The Year I Was 27

**I wrote this on Saturday, which was my birthday, knowing it would go live today. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes this weekend!! It was an insane day… but more on that later.

A year ago on this day I was waking up at the Bellagio in Vegas. Today I woke up a bajillion times in the night in my bed, next to a very sleepy Kamel, to the tunes of the baby Gabe politely requesting a diaper change and some fucking food mom, ok?!

Cake Photo

I have been writing my year in review for many years now, but some of those posts have gone the way of the old blog world. If you would like to catch up on 24, 25, and 26 there they are! Today I turn 28 and this post is all about the year I was 27. (Holy numbers batman!) I prefer my years over the world’s years for contemplation. I want to remember always that 1 year is a lot of time, but also a short blip. I don’t want to ever take for granted the time I have here, and whether I’m experiences adventures ginormous or teensy, the redundancy of work/home/work/home/work, or the lameness of overflowing laundry and the pile of mail that just continues to grow – it’s good for me to take a step back and think about what all was done from start to finish in this one measurable space of my life.

I never really felt 27… odd years are hard for me to wrap my brain around for whatever reason. Like 2013 – I keep thinking it is 2014. And when I was 27 I kept second-guessing myself. “27? Is that right? How old am I again? Are you sure?” I am relieved to now be 28.

So it started off in Vegas, on a cold April day in the desert. I was wearing my green birthday dress that I had bought because, yes. I think everyone deserves a little bit of an indulgent birthday suit, even if you are just wearing it for pizza and beer. Dressing up makes me happy, and what better way to celebrate than by making myself happy? Well… that dress soon found a pair of jeans underneath it because hot damn it was cold.

In May I was able to take part in Maris and Alex’s wedding. By far the most exhausting weekend of my entire life! Maris knows how to throw a freaking party, and girl did not leave the wedding until they shut it down. I wrote about my feelings on sisters and the emotional experience of watching my favorite people go through major life events. I had really good hair and we all wore fabulous shoes. Oh yeah – and of course there was EPIC EPICNESS with Margaret and Jeff! The hot air balloon ride that nearly gave Kamel a heart attack, but that will go down in history as the most surprisingly amazing thing I have ever done (until something else comes along, but good luck something else! You have big shoes to fill!).

In May I also went to Houston for work and broke the rental car and had a meltdown in my hotel room. I also got a lot of bug bites, got to hang out with Rachelle and Amanda J, watch soccer, eat barbecue, and zoom through a lot of tolls without paying. Oops.

In June, I got pregnant! And even before I knew I was pregnant (but I totally was!) I got to spend an entire day with miss Kinzie and her brand new husband, Donnie on their honeymoon! We didn’t announce the pregnancy until I was 3 months-ish, but I started writing about all of that crazyness right away and saving it in drafts.

The summer months were a lot of me being really sick and trying desperately to pretend I wasn’t. I spent a lot of time on the floor in the hallway of my work trying not to throw up or pass out. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with things to say on this blog that were not, “Kill me, kill me now, I am so fucking sick,” over and over again. We had a brand new pool in our apartment complex but we only used it once because of me being bloated and sick. I did not get any sun on my legs. At one point it got so hot in our apartment (with no AC and no breeze) we spent a lot of time on the floor in our living room willing the world to cool down a little bit. Oh, and we ate a lot of watermelon. Gobs of watermelon! One time we each ate 1 whole watermelon all by ourselves in 1 day! And then we peed every hour for the rest of the night.

In August we went to Mexico City for our godson’s first communion. It was a challenge with how sick I was, but it was also kind of amazing to rock the jet-setting-ness even while wanting to puke all of the time. Plus, I love love love Mexico City and my extended family there. They are some of my favorite people in one of my favorite cities of all time.

In September Kamel turned 30!! In October we went to Disneyland with Sarah and Jon and found out we were having a boy. (Not at the same time, of course.) And in November Kamel voted for the first time and I went to Vegas as an obviously-pregnant-woman for work for a week. It’s weird dodging and weaving the party people when you are growing a human and cannot partake AND needing to get up in the morning like usual… all at the HardRock.

In December I was up in Seattle for work, to be a pregnant bridesmaid in my best friend, Kathleen’s beautiful winter wedding, and for Christmas. I love Seattle SO much and being able to spend so much time there was a gift.

In January we finished our bedroom/nursery and then I waited. I waited and waited and got bigger and bigger and worked and waited some more. And then on March 8th Gabriel arrived! I had a baby and our family became 3. I traveled more than I ever thought I would as a pregnant lady, and survived some major yucks with pregnancy that I truly never anticipated. Labor was challenging, straightforward, magical, mind-blowing, and epic epicness… also something I never thought I would feel.

