Friday, November 10, 2017

A year in a life: turning 34.

(This is a photo I took on our trip to Mammoth this summer, and I added a favorite quote by Albert Camus, which are some words I continue to come back to during life's challenging seasons.)


Age 33 brought so much more than I ever expected. My 33rd birthday was actually my first day of maternity leave, as I was four days away from my due date. We didn’t know if there was a boy or a girl in there, and every night, we went to sleep wondering if we would be awakened in the middle of the night by some contractions that meant we would get to meet our baby soon. We waited and waited, and Cambria, our GIRL, finally arrived eleven days after her due date. That was the beginning of age 33 for me. Those first few weeks were the honeymoon phase, with Matt on paternity leave, and we soaked up all of those baby cuddles. We were tired and happy. Then, she never really started sleeping, so age 33 was definitely the most sleep deprived year of my life, and I probably aged five years in looks over the course of this one year. 

It was also a year of new beginnings. A new start as a mom of two, which it turns out, is extremely different than being just the mom of one, at least for me. A new start as a stay at home mom, as I decided to take time off from my career. A new start as a pretend homeschool mom, with the decision to keep Everett out of preschool until next year (I say pretend, because I don’t think it really counts when you are just homeschooling a 3 year old). 

Age 33 was maybe the only year in my adult life where I didn’t take an airplane to travel somewhere fun. Although the wanderlust is strong, it was a time of falling more in love with my home city of San Diego, and more in love with the home we have created here, too. It was a time of slowing down, and yet, feeling like life is more full than ever. It was a time of encountering obstacles in motherhood I didn’t expect, dealing with postpartum depression. From that struggle, it was a time of finding an inner strength I didn’t know I had. It was learning lessons that perfection is overrated and unattainable, and that my kids don’t need a perfect mom. It was a year of letting go of expectations to instead focus on love and joy and fun and living life in the present moment. Letting go of always having a plan and thinking of the future.

As age 33 came to an end, I ended on a high note, despite experiencing some of the lowest lows I have ever encountered. I end this year feeling proud of who I am, grateful for this journey I’m on, and in love with these beautiful kids of mine. My heart is full as I think about every person who has been a part of my life these past 33 years. As I reflect on this past year, I find myself surprised by how difficult it is to be a human sometimes, but also, how utterly beautiful the human experience is. It was one of the most challenging years of my life, but also one of the most joy-filled.


In an attempt to reflect back upon this year, I decided to choose 33 photos to represent age 33.

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