Saturday, March 31, 2007

Golden Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me! Today is my 31st Birthday. 31 on the 31st. This past week I have been thinking of how my life has changed in the last 10 years.

I remember thinking 21 was so old, so sophisticated, so intelligent. I was young, thin, perpetually tan, and in love...ready to take on the world and all it had to offer. I had a job I enjoyed, made good money, and had just declared my major in Psychology. I still lived at home with Mom and Dad - so all my money went to me and what I wanted to do. I traveled to New York often to visit Matt at school. I got my hair done every six weeks, my nails done every two weeks, a facial, full body massage, and electrolysis once a month. I drove a white BMW 325 and had cute clothes - some of them even name brand and dry clean only! I was a regular visitor of places like Fashion Island and South Coast plaza, patronizing the counters of Bobby Brown, MAC and Laura Mercier. My key chain was a bottle opener and I had several purses, all of which were small, expensive and completely impractical - only enough room for a lip gloss, a mirror, my ID and breathmints. On weekends I would meet girlfriends out for a drink (or two), see movies on the night they debuted, sleep in, go to the beach and layout, and go running. When Matt was home, we'd go to restaurants that were dark, quiet, and expensive...share a bottle of wine and spend hours enjoying each other's company and conversation. The parties we attended were full of other 20-somethings, cocktails, loud music and lasted late into the night. On a minutes notice we'd jump in his truck and go to Mexico for the weekend - camping in the bed of his truck at various surf spots.

Flash Forward...I still consider myself young and I'm definitely in love, but thin and perpetually tan I am not! My "job" is staying home with the girls and taking care of two other friends' kids during the week. In doing which, I can say I use my Psychology degree everyday, but not in the way I imagined 10 years ago. And while Matt and I did just go to Puerto Vallarta for a wedding - the last time we "traveled" before that was our honeymoon almost 8 years ago! Money now goes to preschool tuition, student loans, diapers, groceries, and stuff for the girls. I get my hair done when we can afford it and haven't had a manicure, facial, massage or electrolysis in longer than I can remember. I now drive a Yukon XL - which I love - but it cracks me up to see FOUR (soon to be five) car seats in the back! If it isn't sold at Target or Old Navy, it probably isn't in my closet. Sticky, dirty fingers are ever present in my life, so if the tag reads dry clean only, I promptly put it back on the rack. Who has the time (or desire) to get 4 kids in and out of the car to drop off or pick up dry cleaning?! I am still a regular visitor of Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza - but now I patronize such places as the carousel, Auntie Anne's pretzels, and the water fountains. I still use Laura Mercier foundation - but only because it's the same bottle I've had for TWO years! That's how often I put on make-up. My keychain now is pictures of my children and my one purse is large and functional - stuffed to the brim with diapers, wipes, extra training pants, hair bows, goldfish, fruit snacks, sippy cups, disposable bibs...(the list goes on!) Now on weekends we are up at 6:30AM, take the dog to the beach, go to the park with the girls, clean house, do laundry, go grocery shopping and pretty much get ready to tackle the week ahead. If we do see a movie - it's at home on the couch, delivered from Netflix, and usually at least 6 months old. We still go out to eat, but dinner is at 5pm - in loud, bright, noisy places that have booths and booster seats and serve apple juice and chicken fingers. If it takes longer than an hour to order, eat and get back home...we probably wont go back. We still attend parties, but late into the night they are not! They are now full of toddlers, Disney characters, bouncy houses, and cupcakes. These parties are all said and done in time for naps. And while we do nothing on a minutes notice anymore, I can attest that a night's worth of sleep in the back of Matt's truck is better than a night's worth of sleep when you have a 2 year old with a cold!

There are times I walk around wondering "How did I get to 30?" Most days I feel like Matt and I are still 23. Just 23 with 2 1/2 kids and lots of responsibilities! Life now is crazier, busier, messier and more tiring. But I wouldn't go back. Life now is also bigger, better and so much more rewarding. I absolutely love being a wife and a mother. It's hard to imagine what life will be like in ten more years (eeek! 41 with kids 13, 12 and 10 years old!) But I pray I am as happy and content as I am today. I am so excited for the upcoming year. One that promises to be full of more life changing experiences - expected and unexpected. My birthday wish is for continued happiness and health (and a cool Summer, as I'll be huge and uncomfortable thru September!! :)

3 comments:

Joanna said...

Wow. Remember when it was SO important to have a mirror and breathmints in your purse at all times? I used to forget my keys all over the place, but the mirror and breathmints (or gum) I always managed to kept track of.
Your entry really took me back to some good 'ole days. That was such an interesting time of life. My how time changes things...

Libby said...

What a perfect essay on growing up. I remember feeling totally grown up at 16, then 18, then 21, then 26... and now somehow at 31 I totally don't! But I love my life now and despite occasionally wishing back to the days of sleeping in, fancy haircuts and dry clean only clothes, I wouldn't change it for the world! I can't even imagine how things will feel at 41, but I'm sure we'll be there soon enough...

Erin said...

My husband reminded me how much happens between 11 and 21...and I'm chosing to believe that's how far off 41 is from now! :)

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