Being 27 was not at all as I expected. I knew that I wanted to get pregnant, but the reality of what that meant changed the year in ways I never anticipated. Honestly, being 27 started out with me feeling older than I should have, but now looking back I see that it wasn’t about feeling old or coming to terms with being in my “late twenties” – it was a discovery on how life keeps happening regardless. It didn’t matter that I was pregnant, I still had to get up every day and go to work. I had to come to terms with putting a few career-y things on hold, while finding other ways to push myself further with my day job. It didn’t matter that I was pregnant, my best friend needed me in her wedding and hot damn I was going to be there, we were summoned to Mexico City for our godson and we went. Family events occur, holidays, work travel, life. Though I said “no” a lot more than I ever had in previous years, it turns out that it doesn’t matter if you are sick or uncomfortable, life keeps happening anyway. My 27th year was about either showing up or letting life run you over. In my 27th year it wasn’t all grand adventures, it was about the small victories, about family, and about identifying the priorities worth showing up for.

15 thoughts on “The Year I Was 27”

  1. Aw, yay, Lauren, I feel so special! I am still blown away when I think of that afternoon (and your sunburn from sitting in the shade!) and how you were actually pregnant then… I also can’t believe it’s almost been a year since we saw each other in person — I’d like to remedy that soon! I can’t wait to hear about your actual birthday, but from what I’ve seen, that cookie cake was a grand success. xoxo!

    1. I wish more people did this! I feel like it is always pretty amazing what happens in the span of 1 year. I would love to hear how other people spend their days/months/moments.

      1. I was actually just mulling over this, and the last year has been insane. In April of last year I had just left my job, i flew to seattle for my bach party, celebrated alex’s birthday. In May, we got married, I celebrated my birthday 2 days later, left for our honeymoon a day after that, went to Istanbul and Greece… in June, we returned from our honeymoon, alex graduated, alex started his new job. July, back to Seattle for funsies. Long slow summer, and then in October down to Atlanta for my brother in law’s wedding, attending another wedding back here in Illinois. November- started a new job, hosted 14 people for thanksgiving. December- Kathleen’s wedding, back to Seattle for Christmas. February, off to DC for a big work event and to visit Tina. March: squee-d all over my office when Gabe arrived, and now we are back to April with birthdays, weddings, and trips to San Fran on the horizon πŸ™‚

        Good lord. I’m exhausted.

  2. Wow Lauren, but wasn’t it the greatest adventure of them all, to get pregnant and to do all of those things while not feeling 100% you? And wow! You managed to travel a lot, Mexico city, Seattle, Disneyland, Vegas (twice?), Houston…. and dealing with work! You did it all even when lots of times you weren’t feeling so well. You kept writing and showing us the way, being refreshingly honest, and real, and just you. Happy happy birthday, again, I wish you all the love and joy and adventures and happiness. You rock girl!

    1. It was a big adventure! But also, because it is every single moment of every single day it also felt like every day life, because it was! So it’s great to look back and say… yeah. That happened! πŸ™‚

  3. I mean–*literally* a life-changing year for you. And I’m amazed at how much you did while preggo and sick. You are the bionic woman.

    I love this idea of a yearly wrap-up. It’s SO easy to just get caught up in the day to day, chugging along…and before you know it, YEARS have passed by without really knowing where they’ve gone, or what you did. It’s good to remember.

    1. I also think, for me, it is easy to get caught up and everything we want to do, all of the future planning and all of the go go go-ing and trying to get to whatever place we want to end up. Or planning our next vacation, or wishing we could do xyz, move to a new place, get a different job, whatever. I think this slows things down, taking it month by month and really counting all that has been done. It makes me really happy and proud. πŸ™‚

  4. What. A. Year!!

    So far, in the year I’ve been 23:

    Moved to Chicago, started a new job in Chicago, hosted our own Thanksgiving for 2, built my 1st snowman, got engaged!!, became a licensed realtor in Chicago, found out we’re moving to DC this Summer, decided to move the wedding to this Summer, had the first big blowout fight were we had to fiercely defend our baby family and won.

    This will be the age and year I get married, which blows my mind, and will probably continue to do so until June 24th.

    I get really consumed with planning what will be happening that it is really nice to sit back and reflect on the last 8 months and on now. Thanks!!!

  5. Happy birthday Lauren! Isn’t it strange looking back on a year and seeing just how much we’ve done or not done?

    In the last year, I have: gone on lots of pairs of dates, gone to Montreal and Quebec City, bought and closed and moved into a condo, celebrated my 24th birthday, started a relationship, gone on work trips to California and Baltimore, flown to meet said boyfriend’s family, changed jobs, gone away with my family Christmas, gone away for New Year’s with said boyfriend, gone on a work trip to Florida, broke up with said boyfriend, bought patio furniture, and now I’m about to buy ceiling fans. This past year has just been hard. I moved twice in 2012 and went on 10 trips. I’ve resolved that 2013 will be quieter and definitely not moving (see condo) and so far, so good!

    Somehow, I was pretty unexcited about being single on my 24th birthday last year, but I’m feeling much more confident about my upcoming (3 more months!) 25th birthday. I think that 25 will be a good year.

  6. In addition to agreeing with what everyone else said, I would like to add – cute birthday hair, and how silly/awesome/matchtastic it is that your color-coordinated with your cookie cake.

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