One Month In (Reflection)

I’ve been 35 for one month. Most people tell me that I don’t look 35 at all. :) That makes me happy. I’m glad I still look pretty young, although definitely not as youthful as I used to look. And I’m noticing other things.

I’ve filled out surveys for companies for years. Now I’m clicking the next bracket of age tick boxes. The 35-40 bracket. When I hear about health risks for certain things, the “Women 35 and older–” thing kind of freaks me out because that’s ME now. If Adam and I decide to have a baby, I’m going to have to get loads of extra tests because I’m in the “at risk” part of my life. I remember watching TV and everyone was so grown up. Now, I’m older than almost everyone I see in commercials, on shows. People born in 1990 will be 20 this year!

One month into age 35, and I am a homemaker. An avid reader (I’m up to 16 new books for 2010 so far). I haven’t published a novel (yet). I have a seven year old son who is awesome. I live in Chicago (did NOT see that coming five years ago). I was once stick thin with a belly button ring. I’m definitely not stick thin anymore, but people still tell me I’m “tiny.” The belly button ring is long gone, and now I wonder if the way I dress isn’t too youthful. I like my jeans and hoodies and Airwalks, that’s for sure. I’m growing my hair out and will eventually chop off all the relaxed stuff and be completely natural. It’s challenging because well, I have no clue really of how to take care of my hair in its natural state. It’s been relaxed or straightened since I was a little girl. But I have not had a relaxer put in since May of 2009. But when I see women with before and after pictures, they all look way more amazing with natural hair. I hope that’s the case with me!

As I grow older, I notice that I am more sensitive to loud noises. I am becoming more of a homebody, preferring to hang around the apt with a stack of books, a glass of juice, and some comfy pillows than go out. Although, if someone mentions a trip to Target, I’m there. (I once told Adam that if he asks me if I want to go to Target and I say “no” to take my temperature. Seriously.) I am way more sensitive to smells. Certain scents I used to love, I can no longer stand. And bad smells drive me up a wall in a way that is not normal. I can smell things that most people don’t even notice, and bad smells stick with me for hours after the source is gone. I still like hanging out with my friends. I’m becoming a bit more frugal… by CHOICE this time, which is nice, although I do splurge on books too often. I’m debt free, I still love spaghetti, and bacon, and Cream of Wheat. I still get cold all the time. I’m still a night owl!

I don’t think too much about my mortality. I try not to, because death is so final. It’s not like I’m exactly “living it up” these days either, but I’m enjoying being restful for now. There were too many years when life was anything but.

I don’t have a five-year plan in place, because I’ve learned that a LOT can happen to blow even the best laid plans out of the water. I do have dreams, though. I’d like to move to a nicer, bigger place. I don’t know where yet. It could be somewhere else in Chicago. It could be a Chicago suburb. It could be back to Columbus. I’d like to have a book published by 2015, but I’m not going to stress myself over making that goal. I’d like to get a tattoo. I want to see Aidan a LOT more. I’d like to be working from home, as I do now, but more regularly and lucratively. I’d like to be comfortable financially. I don’t need to be super rich (although I wouldn’t turn it down!). I just want to be happy and healthy and secure and comfortable. Those are my main dreams. I’d like to travel too. Ireland!

Right now, I am content. I mean, the apartment has some issues, but it’s warm and keeps me sheltered. I don’t get to see Aidan as often as I’d like, but I get to see him a lot more than I used to when I first moved here. I like proofreading. I live in a cool city even though the taxes are ridiculous and some of the costs here are unnecessarily high and inconvenient. I have friends and I’m making new ones all the time. I love my husband like crazy. How could I not? He’s so CUTE!

Life’s OK at 35. I have a feeling it’s just gonna get more fabulous.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Happy New Year!

:) It’s 2010! I rang in the new year with friends, loved ones, and Martini & Rossi Assi. It was good.

Many people are doing those year in reflection things–I did that already. But here’s my decade in reflection. ‘Cause you can’t go forward if you don’t know where you’ve been.

– I bought This domain will be ten years old in November.
– Married Chris in August.
– I got obsessed with scrap booking.

