September 15, 2014

so now I'm 30.

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. I don't normally do much outside of our family to celebrate- my favorite dinner made by Nick, a pedicure, a day of hanging out with my boys. But this year I decided that since it was a big birthday, I'd have a little extra fun. We invited a bunch of our friends to brunch at Heirloom (quickly becoming my go-to spot in Athens) and spent a cool morning eating, talking, laughing, and chasing toddlers around :) It was a wonderful balance of my usual slow-paced celebrations and the fun of socializing at a birthday party. 

Alden got to see his BFF for the first time since they both changed schools and they were up to their usual mischief about 30 seconds later :) It's so fun to watch him develop friendships and to see them interact, especially now that they both talk so much more. 

B sneaking a look at me while Alden tries to figure out how to climb up the wall

playing at the table
My parents came in for the weekend to celebrate with me and I always love seeing Alden spend time with them. As soon as Mimi walks through the door, Nick and I basically cease to exist in Alden's eyes. Every few minutes we hear, "Mimi? Mimi?" because Alden wants her to do everything with him while she's here. It is so sweet :) Plus, we managed to grab a Mama Daughter pedicure on Saturday afternoon. It reminds me of all the times we would go to the nail salon together when I was still living at home and it's such a great way to spend an hour or so just us. I never realized how much I would miss time with just my parents after we had Alden. It seems like every time we see them now our time is so full of kid stuff that we don't get a lot of time to just hang out with them.

tickle monster! 
When you find yourself upon a milestone birthday, it's natural to think back on the years and evaluate where you've been. Whether you did all the things you wanted to, accomplished everything you wanted to, or are in the place that you had hoped to be by now. I can honestly say that while nothing has gone according to "my plan", I am so very happy with where I ended up.

I'm not particularly sad to leave my 20's behind. I'm really, really crazy excited for my 30's. I feel better about who I am, where I'm going, and the path that I'm on now than I ever did in my 20's. The last decade, for me at least, was spent doing a lot of self-searching, growing, and learning to follow my instincts. I spent a lot of time discovering my passions, learning to let go of things that weren't getting me anywhere, growing up, and adjusting to being on my own as a real life adult. I feel better about the surface things, too. I feel more confident in my style, I don't worry so much about the number on the scale or the labels in my closet, I can look at a trend and hate it and then feel fine about not embracing it. I can watch nerdy shows and read nerdy books and feel great about the fact that, somewhere, other people are enjoying the same things and that, in time, I will find those people and we will get along famously. I can walk into a room without knowing anyone, reach my hand out to a stranger, introduce myself, and feel good having a conversation with them. I can network, I can sell my skills, and I feel good about what I have to offer. Even better, I know that I haven't figured all of it out and that I can still get better at all of these things AND I feel okay about not being 100% there yet.

The pressure to find the job, find the guy, build the career, buy the house, etc., etc. is gone. I'm still working on some of those things but I don't feel like I'm racing anyone anymore.

My twenties were this:

sorority meetings and greek parties
meals in the dining hall
late nights in the library with study groups
my dad having open heart surgery and me learning what it's really like to be scared
my 21st birthday with champagne, good friends, and a kiss from a boy I was just getting to know 
lots of dancing
staying up to watch the sunrise with friends and drinks and rooftops
lots of bars
lots of studying (undergrad, grad school, various classes in between...)
lots of papers, tests, and grades
getting engaged
graduating college
my first bout of unemployment
moving home
breaking off an engagement 
my first "big girl" job with benefits, retirement, and all that good stuff
buying my first car
meeting my husband
my first passport
my first trip abroad
getting engaged on a bridge in Venice, Italy
our wedding
a house with 4 dogs!
moving to Georgia
buying our first house
grad school (for both of us)
watching family grow up, get married, go to college
amazement at the terrific scientist my husband has become
internship at CDC
graduating with my MPH
my second bout of unemployment
saying goodbye to my sweet childhood puppy
welcoming our beautiful boy into the world
complete exhaustion
falling in love with our new family even harder than I thought possible
finding my calling
celebrating 5 years of marriage with my soulmate
our first nephew
and almost 2 beautiful years of watching our son grow and learn

If you had asked me 15 years ago what I would be doing at 30, my answer would have been SO different.

I've never been so happy to be wrong.

Although, I wouldn't mind going back to before I had these little wrinkles around my eyes and starting some miracle skin care routine that would prevent them from ever showing up. I'm not that well-adjusted ;)

finally got a little smile :) 
much love, 

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