collected by my Kindergartner and 3rd grader, I realized just how special all of this crap is.  What a great way to measure the past 9 months. All this stuff meant something to them during the course of this year.  It probably means nothing to anyone else, but they found it interesting and worth saving. Lots of kids get good grades or get taller over the course of a school year, but no other kids in the world have this same exact hodge-podge of stuff in their backpacks.

I love the randomness of the stuff.  It's another good measure of time & life - the random things you add to your collection over time. In the last year I've collected - a giant polka-dot pinwheel from my sister Jenni's wedding, art projects signed FROM SOPHIA, in huge, uneven letters, a bunch of unfinished cryptoquotes from my Grandma Hazel's newspapers just because she knows I love them, Owen's A+ graded homework finished in newly-learned cursive and dried red rose petals from my Grandpa Ross' funeral.

To anyone else these things would mean nothing.  They would be dust collectors, but they are momentos of my life. Some more precious than others, but all reminding me of someone, something, or someplace I've been.

When you stop and think about it there are so many ways to measure life. Years, months, days, hours and even minutes.  Those work fine, but they are universal.  They work for everyone. There is nothing too unique or fascinating about being a 33 year old girl.  Yes, I said girl, and yes I mean it!

So I'm going to measure my life differently. I've decided instead of turning 34 years old next week, I'm going to turn - 2 cool kids, 1 handsome husband, 5 supportive siblings, 2 proud parents, many funny friends, plenty of playtime, umpteen photos, oodles of hours at work, lots of laughs, tons of tears, and dozens of dust collecting momentos - years old.