On Accepting Myself and Turning Thirty

Tomorrow I will be thirty years old.

THIRTY.  30.  Three-zero.

Is turning thirty hard for everyone?  Just me?  OK.

It’s all in my head.

I don’t want to grow up and I don’t want to be responsible and I don’t want to worry about money.

I’ve learned that I’m a control freak.  Which might explain where all of this anxiety comes from.

Recently I realized that I’m old.  I know I’m not old, but just let me explain.  I work a very part time job where there are a lot of college kids in their early twenties.  I’ve become work buddies with some of them (one of which shares my birthday, and I’ve never met anyone who shares my birthday! But god knows I know at least 12 other people with a birthday the first week of December as well.).  A few days ago at work I was talking with a few of them and one of them mentioned a show they were going to to see, a band I’ve never heard of.  And the others chimed in and they made plans.  And just like that I felt old.  I had never heard of whatever band they were talking about, I don’t go to shows anymore, and I can’t make plans like that on a whim.  And I don’t get asked to.  And it’s not like I actually want to hang out with these kids outside of work, but I just realized that that part of my life is over.  Forever.  And realistically that part of my life was over when I found out I was pregnant but for some reason I’ve held on to the hope of still being able to be a reckless twenty-something.

Now I’ll be a responsible thirty-something.  I remember my mom watching that show, Thirty-Something, and she had a t-shirt that said thirty-something on it and it was teal with pink cuffed sleeves.

I know what I have now is so much better, it really, truly is.  But I really miss the days of hauling my camera around and sneaking it in to shows and staying out all night with my friends and not having to worry about what time my son will wake me up in the morning.

I’m just having a small moment of crisis.  Actually it’s not small because it’s been going on this entire year.  I have spent this entire year feeling like this and beating myself up and feeling like garbage.  I want to be done with it.  But I know these things are easier said than done.  No amount of therapy or drugs can make this feeling go away instantly.  Believe me, I know.

I’m going to do my best to welcome this new year, new decade of my life and myself with open arms, and to kick 29 and 2013 in the ass on their way out.

Onward and upward!

***We had our first real family photos taken a couple of weeks ago by my very talented friend Lacey.  Check out her work at laceymonroephotography.com***
Max&Erin_LaceyMonroePhotography

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Max’s 2nd Birthday Party

It was a perfect day.  There was not a cloud in the sky and it was 75 degrees.  I was hoping all week for weather like this.  Max started his birthday off with a cinnamon roll breakfast, playing with his birthday present from us, a basketball hoop, and then not napping.  Because that’s his favorite thing to not do these days.Birthday_01Of course getting everything ready and set up was down to the very last minute.  Thankfully my brother, Cameron, and his girlfriend, Courtney, came over early to help me out and OHMYGOD they were the best.  They win the prize.  Birthday_07For the party I wanted blue and green and alligators.  I found this great shop on Etsy, Design {on} Paper, where there are pre-made invites and all you have to do is provide a photo and the information and BAM! you have a super awesome invitation ready to print.  Along with the invite I ordered the party kit which came with a happy birthday banner and all kinds of little cutouts (which I didn’t get to use many of because of time and certain things not panning out like I had hoped.  Oh well!).  I printed up all 24 of his monthly photos and had Courtney and Cameron string them together.  I covered the tables with brown wrapping paper from the dollar store and left crayons on them.  Birthday_08Of course I wanted some nice photos of Max in his little bow tie I made before he got filthy and covered with food.  But sadly this was the best I got.  I asked a friend to take some quick pics of us as a family and they didn’t come out great.  We had splotchy shadows all over our faces and in each photo someones face looks ridiculous.  (I made up for that on Easter though.)  I released Max to do what he wanted and we had a party!Birthday_05We also had an Easter egg hunt!  Where I’m pretty sure Max consumed more sugar than he ever has in his entire life.Birthday_03And of course there was cake.  My mom ordered the cake and I was very pleased with the way it came out.  Also, it was delicious.Birthday_02^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Birthday_04^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Birthday_06^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Birthday_09

Max is a very, very loved little boy.

This time around I realized I needed to do a few things differently:

1) I can’t do it all.  I want to, so badly, but I need help.

2) Hire a photographer.  Seriously.  I was too wound up to run around and take photos and all I wanted was a few nice photos of Max and our little family, and all the details and all the guests.  Ok, I want photos of EVERYTHING.  And I can’t do it on my own.

3) RELAX.  And have fun.

I think Max had a fabulous time.  There were so many friends to play with, and bubbles to pop and it really was a great afternoon.

Check out Max’s first birthday party here.  And check out his 24 month recap here.

Birthday Week 2012

Up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t given a single thought to turning twenty nine, much less thirty.  But then I started thinking about it and it made sad.  Maybe sad isn’t the right word, but I think it is.  I’m just going to miss (Well, I do miss it now) the being young and stupid and reckless thing.  Not that I really need that in my life anymore but it would be nice to be able to drop everything and leave town for a few days just for fun on a moment’s notice.  I miss life before Max.  I miss life before Rob even.  I miss life before I moved out of my parent’s house.  The grass is always greener, eh?  GET OVER IT ERIN.  It’s fine.  Twenty nine will be great and 30 will be fabulous.

