10.09.2012

A BIRTHDAY WITH GEORGE AND MARTHA

this vanilla bean cupcake from alexandria cupcake and i got on real good, thanks for asking!

on tuesday we visited mt vernon.
it was drizzly and foggy and gorgeous,
and mt. vernon was so good. 
the property is beautiful, the museum is fantastic, and the gift shop!

i will also have you know that i forgot to pack any hair implement of any kind for this trip, 
and so by tuesday my hair was just sort of like, "well, whatever."

they told us we couldn't take photos inside the house, so of course i was forced to take this 
blurry shot of the crib in a guest room, because i am ornery.
george and martha's view of the potomac. it's killer.

so, right, so.... thirty. 
(i'm about to get a little silly and thoughtful on you now. scroll if you must.)

we used to joke as a family that i was born thirty. i think when i was two my favorite food was salad. i was always really serious about things and weirdly driven to not act like a teenager once i got there (though i'm sure i still did). i didn't even really go through any rebellious teenaged angst... well, not until i was 26. and then i went through it with gusto! 

so in the last two or so years, turning thirty started to become this thing. 

"when i turn thirty, i'll finally be ME." 

like my outsides and my insides would finally match up. and then we'd sail off together into the sunset.

me in my twenties wasn't my favorite. my twenties were such an in between time. and not to mention, my twenties did not go at all as i had planned. babies came stubbornly slower than expected, we stayed broke and stayed broke and stayed broke some more long past the point at which i felt it was appropriate to stay broke... it took us so long to get started that i thought we'd never get past the point where we needed to use the credit card to buy groceries at the end of every semester. brandon and i, we took the long, slow, scenic route to adulthood. five years of grad school will do that. my twenties just felt like this nothing nowhere time of endless preparation and attempts at getting started and very little payoff. there were beautiful times, of course, there are always beautiful times, and i hunted and digged for them and displayed them proudly where i could see them. but life in my twenties did not come easily. and while i'm glad--my twenties made me who i am today, and i like who i am today--still. good riddance. 

but that's sort of the thing, right? i like who i am today. i feel blessed that i've become this me. i like that i'm compassionate and sympathetic and understanding, and that i don't take things for granted. i like that i know how to hustle. i like that i'm kind, the kind of kind that comes from years of swallowing my pride. i like that i know that i know how swallow my pride. not everyone learns that. 

somewhere in the last year things started getting really good. brandon has a great job, our debt is slowly (slowly slowly) coming under control, i've found a way to help that finally utilizes this weird set of skills i came with, and my anxieties about the future, about who i'm supposed to be, are nearly all but gone. i love living in new york city. i love my beautiful little family. i know they were meant to be mine. i know that my journey to and along the path of motherhood is meant to be very spiritual, very purposeful, and very hard-won for me. and i'm proud of that. i feel strongly that there's one more baby out there for me. i don't know when exactly, but i know i'll meet her soon. and when she gets here i know that i'll recognize her as the one i was waiting for all this time. i know once she's here i'll feel complete. 

(if she turns out to be a he, i'll feel just the same! although--and i may definitely regret writing this--i do feel like i already know her. like we've spoken before. that's cheeseballs to say, but there it is. and who knows what all that really means, if anything. but some nights as i drift off to sleep i think i can feel her with me already.) 

but when the morning of october 2 rolled around and i awoke in our hotel room as my new self, with my insides and outsides finally together, it felt like a little bit of a letdown. because i think i realized i'd already done it. we'd already met up, maybe a few months back. no flash of lightning to go along with it, just a gradual melting of past and present and future. i'd had that peace and courage with me already. i'd already been who i was meant to become. so i sort of laughed at myself (as i often do) and got busy packing snacks and tidying up brandon's socks and answering happy birthday emails and texts.

so, this is me. i cry watching dumbo, i can only eat cereal in implements of four-or-more bowfuls, i get extremely defensive if you tell me i'm wrong, i need ten hours of sleep to function, i like back tickles and having my toes popped, i'm a little bit ornery, my favorite time of day is 11pm, i like to walk really fast and wear stupidly tall shoes, i need to feel heard when i'm feeling frustrated, and i like myself best when i have really obnoxiously long eye lashes. here i am!

welcome, thirties.

you and me are gonna kick some ass.

