I'm 29 (and other associated realizations)

Monday, September 30, 2013

On Sept. 3, I turned 29.

Not 30.

So why did it feel like 30?

Never has a birthday hit me so hard. And when I say hard, I mean that I spontaneously burst into tears sporadically for a few days surrounding the event.

I really don't know why I was so upset. I'm pretty much exactly where I thought I would be in life at age 29. I don't have any big regrets. I have a handsome hubby, two sweet pups, a new home, a great job, and an overall blessed life.

I felt like a brat, really. Why was this thing - this number - getting to me??

I think this is why:
  •  It has been 10 years since my 19th birthday, which was my first bday in college. Meaning it's been 10 years since freshman year of college. WHAT??
  • I got Penny for my 20th birthday. She is now 9 years old. I freak out about her aging and one day dying (I'm terrified)
  • My 21st birthday was 8 years ago. This doesn't even seem possible.  
  • I graduated college at 22. Which will be 7 years ago in December. Ouch.
  • I met Alex at age 23. Which was, for that reason, arguably one of the best years of my life. But it seems like yesterday. 
  • At 24, I was knee deep in grad school and spent my days writing a thesis. Not that I want to go back to that, but I can't believe that was 5 years ago.
  • I moved to SC at 25, away from my family and friends (chasing after love...and it paid off!)
  • I got married at age 26. Such a baby :)
  • 27 was a blur of first year of married life - which was, truth be told, a good year and a year filled with lessons of all sorts. I had a job change and felt settled in my career. 
  • At age 28, we sold our first house, bought our second house, had a job change, and moved to another city in a matter of weeks.
  • And now I'm 29.
When I lay it all out there like that, it's pretty scary how quickly a decade goes by. 

The lesson I take from all of this? Enjoy your twenties, ladies! And I will enjoy the last 338 days (or so) of mine. 


(PS - I am feeling much better now that a few weeks have passed since my birthday!)

So long, summer: you were a rollercoaster.

Monday, September 23, 2013

So long, summer.

I am a Fall girl, for sure. But I still enjoy the carefree mindset of summer, when it’s perfectly acceptable to wear sandals to work and have visible tan lines.

However, I may have never been so happy to have summer behind me. This summer was not a bad one – just one full of change, of very high highs and down and dumpy lows.

From the end of May until just the last few weeks, our emotional rollercoaster has gone like this:
  • Alex is the new assistance men’s golf coach at a major SEC school – YEAH!
  • We have to sell our house that we built – SAD
  • We get to look at new houses in Columbia – FUN!
  • I have to quit the job that I love – NOOO!
  • We went on an amazing 8-day trip to Italy – LOVE!
  • We came back and had to pack up our house – UGGGHHHHH
  • I got a job in Columbia after only 1 interview – AWESOME!
  • We moved out of our beloved first home – TEARS
  • But we sold the house before it even officially hit the market – ANSWERED PRAYER!
  • All of our stuff was in storage and we were “homeless” for 3 weeks – ANNOYING
  • We found our second home and made an offer that was accepted – EXCITING!
  • I had to say good-bye to my job and my friends in Greenville in a 24-hour span – MORE TEARS
  • But the next day we got the keys to our new home – YAY!

So yeah – farewell summer. I’m ready to get off this ride now, thanks.

Although the season of fall itself does not signal new beginnings – in fact, it means that the trees and animals are going into hibernation and everything is about to get ugly in the winter – but this fall is about new beginnings for us. It’s about embracing our new city and exploring our new neighborhood. It’s about finding the perfect rug for the dining room and just the right mirror for the mantle. It’s finding new doctors, a vet, a drycleaner, and a monogramming place (priorities).

I’m ready to get out of our season of change and into this glorious season of crisp air, scarves, and pumpkins that renews my spirit every year and is especially appreciated this year. Here’s to Autumn days ahead!

The view this past weekend from my family's place in NC. It won't be long before the leaves at the cabin will be every shade of crimson, rust and gold

What I did (and didn't do) at age 28 {Happy Birthday to me!}

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Today’s the day: I’m 29! Last year on my birthday, I listed 28 things I wanted to do while I was 28. Some were one-time things, others were ongoing; some were to-do’s that I had been meaning to cross off, while others were larger, long-term goals.

As I read over this list, it reminded me how many things can change in a year. When I made the list, Alex and I had been married just over a year. He had just started a new job in medical sales and I was relatively new at my job in Greenville. Life was looking like it would be pretty stable and predictable (in a good way). We were optimistic about new opportunities – opportunities that have since been replaced with new opportunities, in a new house in a new city. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

How did I do over my 365 days of being 28? How many goals did I accomplish, and what didn’t get crossed off my list?

