Today is my 32nd birthday.

Approaching this birthday, it felt like a big one- a little scary. I had no trouble with 30, but 32 feels like I am in my 30s. Mid-30s.  30 is just over the line from one's 20s. 32 is in it.

But here we are and it's not really scary at all. I took a look around and it turns out I'm exactly where I want to be and where I'd hoped to be at this point in my life.

I have an amazing partner in life who makes me laugh and makes me brave.
We have a sweet and spunky daughter who has an endless supply of hugs and kisses to give.
We have our own home that is a cozy, comfortable work-in-progress, where we laugh and play records and gather with the people we love for meals and conversation.
I am surrounded by a supportive, loving, and fun circle of friends and family.
I have a career I enjoy, and I'm able to work less-than-full-time outside the home- something I'd always hoped would work out during the "raising young children" phase of my life.
In the past year, we have traveled as a couple and as a family (and we have plenty more travel in the year ahead- as a couple and as a family).

This morning, my kid sang me 'happy dirthday' and stated that "today is Mommy's white birthday. Next year is Mommy's pink birthday." (????). Last night she told me about sleeping waterfalls.

A 25-year-old co-worker told me that I "seem much younger than 32".  I had no problem with that statement.

So, hello 32. It's nice to meet you - you're not so scary. I think we're going to have a great year together.


Our Friends

A few weeks ago, Julia and Seth and Sarah came over for dinner and a little quality time. It was one of those nights when I was reminded just how amazing our circle of friends is. Hold on, I'm going to get pretty mushy here.

As Pat and I worked on throwing together dinner, Julia, Seth, and Sarah were in the playroom with Evy. Every so often they broke into song - serenading Evy with the Beatles, singing "Over the Rainbow" with her, or creating a soundtrack to whatever she was playing with. I could hear the eruption of toddler belly laughs. Oh how she adores Sa-ah and Jooya and Seph. (I have a feeling it's mutual.)

And I am so so grateful for the relationships my daughter is building with our friends.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what would happen to our friendships when we had a baby. We were the first among our local friends to become parents, and I'd heard nothing but negative stories about how friendships change once you become a parent. I worried that we'd lose some friends as we adapted to life with a little one.

But I forgot - these are our friends we're talking about.

Our friends are full of love and awesome. Truly.

They didn't leave us behind. They opened up the circle and pulled our daughter in. They pile on the love. They are funny and goofy and sweet with her. Friends near and far have treated our daughter with such kindness that it almost makes my heart hurt to think about. They come over to read books and color, they send her postcards and sweatshirts in the mail, they spend evenings having Facetime pizza parties with her, they make her laugh and laugh.

Someday, when she's a teen and mad at me for something, I know she'll be able to call Sarah or Julia or Beth or Janet or Grace or Seth or any number of our friends. They'll take her out for coffee and commiserate about how hard it is to be a teenager ( and maybe stick up for me a little?).

And, not that there's any pressure for anyone else to start having babies, but- I love being able to pile on the same kind of love as more little ones are born into our sweet, fun, wacky circle.



Here are my traditionally late goals for the year. I always feel like I'm missing something (hence the reason that I've had this post written but unpublished for a month) but here goes:

2013 Goals

1. Reclaim evenings that have been lost to the internet. To make this happen, I'm making a rule for myself: no laptop on the couch during the week. If I want to write, return emails, upload and edit photos, or read blogs, I'll do it while sitting at the table or the desk. The goal is to put an end to those nights where I sit down to write one email and look up to find that hours have gone by. Those nights leave me tired and annoyed. Instead, if I sit down on the couch I'll have something else in my lap: a novel, a crochet project, a cookbook, a notebook, a magazine.

2. Take care of myself/commit to 'me time'.  This is something I really want to get a handle on. Schedule time for exercise. Go to yoga classes. Meet a friend for a drink. Use my lunch hour for walks/reading instead of Google Reader. Paint my toenails. Also in this category: go to the dentist. Go to the eye doctor. Get a physical.

3. Run a 10k - this is the year. Also, run at least three 5k's (get back to a sub-30 minute 5k)

4. Take a family trip to the Boston Aquarium and Childrens' Museum

5. Celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in some special way. We have lots of traveling coming up this year, so maybe it won't be an anniversary trip, but I want to be sure to celebrate the milestone.

6. Finish the photobook of Evy's 1st year. She turns two next month. Oops.

7. Read before bed again. This goes hand in hand with #1. Already doing much better with this in 2013 than I did in 2012.

8. Continue on the path to 'real food' eating. 

9. Actually donate all the stuff piling up in the basement "donate" pile.

10. Garden with Evy. Be intentional with the garden plan. Grow things I think she'll eat. Have her help me start seeds. Build/plant a second raised bed.

11. Finish the porch project. Put up lattice, paint, plant the garden in front of it, decorate inside.

12. Paint the upstairs bathroom (and/or make progress on the kitchen project)

13. Show Evy more of her city (the toddler version): 
  • Visit three new city playgrounds.
  • Spend a Saturday (or two or three or five) at the State Museum. Ride the carousel, visit the Sesame Street exhibit. 
  • Take walks around Washington Park
14. Figure out how to set up that DIY/babysitting share 

15. Go to my (gasp choke cough) 10-year College Reunion

16. Take Evy sailing. Several times.

17. Do yoga outdoors, preferably on the beach. Look into doing this on Cape May or Cape Cod this summer.

18. Have an old fashioned sleepover with my lady friends. Let's figure out how to do this.

19. Visit Grace. Continued prayers to the airfare gods.

20.  Take my mom out for lunch and pedicures. 

21. Go for a family bike ride on the Mohawk-Hudson rail trail. 

22. Continue on the path to Simplifying: keep on getting rid of stuff, practice the "1 in 1 out" rule, get rid of things we don't use, organize our space to fit with our life, work toward only having things that are useful/beautiful.

23. Get our mail problem under control. The avalanche and "oops, didn't see that" syndrome can't continue. Find and implement a system that works for us. Stop junk mail. Sign up for as many e-bills as possible. Shred what needs shredding.  

24. Hang framed family wedding photos (that we displayed at our wedding) on the staircase. First step: locate these photos.

25. Write more.

26. Accomplish much of the above by reviving the "project a week" project.