105 comments :

  1. I love your silly and fun posts, but this type of post is my favorite. Huzzah for your insides and your outsides matching. Horray for every part of you--what you share here and what you don't. I love coming each day to see what you've got for me to read and laugh over and think about. So,happy (late) birthday, Natalie! I'm excited to see what your thirties are like!

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  2. You have the most beautiful way with words, happiest entry into your 30s, Natalie! May you continue to inspire people all around you for many more years. You're the best.

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  3. This was beautiful. You're gorgeous, your family is lovely, and I wish you a happy year!

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  4. love this. thirty, flirty, and thriving, baby! (please tell me you've seen thirteen going on thirty?)

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  5. happy birthday! you've got it right... go into your thirties with a big "yay!" (jumping up as your feet and head sway backwards and your hands go high in the air)

    that was a cheeseball statement, but you're really taking "being 30" by the horns. nothing to fret about, because being 30 IS YOU after all.

    cheers!

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  6. Perfectly lovely!
    Welcome to the club!

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  7. This is probably too soon to write considering I am still in my early twenties but they have yet to turn out anything that I figured they would be. Of course better, much better than I could have ever dreamed. It's funny how life works out sometimes.

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  8. Great! Beautiful! 2 years from thirty and loving this post!
    " we'd already met up, maybe a few months back. no flash of lightning to go along with it, just a gradual melting of past and present and future." guh I loved that.

    Happy Birthday!!

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  9. Happy Birthday!! I think this is AWESOME...and you and your family as well!!

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  10. You just hit the nail on the head. I mean....EXACTLY. I turned 30 last year. Guess what? 31 is EVEN BETTER! Can you imagine? I loved this post so much. so so much.

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  11. happy birthday! SUCH a beautiful and inspiring post!

    (i also know exactly what you mean about knowing "her"....i felt that way for years as hubby and i went through fertility treatments. and then one day, our sweet baby girl was placed into our arms and our adoption was final, and i finally knew: she was home. this sweet girl, who we waited for for so long, she was finally home.)

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  12. "Thirty, flirty and thriving." Did they write that line for you? You are going to love your thirties...

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  13. cheers to this, natalie.

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  14. As someone who also just turned thirty, I really love this post. I've felt like an adult my entire life and while all of my friends were freaking out because we are now '30,' I was actually looking forward to a new decade with less stress, more happiness, more confidence, more peace. I think this is the time in life when you get to know yourself, and I welcome that. Happy birthday!! xo

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  15. what a sweet post, you have quite a way with words. i'm looking forward to 30 as well, it's coming soon for me (april!) happy birthday!

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  16. Happy Birthday! I just figured out who you look like--Punky Brewster.

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  17. Happy birthday! Oh and you are adorable... I noticed that your shirt matched your delicious looking cupcake.

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  18. As always, fabulous post! I'm turning 30 in 6 months and I've been feeling sort of the same way. Like I finally done figuring out who I am and I can finally focus on just being who I am. It's a wonderful feeling. I think I'm more excited about turning 30 than anything else.

    p.s. I'm praying that you will get to meet that little baby sooner rather than later. :)

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  19. This gives me such hope... I'm darn close to my 28 mark and have been feeling all of those same fears and hopes. And, even with the cheerfulness and encouragement this blogging community holds, it's still weird and disconcerting to realize someone you felt strangely connected to- an old soul who is piecing their life together, babies, jobs, travel... is only 23 1/2. And that choking moment of realization that you're ass old, relatively speaking, and haven't pieced much of anything other than a happy marriage together. No house, no kids, naughty pets, no wiggle room to travel.
    So, your admission that your old soul had to take a longer journey gives me hope. And it encourages me to know that the pieces don't fall perfectly into place for even the best and sweetest and kindest.
    Happiest Birthday month to you. May this year be filled with all the goodies you've so patiently waited for!

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  20. your "well, whatever" hair is my new dream hair.

    also reading this post made me feel like i was watching that amazing scene from "up" that always leaves everyone in tears because it is just so beautiful and perfect.

    it has been a wonderful journey watching you become your most you over the past three and a half years. happiest of birthdays miss natalie!

    xo

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  21. i absolutely loved this post!--couldn't help but read every word. I'm turning 24 next week and everyone at my work thought I was at least 31. After getting over being completely offended and checking my face for any wrinkles or sagging I might have missed, my co-workers said it was because of my maturity (and how could I be married for four years and have a kid if I wasn't 30?). Anyway, I feel ya. I loved reading about you feeling the presence of your next little one--what a sweet feeling of comfort and peace that is. Rooting and praying for you as you start this decade that promises lots of joy!

