39 Things I’ve Learned in 39 Years

I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t write this post today because I spent the morning cleaning and I all I really want to do right now is sit on the couch and veg out in front of the Bachelor, BUT this post has been niggling at the back of my mind for a couple of months now and I think I would regret it if I didn’t write it so… you’re getting it (whether you want it or not).

So with that said. My birthday was on Tuesday and I did, in fact, turn 39… so let me share my tremendous wisdom with you (but after 39 things my wisdom is depleted) 😉

  1. If you have the willpower to pretend long enough that you can’t hear your kids screaming for you, eventually they will come and find you.
  2. It is absolutely okay to eat on paper plates sometimes.
  3. At some point you have to make a choice: you can either live life pretending to like things you don’t actually like for the sake of what other people think or you can pursue the things you actually do like. I wasted a lot of time on the former and I wish I hadn’t.
  4. You can drink all the green juice in the world, but your body can still fail you at a moments notice. I realized somewhere along the way that eating healthy was important to me, but that ultimately it isn’t my savior.
  5. Same goes with what I feed my kids. It would be nice to feed them only handmade, minimally processed food. But they have sensory issues with food and I’m a frazzled mom so now I’m just proud of myself when I can get them to eat a full meal of anything.
  6. Taking naps is a really good idea.
  7. So is doing exercise that doesn’t make you feel stressed out… in fact, here’s a well kept secret: exercise should make you feel less stressed out.
  8. Don’t do TikTok.
  9. or Facebook.
  10. or Instagram.
  11. Okay if you have to, choose who you follow wisely my friends. Dig deep, notice how each person makes you feel. What do you do immediately after you get off of the app? Study yourself in the mirror and point out all of your flaws? Get on a website and buy a ton of stuff you don’t even want? And I KNOW. I know what I do. But I HOPE you’re not buying stuff I recommend because you are feeling bad about yourself, but because you feel equipped to make a good purchasing decision.
  12. Life is too short to go through it wishing you were someone else. I am who I am and I’m glad for it. I have lots of wrinkles and I’m not getting botox for them. I won’t get filler to make my lips match the trends, and it’s because I’ve learned how damaging it is to a younger generation (and older generations too) to portray the idea that no one ages. So here I’ll be with my wrinkles and skinny lips… a lone ship in the night (ha) hoping to set the example that it’s okay to have real skin, real hair and real cellulite, etc.
  13. I’ve kind of made a very loose pact with myself that I’m not going to buy a bunch of designer bags. That’s not to say I don’t like them, but I think this whole idea that we should be able to own multiple designer bags is outrageous and completely out of touch. I don’t mind spending money on nice clothing, but there is a line thats crossed where fashion becomes out of touch and creates an expectation that is unrealistic for the average person.
  14. red lipstick should be worn for regular occasions.
  15. drink water when you are thirsty and not because someone told you one that you need to drink a gallon a day in order to be healthy (unless you are pregnant with twins then yes, you should be drinking a gallon a day).
  16. Grief has no timeline. You are not failing at it if it you are “still not over it.”
  17. Medicine helps. For all sorts of things. Don’t ever feel ashamed for needing it.
  18. Create routines that work for you, not routines that work for other people.
  19. Minimalism is a really good idea, but it’s also not going to make you a better person or like solve all your problems. It’ll just help you not trip over a bunch of stuff and cut down on your cleaning time.
  20. It’s better to say less than more.
  21. Living with chronic illnesses is really, really hard. Especially because it can feel so isolating and like what you are going through is invisible.
  22. I used to want to have a ton of followers on Instagram because I thought it would make me happy. Now I’m SO thrilled to have the amount that I do and I actively try not to grow. I’m being serious. I’m blessed enough to make a good living from what I do, I’ve built some great relationships with brands, but I don’t have to deal with the huge mental toll of really harsh comments, etc. In fact, you guys are all really, really wonderful and I just have no desire to change where I’m at. I’d rather have my mental health than a bunch of followers and more money.
  23. Spring and summer is better than fall and winter.
  24. Spring and summer dressing is WAY better than fall and winter dressing.
  25. Buying a robot vacuum was the best decision of my life (or at least one of them).
  26. Things do get better. There are seasons that are dark. Like so dark you can’t see how you will ever get through them, but you do… even if it takes longer than you want it too.
  27. Stanley water bottles are great for at home water drinking, but Camelbak’s are far superior for on the go.
  28. Trends come and go, but always, always stick to what you like.
  29. Don’t listen to what other generations have to say about what’s cool or not. When everyone was freaking out about Gen Z saying skinny jeans and side parts weren’t in anymore, I just couldn’t get it. Why would I, an almost 40 year old women take style advice from a generation 20 years younger than me? No thanks!
  30. Your kids will say all kinds of hurtful things to you, but what they are really saying is I’m hurting SO big right now and this is the only way I know how to communicate it.
  31. Being a mom to kids with ADHD is really, really hard. Way harder than I ever imagined. But therapy really helps.
  32. I’ve learned that not knowing what to do is okay because God knows. I just have to be obedient and take one step forward every day.
  33. God is good, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like He is. And it’s really scary to feel like He’s not.
  34. Even when it feels like every person you trusted to guide you in your faith has turned into a monkey, God has not… which is a really good thing.
  35. Don’t take those at home allergy test things… they just really mess with your mind.
  36. Instacart and Doordash = genius.
  37. The world is like really crazy.
  38. When they say not to use Q-tips in your ears, they aren’t lying to you.
  39. And finally, something I’ve learned very recently: the middle is worth living. We always focus on the beginning and the end, but the middle is worth focusing on too. What we are doing right now, right here is beautiful. I’ve had years and years of hardship, and there have been so many days where I’ve just wanted to see how it all turns out. Like okay Lord! I just want to know that it was all worth it! Will my faith be stronger at the end of this? Will I have a testimony that ministers to lots of women? What am I going to get out of all of this pain? But the truth is maybe none of that. Maybe what I’m getting out of it is today. Right now. An opportunity to minister today. Not to lots of women, but to four little people who need me very much. Sure there will be an end to my story, but the real sweat and blood is what’s happening right now. So I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned in 39 years is to understand that God truly did call me for such a time as this. His purposes and plans are being worked in and through me right now.

