Monday, June 25, 2012

Lucy's Speedy Arrival


Our lives changed forever for the better on June 18, 2012 when our baby girl Lucy Elizabeth decided it was time we meet face to face. She wasn't due for another two weeks, but we are so head over heals in love and thrilled we got to meet her sooner than later. Here is the story of her arrival to the world:

I woke up for work on Monday around 6:00 a.m., like any other day. However, I noticed some amniotic fluid leaking while getting ready for work and decided to call our midwife just before leaving for work at 7:00. I wasn't noticing any contractions but she wanted to see me that day, so I called my boss and told him what was going on. As it turned out, we had a bunch of messages at work from patients needing to cancel their appointment, so a few arrangements to the schedule later and a temporary hygiensit didn't even need to come in for the day. I saw two patients that morning and was at work until about 10:30. During that time, I started noticing some mild contractions (like menstrual cramps) and began to notice they were averaging 8 minutes apart.

I arrived back home around 11:00 and although I was in denial that labor was soon approaching, I cleaned up the house before getting into bed to rest. I was not able to sleep. A little before 2:00, about the time we were planning on leaving for the birth center, I called my midwife to let her know I was definitely having contractions and still leaking fluid. My contractions were still about 8 minutes apart, give or take, but they were definitely getting stronger. She said to stay put and continue monitoring the contractions and to give her a call and head to her when the contractions were 4 minutes apart for 1 hour.

After that phone call, I changed my clothes, brushed my teeth, washed off my makeup and prepared for what was to come. Things also moved very quickly after that phone call. Matt came into the bedroom with me and took over timing the contractions, because I was no longer able to focus on anything other than getting through them. Between contractions, Matt changed his clothes, brushed his teeth, took Goose for a quick potty walk, and started gathering up things for the car ride. He put a towel down in the passenger seat for me to sit on (lots of leakage, including blood at this point), and I also requested a large ziplock bag in case I needed to throw up on the car ride (I started to feel like I might, but it was not needed).

My contractions quickly reached a point where they were 4 minutes apart, but we were waiting until they remained that way for 1 hour before heading out. However, they quickly progressed to every 2.5 minutes without warning (and definitely not an hour later). I instantaneously told Matt we had to leave right now! But it took a while for me to get down to the car because the contractions were so intense and so close together. Matt grabbed a pillow for me to take in the car, my iPod, and the aromatherapy, and by 4:20 p.m. we were off to have a baby!

That car ride was the worst car ride of my life! Every bump in the road was excruciating, traffic was moving slowly and Matt was tempted to drive on the shoulder of Hwy 167. I opened up the peppermint aromatherapy and immediately hated it so I put it back in the ziplock and threw it into the back seat. The lemon aromatherapy was better, but I couldn't focus enough to open it up more than the first time; so that's all that it was used. Next, I tried the iPod. I quickly skipped ahead to 'None but Jesus' and 'Hosanna' by Brooke Fraser and then had enough. The feel and sound of the cool breeze blowing in through the cracked windows was better in that moment than the music. I am so grateful Matt thought to grab a pillow, because that was the one thing that made that car ride so much more tolerable. I squished it up between my head and the window so I could lean over to the side. I squeezed it, bit it, and screamed into it. SO thankful for that pillow! Matt lightly rubbing my back and neck was also helpful. It was difficult for him to apply counter-pressure while driving a car and that was the point of labor when I could have used that the most.

We arrived at Nancy's about 4:40, only 20 minutes after leaving our house. Let me emphasize that we have NEVER made it there that quickly before. Even with no traffic and speeding when running late to an appointment, it always takes more like 30 minutes. We keep playing it over in our heads and are claiming it as a miracle that we arrived so quickly with how much traffic there was and how slowly it was moving. By this point, my contractions were right on top of each other with only about 10-20 seconds of rest between. As Matt opened my car door for me another contraction started, so we had to get through that before heading inside the birth center. By the time I got inside I felt another contraction starting and my instinct was to sit on the toilet. Mostly because of the fluid and blood that was leaking at this point I didn't know where else to go.

