Tuesday, August 4, 2009


ever feel like you're driving in a car with a pit in your stomach because you're not that thrilled about your destination? i guess you could say that's how the last few weeks have been for me. truthfully, i've had this feeling since chad turned 30 back in march. and i was in a car with no breaks and no pit stops allowed. 30 was fast approaching and i had no control over it!

well, the destination is THIRTY and i have finally arrived.

can you say gorgeous flowers?! my good friend lanier orchestrated the cake, flowers, you know....everything!

you could say the angst surfaced when a good friend celebrated her 30th in February and chad celebrated his in March and i knew mine was fast approaching. i remember having this conversation with chad in the car about...well...a psuedo-mini-midlife-crisis. obviously 30 is not midlife but i think this season of my life represents a great divide between who i was and who i am now and what i'll never be again.


thanks to my loving and supportive parents, i HONESTLY grew up thinking i could do anything. become anything. go anywhere. succeed at whatever i chose. because of this, i spent my junior high years FULLY believing i'd be an astronaut. (i wish i were kidding.)

then in high school i went through a very 'live in the moment' phase and chose to not think about the future at all. then i was going to start a restaurant. then i was going to go to harvard. then i was going to become a famous singer (purchased the guitar and all!), then i was going to go to med school and become a surgeon. you know...a surgeon who doesn't have to see blood or deal with guts.

then i was going to become a radio host which quickly transitioned into whitehouse press secretary....

at least they made "30" look classy and pretty :)

it's pretty obvious why i was voted "Class Dreamer of 1997," when i graduated HS. should i add that it was insulting at the time because i had to pose for the yearbook photo seated between Class's Most Shy and Class's Most Quiet.
uhmmm....i was not impressed with this form of notoriety....

i never saw it coming. my husband had convinced me it was a dinner for our anniversary...and then opened the door...

unfortunately, this overactive imagination and false sense of opportunity did not translate into much ambition in college. i would give my right arm to go back to college, though it was because i have the world's most amazing friends. not because i did anything stellar in the classroom....

with that said -- i did actually graduate and proceeded to cry for 2 weeks. i do not deal well with closure. at all. so i moved home and continued to my job search.

(fortunately, my ambition served me well and i DID complete an internship in DC in 2001, and by early 2002, started driving to DC on days i didn't have class to interview for Hill positions....)

The Greatest Man Ever....

when i ready to give up...i told my parents i was going back to school for nursing. they were utterly exasperated by my ventures...yet...agreed i could do it.

two days later i landed a job with the Senate.
close call.

two years after that...i was appointed by the WH to head over to Iraq to work with the Coalition Provisional Authority/Green Zone with Ambassador Bremmer. sure. why not. hazard pay. single. 6mth commitment. WAR TIME COMMUNICATIONS DEPT!? resume!? killer story....I AM ALL IN! what's to lose....

then i moved to chicago.
to work at a publishing house. (huh?!)
i know.
got married....came back to DC....did more publicity stuff....and had a baby.
oh...and started my own photography business....(gosh i really AM so random)

3 course dinner with loved ones....

my twenties were CHOCK FULL of 'sky's the limit' situations and i truly felt unleashed. unfettered. the possibilities were endless. i had time to change my course, jump ship, go back to school, do WHATEVER I WANTED.....

the best game i ever played at a party..."2 truths & a lie"

i guess the last few months, i have reflected on all of this.
i can no longer close one door and open another without consequences.
i have a house.
a husband.
a baby.
commitments, people!

