Sunday, April 10, 2016

2016, the year of birthday blogs

Asher woke up at 5 this morning, ready to take on the world, as usual.  I’m not ready for anything at 5 am, so it was Brendan to the rescue.  When I finally rolled my big belly out of bed and let B sub out, I asked Asher what he wanted to do with his last day of being one.

His response? “Ummmm, breakfast!”

Duh, Mama.

Two years ago today and 10 days past his due date, Brendan and I were so impatiently waiting for our stubborn baby boy to make an appearance. I thought he would never come.

One year ago we were dumbfounded over how much a tiny human could learn and grow over the course of 12 short months, and we were still learning how to function on no sleep.  We were in awe of his sweet demeanor, his inability to grow hair, and his obsession with food.

Our little adventurer continues to amaze us.  This year he’s been a trooper on his first cross country trek, more plane rides than he can count, braving (and embracing) winter in Alaska, and growing a mullet.

I never got around to making him a baby book. Shutterfly literally couldn’t make it any easier, and I still find myself incapable of creating a book of memories of my baby’s first years. Maybe someday he’ll get a book, but for now he’s getting a paragraph on the blog.

A few current Asher-isms:

He’s still stubborn as hell, a total goof, and the ultimate snuggler.

He’s mastered repeating all the words we don’t want him to, and still fights sleep until the last possible second.

He makes sure his baby doll is fed, burped, and changed...and kicks his baby sister back when he feels her kick inside my belly. 

He’s obsessed with babies, planes, brushing his teeth, pizza, "helping" in the kitchen, Elmo, and whatever Daddy is doing.
He insists daily that the Alaskan climate is conducive to not wearing any clothes.

His favorite phrases are “DEFENSE,” when he’s shooting hoops in the hallway and cheering on the basketball teams at school; “I need help,” especially when he doesn’t; “I carry you,” when he wants to be picked up; and ”Holy sh*t...” because is there a more appropriate way for a toddler to express astonishment?

Two years ago we thought I was going to pregnant forever.  A year ago we thought he’d never learn to sleep.  A month ago I was damn sure the kid was NEVER going to stop nursing, and now I’m feeling pretty confident in the assumption that he’ll never stop surprising us, making us laugh hysterically, or filling our hearts to capacity.

I’m currently creepily watching him nap, and blubbering over how much he has grown. He’ll probably wake up soon and insist I blow my nose, then demand the birthday cake he’s been asking about for weeks. (The one that’s not made yet.)

Happy Birthday, sweet Asher Cale. We can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I only have one more day left of being 29, I should probably blog

30?! That one snuck up on me. Despite the fact that B has been reminding me that my birthday is coming up ever since he turned the big 3-0, I've pretty much been in denial of my 20s ending. But today I forced myself to stop and think about it, and set some goals for myself for the upcoming decade, and I'm actually not as anxious as I thought I'd be about the milestone.

I admittedly spent a good portion of my 20s comparing my success to others' and searching for some kind of permanent sense of a physical home. I literally searched the East and West Coasts for a place I could call home, and a life I felt comfortable living. I moved a lot, chasing some dreams I still have, and some that have fallen by the wayside. I lived in the city, lived by the beach, lived on a remote Alaskan island, and did a lot of traipsing around in between. I started (and have yet to finish) a couple of different grad programs, and taught the breadth of pre-school to high school.  I set a lot of goals, poured my heart into some of them, and half-assed an attempt at others.

Oh yeah, and I married my best friend and grew a human.

I'm turing 30 and we don't own a house yet, my masters degree has been in progress for way too long, and I'm not teaching in a school where I see myself for the duration of my career. My general reaction to thinking about these things (which is pretty often, like pretty much daily) is "Get on it, Meg. Get your ass in gear. Figure out the next step. Make a plan. Now."  At which point I make a bunch of plans, write a few dozen lists, set some unrealistic deadlines and goals for myself, and then beat myself up later when I haven't yet attained them.

But you know what? I'm turning 30 and I've decided that those things don't matter.

We don't own a house, but it doesn't matter because home is wherever I'm with my family. I'm at home here in Elim in our apartment, in my classroom, and walking on the beach. We're at home on the East Coast when we're spending time with family and friends. We're at home in our tent, regardless of which campsite it's set up in. We're totally at home in our Jeep on any road headed in any direction.

My master's degree isn't complete but it doesn't matter because I've finally found a program that I feel passionate about and can pour myself into, without feeling like I'm neglecting other aspects of my life. The work I'm doing now is completely intertwined and aligned with my career and my location, and instead of feeling like extra work, it feels like a natural fit.  And I'll finish it when I finish it. I probably [most definitely] won't be in Elim until I retire, but I'm teaching in a classroom I feel really comfortable and inspired in, and I love where I'm at in my career. For now.

I've always hated the term "for now." I am constantly looking, looking, looking for the next thing.

I didn't find that feeling of permanence I was searching for when I was in my 20s, and I'm totally ready to stop looking so hard in my 30s.  I feel comfortable, motivated, and completely at peace with where I live and work.

I get to watch the most breathtaking sunrises from my classroom every day. I teach some pretty awesome kids, and in turn they teach me a whole lot every day. I walk 3 minutes from my classroom door and eat lunch with my son every day. My husband's classroom shares a door with mine, and I can see him whenever the heck I want. And our family eats dinner together every, single night.

My life is happy, healthy, and simple. I'm not really sure what else there is to search for.

In June our family will grow when we add a baby girl, and I can't wait to see how much love and adventure she adds to our lives. I've still got some serious wanderlust, but instead of feeling the need to move every chance we get, I'm excited to instill curiosity, and a love of travel and new places in my kids.

I still have a lot of goals for myself, but instead of comparing myself and my success to others, I'm just going to let myself be inspired by it, and keep on trekking.

Goals/Mantras for 30+

Be productive. I have a whole lot of sh*t to do and have room for [a lot of] improvement in the procrastination department.

Be healthy. I never feel better about myself than I do when I'm spending enough time outside, eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising. I know myself well enough by now that I'm not going to sign up for a marathon, or try to force myself through Insanity again. But I can push myself to be active when I'm feeling lazy, and keep making conscious decisions about nutrition for me and my family. Plus, Asher's always up for some yoga.

Be present.  Asher teaches me a gazillion new things every day, things way more important than scrolling through social media, or reading an article about something happening a thousand miles away. My life is right in front of me, and it's pretty awesome.

Be practical. I'm sure my unrealistic, idealistic self is not just going to disappear at when the clock strikes 12 Sunday night, but I can work on being intentional and keeping my goals and priorities in check.

So maybe 30 wasn't ever anything to be afraid of, I'm actually pretty excited about it.