– Lucy came to live with me.
– First flight ever.
– First trip to Disney World.
– 09/11/2001.
– Attended Britney Spears concert.
– Saw Janet Jackson in concert.

– I find out I’m pregnant. WHOA!
– Aidan was born in December.
– Chris and I buy a house.

– My life was seriously shaken up in 2003, and not in a good way. My “Christian” faith hasn’t been the same since.

– I got my driver’s license and my first car.
– I turned 30 in December.

– Disney World with Chris and Aidan!
– I quit my job at Nationwide after being there for five years, and became an editor at McGraw-Hill.
– Flew out to Los Angeles to spend time with my friend Amy, and to go to Disneyland!
– I got really serious about writing, and immersed myself in the writing world. Met many great authors and people.

– I got an agent for my book ONLY YOURS (ONLY YOURS did not sell after being on submit for two years. I still haven’t quite recovered from that blow, even though I know now that it wasn’t the right time or book for me to debut.)
– Attended my first writer’s conference.
– Met Adam.
– Went to Vegas, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Hoover Dam.
– Went to the Smokey Mountains in TN.
– Quit my job at McGraw-Hill to become a copy editor for Zaner-Bloser.
– Attended first Bob Dylan concert, in Ft. Wayne, IN.
– Saw Bob Dylan in concert in Philadelphia, PA.
– Chris and I separated.

– I got divorced.
– Had a year of sucky money problems, depression, and losing friends, but Adam and Aidan were my bright spots. I also learned who my real friends actually were.
– Met Laurie Halse Anderson!
– Flew out to San Jose to attend Rosa’s wedding. ♥
– Car got broken into, iPod and sunglasses stolen.
– Flew to Atlanta to meet Adam’s family.
– Attended my first Sci-Fi Con–Dragon*Con in 2007.
– Flew to San Francisco to hang out with Rosa!
– Atlanta for Thanksmas.
– Went to New York City with Adam; saw Rent!
– I got engaged to Adam in September.

– Aidan was in a very serious car wreck and needed 48 stitches. He bounced back well.
– Chris revealed a big secret (but it really wasn’t to all of us who knew him well).
– I moved to Chicago.
– Got to play on the set of Wicked.
– Lucy passes away May 30, 2008. :(
– Adam and I got married in July. ♥
– Helena joins the family July 11, 2008.
– Disney World honeymoon in September!
– The U.S. gets its first black president… HOLLA!

– Went to Los Angeles, Disneyland in January. Visited friends and family. Pretty awesome.
– Met Meg Cabot, Peter Yarrow, and Sharon Draper in February.
– Saw Rent in April. Got to play on the set!
– Bought first American Girl doll!
– I decide to go NATURAL with my hair. For real this time.
– Attended DucKon for the first time.
– Michael Jackson dies. :(
– Met SARAH DESSEN holy cow I still can’t believe that happened. Also got to see Laurie Halse Anderson again. :)
– Adam, Aidan, and I went to Disney World.
– Hung out with my teen crush Ricky Luna, whose new album is beyond awesome.
– Met many new and awesome people.

So many people have come in and out of my life. Some people I thought would be my best friends forever dropped me without a second thought when I made choices they did not agree with, and in all fairness, I have done the same to people. New people have come and gone. Some of the loss still hurts a bit, but I am moving on and I am embracing all the new friends I have made. Or the old connections that have rejoined.

When 2000 started, there wasn’t a Facebook or even a MySpace. FarmVille? If someone had told me I’d be addicted to a farm game, I’d have probably laughed. Then again, maybe not. I was into the Sims pretty hard core. Broadband internet was a new thing, and blogging was done mostly with Blogger. Then Greymatter. Then b2. There was definitely no Twitter, and LiveJournal was just getting its start. People could take full bottles of shampoo and body wash on planes, and we didn’t have to remove our shoes to go through security at the airport. Britney Spears was just blowing up, and there wasn’t yet a Hannah Montana or a High School Musical. People were breathing sighs of relief that the Y2K bug hadn’t destroyed the Earth, or at least all of our computers. The iPod came around. Everyone began carrying cell phones that became more and more sophisticated. Now our phones are like little computers, doing everything except going to the bathroom for us!