As Nancy finished getting things set up (I don't think she expected us to arrive so quickly nor be so far along with the contractions) I remained on the toilet through one more contraction. Looking back, I think the toilet was where I ended up because of the urge to push. I guess I just didn't think I should be ready to push at this point and I must be having back labor. I didn't know how much more I would be able to take at this point. When I was able, she helped me over to the bed so she could check to see how far I was dilated. I was both completely shocked and relieved to hear her say, "Well, sweetie, you're there! Are you ready to push out your baby?" I really didn't believe her, but YES! I was ready to push!

I was lying on the bed and Matt was kneeling on the other side of the bed so his head was near mine and facing the same direction. I held his hands next to my neck and used them as leverage while pushing. With the next contraction, my feet went up onto Nancy's shoulders as she leaned into me and I began to internalize my noise the best I could and push from deep within. The first 10-second push brought me to the point where the previous push left off, a quick breath and another 10-second push to make progress, and a third quick breath and push if I had it in me. Matt gave me sips of water in between contractions; I have never had such dry mouth in my life!

With the first push, Nancy said she could already see the head. I kept asking how much longer she thought this would take, "Not long honey, not long. You're going to meet your baby soon." Nancy kept assuring me. A few pushes later and the head was halfway out. At this point, Nancy asked if I wanted a mirror to see the head and I was all for it. Seeing the top of Lucy's head gave me another burst of energy and motivation to push her out. About 6 contractions and rounds of pushing, and 30 minutes after arriving to the birth center, Lucy was ours to hold! She was screaming like crazy with those healthy lungs and we were in utter shock with what just happened.

I was able to just lay there and hold Lucy while Nancy wrapped us in towels fresh from the dryer. Matt and I just kept looking at each other and at Lucy; for me it was like an out-of-body experience and I couldn't believe I was holding the baby girl that had been living in me, through me, for the past 38 weeks.

Matt cut the cord and I kept holding Lucy as it was the placenta's turn for arrival :) After Lucy was weighed and measured, Matt got to hold her while Nancy got me cleaned up. I was pleased to hear no stitches were needed! It sure felt like I was going to need a lot of them!

We hung out for a while on the bed as Lucy nursed and we called and sent pictures to family. We never even had a chance to updated family after about 2:00. So when I got a text from my sister Natalie asking how things were going, she was shocked to receive a picture of Lucy! We also didn't have a chance to use anything I packed in our bag. I was prepared with snacks, and swim shorts for Matt to get in the water with me, but there was no time for laboring in water :)

We were then ready to head home, so Nancy helped us get packed up, checked my bleeding one more time to make sure everything looked good, and we were heading to the comfort of our own home. We were back home by 7:30, just about 3 hours after we left. Matt was able to take Goose out for a quick walk again and pick us up some dinner from Taco Time, and we had the evening to ourselves to try and comprehend the events of the day.

We feel so incredibly blessed beyond belief with Lucy's birth experience, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The whole experience was definitely an answer to our prayers! Although adjusting to our new sleep schedule this past week has been difficult, it's also to be expected. Lucy has been sleeping for 2-3 hours on average and is, overall, going very easy on us. Thank you to everyone who has sent gifts, flowers, cards, food, and sweet messages during this exciting time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lucy's Labor Playlist

I have created a "labor list" on my iPod for D-Day.  I love music, always have, and I find it can help me focus and also help distract me.  I know I might not want to listen to music when I'm in the thick of things, but I want to be prepared just in case it really helps.  So far, the songs I have only add up to a little over 1 hour so I'll be adding more.  Let me know if you have any good recommendations!  Here is what I have (although I like them all, the * indicates my favorites), click the song title to listen/watch on YouTube. 