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  22. I must say, my sister and I kept making Pat Sajak jokes both during and after the movie when we visited in 2010.

    Love your words, welcome to your thirties!XO.

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  23. Seriously, can we be friends?

    To the dirty 30--Happy most wonderful birthday. Those stars are waiting for you purty lady! :)

    p.s. Same blogger template. Great minds and that stuff ;)

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  24. loved this! So true to yourself and happy. Maybe we have birthdays so that when we wake up and don't feel any different we realize we really have grown. What a great perspective. I especially loved hearing that you know who you are and you're happy with yourself. I'm twenty, married, first child is almost one and I'm so happy with where we are (typical BYU story :) but I still struggle to understand who I am. What I'm supposed to be, yadda yadda yadda so I'm glad to know I'm not the only one and that you've made it through the twenties and know who you are now.

    Also, I hope the whole knowing your child before they are born thing isn't crazy because I'm convinced I have a little boy up somewhere. I know his name and I'm convinced we're closer than I know. Thanks again for such a great post!

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  25. This post moved me in a way I didn't expect. I too feel like there's a little out there still. Waiting. But mine is a he. I just have to say I think you're lovely and funny and honest and someone I wish I knew in real life.
    Happy birthday and here's to an amazing year!
    Huzzah!!

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  26. Love Mt. Vernon! My family has season passes, we go at least 10 times a year! Did you go on the boat ride?

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  27. This: "i feel strongly that there's one more baby out there for me. ...and when she gets here i know that i'll recognize her as the one i was waiting for all this time." I love that so, so much. It's just how I felt before my own Henry came along.

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  28. Happy late birthday, Natalie! I love this post. I feel a little like that, too. I wait and wait for something and when that day finally comes and there's no flash of lightning, I realize it had already happened. And I eventually get used to it. :) Love this post.
    The Rich Style

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  29. Beautifully written and a happy not-so-dirty thirty to you!

    xoxo

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  30. I love this. Sounds like having your outsides and your insides match up is a good feeling, no? I'll get there... Probably when I'm 30. And I'm not so scared of that anymore.

    xo

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  31. I really appreciate this post. Especially the portion about finding your "real me" and your unexpected twenties. Totally hit home!

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  32. I'm exactly where you were a few years ago- my twenties don't quite fit, and I'm waiting on my babies to get here. Thanks for acknowledging that sometimes you don't fit with yourself, but that it comes with time. And for being a beacon of hope in this twisty sea of twenty-ness. Eventually the jobs and the babies come and your life starts to fit, because they have for you. And you got a darn cute baby :)

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  33. gosh, can i just say how much i love you (without sounding like a total creepazoid) because i really, really do.

    and also, i feel the need to point out that your hair being all "well, whatever" is still gorgeous. seriously.

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  34. I love this post! Seriously. I'm coming up on the big 3-0, and looking back, my 20s aren't quite what I anticipated either. At the same time, though, I wouldn't trade them for anything. Happy Birthday!

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  35. Beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy 30!

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  36. I thought this post was going to be about the giant hippos named George and Martha -- the real George and Martha? Even better! Welcome to your thirties-- I think they're great!

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  37. HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY! I think this is my favorite post ever. Here's to thirty!!

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  38. You at thirty are most definitely gonna kick so @$$.

    Molly
    http://alwaysamrsforeverakidd.blogspot.com

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  39. I love this post!! I can totally relate, and I love how you are so real about who you are.

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  40. i'm 27 right now and feeling exactly how you're describing your twenties. thank you for giving me hope!
    and happy birthday!!

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  41. What a great post! I think it might be my favorite :) Nice to know I'm not the only one with the 20s -grad school debt, job-hunting, broke-as-a-joke- blues. Happy birthday, Natalie- huzzah to thirty!

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  42. Nobody does the brambly-poet thing quite like you, Natalie. I enjoy reading very much.
    And hey, happy thirty!

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  43. I feel like we're a little on that slow-to-start path too (which frustrates me because I feel like I was born to be an adult, no need to spend a bunch of times sowing my oats, etc), and I know we're not out of it yet, what with talk of an MBA on the table in a serious way right now. And. . .I know you totally wrote this post so that IIIII could talk about myself. Right?

