The Amount You Mature After You Turn 30

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This week I turned 34 and a half. I’m now just 6 months away from turning 35, which will officially toss me out of that targeted demographic which has traditionally been the coveted marketing demographic: age 18-34.

I’m also only 6 months away from the birth of my 2nd child; who I think is a girl.

Turning a year older is not something I fear or hide. I celebrate getting older. That’s mainly because I’m so grateful for the amount of maturity, emotional intelligence, and life experience I gain each year I’m alive.

I definitely don’t wish I was 30 again, or 27, or 25, or 23… I’m perfectly happy and proud to be 34 and a half.

And research shows the same thing; that the age people report being the happiest is 34.

By now, I’m married, I have kid(s), I’m out of debt, I have money in the bank, I “own” a home, and I’m stable in my career.

Additionally, I have (hopefully) already made my dumbest mistakes and learned my hardest lessons in life.

If I simply apply what I’ve already learned from life so far, I should be alright. In theory, I should be on auto-pilot, from here on out, to some degree.

I feel that while I’ll constantly be learning something new every day, my “life’s biggest learning curve” is complete. In other words, now I know what to do, it’s just a matter of testing that knowledge and experience for the rest of my life to see what else I can make of it.

When I turned 30, I knew I was hitting a major milestone. But in hindsight, I now realize that the reason it was a major milestone for me is because I have learned some of life’s biggest and most crucial lessons since then, during these past 4 and a half years.

The Amount You Mature After You Turn 30

My son was born just a few months before I turned 30. Obviously, raising him has taught me a whole lot about life.

Plus, I made some wrong financial and career decisions around that time as well; which ultimately led my wife and I to become the strict Dave Ramsey followers we now are.

Not to mention, I was hired as Parents.com’s official daddy blogger right after I turned 30, which ultimately meant for 3 years, I had to do a blog post daily; being encouraged to be controversial by my editors.

Therefore, I can see in retrospect that I sporadically said plenty of immature and/or now embarrassing things in my blog posts during that time in attempts to “better engage my audience.” I learned a lot from that experience and I’m completely grateful for those 3 years.

On top of all that, I’ve learned the hard way what not to post on Facebook, since turning 30.

But now, I’ve lived through all that.

And I’ve been married for over 7 years now. It would be an understatement to say that marriage, in addition to raising a child, has made me a more mature, less selfish, better balanced human being.

The first day of the rest of my life began the day I turned 30. I can only imagine how much more enlightened I will feel and be by the time I turn 40.

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Dear Jack: You Won 2nd Place in the Williamson County Lego Competition!

4 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack: You Won 2nd Place in the County Lego Competition!

Mommy and I are so proud of you! You had been confidently telling us, “Mommy… Daddy… I’m going to win.”

You were right.

Dear Jack: You Won 2nd Place in the County Lego Competition!

This past weekend as soon as we got in the doors of the Williamson County Fair, we headed straight over to the Lego tables to see how your entry did in the competition.

Right away, I blurted out to you and Mommy, “Jack, you won 2nd place!”

That means out of all the 4 to 8 year-olds in Williamson County who entered the competition, the judges thought your entry was the 2nd best. Seriously, that’s a huge deal!

I love the fact that you competed with kids who were nearly twice your age and still won.

One of the main things the judges were looking for was originality. I can solemnly testify the 3 “space vehicles” you created were completely your own.

Mommy and I had no part in helping you at all.

Building Legos is what you do. You’re constantly building new creations every day; only to tear them apart and come up with new ones by the end of the week.

I’ve actually seen you make more complicated Lego inventions than the ones you entered. The winning entry just happened to be the collection of the ones you made that particular week.

Mommy and I have been saying it for a while now… and your teacher Ms. Aimee has been saying it too…

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“We have a future engineer on our hands. What else would Jack possibly be?”

You love to make your own Lego inventions- and they always have to be symmetrical. No one taught you that stipulation, but it’s an unbreakable law in your code to building Legos.

With all that being said, you’re just as talented at building actual Lego sets with instructions. You recently spent some of your own money on a new set that was targeted for ages 8 to 14.

I barely helped you at all. Actually, I was relieved you pretty much took care of building it because I might have gotten too frustrated to finish it.

You and I made an unboxing video for the set: Legend of Chima: Eris’ Fire Eagle Flyer.

Your 2nd place Lego award is your first ever real award! Mommy and I just couldn’t be prouder of you!

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Oh yeah, and while we were at the fair, you also won your very first game prize. You popped balloons with darts and got to pick out an animal: You named her Libby the Lizard.

You’re a natural!

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We also had a lot of fun this week because we celebrated Mommy’s 34th birthday at Whole Foods, with vegan pizza and cake!

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And you even drew these really cool pictures for her!

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: To You On My 34th Birthday

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: To You On My 34th Birthday

Dear Jack,

Turning 34 years-old means I’m now officially in my “mid-thirties.” It only makes sense that Mommy and I finalized getting set up with a life insurance policy for ourselves this week. Because that’s what you do when you’re 34; you buy a new house and you set up a life insurance policy. Sounds fun, right?

Well, in all serious, we definitely had plenty of fun this weekend as a family for my birthday. Nonna and Papa drove up from Alabama to see your soccer game Saturday morning; then they took care of you while Mommy and I got to go out on an awesome date to the movies, the Nashville Symphony, and out for dinner in downtown at Bakersfield.

It couldn’t have been any better!

Dear Jack: To You On My 34th Birthday

Then on Sunday, you helped make my vegan chocolate birthday cake. Mommy used 3 squiggly candles for the “3” and 4 regular candles for the “4”, to make the “34”. (My actual birthday is on April 20th.)

Of course, you blew out my candles for me. Plus, you took it upon yourself to open my presents for me as well; all while accidentally wearing your t-shirt backwards.

You and Mommy had slipped by Old Navy at some point and bought me some new clothes, including some “thunder socks” you specifically picked out for me. I shall wear them with pride!

Dear Jack: To You On My 34th Birthday

After removing all the decorative paper in my gift bag, you decided you wanted to make “paper pants.” So you tried them on for everyone.

Then you tried on my size 31 shorts Mommy bought me for our upcoming Pensacola road trip. They fit you about as well as the paper pants.

My 34th birthday weekend was perfect. It definitely felt like a real birthday. And I’m excited to buy Magix Movie Edit Pro 2015 with some of my birthday money, as I begin the process of teaching myself how to edit videos; to enhance Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

Let’s see if I end up being any good at it. I’ll make you a star, kid!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: To You On My 34th Birthday