This Little Light of Mine By Addison Road*
Capri By Colbie Caillat*
Lullaby By Dixie Chicks
Angel By Jack Johnson
Never Alone By Lady Antebellum w/ Jim Brickman
Ocean Size Love By Leigh Nash
American Honey By Lady Antebellum
The Is Not the End By Gungor*
Falling Slowly By Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
To Build a Home By The Cinematic Orchestra*
To Make You Feel My Love By Adele
Happy Everafter In Your Eyes By Ben Harper
None But Jesus By Hillsong*
Hosanna By Hillsong United*
Cannons By Phil Wickham*
Beautiful Things By Gungor*
Desert Song By Hillsong*
You'll Come By Hillsong
Like An Avalanche By Hillsong United
Aftermath By Hillsong United*
Awakening By Hillsong United
Whole Wide World By Mindy Gledhill
All About Your Heart By Mindy Gledhill

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What NOT to say to a pregnant woman.

Luckily, I haven't had too many annoying conversations, but these are a few recent ones that pushed my buttons. Seriously people?!

"Are you having twins?!" - lady at Forever 21

"I have a friend who was your size and her baby was almost 10 pounds!" - a female patient

"I thought my wife was dying when she was in labor; good luck to you." - random man in grocery store.

Conversation with a male patient:
Patient:  "What does your husband think about this?" (First of all, what kind of question is that?)
Me:  "He's excited, and it's been fun to see his excitement grow as her due date approaches."
Patient:  *sarcastic laugh*
Me:  "Are we not supposed to be excited?"
Patient:  "He doesn't know what's coming.  He's about to realize he's not your #1 anymore."
Me:  Stopped talking and just cleaned his teath.

I "love" when people tell me their horror labor stories, even after they find out I'm planning a natural birth.  I'm aware having a baby is painful, messy, long, exhausting to the point where you "think you're going to die"...it's called labor for a reason, right?  I also know that everyone has a completely unique story and mine may not be like yours at all; better or worse.  I do like advice from others, but I think it's just the delivery of that advice that bothers me sometimes (no pun intended :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week 37 Prego Points

36 Weeks with Daughtry
37 Weeks
Gestational Diabetes:  I'm keeping my blood sugar well controlled, but my self-control is really being tested!  Some warm, gooey brownies keep sounding more and more tempting as the days go by.  My midwife is so happy with my blood sugar and the fact that Lucy does not appear large, I will most likely not have another ultrasound (which I was really looking forward to).  Oh well, in a few weeks we'll get to see her in person!

Weight Gain:  No change since my last visit, so 24 pounds is still the total.

Sleep:  I'm staying fairly comfortable in bed, although rolling from side to side is becoming more difficult.  I am having trouble turning my brain off at night, so I find myself lying in bed for a while before falling asleep.  I wake up around 2:00-3:00 a.m. to empty the bladder, then it takes a while to fall asleep again, and waking when the alarm goes off has been difficult.  I guess my body is just preparing me for less sleep and more waking up at night!

Project Nursery:  We have much more to do in the nursery than I would like at this point.  I would love if it was completely finished now but the truth is, there are more important things we need to be spending our money on to prepare for Lucy.  We won't even be using a crib for a while, we're using a bassinet in our bedroom, so there's no need to buy a crib right now...I just want to have it in her room.  I've been searching for a white glider that is small enough to fit in her room, sturdy to last, but won't cost $600.  Craigslist only turned up ONE white glider in the Seattle area!  Other than that, the crib, and a few accessories, the nursery is done.  Which sounds not even close to done, ugh :(
I love her dresser/changing table!
(The room does look more complete since this picture was taken)
Labor Bag:  Our D-Day bag is pretty much complete and stowed away in my trunk.  I just have to find some more songs for my Labor Playlist on my iPod and then that can get thrown in.  We now have Lucy's diaper bag, so that is packed with the essentials including a few outfit options...we'll have to see what she feels like wearing that day :) 

Car Seat:  Her stroller is assembled and car seat installed.  It's so strange having it in there, and even more strange to know she will be in the car seat in a few short weeks!

Work:  I only have 7 days left at work!  WEIRD!  It's actually two weeks, but because of the Dental Convention this week, it works out to a total of 7 days.  Hopefully Lucy doesn't arrive too far past her due date, because I don't want two weeks off before she is even here.  I'm hoping for an arrival date between July 1 and July 4 (sometime between Canada Day and Independence Day!). 

