Photo by Maria-Lise Young Photography.

I'm 35 today. I can no longer pretend that I'm in my early-thirties because I'm now as mid-thirties as you can get! How did this happen? When I was in my twenties I always hoped I'd one day grow up, find a great job, buy a house, have kids, maybe get married... I guess I just never pictured it actually happening. Sometimes I still think that it's crazy that Corey and I are attending Parent Nights at Rudy's school. Then I look at us and think "Who invited these dorks?" I guess that's how it happens to everyone: Your adulthood sort of creeps up and surprises you and by the time it happens, you're
teetering on the border of middle age... Okay, maybe I'm not at the border just yet but I can see it without using binoculars so it's closer than I thought. ;)

The Type-A in me uses birthdays to measure whether I'm meeting my goals and for the first time in many years I'm feeling quite content. Usually, in the aftermath of a birthday, I'm motivated to make a huge change: start a new project, try for another baby, buy a new house. This year, I can actually say that I have everything I immediately want and much much more than I need. Sure, we'll continue renovating our house. I'll always strive to improve at work; be a better mom; lose the baby weight... but at this moment, I couldn't ask for any more than I have and I'm feeling incredibly grateful.

This past year has brought us many good things like new friends, a new home and a new member of the family. It was also one of the most emotionally and physically difficult of my life. I wouldn't trade our amazing Maude for anything but I'm happy to put this past year behind me. Pregnancy was not easy for me and, while I love Maude fiercely, I'm tired of having a newborn and excited at the prospect of having two children rather than a child and a baby. As we're learning with Rudy, each year brings it's own challenges and worries but the monotony of life with a newborn suffocates me. I've come to realize that I don't need to love every stage as long as I love my kids and just accepting that fact has brought me a lot of relief.

On my last birthday, I was not yet pregnant with Maude and we had not even decided to move... although we bought our house one week later. What a difference one year can make!

I began the day at 5 a.m. after Rudy woke up from a bad dream and we let her crawl into bed with us to watch a movie. I'm ending it now after finishing some paperwork and eating the better part of a caramel crunch birthday cake (right out of the box) with Corey for dinner. Not exactly glamorous but I loved the extra cuddles I got from Rudy this morning and the cake was from friends who wanted to brighten my day. So, despite my day being long, it was filled with love and a lot of reminders that I have so much to be thankful for. There is sweetness in the exhaustion.

So that's how I've left 34 behind: thankful for all that I have (with my family at the top of that list) but also very happy to close the door on 34 and look toward the future!


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