I look back on last year’s birthday post and see so much travel, so much activity, so much transition! This year was more about growing roots, which is actually a very big process. Who knew? I’ve never really gotten the opportunity to cultivate a community, a village, and figure out a lot of the adult life stuff heading our way. The year I was 29 was mostly about that.
Just a few weeks after I turned 29 I started a new job writing/editing for a major US company and it’s suite of baby companies. I love that this is what I do. It’s also wildly under appreciated. So, I’m currently trying to balance all of that as I look into the future, see the end of my contract and the opportunities that await. What am I going to suss out for myself next? What new rung on the ladder am I going to climb? I want something a little bigger and a little better than what I’ve had in the past. And I’m ok saying I’ve earned that.
Come June we finally had Gabe Baptized! A totally lovely, spiritual, heartfelt event, full of family and a lot of love. I had been putting it off until we were somewhere I really wanted to settle into a community and a church attached to a school I want Gabe to attend.
I am constantly blown away by how many people love my son. We are so incredibly lucky to not only have that village, but be able to watch these people interact with him, to love on him, to become so much more than just, “My mom’s friends” or “My aunties” or whatever. There is love there, and relationship building. These people are the people who will be at his wedding and who will say, “I was there when you were ______” and what they really mean is, “I was there always.”
In July Kamel and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary and 5 years of knowing each other. Just 5 years ago I was not a mom, not married, not engaged, and still figuring so many things out. Last July I was having a staycation at the Four Seasons with my 15 month old son, and my hilarious and kind husband.
August took us to MAINE!!!!!!! The one place I’ve wanted to go since I was in 3rd grade!!! It was our first red-eye with Gabe, it was a mad-dash through Boston with the much needed help of Dunkin’ Donuts, and it was the dreamiest few days in Kennebunkport. This trip created many, many conversations about our future Maine vacation home and retiring on the coast. Many dreams were hatched, many Maine brews consumed, many sandy toes and hermit crab friends.
In October I renewed my contract with my current company, actually expecting to be hired on full time (as the position was contract-to-hire) and then got pregnant with our second child.
I felt like complete shit for most of the fall and into the winter months, making Christmas an especially difficult time with lots of family in town and hubub to attend to and me just wanting to curl up into a ball and fast forward time to a place where I no longer felt like I had a chronic hangover.
But! In December I also managed to get a subtle ombre color to my hair (risks! hair risks!), we put up our very first family Christmas tree, and even went to our very first Seahawks game!
December and the weeks between Christmas and New Years ended up being a lot. Too much, really. Too much for Gabe, too much for pregnant me, toooooo much. We entered into our first really terrible toddler phase in January.
January was probably the hardest month for us, for me, for Gabe, for Kamel. It was… long and filled with ongoing real life sickness, lots of terrible colds and rivers of snot, lots of nausea, me puking at work, and a lot of pissed off toddler tantrums. To the point where I even took Gabe to the doctor. “He’s broken. Fix it.” But I was sent home with a sympathetic look and a, “Yeah… he’s developmentally appropriate.” UGH! But, as phases do, this one ended. And we have settled into a new normal of Gabe being a fantastic ball of joy and also being incredibly difficult. Such is life.
January also had me getting serious on a book I had just been toying with writing since the fall. Reading took a back seat and writing became my full time activity outside of work and making life happen.
February we found out our second child will be a little girl. And I came to the 99% sure conclusion that we’re done after 2. Oh god how much I hate being pregnant, but how much I love having children. Life is full of mean little tricks.
February was also the longest month of the year even though it is the shortest. Why does that always happen? Expectation of a zooming good time always leads to a slooww crawl towards… what? The longest month of the year?
March! we were all geared up for our 1 family trip this year and then Gabe exploded vomit all over our house. We had our couch cleaned and I wallowed in the whip-lash of last minute travel cancellations. And time marched on.
And now April.
The day before my birthday I was flying back from Minnesota and a writing conference (while also visiting my friend Margaret). I was traveling alone, had spent the last week in a hotel alone, taking my pregnant body all over Minneapolis. I’m figuring out the politics of getting published, reminding myself of writing techniques I’ve forgotten from grad school, and supporting small journals.
This feels like a transition period. From once loving to travel alone to now feeling… not so settled with it. I want my family around me. I want to be able to mentally laser focus on something, but I also need to be able to come home to my kids and husband. This is shocking to me. I originally was craving this space for myself, but once here it became clear that something had changed. I have an amazing husband who doesn’t require many check-ins, we don’t guilt or feel jealous, I know that he has absolute control over the house and the kid while I’m gone, but there is a certain level of distraction on my end because I can’t hug my kid at the end of the day. I now understand why musicians take their kids on tour with them. It ends up not being a disaster, I don’t think, I think it let’s them work their ass off when they aren’t around them and then feel secured in family when they are. I think I need that too.
Hi 30. I’m starting to GET you.
Other notables from this year:
- 2 pairs of much-loved pants wore out in the booty and had to be sent to pant heaven within a few weeks of each other. Impressive.
- Currently OVER 10,000 words written on my new grad book.
- The Duprez house was chronically ill from mid December all the way through March this year. But! It was mostly just annoying colds, with 2 really terrible sweat and bathrobe inducing cold/flus, so all in all I think we’re on an upswing since the previous year? God that’s sad.
- 1 successful dead fish swap.
- Half way to our house down-payment savings plan!
- Successfully have a year of college savings/investment for Gabe.
- Wills and life insurances up to date!
- Only 2 round-trip flights taken. I think that is an all time 10 year low.
Now on to what’s in store next. 30s. Here we go…