Maternity Photos:  We were suppposed to have our maternity photo shoot last week, but the weather was cold and rainy (icky even for Seattle this time of year).  Hopefully, the weather and my work schedule will cooperate so the photo shoot can happen this week.

Freezer Meals: I have dinner for the first two weeks of Lucy's life taken care of! Click HERE for the recipes.

Overall, we're ready.  All of her clothes are washed and organized (as well as blankets, swaddles, etc), bottles sterilized, and pacifiers washed.  There are just a few more essentials I need to pick up this week including a couple nursing bras, breast pads, gel pads, wet bags for her diaper bag (for her diapers) and some more cloth diapers (she'll probably be in disposables at first anyway).  I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed with how quickly her due date is approaching us and how many little decisions need to be made (such as disposable wipes vs. cloth wipes) and items purchased. I know it will all come together and we basically have everything we NEED, but I don't like this feeling of being unprepared.  My brain is beginning to feel like mush and Matt is remaining so calm.  He keeps assuring me we are prepared and we'll have to make decisions and purchases as we go as we find what works and what doesn't work for us and Lucy.  I'm so blessed to have Matt as a husband, friend, partner, and support; and I know he's going to be an amazing father!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Turkey Burgers - Freezer Meal

This recipe is courtesy Make-Ahead Mamas, a local group of women who specialize in freezer meals.  I have made this one before, and it is high on the yummy scale.  Turkey burgers can end up dry, but I remember this one staying juicy and that might have to do with the tomatoes. 

What You Need:
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites), lightly beaten
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drain and squeeze out excess liquid
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt (such as Lowreys)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but I recommend it)
What You Do:
  1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, tomatoes, bread crumbs, onions, egg, garlic, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper.  Form into 12 patties (I only got 8 patties, so I guess I make mine large).
  2. Freeze patties on parchment paper or tin foil on a cookie sheet.
  3. With a Sharpie, write on a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag:  Thaw in fridge overnight, or if patties aren't too think, you can put them directly on grill frozen (just add more cooking time).  Either grill or cook cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning once, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees (85 Celsius). 
  4. Store stacked with parchment in between patties in airtight container or freezer bag.  (I wrap each patty in plastic wrap and then in freezer bag)
  5. Serve topped with caramelized onion, blue cheese, and/or avocado on whole wheat bun.

Skid Row Stroganoff - Freezer Meal


Ok, this isn't the recipe I made for the above-pictured freezer meal, but I don't like how creamy it turned out.  The pictured recipe might end up tasting just fine, but after I put it together I wished I would have made the following recipe, Skid Row Stroganoff.  My friend Mish gave this recipe to me at one of my bridal showers and I have made it many, many times and I know it's delish.

What You Need:
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 oz can mushrooms (I can't stand canned, I use fresh)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 package wide egg noodles
  • Chopped parsley (optional, and dried can also be used)
What You Do:
  1. Brown garlic, onion, mushrooms, and beef in oil.
  2. Add flour, salt, paprika.
  3. Simmer until beef is cooked.
  4. Add soup, simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.
  6. Remove from burner and allow to cool.
  7. Label a gallon Ziploc freezer bag:  Thaw in fridge.  Simmer on low until heated through while you cook egg noodles.  Serve over noodles and garnish with paprika and parsley.
  8. Pour into freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, freeze flat.

Creamy Green Chicken Enchiladas - Freezer Meal

What You Need: 
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into strips to make it melt faster
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles (mild or hot, your preference)
  • 1 package flour tortillas (I used diabetic-friendly, wheat free, high fiber Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas, and ended up using 7 tortillas to use up the filling and fill the dish)
  • 1 can (19 oz) green chile enchilada sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (3 oz)
What You Do: 
  1. Cook chicken in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. 
  2. Add cream cheese and chiles, reduce heat to medium.  Cook and stir until blended and cream cheese is melted. 
  3. Spoon a small amount of enchilada sauce into 9x13 foil freezer pan, just enough to cover the bottom.
  4. Spoon chicken filling onto tortillas, roll up and place seam down down in freezer dish. 
  5. Pour enchilada sauce over top evenly and top with cheddar cheese.
  6. With a Sharpie, write on the lid:  Thaw in fridge day before, bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Freezer Meal