"after party" at our penthouse suite at Lorien Hotel & Spa

i've also started to wonder, "wow....30s, huh? next is 40s...and then 50s....," and have asked myself if i am proud of the past 30 years. what contribution have i made to those around me? what eternal contribution have i made to the Kingdom? is God pleased with my life thus far? what's left on my to-do list? what adventurous accomplishments do i still have left to make?

at any rate -- 30 has marked a season of transition. my choices may be limited and my future has more of a purpose of singularity and i'd probably be lying to say that i don't mourn the loss of 'freedom' in a selfish, strange way....not freedom from my family, but freedom from OPTIONS in this world, places to travel, things to take on....i would take my family with me on all of these imagined adventures if i could -- but i cannot -- so i choose my family first and foremost and let go of all these crazy, wild ideas in my head....

i guess it's called growing up, for a reason...

my goal is to embrace a more settled and stable life. to master ONE thing at a time, rather than to clutter my life with half-hearted projects and lists and ideas and ...and, well...live in haphazard fashion like i did in my 20's....

now that i am THIRTY, i KNOW who my friends are.
i KNOW what i love.
i KNOW what i have chosen to embrace and commit to.
i KNOW what my gifts and strengths are, and what my failures and weaknesses are...

and i know TRULY (i'm not just saying this!) that i would not trade anyTHING or anyONE for my family. my baby. my husband. my life of increasing peacefulness.

gifts & wine....wine....and more wine.

because, ultimately, what i have today is exactly what i wanted at the end of a long day on Capitol Hill. i still may eat take out and sleep odd hours. i may still wear heels at inappropriate times and neglect vacuuming my house. i may even still pretend i'm a government employee and wish the world were Republican....

but i do it all from my home, next to my baby, and exhale that i'm on the otherside of that. my 'drama' so far today is baby poop on PJs, coffee getting too cold and birthday phone calls interrupting my Intense Blogging Project de Jour. :)

and so i embrace 30 (gosh in the same way i embrace that my baby is ONE.....see! this week is so freaking dramatic?!) and am excited to see what THIS DECADE will bring! this year is a culmination of all my previous years....each of us is made of choices, experiences, happy times and sad times....it molds us and we become a product of it all.

the Morning After....hot greasy buffet. hit the spot!

and i am pleased with the result. where i am. who i love. where my priorities lie. and i am ultimately thankful that God has led and ordered my steps. He set my course and i could never express my gratitude ENOUGH for that....

oh hey, isaac! welcome to the club...where you been all my life?

so, farewell, twenties. it was a fun, crazy, impromptu decade full of insanity that somehow brings me to TODAY!

and thanks to everybody who has stuck by my side during that decade. your friendships mean more than you'll ever know. thank you for celebrating with me and for joining life with me. and you know....for throwing that ridiculously AMAZING party to help me over this hump. :)

i love you all.

...and i love growing up...


chrissy said...

ok i have tears in my eyes cuz i can fully relate to this blog. realllly. yes, i'm still 3 1/2 months from 30 but it's coming- quickly. but, i felt that sorta selfish 'entrapment' when i got married. no not cuz i married jay. cuz, i LOVE this. not actually CUZ i got married. but, because i have always coveted my freedom. i had a FULL 10 years of truly having the world at my finger tips. i could move anywhere i wanted (tho i didnt, lord knows i dreamed of random places and always knew...i could if i wanted to). i knew i could pick up and take a vacation if i had the money cuz, well, who would be able to stop me? who did i have to answer to? then, as i got married and we talked about moving to california and then he began talking about our commitments, wanting our near-future children to know our family and friends....i felt sad to let those years go. but then again, would i EVERRRR TRADE those years for this happiness? this blessing? these next years of JOY? NEVERRRRRR!

so, i can, like you, look back on those years with such joy and happiness at what God allowed me to learn about myself and the fun he allowed me to have. and then, i can look towards to future and realize, for whatever life i have left, God has NEW adventures and new blessings coming that i am TRULY overjoyed to get to experience.

thanks for sharing this. i love you ENDLESSLY! you're my cat.
happy 30th! enjoy today and remember to feel the little blessings around you.

kiss kiss.

chrissy said...

ps: in my 30's, i will learn to re-read what i wrote...checking for typos before i hit the enter button. sigh. :)

heather said...

i so hear you! growing up is HARD!

looks like a great party!! happy birthday! (i'm right behind you...though not til Feb:)

Julie Nickerson said...

Aww, this was just beautiful and so well said. I loved reading your posts.

love you my dear friend!


The Babcock Family said...

Looks like an amazing celebration! What a lucky girl you are. :)