Three Decades.

Three decades down.  It's hard to believe I'm thirty.  You have to think back through your life a little bit when you hit a milestone, of course when you turn 10 or even 20 I don't think you care as much.  In fact when you turn twenty the only thing you really think about is that you have one more year before you're legal to drink. Something happens over the next10 years... in a very basic sense, you grow up.  I mean really there are a lot of major life occurrences that happen in those ten years, at least that was the case for me.  So in the celebration of my birthday and the fact that I like lists I thought it would be appropriate to look back on some of my fondest moments, big decisions and a few accomplishments (big and small). 

1. Birth. Coming into this world on 3.25.82 around 7:30 AM.  (An accomplishment more so for my mom and dad, but I thought it was a good start to my list.) 

2. Bike Parade.  We had to decorate our bikes and ride them around the block, a grand accomplishment for a 5-year-old. I had my best friend by my side, rocking her Kool-Aid mustache, Sarah Redwine (Keifer now). She is actually probably one my greatest accomplishments because we were best friends that day and thirty years later we're still great friends. 

3. State Swim Meet.  Honestly all my state swim meets we're great and I think I should be proud of being a talented swimmer.  My favorite state meet though was my first.  I was one of two 8-year-olds in the whole state that made it for 50-yard-fly.  I remember seeing my name written in light bulbs across the huge score board and standing up on that swim block that was larger than life.  I think the obsession started there.  I wanted to swim, I needed to swim and so I did for the next 9 years.  

4. Harris Heat to Indiana Sting.  A group of girls that one day put on these bright purple uniforms and called themselves an All-Star Team.  We were good.  The great thing about this "team" was not that we were good for one season but that a big core group of us played every year together from about 10-years-old all the way through our senior year of high school.  We might of had different names and different colors but the cleats that hit the infield didn't really change.  I can see Yo-Yo at shortstop, Monica behind first, Toni covering third, Missy (or myself) on the mound, Mary and Bene in the outfield. We had a lot of great games and moments together. 

5. Ain't Going Down.  I specifically remember spending days, even weeks memorizing that song by Garth Brooks.  Not sure why it made this list, but it did.  

6. Swanson Summers.  I spent two summers life guarding at Swanson Pool with one of my high school best friends, Melissa.  I just remember those summers fondly. 

7. 1:03.  I had a 1:04 in the 100 fly for about two years straight... I still remember the meet where years of hard work finally came together and I let go of that time and finally hit a 1:03 in my favorite event. (My high school swim seasons definitely shaped my life and I'm grateful for those years I spent day in and day out swimming.) 

8. Minolta X-700.  My first camera.  It was (and still is) the best Christmas present I've ever received.  It lit the fire for photography... and that flame is still burning.  

9. Skipping & Climbing.  We all have our teenage moments where we throw caution to the wind and pretty much do what we want.  I know I have a handful of stories but the two that stick out in my mind were skipping math class to hit up the rope swing along the St. Joe river. (You can read this post where I talk a little more on that adventure.) And of course the one and only time I've been arrested.... for repelling off a water tower. :) 

10. Photojournalism.  A stranger actually picked my degree.  Okay, not really.  But I don't have an actual name of the person that looked at me and said "You should go for Photojournalism."  To whoever you are, thank you.  It was one of the best decisions I made.  Not a lot of people figure out what they want to do their sophomore year in college, I was grateful to be one of those few.  

11. BC Klan.  God, I had great friends in college!  There are so many memories from college that it's hard to narrow it down to one.  The BC Klan (later turning into the Linden Place Klan) is really just another way of saying I had a great, fun, fabulous group of college friends.  I miss them every day.  

12.  Relationships.  I wouldn't be the woman I am today with out the many, many relationships I had.   My first kiss with Brian K.  Mark H.- the first guy that ever had a MAJOR crush on me, I finally gave in after about a year or so.  Tracy- ohh, Tracy... there's almost too much to say with that one.  Camp Birch Hill flings... like Joe and Shaun.  Sean Compton- oh my!  hahaha. Jose! God, what was I thinking?  Even the relationships that never came about... David G, Chase T, Geoff B. All those dates and kisses and break-ups and heartaches and everything in between.... definitely shaped me, I'm sure of that.  

