©2010 Joellen Armstrong


I am now 36 years old; that’s halfway to 72. In honor of my love of lists I thought I’d make a list of accomplishments of firsts that have occurred since my last birthday.

  1. Went back to college.
  2. Lost over 30 lbs.
  3. Sent all of my kids out of my home for schooling.
  4. Survived a major surgery. I won’t mention that it caused the 30 lb loss.
  5. Started telling people that I’m a professional photographer.
  6. Gained several new wrinkles around my eyes that I never noticed until I uploaded the photo above.
  7. Took a spur of the moment trip to L.A. with a man I hardly knew. In my defense, he is well-trusted by one of my best friends so I trusted him. He has now moved up the friendship ranks from “man I hardly knew” to “one of my greatest friends”.
  8. Bought spendy high heels that are actually comfortable to wear.
  9. Ran a 5K.
  10. Got my nose pierced in celebration of the above.
  11. Completed a half marathon.
  12. Tasted the sweetness of Forgiveness.
  13. Survived the swine flu.
  14. Got a puppy…and fleas to match.
  15. Took my first family road trip to California.
  16. Drove in L.A. It was only 2 years ago I told my friend, “I will never meet your friends in Hollywood and I will NEVER drive in L.A.”
  17. I met his our friend at church in Hollywood. I drove there. I also survived.
  18. I’ve learned how to really communicate. There is certainly room for improvement, but I have come so far.
  19. Kept a secret long enough to surprise my good friend Leslie on my spur-of-the-moment trip to L.A.
  20. While in L.A. the first time I projectile vomited in my friend’s friend’s bathroom. I didn’t tell anybody. I just cleaned it up and decided right then and there that I would NOT be attempting to eat for the rest of the trip.
  21. Called on some women to pray for me. In all of my years of walking with Jesus I had never called friends to pray for me in a moment of crisis like I did this last year. I’ve only done it once.
  22. I have lost a friend.
  23. I have gained a few.
  24. I have deepened relationship with many.
  25. Met a man with my same birthday, but he’s a year older and my kids fondly call him Robot. He read The Velveteen Rabbit to a group of us at The Wildwood in Willamina. He’s also a Hollywood actor.
  26. I met, hugged, and ate food made by another Hollywood actor, Dennis Hill. He was recently in an episode of Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns”.
  27. Bought some good bras. Figured I was mature enough to do such a thing.
  28. Shopped at Nordstrom’s.
  29. Broke a cast iron skillet.
  30. Coordinated a house concert.
  31. Hosted 4 great Hollywood musicians the night of the house concert.
  32. I glowed. Sometimes I still glow, but sometimes I forget.
  33. Learned Learning to not always believe the voices in my head 🙂
  34. Learning to trust even when it’s super scary and I find it hard to believe what I’m told.
  35. I was brave enough to go to the WPPI roadshow and meet one of my favorite photographers.
  36. Reunited with my childhood bestie, Jess Wiley.

Maybe my next list will be 37 things I want to change in my 37th year.