Birthday Countdown

Today is officially two until weeks until August 20, my 20th birthday.
(Go Golden Birthday! It's your birthday! Yeah.YEah.)
I'm not gonna lie, it's crazy to me that I'm about to be 20.

20. What on eeearth?
One day, back years ago, when I was eight, I was sitting in my messy room, leaning on the window sill watching life unfold in my neighborhood.
Mother's loading up their vans to run errands, mailmen delivering dreaded bills, lawns filling with weeds, squirrels wreaking havoc in the automobile world, men pulling home from a long day at work. I was intrigued.

Then, coming down the sidewalk was Haley Brighten's older sister.

She was sooOooo cool.

She had her blonde hair and brown roots in a high messy bun. She was wearing tight jeans and a short pink shirt. And she was walking all by herself on the sidewalk near the road.
Ohhh sigh. "I can't wait until I'm 13. I want to be 13 so so so so bad!"

I had this earth-shattering desire to be a teenager. And couldn't wait. I tried to imagine how cool and beautiful I would look when I turned 13. (The glorious picture of my imagination is definitely not what happened in reality)
"Mom, I can't WAIT to be 13!"

The wise sage that is my mother told me "Kristen, trust me, someday you are going to wish you could be eight again. Growing up happens too fast, and you are only a kid once. Before you know it you'll be 20. Enjoy this now."

I kind of "hmmphgrred" my little child-self back to the window and watched Haley Brighten's sister fade into the distance. "But I wanna be big now."

I distinctly remember sitting there and thinking about that. Will I really be 20 in the blink of an eye? Will I really wish I could go back to being eight? Will growing up happen fast? What will happen in my life before I turn 20? And most importantly, will I be cool as a teenager?

World, I have answers.

Yes, it happened in the blink of an eye.
Yes, sometimes I do wish I could be eight again.
Yes, this growing up thing is happening much too quickly.

Since I was eight, I have moved three times, had the joy of becoming big sister to three more kids (making that seven Snyder children!), I have graduated highschool, played and coached 25+ seasons of sports, started my business, traveled ALL over the country and enjoyed the company of my darling friends :D

I've seen my mom lose her mother to breast cancer. I've also feared losing my mom to breast cancer (she's almost in remission!)
My soccer coach and best friend's mom is now enjoying the glories of Heaven, as are the two babies that we never got to hold (And Grandpa George, Darcy, Micah, Chase, Alivia, to name just a few who are missed).

I've been with friends in hospitals, memorial services, and graveyards.
I've cried on the phone, cried in the bathroom at church, cried in the car - regarding anything from lost phones to heartbroken woes.

Do I share these sob stories to make life seem horribly gloomy? Not at all. I say it because when I think back on the last 20 years, I hardly think of these difficult things.

"For you will not much remember the days of your life,
because God has kept you occupied with joy in your heart."

Ecclesiastes 5:20

It's so very true. God has kept me occupied with the joy - how can I be upset, when I see all He has done?! He's been quick to show even a little good in what seems like a dreadful situation. And oh, goodness, my life has been so wonderful! Such a blessing! He has been so kind to me and I don't deserve one bit of the goodness I have been given.

One thing I have learned is that life just doesn't go like you have planned, and I'm sure the ideas and notions I have about the next 20 years are going to be blown out of the water. It will probably be harder than I am picturing, and also much better and more wonderful. I'm excited :D

Oh, and no. I was not cool as a teenager. However, I can walk on the sidewalk by the road alone now, so, yeah. Don't be jealous.


  1. O, you are SO cool, walk on the side of the road . . . BY YOURSELF?
    way cool ;)

    It's so funny reading this, I wrote a post very similiar on my personal blog right before my 20th bday...what is it about leaving the teen years that seems so melancholy?

    I felt like I had to memorialize it in every way :)

    Love you adorable girl.... <3

  2. this is excellent! :)

  3. youuu got me all teary eyed. and made me feel old because holy moly i'm turning a whopping 21 this year!

  4. i'm 23 and wishing to be 20 again... :)

    it's such giddy-happiness when it's ur birthday month, isn't it?!!

  5. beautiful post friend. soon you will be 25 and people will call you old. ;-)

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  7. Anonymous6.8.09

    <3<3<3 wonderful post kristen!

  8. AHHH! My birthday is August 27th... ohhh those August girls! :)

  9. BEautifully Written! and that verse, the most beautiful verse, need to read it now. God Bless,

  10. Sweet!! Happy early birthday! Enjoy the day with your fam and friends! 8D 8D

  11. A. Happy (early) Birthday.
    B. I remember turning twenty and feeling the same way. [Though sometimes I'm still not allowed to walk by the road alone...:]

  12. Great post, Kristen! And great bday date - it's mine too. =) I cried when I turned 20 because I wasn't 19 anymore. ha ha!

  13. I love you Kristen, you are one of the most genuine females i know :) I love reading your honest and heartfelt blogs. Makes me feel like i knew you long ago haha. Im 26 now!! ahh!! I feel i will cry on MY golden bday when i turn 30! How time does really fly! But i will say, for such a young lady you are very smarty smart! Cuz my life so far has been a whirlwind of unimagined and unthinkable unfoldings. All of which have pointed directly to the Lords faithfulness! Youre a gem, happy birthday month :)

  14. what a mixture of emotions reading this:) I know how you feel..i'm 21 on Saturday! Congratulations on your accomplishments and I hope you have a happy happy a few days;)

  15. Anonymous6.8.09

    Thats so true, life does go too fast. My sister's birthday is on the 20th too! Happy early birthday!

  16. i miss you already, birthday month girl. :(

  17. Kristen, I'm turning 19 on Christmas day. I wish I were as cool as you.

    But honestly, I remember being 10 and wishing I could be older. And now i'm older, wondering what happened to the time? I always think of the story of Peter and the thread. Don't pull that thread, cause life moves quick enough on it's own.

    Amazing post, by the way. I read/drool-over-the-eye-candy of your blog quite often. =)

  18. Anonymous7.8.09

    Very touching and beautiful post Kristen!
    arielle joy

  19. love this post... ALOT!

    you're really a wonderful writer.

    i love those pictures of you too!

  20. special when you come (far enough to be able to :) look back on your makes me feel so nostalgic and sentimental. sniff.
    and that is one lovely gift of verse from Him...
    God bless you and may you grow in grace and love for Him!

  21. Hi Kristen, Have stalked your blog for a long time, ever since you took some pictures at my sister's wedding ( but haven't ever commented. Since then you've photographed lots of my family (Neil, Jess & kiddos, Solomon & Eva & kids, and Ryan & Veronica!) plus many friends and I've loved looking at your work. I really identified with your post here (I couldn't wait to be a "cool" teenager either, and those years flew by for me, too--not that I was cool). Let me just say the next few years fly by even faster, but I doubt you'll let them pass by without making the most of them! Christina Smart
    (Oh, and I think I was there for Jonalee's Turning-20 Breakdown...Cibecue, AZ missions trip?)

  22. Cool scarf.......miss you!


  23. You are going to be an amazing 20 year old.

    love you tons!!


  24. Hooray for birthdays! Mine is Friday and everyone is sick of me counting down! And let me tell you, time only starts to go by faster and faster with every waking moment...enjoy the ride.

  25. happy sweet 20th birthday!
    i juz go through my 19th birthday..
    and now i start to hoping my 20th would come slower..;p

    all the best to u~~


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