13. Camp Birch Hill.  It was by far the greatest job, ever. (Okay, that you can have as a 20-year-old) I met some amazing people that I am still friends with today.  I was able to visit the NE part of our country and I just saw and did some amazing things.  It was one of the greatest times in my life.  

14. Grateful Dead.  There are many things I could have put to "explain" my early 20's.  A little walk down Shakedown Street probably says it all.  I had some wonderful times being a lil hippie.  

15.  New Years Eve.  They happen every year, but one in particular stands out to me.  I can see my college Klan all decked out to the nines (at least for college kids) with my apartment decorated in some sort of cheap-NY-style,  singing "Tiny Dancer" with champagne glasses in hand. 

16.  Internship.  I had an internship at the Muncie Star Press.  It was my first real taste at being a photographer, a paid photographer.  I loved it... and I still love it.  

17. Graduating.  I think I have to put this... I know a lot of people graduate college these days.  I am proud of myself for getting a B.A. in Photojournalism.  I'm glad that I was part of a lot of organizations like NPPA and the Daily News.  I was glad I made all those wonderful friends and had some amazing experiences at Ball State.  And then.... 

18. Oregon.  I moved to Oregon.  I graduated and decided that I would pack up my little Toyota and drive 2000+ miles across the country to a state I really knew nothing about. (The road trip with my sister is a fond memory.)  Obviously I loved it otherwise I wouldn't be writing this post from my home in Portland, Oregon six years later. 

19. Camera World.  My first job in Oregon, I was a lab tech at Camera World.  The job introduced me to some great friends and it made me grow up and take on some responsibility.  Plus, of course, I met David there. 

20. Sushi. I ate Sushi for the first time with David on one of our dates.  I know it seems kind of silly but I think that was the start of trying a lot of new things, especially when it came to food.  I love all types of food now and trying out new restaurants... it's one of my favorite things to do.  

21. Lukah!  Whether it's the first time that dog walked through my first apartment in Gresham, or when Lukah started to live with David and I over in St. John's or when the paperwork arrived in the mail officially declaring him MY dog, whichever moment you wanna pick to be #20 is fine with me.  Either way he's the greatest dog and he just simply makes me happy. 

22. Wine Tasting.  It started one day with a Chateau St. Michelle Riesling.  It's grown into knowing the differences between a Syrah and a Shiraz (really nothing, except the "z" one is from Australia) and being able to pick out things like "cloves" in a spicy red or "grapefruit" in the nose of a white.  I love wine tasting. 

23. Capturing Grace Photography.  Starting my own business has been really fun and definitely an educational experience.  Ever since I started the business it has been just that... fun and a lot to learn!   I'm always learning and growing and there isn't one shoot or one day with a camera in my hand that I regret being a photographer.  

24. Grace of God.  The day I gave my life to Jesus was and forever will be the greatest decision I've ever made. The day David and I were baptized together was a wonderful moment in our lives together.  

25.  July 18, 2008.  The day we were announced as "Mr. and Mrs. David LeGault."  I love my husband.  And quite frankly I could have made the wrong choice of where to live, or what to do for a living, but as long as David would have been part of the final product I know I would be happy.  

26. Volunteer.  I volunteer for the Pregnancy Resource Center.  There are a lot of things that people like to stand for and believe in and I think everyone should pick one and help the cause.  I'm against abortions and I found that the work that PRC does is a positive way to stand up for what I believe in with out having to stand in some brutal picketing or have a screaming match with someone who is pro choice.  I enjoy volunteering there and being one of God's working hands. 

27. Coach.  Becoming a coach has been such a blessing already. I love coaching high school swimming and I'm looking forward to next year already. 

28. Triathlete.  A great thing to check off the ol' bucket list.  I enjoyed training for the triathlon and competing. I look forward to doing it again. 

29. 1859 Cover.  It's one of those things that you can look back and say "I worked for this" plus you  can look forward and say "Great things will come become of this."  

30. Living.  Living, loving, breathing, failing, succeeding, working, resting, enjoying... living.  Turning 30 and not saying "boo-hoo, I'm old" but instead looking forward to my next three decades.  


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