Well that’s all I’ve got for you guys today, I hope you enjoyed this little peak into my twisted little mind. 😉 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and HOPEFULLY you all get warmer weather than we will. 🙂

Until next time,


Leave a Comment


  1. 3.17.23
    Kate said:

    What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for writing this! I loved the combination of funny and serious, because not every lesson has to be a heavy one, right?
    And also, AMEN SISTER on the no Botox and fillers. Let’s all just age gracefully and be beautiful because we are who we are.

    • 4.3.23
      Laura said:

      You said it perfectly!

  2. 3.17.23
    Tara Rasmus said:

    Beautiful, beautiful post, Karin. Loved reading this. Happy birthday!!!

    • 4.18.23
      Jennifer James said:

      Love this list and glad I’m not the only one who is going against the grain of getting botox and such! The older I get the less I focus on my looks and appreciate myself for better reasons. 30s are the best!

  3. 3.17.23
    priya supnekar said:

    As someone who just turned 40, this post resonated with me so much..thank you!

  4. 3.19.23
    jess said:

    Really appreciate you!!! Here’s to your post at 93 years, I’ll still be reading, God willing! Team tiny lips. Really loved #12 and #39 thank you for this 💕

  5. 3.23.23
    Karey Bakker said:

    I just found your site this morning while sorting out some Madewell denim questions. Your madewell and everlane denim review posts were really helpful! BUT, I am am even more grateful for this post. So much of it resonated with me. Thank you!! 🙂

  6. 3.24.23
    Jane said:

    Love reading this. Numbers 4, 26 and 30 are so very on point! Happy birthday 🙂

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