So many things have changed personally. I’ve gone through at least five computers. I’m living my fifth dwelling since 2000. Aidan’s grown from a tiny little seed in my body to an intelligent and kind little boy. He’s turning into a booknerd like me; once he starts reading, he will read for hours. My life is… well, I could not have imagined it being where it is now. It’s amazing what God can do. It’s amazing how life just… well, how you can’t even EXPECT anything because really, what do you know? I am filled with so much gratitude for my friends, my family, MY LITTLE BOY, Adam, the blessings I have that are way above and beyond what I need. I live in a great deal of comfort and I try my best to keep a gracious heart at all times. It’s important, and it helps my emotional well-being. :)

What’s in store for 2010? I don’t know, but it’s going to be fabulous and Legend… wait for it… DARY!

Here’s for a successful, prosperous, happy, secure, exciting, and amazing 2010 for all of us.

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Things I Miss:
– Seeing Aidan every day
– My mommy
– My love of, passion for, and dedication to actually writing stories/books
– The Ohio State Fair
– BBQ Fritos
– Columbus Public Libraries
– Living walking distance from the library
– Whetstone Park of Roses
– Having my own house
– Traveling and taking loads of pictures of new places
– My friends in Columbus
– My friends all over the U.S. who I’ve had the chance to visit or host in my home
– The 97.9 WNCI Morning Zoo
– Cherry pies from McDonald’s
– Marc’s
– Not being nervous about driving
– Not being scared of screwing up and being fired every day
– Certain former friends
– Friday night Scattergories
– Friday nights with “the gang” in 2005
– Going to a chiropractor

Things I Do Not Miss:
– Crazy neighbor from across the hall
– Drama
– That I-270 merge
– Worrying about money
– Not seeing Adam every day

Things I Like About My Life:
– Being married to Adam
– Work (on good days)
– Proofreading for Loyola for the 2nd year
– Walking around downtown on a nice spring or summer day
– My American Girl dolls
– Living a 15 minute bus ride from American Girl Place Chicago
– Getting to do cool things like play on the RENT set or hang out and watch a movie being filmed
– Riding the El
– Randomly seeing celebrities or on-the-verge celebrities
– Living close to Millennium Park
– My friends
– Spaghetti
– Looking forward to another Disney World trip
– Christmas in Chicago

Things I Could Do Without In My Life
– The water hammering in the pipes that happens almost every time someone takes a shower
– Feeling like if I don’t make it here, I’m a failure and won’t make it anywhere
– 10.25% sales tax (13.25% on pop). Need I say more?
– The weight I’ve gained since moving here
– Being worried that Helena is going to pee in a naughty place

That’s all for now. I am sleepy. Good night!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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I am very disappointed in some of the mean-spirited and negative things I’m seeing across the Internet today. Feel the way you will, but the attacks are just plain uncool. I remember being disappointed when Bush won in 2000, and again in 2004, but I didn’t go out of my way to jeer at my friends who voted for him, or say hurtful things about how this country was going to hell or whatever. I may not have agreed with their choices, but I agreed with their rights to make the choice and not badger me about mine.

That’s not the case this time around. I’m seeing sides of people that I never thought I’d see; people I used to respect, people I had counted as my friends. And it’s hurtful. I feel as though they are attacking me with the things they are saying and believing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not about who you support, it’s about how you handle it. With that said, there are some people who have been amazing and I find myself extremely grateful they are in my life or have come back into my life. I’m seeing compassion, grace, and respect on a level I never expected, but when I think about it, I don’t know why I didn’t expect those things from those people. I guess I just didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.

Frankly, I am also puzzled. No matter who would have won, this election was going to be historical and groundbreaking. It IS historical and groundbreaking. A black president, or a female vice president. How amazing is that? Why aren’t people more excited about the idea that this is freaking incredible, and would have been no matter what?

But if I’m learning one thing, it’s patience and tolerance. Not everyone is like me. And that’s OK. I just wish others would be OK with not everyone being/thinking/believing like them (minus the hatred and all the other bad stuff).

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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