1.      Go apple picking for the first time ever - DONE!
2.      Start baking for fun on a regular basis again  - and share with my neighbors and work peeps - some success toward the beginning, but I wouldn’t say this was a total check.
3.      Discover a new TV show that Alex and I both love - Done! We started watching Revolution and Nashville in their first seasons. Can't wait for them to return in a few weeks!
4.      Send at least one "just because" snail mail note per month - my new stationery did not help. I would call this a fail.
5.      Make my goal weight in time for my reunion (Oct. 27!!) ...and maintain it - Well this was "done" in time for my 10 year reunion - but I gained some back. But I'm back at it again and hope to be at my goal weight again soon!
6.      Have a great time at my 10 Year High School Reunion :) - DONE!
7.     Start planning and saving for a big vacation with Alex (we're thinking Italy in 2013!) our 8 days in Italy were possibly the best 8 consecutive days Alex and I ever had together! We had a blast! All the years spent thinking about it and planning for it were worth it.
8.      Go on a weekend getaway to a place we've never been - we went to DC last September - even though we'd both been, we'd never been together. We were so busy going here and there (to places we had already been to) that we didn’t get a full weekend of exploring anywhere brand new to both of us.
9.      Start and finish our engagement and wedding showers/parties/bach party/etc scrapbook - still haven't started it. Maybe before I’m 30??
10.   Send out more Christmas cards than last year - Done!
11.   Create a Household Budget and stick to it - since Alex changed jobs more than once (technically 3 times) since last September, this has been next to impossible. And I recently started a new job because of the move. But we have a new budget drafted and I think we can stick to it. Feeling good about this one!
12.   Plan a surprise party for someoneDONE! I got Alex pretty good for his 30th in January.
13.   Update my Passport with my married name - and then USE IT!  DONE and DONE!
14.   Paint the Study and attach the bookcases to the wall (safety first) this was meant for our home in Greenville (of course, before I knew we would be moving). But I am happy to report that this has been DONE in the new house! Pics to come soon!
15.   Have a Pinterest Party – nope – maybe this year!
16.   Plant bulbs in the winter and watch them bloom in spring - DONE! I planted lilies :)
17.   Host more than one dinner party throughout the year - DONE! Hosted several formal and informal get-togethers (December, Easter, Memorial Day)
18.   Get rid of one piece of clothing for every one new piece purchased  I started out strong, then wavered, and then got rid of a ton of clothes before the move. So I would count this as done!
19.   Use our wedding china - DONE! Used at our dinner party in December and at Easter. 
20.   Organize the Golf/Work-out room and make it more usable - DONE! Currently working on Round 2 of this in the new house!
21.   Run a 5K (scary - I hate running) - I started the Couch to 5k training program in March, but then we went to Italy…and packed up our house…and moved…and the treadmill was in storage…
22.   Get serious about our savings - in the last year, we paid down a lot of debt and have contributed to our savings. Our tax refund helped, too!
23.   Host a big, old-fashioned summer cook-out - DONE! Memorial Day with our neighbors
24.   Learn how to play golf - Alex has promised to teach me...but still no progress (or time!) But we have a lifetime for this. 
25.   Attend a dressy/fancy event with the hubs and get all gussied up - DONE! We went to the JLG's Big Night Out in February
26.   Have a true girls' weekend one is planned for later this month with my Greenville girls! So I'm counting this as done :)
27.   Build regularly scheduled massages into the budget (it's for my health, I swear. I SWEAR.) – Sadly, this did not happen.
28.   Be more spontaneous and try not to sweat the small stuff. Life is too short! – This will be an ongoing struggle for me, since I’m such a planner. But I do think I have done a teeny bit better about it over the last year!

I thought about making a new list for things to do before I’m 30, but I’m not sure I’m going to do that. The fact that I will turn 30 in a year is enough to deal with! Ha! Sure, there are things I want to do over the next 365 days, but who knows what life has in store for us this next year. The only thing I really want to check off a list is to enjoy my last year in my 20s and embrace 30 when it arrives September 3, 2014!

Why being born on Labor Day is awesome (and also why it's not)

Monday, September 2, 2013

On Labor Day in 1984, I was born. Yep, Mom took the day literally, as the joke in my family goes. That year, Labor Day fell on September 3rd, so tomorrow is my 29th birthday (yeeeeee - how did that happen?!). Of course LD falls on a different day each year, but having a birthday that falls on or close to this day is pretty sweet. Here's why: 

1) It's a national holiday. It might possibly be the most random of national holidays, but it's one that everyone loves. Therefore, I have always had a 3-day weekend to celebrate my birthday. An extra day off from school or from work = happy birthday to me! 

2) The sales. Retailers are always looking for a reason to have "the biggest sale of the season" but LD sales are legit. It's the end of summer AND a holiday weekend. Yummy. 

3) LD weekend is the first full weekend of college football. My 21st fell on a Saturday, so it was the opening Gator game of the year. I celebrated with 90,000 other Gator fans. So. Much. Fun. 

4) It's the end of summer, which means bring on the pumpkin-flavored-and/or-scented everything! And don't forget the candy corn! 

5) You can legitimately get away with wearing white one last time for the season, if you so choose. 

But there are also a few reasons why it can stink:

1) As a kid, you can't have a birthday party on LD weekend. Everyone's at the beach. 

2) As an adult, you can't have a birthday party on LD weekend. Everyone's at the beach. Or a football game.

3) Every restaurant you'd want to dine at in celebration is closed for the long weekend (which is exactly what happened tonight - we found an open place downtown on the 4th try!)

So overall, the goods outweigh the bad. The 3 day weekend alone is worth it. 

I love the fact that I was born on Labor Day. Wouldn't have it any other way. So here's to one last night as a 28 year old! Cheers! 

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