Happy birthday to meeeeee...
I've been referring to myself as "almost 30" for months now, which was, you know, accurate. But now my twenties have officially drawn to a close. What a decade it has been.
20 - This was a big year! It was the Summer of LlamaJaw. (I was going to link to the old entries from my original blog, but DEAR GOD the emo barely-no-longer-a-teenager dramatic sappy-ass writing...I cannot bear it.) That Fall, I moved out of the dorms and into my first apartment. And then in the Spring, Tom and I re-met. In less than a year I went from moping over a boy I hadn't even kissed to beginning a relationship with the man I would eventually marry.
21 - Shortly before my birthday, I started my first summer internship with the Naval Air Warfare Center in the Mojave Desert. This internship afforded me the opportunity for many weekend visits with Tom, which eventually resulted in us deciding to become a couple. Weeks later (literally) I began my study abroad year in friggin England. Studying at the University of Nottingham was a great experience, and as painful as it was at the time to be 21 and desperately newly in love and half a world away, it was all worth it. The school year ended, and I somehow managed to score a second summer internship back with the Navy.
22 - Again, my birthday came shortly after my arrival in the desert. I feel a little bad in retrospect, taking their money and making them think I had any interest in working for them long-term, when all I was really after was a paid excuse to be within driving distance of Tom again for the summer. But it was, like my year abroad, an ultimately enriching experience, and I'm grateful for it. Summer ended and it was back to Oregon State for one more year. I adopted Leo on Halloween day. Tom came to visit me at Christmas time and was stranded for an extra day due to a crazy ice storm. We managed weekend visits throughout the year every month or so. By summertime, I was more than ready to graduate and move to California to live with the lad full time.
23 - I believe I got to Pasadena (if I'm recalling correctly) the day before my 23rd birthday. I landed my first real job within a month, I started this blog, and Tom & I got our own apartment that winter (we'd been living with another couple up to that point). It was a tiny-ass, poorly insulated apartment, but it was ours.
24 - I started grad school a couple of months after my birthday. In September, we decided to get married the following Spring. And we did! Shortly after the wedding, I set up my Flickr account. Yep, I've now got 5+ years' worth of photos stored online.
25 - More grad school, including four straight months of commuting to San Diego once a week for lab classes. I fell on my face while jogging. Tom & I learned how to scuba dive and went on our honeymoon trip to Mexico. Then in the Spring, I quit my job and started working in the vitamin mines instead.
26 - This was another big year. A couple of months after my birthday, I found out I was pregnant with Soren! So I spent the year trying to finally wrap up my Master's thesis and incubating a baby. We moved out of the tiny apartment and into a slightly bigger, somewhat nicer one. We took a trip to San Francisco, where I lugged my 7.5 months pregnant butt up & down the hills. And then Soren arrived, and our lives changed forever. ;)
27 - Maternity leave ended and I returned to work, this time on the night shift. It was hellish, but I made it (and finally managed to finish my thesis and get my Master's degree in the process). Six months of sleep deprivation later, I was able to quit working for good and start preparing for our big cross-country move. Soren, Leo & I headed to Virginia while Tom finished up his PhD. Bought a car, found and moved into an apartment (aww, look how little Soren was), and immediately got pregnant with Eleri. Hehe.
28 - Another year mostly spent growing a person. Soren & I joined a playgroup, made some friends, and started getting to know the area around our new home. We also went back to Oregon for my 10 year high school reunion. Eleri was, of course, born at home in January. We had a BUNCH of snow that winter. Springtime brought our first mini-vacation as a 4-person family.
29 - This year brought Eleri's first trip to the west coast, and our first trip to New York. We got Soren potty trained and Eleri weaned. I'm trying to come up with something about myself for this year, but my life is quite a bit defined by the kids and their accomplishments these days. And that's okay. :)
And there you have it. In the past 10 years I've gone from a college junior wondering if she'd ever have a boyfriend to a married mother of two. I've traveled across the Atlantic and back (quite a few times), landed and quit two jobs, obtained both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree, and sprouted an ever increasing number of gray hairs.
I have to admit, I'm pretty excited to see what the next 10 years will bring.