 
What You Need:
  • 6 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups Apricot preserves (two, 15.2 oz jars)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons grated ginger (I use jarred because it's much easier)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 medium carrots, sliced very thin on bias
  • 8 cups snow peas, cut in half on bias
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli
What You Do:
  1. With a Sharpie, label two, 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bags:  Thaw in fridge day before.  Cook chicken in oil until no longer pink.  Transfer to a plate.  Add veggies to oil, tossing, about 2 minutes.  Return chicken to skillet, add sauce.  Cook 2-3 minutes longer.  Serve over rice. 
  2. Divide veggies in half and place in two, 1-gallon freezer bags (I had enough veggies for three bags, so I divided the veggies evenly among three bags and put the third bag in the fridge to be used now).
  3. Mix preserves, vinegar, ginger, pepper, and 1 Tbsp water.  Place in quart-sized freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.
  4. Cut chicken into strips 1/4-inch think. Place in quart-sized freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.
  5. Place one bag of sauce and chicken into each gallon bag with the veggies.  Remove as much air as possible and freeze flat.
  6.  

Heather's Meatloaf - Freezer Meal

I have no idea who Heather is, and I failed to save the link to the website where I found this recipe, so I can't give credit. You can do this with any meatloaf recipe.

What You Need: 
  • 1 lb ground beef (93% lean)
  • 1 lb jimmy dean spicy sausage (I used 1 lb of Isernio's sausage; a local brand that has no additives or preservatives)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 - 1 cup bread crumbs
What You Do:
  1. Using clean hands, mix together all ingredients in a bowl and place in a foil loaf pan designed for freezing (found in the baking aisle of grocery store).
  2. Using a Sharpie, write on the lid:  Thaw, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  3. Freeze.
  4. Before baking, cover with your favorite meatloaf topping (such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, marinara sauce, etc) if desired.

Beef and Bean Chili - Freezer Meal

The directions for this recipe say it can be eaten out of a bowl,
or rolled in a tortilla and eaten as a burrito.

What You Need:
  • 1 lb ground beef (optional if you want to make this vegetarian, or turkey)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, including liquid
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
What You Do:
  1. On a one-gallon Ziploc freezer bag, write with a Sharpie:  Defrost, cook in crock pot on high for 4 hours.
  2. Brown ground beef and let cool.
  3. Add all ingredients, including cooled beef, to freezer bag.
  4. Let out as much air as possible, freeze flat.

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken - Freezer Meal

What You Need:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey (or 1/2-3/4 cup agave nectar)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive or canola oil ok)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water (to be added on cooking day)
  • Sesame seeds (to be added on cooking day)
What You Do:
  1. On a one gallon Ziploc freezer bag write with a Sharpie: Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 1.5-2.5 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce.  Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot.  Stir to combine, replace lid, and cook sauce on high for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces, return to pot and mix into sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.  Sprinkle with more red pepper flakes if you want more heat. 
  2. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and place in labeled freezer bag.
  3. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and pepper flakes.
  4. Pour over chicken, seal bag, and massage to coat chicken.  Let out as much air as possible, reseal, and freeze flat.   

Cranberry Chicken - Freezer Meal

What You Need:
  • 8 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (1-oz) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (16-oz) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup Catalina dressing
What You Do:
  1. On two, 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bags, write steps #5, 6, 7 and 8 with a Sharpie.
  2. Place 4 chicken breasts in one bag, and 4 in another.
  3. Mix remaining 3 ingredients in a bowl and divide evenly between the two freezer bags.
  4. Seal bags massage to coat chicken, let out as much air as possible, reseal, freeze flat.
  5. Thaw in fridge the day before you want to cook.
  6. For Oven:  Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes in a 9x13 baking dish covered with foil, remove foil, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. For Crockpot:  Low for 7 hours, or High for 4 hours. 
  8. Or grill.

