The Year I Was 28

This is a yearly tradition started when I was 21. Some of those posts have been lost, but if you would like to catch up, please check out 27, 26, 25, and 24 (with photos missing, unfortunately). 
 

And here we are again. Another year older, another year of wackyness and can-you-believe-it. Another post about all the stuff I (we) managed to cram in. And I’ll say it again and again and again: It’s amazing how much can happen in a year. It’s amazing what can happen from one moment to the next, you just never know. So let’s check out the recap.

A year ago today we were on our way to wine country with our 5 WEEK old. Weeks! Not months! What were we thinking? But we did it, we were fearless new parents, totally in this thing together, braving long drives and a screaming infant on a really glorious April day. Happy birthday to me. In some ways I would love to go back to that day because the newness of it all was beautiful. Spring had sprung, new life, Kamel and me charging ahead, it was all flower buds and beautiful, beautiful ignorance.

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Later that month Kathleen came to visit me and the baby while I was nearing the end of maternity leave. And a little over a week after that Claire and Maris were in town for the same reason. I have to say, I think about those visits all of the time as some of the best time spent with my best friends ever. The weather was lovely, everything was calm and relaxed and easy. The baby was snuggly, lots of chatting, movie watching, and walks in the sunshine were had. I can’t wait to have similar visits with them when their first-borns arrive. Those couple weeks were the perfect example of what close to 15 years of friendship creates.

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In May I went back to work and it was glorious. Minus the pumping in a conference room and awkward conversations had while storing my milk in the lunch fridges, that is. But really, being back with smart, funny, interesting co workers, doing something I felt good at, having my own time on the commute in, walking around not being pregnant or attached to a baby was glor-i-ous. At the same time though, I realized that I needed more from my career and the position I was in wasn’t going to give me opportunities for growth any time in the foreseeable future.

June and July began the dreaded apartment hunting of 2013 as chronicled here, here, and here. And we finally moved to one of my favorite apartments in the history of all apartments on a day when the entire family had colds and I kept telling Kamel while running bags and boxes of things to the car with the baby strapped to me, “We can be sick tomorrow, but NOT TODAY.” There is nothing like trying to find paper towels in a sea of kitchen boxes with a 6 month old.

Work for me during this time was becoming increasingly frustrating and I hate it when that happens because really, all I want to do is show up, be awesome, and go home. When I have to actually THINK about I become a disaster. I spent between 11 and 12 hours out of the house and away from the baby. Most of my days were about getting out the door, getting back in the door, making dinner, dealing with a fussy, tired baby who wasn’t tons of fun, and then going to bed.

There were other super happy things going on as well, though! I felt pretty excellent about my baby food making abilities – a from scratch enterprise (meaning, I didn’t know what I was doing and did it anyway!). We also successfully traveled with the baby multiple times and I even attended my 10 year high school reunion. The reunion made me jumpy. Don’t they make everyone jumpy? You know how it is – the people you don’t want to see, the people you hope are there, I had just had a baby so what to wear? All of that business.

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But it turned out great and really not that stressful at all. I chatted with people who I hadn’t spoke with in 10 years, other people who I have greatly admired just through facebook photos, and even with people who wanted to see how I was doing (ME?!). I went to an all-girls, catholic high school and seeing everyone together again made me feel like no time had passed at all. Some people never change, some people do. The people who thought they were cool kind of aren’t anymore, and everybody else is just trying to do the best they can. It was a really great, happy, experience. Ten years, ladies, 10 years.

In September we went on our first family vacation with the baby to the Oregon coast (Cannon Beach!) where we rented a house with my parents, played a lot of Plants Vs Zombies on the iPad, walked the beach, spent long evenings out at the fire-pit roasting marshmallows, and ate way too many lemon shortbread cookies.

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In November Kamel started interviewing for a job at Microsoft in Seattle and I held my breath that we would be able to finally move home. I was on the train after work when Kamel, still at the airport in Seattle after his interview, called me. Of course I was reading so I missed the call. It wasn’t until we were almost pulling into my station when I saw the notifications and called him back thinking that maybe he had caught an earlier flight. When he told me they had offered him the job I started crying with my hand over my mouth. I looked around trying to find someone who I could tell, but of course: only strangers.

Thankfully! My best friend, Claire, was waiting for me at home with the baby. So when I burst in the door with the news we immediately broke out into a happy dance, Puff The Magic Dragon, blasting in the background. I was going home!

That was definitely the big news of this year. The scramble to understand when we both would need to quit our jobs, when we could realistically be up in Seattle, handling a corporate move – something that was not at all as easy as was promised, hoping we could find an apartment and be settled before we lost our minds, and this with the holidays swimming around us plus a baby who was very confused by the constantly changing sleeping arrangements. .

Thanksgiving was spent in Mexico City with Kamel’s family and it was a great holiday, a great trip, and an excellent excuse for a lot of people we love to finally meet the baby.

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December rolled in with apartment hunting, the Macklemore concert with Claire, shipping off our car, packing up our apartment, and booking a 1 way ticket to Seattle that had us landing on a snowy morning on December 20th.

January is always the longest month for me. It’s the first month of the new year, you start off with holidays lingering and by the end I always feel like I need a long shower and some kind of spiritual cleansing. This year we headed off to the great white midwest in one of the coldest winters in my memory – Sweet Home Chicago!

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We got home, the Seahawks won the Superbowl, everyone got sick and stayed that way for many, many, many weeks (and into the foreseeable future, unfortunately), and I continued (and continue) to search for a job.

And though my world, and our future plans are still trapped somewhere in limbo, March didn’t slow down. Gabe’s first birthday party + having my sister-in-law, her future wife, and Kamel’s parents in town made for 1 busy busy weekend.

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Two weeks after that, we were on our way to Miami to watch Regina and Lara get married! And now you are all caught up! Deep breath in. And those were just the big events.

Overall the year I was 28 saw 2 full apartment moves, 8 flights (most of which were with baby), the loss of 55 lbs of baby weight, a new couch(!!), the first time I had ever hosted a family party, the bitter sweet (but heavy on the sweet) move out of the Bay Area, and the growth of a deep relationship with my food processor.

As always, today is a jumping off start to my new year. The year of 29. I look out and try to see what will happen next, and some things are illuminated but it’s the dark spots that excite me. What could happen? What could happen in a year? And where will I be standing 1 year from this moment? We’ll just have to wait and see…

6 thoughts on “The Year I Was 28”

  1. Oh Lauren congratulations! All the joy for you! It really was a great year, going back home, travel, and everything that happened in between. I wish you all the best, always.
    BTW you had me smiling at Puff the Magic dragon, I play it / sing it to Yu in catalan from time to time . (Puff era un drac magic que vivia en el fons del mar, pero sol s’aborria molt, i sortia a jogar. hi havia un nen petit, que se l’estimava molt… )

  2. I love this idea! And wow, you had a very busy year. I hope that your birthday was lovely and fun, and that this next year is full of love, joy, a new job, and general awesomeness.

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