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  44. what a great way to sum up thirty and how you're feeling right at this moment. i have to say, i can relate and love that this decade is full of such wonderfully smart and mindful ladies. yay to 30s and beyond. happy birthday to you!

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  45. Love this and can totally relate! You're posts are always so funny yet so thoughtful and inspirational. Thanks for that, I love being a loyal reader!

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  46. this was beautiful natalie. i don't have much to say, but i enjoyed taking this in. i hope your 30's are everything you want them to be.

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  47. Nat you are my hero. I just turned 25 and still have a lot, a lot! a lot!, of growing and learning to do but I hope when I turn 30, I'm as awesome and confident as you are. Beautiful post. Rock on!

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  48. great post. i hope my insides and outsides will meet soon as well :) possibly on my birthday coming up??...

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  49. can i just say that I love your essays? Also, I long for the day when my insides and my outsides finally make it to the same place. so glad I'm not the only one that feels that way! And about knowing your little girl, that isn't remotely here yet--there are times when I'm rocking my baby boy or generally taking care of him and I catch my brain thinking of him as my girl--which I've taken as Heavenly Father/my brain telling me I'll have a little girl one day too. So sweet! and p.s. in the last picture, you totally look like a rockstar!

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  50. Happy birthday, Natalie! I loved this post and i love reading your blog. The last part was just perfect. Keep being you!

    Xo.

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  51. I was all set to be cranky on my upcoming birthday about getting older but I feel like you've given me a totally new mindset. Maybe my favorite post on here and I love so many :) Thanks Natalie! And happy birthday :)

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  52. Happy Bday woman!
    I cry at Dumbo too!
    I loved my twenties (lived on an island).
    Love your lashes and I hope and pray the best for you!

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  53. Your "whatever" hair is fabulous. I really identify with your adventures in (in)fertility. I had my son at 27 after three years of trying and then my daughter five years later. Those years in between my two babies were really rough on me. I'd venture to say that waiting for my little girl was harder than waiting for my son. My husband and I had both dreamed of her early in our marriage. A little beauty with curly blond hair. Even though I knew she would come (the dreams! the "children" in our patriarchal blessings!) the wait was excruciating. And with secondary infertility there's also the guilt involved. Of course you're so so grateful for the child you have, and of course you know that you are so blessed to have any children, but that doesn't make it any easier waiting for another baby that you KNOW is meant for your family. Just pray for patience, it's all you can do! And keep dreaming of the little girl that's meant for your arms!

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  54. Sometimes when I come here I get a little overwhelmed because you have so much to say. Sometimes I don't always take the time to read it because I know I don't have the time to appreciate it. But when I do take the time, dang lady - you are a good read. Keep doing what you're doing and happy 30th!

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  55. I have to first say - Im an October 2 baby too!! Albeit 3 years older than you.
    I also want to say that I love your posts. I love the way you write and express yourself in words as well as in pictures. You have helped me to appreciate more what I have in my life and wanted to say thanks Natalie.

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  56. I'm actually really looking forward to 30! I've got one more year after november! Yes, I think I'm done with the twenties part of the program! Next!

    Happy birthday to you! I hope you had a beautiful day!

    Theresa
    http://bomamma.blogspot.com

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  57. Reading this made me so hopeful! I am in that same awful in-between phase of life right now. Everything you described to a T! I'm ready for my 20's to be over so we can stop being broke and start having babies :) Love reading your blog Natalie!

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  58. Happy Bday woman!
    I cry at Dumbo too!
    I loved my twenties (lived on an island).
    Love your lashes and I hope and pray the best for you!

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  59. It's weird and fun and crazy to see how a bunch of girls have the same sory of feeling about bein in ou 20's, trying to figure life out, to find decent-paying jobs, finding the meaning of life... Of our lives...
    A few years ago I listened someone said she was so greatful age had killed many on her fears, and now at her 30s she felt better than ever. Ever since I've kinda craved to be 30 and get rid of my fears, my doubts, maybe having a family of my own, a decent job... A life that I will be creating in what's left of my 20's... and become the person of my dreams.

    I'm really happy for you. Happy birthday.

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  60. hahaha, sorry for the typos. I couldn't wait to get to a decent computer to comment!! Hahhaa ;)

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  61. This is one of my favourite of all your posts, Natalie. Really beautiful writing. Happy birthday to you.
    (Also, I WISH my 'whatever' hair looked half as good as yours...)

