Happy Birthday To Me

I’m thirty-five! Of course, it’s now been almost two months since my birthday, and it shouldn’t be too surprising that this post is so late; procrastination is a fully-ingrained part of who I am at times…along with many other questionable qualities.DSC_5950-Edi-2t_WEB

Much like turning thirty did, the idea of turning thirty-five made me panic a little bit. Should I celebrate with an amazing birthday bash? Should I make some drastic and impressive personal goals to achieve? Should I map out my next five years to become My Very Best Me? Agh, so much pressure to reflect and plan and be introspective and thoughtful and intelligent. Qualities I don’t always have.

The first weird thing is that 35 is in a whole other age range. The vaunted 18-34 youth segment is officially in the rearview mirror. I’ve never been a good ‘young person’ but now I officially am no longer one. I kind of feel weird about that, like now that I can’t be in that club maybe I should have been a better member of it? I’ve been old at heart for a long time and have embraced the fact that I’m forgetful, a homebody and kind of a square, and so maybe now my physical age makes it a little more acceptable?

And the other thing is that 35 is one of those nice big Grown Up Adult ages. I’m an employee, a business owner, a wife, a mother. I should know what I’m doing, right? Like, I need to have Life, The Universe, and Everything figured out by now. (Although I suppose I have until 42 for that, right? Haha! Dorky book joke!) But…pretty sure I don’t have any idea about much of anything. This year more than ever, I’ve had to work on juggling and balancing everything. It’s tough, for sure. It involves a lot of list-making, trying to focus on certain tasks at certain times of day, and staying up way too late just about all the time.

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I think back to my 33rd birthday–when the babies hadn’t arrived yet and my face and belly were still so swollen–and I feel like I kind of haven’t changed, or that time hasn’t really passed. Which is ridiculous, because now we have these huge toddlers and all these baby gates, and I’m generally a lot more tired than I used to be, and I have no free time. I do get so much love and joy from our little ones growing and changing and hugging, and I’m working on being patient (overall I’m waaaay more patient than I thought I’d be, but there are plenty of occasions when I just can’t deal with whatever anymore). But for the most part, I feel like the same old me. And I don’t have any maps or grand plans or bashes.

So what did I do this year? I read some books. I participated in a lovely book club. I took a lot of photos. I took a lot of walks and listened to a lot of podcasts. I didn’t sleep enough. I went back to New York for the first time. I kept up (in fits and spurts) with my Project Life album and continued my photo-a-day project (thank god for the iphone). Our family went on various adventures, small and large. I’m working on being more present and attentive; the boys have been so much fun as they keep growing and developing, and they seem to love having fun with us. In this next year, I hope to continue working on the ever-elusive work/life balance, and trying to squeeze in more fun, personal, hobby type activities. DSC_5951-1_WEB

And of course I’m sure there will be all kinds of new adventures this year too!

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Second Birthday Party!

For the twins’ first birthday, we had a few people over to our house. Our babies weren’t walking yet, so our living room was a fine place for them and a couple other littles to crawl around.

This year, we knew that our very small living room was NOT sufficient. We already spend lots of time in here…and we all like getting out. 🙂 So I wanted to do an activity that would not only involve going somewhere else, but an activity that would let the boys run off plenty of energy.

We settled on renting a community center gym–many of the local centers have ‘indoor parks’ or ‘toddler gyms’. It turned out to be an empty gymnasium with lots of toys: riding toys like cozy coupes and tricycles, plus lots of balls, some hula hoops, that kind of thing.

Nine other families ended up joining us, and all the kids were between 18 months and just over 2. They all seemed to have a great time running around and using all the toys!

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I ended up running around too much to get many photos, but I got a few basic ones to capture the spirit. 🙂

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And since it was during the toddler dinner hour, we had a nice spread of snacks: crockpot pulled pork, home-popped popcorn, two kinds of (toddler-approved) muffins, chips and salsa, fruit, pasta salad, applesauce pouches, and juice.

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And COSTCO CAKE (my favorite part of any birthday!). Yummmmmmmm.

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Yes, I let the babies have some. They loved it, of course. 🙂

Their other favorite part was the balloons.

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Really, the whole party could have been a roomful of balloons and they would have been THRILLED. 🙂

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Notice that the ‘decorations’ consisted of last year’s birthday banner, a new $10 decor pack from Party City, and $25 worth of balloons. As much as I love the look of all the perfect Pinterest parties–adorable upcycled cake platters, cute labels, striped paper straws, homemade tissue paper garlands, etc–it’s not something I want to spend time, energy or money on. Plus I don’t really have the talent (though sometimes I wish I did!). So we go the cheap, easy and fun route! 🙂

So overall, it was a great way to celebrate with brand-new two-year-olds. All the kids had fun playing and eating. It probably wasn’t the most exciting ‘party’ for the parents, but I’m pretty sure that we’re not the only ones who love an opportunity for the kids run around on a dark and chilly early evening. And hopefully the cake helped too. 🙂