Friday, June 11, 2010
I celebrated my 32nd birthday Monday and I have been reflecting on the many milestones in my life in the last year. It's funny to even see the number 32 because I swear I don't feel a day over 26. Why 26, which is the age I jokingly tell people when they ask how old I am, of all the ages I've been, why 26? I realized I definitely still feel like I'm in my 20's but I can't go back before 25 because that's when Tate was born, and his birth making me a mom is such a big part of my life that I most certainly cannot possibly feel younger than when he has been a part of my life. There are certainly things about my life that feel younger than 26, but "mommy" became a part of me and it's not going anywhere EVER. I still love to do all the things I did at 26 - exercise daily, eat yummy food, have drinks with friends and family, blast the music in the car with the sunroof open (and maybe sing, sometimes), learn new things, be a teacher, read smut, shop, savor each season but count down to the next, sit in the sun, SMILE. Maybe it's that all these things are a part of me and that isn't going to change year to year, but this year has been different to put it mildly and if there was ever a year for change, this was it. But all those things remained constant, with a few happy additions, and a few sad deletions, but ME is still ME, and that's a good feeling.
A year ago I thought I was moving back to Colorado, ready to hit the reset button in a sense and start over where I thought I would be home and safe. That all came crashing down around me just a few days after my birthday. What a difference a year makes. This year I was spoiled with a visit from my Dad, a weekend of busy summer activities, and a nice dinner on my actual birthday. My dad arrived on Thursday and stayed through the weekend, he left Sunday afternoon. He got the full welcome of me at the airport with 4 kids to pick him up. He got to meet Todd, Todd's kids, Todd's parents, my wonderful colleagues and friends at work. He went to lunch with Tate at school and spent the morning with Avarie on Friday. We had a wonderful dinner with Todd's parents and all the kids on Saturday night. I was spoiled with delicious barbecue dinner and spoiled with presents. I'm not someone who likes a bunch of presents and such (hated wedding and baby showers) but I have found someone who insists on spoiling me now no matter what the occasion. Todd helped the kids pick out a new sunshine charm for my Pandora bracelet (a sunshine that looks eerily like my tattoo) and Todd got me a beautiful jewelry box to hold all the treasures he spoils me with. I got two other charms from Bridgette (a cupcake) and their parents (a flip flop). We all went to church on Sunday morning to celebrate Bridgette's son Dylan's First Communion which turned out to be a bit dramatic but everything turned out ok. We took my dad to the airport Sunday afternoon which was an easier goodbye than usual because I get to see him again in July.
Monday was back to work and school as usual, although I haven't worked on my birthday since college, but there's nothing like a group of four year olds to help you celebrate. That and an awesome basket of wine and chocolate from my teammate. After work, school and the bus stop, we went out to a wonderful dinner at a local Italian restaurant where we ate bruschetta, black ink pasta and steak. We laughed and talked and enjoyed our dinner and I couldn't help but smile to remind myself of last year. It's funny how little moments make you realize the things about yourself that you celebrate every year. I couldn't have kept all those pieces of me that I described above without the wonderful people who have supported me in every way in the last year, the good, the bad and everything in between. I never thought any of this could happen to me but I'm so grateful for the person I have become, the person I've been for these 26 (plus 8) years.