MOVING ON……

So I turned twenty nine last week and it was a really, really great day.  Perfect in fact.  First off I woke up to a bouquet of flowers and for lunch Rob and Max took me to the Grilled Cheese Grill, I loooooove that place.  A restaurant dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches?  GENIUS.  While Max was napping Rob presented me with presents and a heart shaped red velvet cake!  Rob made me a cake!Birthdays_01For dinner we met my mom and Cameron and brother by friendship, Alex, at a place I’d never been, Golden Valley Brewhouse.  max ran around like a damn maniac, because that’s all he ever does anymore GAAAAAAAAHHHH.  That’s for another day.  Dinner was lovely, and the brownie/ice cream deal was great.  Birthdays_03AND THEN WE WENT TO ZOO LIGHTS.  Except when we got there the line was insanely long and I was crabby about it, but then it went fast and we got in and it was suuuper crowded but we still had fun.  You know who had the most fun though?  MAX DID.Birthdays_04Birthdays_02Oh, he just loved it.  I think we’ll go back soon but earlier in the evening so we’re not running into bedtime, but even having been up two hours past bedtime this kid did awesome.  Also, we got a zoo membership!  So we’ll be hanging there all the time.

And that was my birthday.

Friday was Rob’s birthday.  He’s so old now I’ve forgotten his age.  I had to work during the day so festivities were put on hold til after I got off.  I gave Rob his presents and we went out to eat at his family’s favorite chinese place, Kwang Chow.  It was just me and Rob and Max, our little family.Birthdays_05Saturday was Rob’s real celebration.  For the last three years Rob has made a tradition of going to play laser tag for his birthday.  So that is exactly what we did.  Our team won each game we played, duh.  I even got the highest score out of everyone playing the last game.  That’s out of like thirty people!  It was a blast, even if we were playing against a bunch of preteens.Birthdays_08(Thanks Greg for the group photo!)

After laser tag we went to dinner at our favorite Mexican joint, La Caretta where Rob and I shared a cazuela, a bowl full of liquor.  Rob and Max got to wear the birthday sombrero, which when I think about it is really disgusting and probably full of lice and somebody else’s dandruff.  Ew.Birthdays_06After all that we had a few friends over for a game night in our rumpus room (basement) which is still decorated for Max’s for Max’s first birthday party because I obviously don’t spend enough time down there to actually clean up.Birthdays_07I’d say we had a nice birthday week.  Each year all I want is to be with my family and have cake (because it’s not really a birthday without cake).  I’ve got year, well 359 days, until I turn thirty and until then I will enjoy the last days of my twenties the best way I know how, drinking white wine spritzers and watching Roseanne.

You can find past birthdays here: 2011, 2010

Perfect Day for a Birthday

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday.  It was one of those perfect Oregon spring days where the blue sky was sprinkled with clouds and it was warm enough to not wear a jacket.  We spent the afternoon at the Japanese Gardens.Then there was dinner at Henry’s.And a very special birthday cake at my house.Happy birthday, mama!

The Big Birthday Party

On Saturday March 31st we celebrated Mr. Maxwell’s very first birthday with lots of family and friends.  When I say a lot, I mean a lot.

I was so excited to bust out the decorations I made!  Besides the bunting, I made Martha Stewart’s pom-poms and a garland out of the monthly photos I’ve been taking.  And! And I made a table runner with fabric remains!

While it was wet outside, the sun came out which was the perfect opportunity for some  family photos.  Mr. Maxwell looked so handsome in his little bowtie, and I finally got to wear a dress I got a while ago.

We sang Happy Birthday, led by Mike on the accordion.  I made green velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and there weren’t nearly enough for everyone (sorry!).

After the Happy Birthday singing fun, everyone headed downstairs for a very special performance from the Little Sally Drapers.  This little hodge podge band made up of a guitar, one drum, an accordion and a glockenspiel played Ooh La La by the Small Faces (fitting, eh?) and the Beatles Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (it’s an appropriate song for a one year old, right?).  It was perfect.  Max even did the bouncing booty dance.

There were presents.  Good gravy did this kid get spoiled.  He’d be happy with a broken remote control, but now he’s got all these awesome things.  Some with bells and whistles and sirens and lights and animal noises.  And some simpler things like wooden cars and a wooden pound a peg (which he can totally do) and a red ball (a HUGE hit).  And then there were the sentimental gifts like a book couple of friends brought with colored pencils and markers and had the guests draw and write stories.  How cool is that?  There are some really fantastic things in there drawn by our friends and family.  Rob made a book of all MS Paint drawings (which he’s famous for).  It’s pretty amazing.  And of course there was my quilt.  Yes  I did wrap it after I had taken his 12 month photo on it.  It’s all for the pictures, you know?  I took it out of the box for him and he pulled it over his head and started playing peek-a-boo.  I think he likes it.

I’d say aside from not having enough cupcakes for everyone, and not really being prepared for that many people, it was a total success. And it wouldn’t have been that way without the help of our amazing family and friends.  I know it was a crazy and chaotic scene but was still a great time and I wouldn’t change a thing.  OK, maybe I would’ve made more cupcakes.

And I didn’t cry!  I got a a little teary when The band was playing and when I looked through the book of  drawings and the book Rob had made.  When the party was over, I couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t believe it had happened, that he was one and that we were beginning a whole new year.

And I swear in that afternoon something changed in Max.  He was so easy going around all those people, and by the end of the day he was able to stand on his own and push his walker.  I guess he’s officially a toddler now.