Freezer Meal Frenzy

I spent about 6 hours cooking the other day in preparation for Lucy's arrival.  I wanted to have a freezer full of meals which will be easy to heat up after she's here, because (1) I know I won't feel like full-on cooking between feeding her every 2-3 hours, diaper changes, laundry, etc. and (2) I don't want to survive, nor spend the money, on pizza and Thai take-out.  My grocery store had the chicken I normally buy "buy one, get one free", so I definitely took advantage of that with all the chicken I had to buy!  I would like to make more freezer meals, but had to rearrange the freezer to get everything to fit, so I'm not sure how much more I can squeeze in there right now.  We now have enough food for 14 dinners, in addition to the leftovers from those dinners so, other than cooking up some wild rice or throwing together a salad, I at least won't have to worry about dinner for the first two weeks of Lucy's life! 

I scoured the internet for meals that not only sounded tasty, but were somewhat healthy as well (some of these are healthier than others :)  I found most of these off of one website that I forgot to save, so I can't give credit for those.  I've tried two of these in the past, but the rest are newbies so I can't vouch for them on the tasty scale yet.  These can, obviously, all be prepared for dinner the night you want to eat it; just completed the cooking process and eat instead of bagging and freezing.

Whether you're a new mom, busy mom, busy wife, or just don't feel like cooking dinner during the week, join me in the world of freezer meals!  If you're already an experienced freezer meal mama, please share some of your favorites in the comment section below so I can add to my stash!

The Menu:
Cranberry Chicken
Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
Beef and Bean Chili
Heather's Meatloaf
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
Creamy Green Chicken Enchiladas
Skid Row Stroganoff (from my friend Mish)
Turkey Burgers (From Make-Ahead Mamas)

All you have to do is click on a dish above and *poof!* you'll find yourself at that recipe!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ten Years Ago

While doing some organizing in our office today I came across a little something I wrote about 10 years ago while working front desk at a gym, soon after my move to Seattle..  As my 30th birthday approaches, I thought it was very timely. 

**          **          **

"Sit it out or dance" I hear as Lee Anne Womack belts out her beautiful voice over the stereo.  It's 4:10 p.m. and I'm sitting at a job that I love, studying homework I actually enjoy, and I'm living with my best friend Cheryl.  This time in my life is so perfect...okay, I might be overdoing it a little.  This time in my life that seems so perfect in so many ways also seems to be the most hectic, confusing and uncertain time in my life.  I say "time in my life" like I've been around for decades and have experienced so much.  But I haven't.  I've only been walking this earth for a measly 20 years; 20 years that I am very grateful for, might I add. 

Twenty years sounds like a long time, but it sure doesn't feel like a long time.  I can't help but imagine what the next 20 will feel like.  Twenty is such an odd age; it's so perfectly imperfect, completely incomplete, and totally confusing.  It's nice to have the "teen" stigma detached from me; it's amazing what one more year can give you.  When I started telling people I was 20, I was stunned by the way people treated me differently.  My opinion actually matters? After being alive for 20 years, the level of respect sure does acclimate, but the level of accountability does also.  People expect me to know what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.  I dread the question that I have to answer almost every day, "So, what do you plan on doing?"  What kind of question is that?

I plan on living. 

I plan on working. 

I plan on getting married and having a family. 

I give people the answer "I'm in a dental assisting program, will be working in less than a year, and then I plan on applying to dental hygiene school."  No matter who I tell, it seems I always get my future plans analyzed.  Either they approve, or they have some comments on why I shouldn't do it, or do it the way I plan.  I just tell myself not to listen to anyone their opinions.  Advice, on the other hand, comes across differently and is greatly appreciated and accepted.  Sometimes, especially now, I have to learn for myself or I will never know what it is that truly makes me happy, and right now I am happy.  I am happy with my job.  I am happy with school.  I am happy living with my best friend in the whole world. 

**          **          **

The choices made at 20 years, have such an impact at 30 years! I'm so glad I got my act together and made some changes for the better 10 years ago.  I would have never become a dental hygienist (a career that I love), I would have never met Matt (I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else), and our baby Lucy would not be arriving in just a few weeks.  I am so incredibly blessed, and I am welcoming my thirties with open arms!