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  62. one of my all time fave posts!
    a) we are birthday twins-ish. isn't it the best time of year for a birthday? totally perfect.
    b) i spent my entire teens trying not to be a teenager, so my 20s have been chock full of the stuff i rejected before: nail polish, make-up, pop music, ridiculous clothes, dating...i feel like i'm benjamin-buttoning and aging myself backwards. maybe by 30 i'll even out ;)
    c) i love that you love walking fast and tall shoes. you're the best.
    happy 30! you inspire me so much.
    p.s. don't go into an over-30 chatroom as a joke.

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  63. You are!!! And I'm so happy for you. And I will be applying your wisdom to my still-28 year old self. Many hugs.

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  64. aaaw nat, the world is definitely better with you in it. happy birthday!

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  65. Happy Birthday! this post was inspiring. Thanks!

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  66. i can't wait for the day my outsides meet my insides--think i am getting there but still have a way to go and this post makes me happy about that :)

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  67. Happy birthday miss! Glad to see you've already embraced your thirties and realized the grace that comes with leaving your twenties. I was glad to bid them adieu in May. I didn't realize we are the same age! Holla.

    Also, you almost moved to DC?! To think - we could be bffs!

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  68. new to the commenting section but franly loved this post so much! Post was so very excellent and made me think of when my insides will match my outsides! thanks for the excellent work, keep it up!

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  69. This is almost exactly how I felt about turning 30 this past June. Beautifully said.

    And I totally agree about feeling as if I already KNOW the child I'm waiting for and we share the hard won motherhood part. Thanks for your honest post about the birthday. It felt like a hug to read it.

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  70. Good for you! I like your attitude.

    www.dailycatie.blogspot.com

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  71. Happy birthday, lovely lady :)

    Not cheeseballs at all! Even right after our daughter was born, I kept expecting another little someone to run around the corner and join in on the ruckus that is a constant in our house. When you know, you just know.

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  72. i always love reading your posts.. but this one, this one takes the proverbial birthday cake!

    now go on with yo bad self (:

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  73. Best post I've probably ever read. Happy Birthday, glad it was great!

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  74. Happy Birthday!!!!!

    Being 30 is fantastic and my 30s have been the best time of my life. I know you'll love 'em.

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  75. Happy birthday! This post really really really makes me like you. A lot.

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  76. Happy Birthday last week! We have the same birthday!!I am glad it was a great trip!

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  77. One of my favourite posts. You'll meet your little angel one day. She'll find you one day :)

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  78. one of my favorites ever - I can totally relate! happy birthday :)

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  79. I love this post! So much so that I'm actually leaving a comment, which I essentially never do. And, happy birthday. :)

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  80. First off, high fives on being another 1982 baby, what what! I was an "old soul" growing up too, so much so that I regret college for NOT doing all the college-y stuff. I wish I'd just had more fun and not stressed or thought about the future so much.

    Your 30th thoughts kind of made me weepy (not that I cried, because hellooooo, I'm in my 30s now, so I don't dooooo that ;) ). I seriously remember at 20 saying, "I'm not going to waste my youth like everyone talks about!" How cute was I? Like I had any choice in the matter (hard work, no pay, feeling like you're going nowhere for sooooo long). Anyway, I too was surprisingly emotionless about turning 30. I was just like, 'Ah. Finally! It's over!" (SN: I also always thought that people who said they wouldn't go back to being 21 for anything were just bitter old people who were jealous of my youth. Ah, I'm telling you, soooo cute I was.) I posted about 29 feeling like a Sunday night, and I was just ready to get on with Monday already. :)

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  81. I just turned 30 yesterday, Oct. 9th and I'm so thankful to find a fellow Libra out in the world ready to take on life at 30. My 20s were weird, rocky and at points heartbreaking. But I would never change them. I love reading your blog, thanks for sharing your adventures, they make me smile.

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  82. I should comment more, I really do love your blog...I'll be 30 in three years...such a weird mix of wanting to do-over my 20's/be rid of them, and also to cherish them despite all the struggle and imperfection. Obviously you struck a chord here. :) I hope you meet that sweet little girl soon!

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  83. That last shot is my favorite! You are absolutely adorable, girl! And your hair is getting so long!
    And of course, Happy Birthday! :)
    xo TJ

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  84. Totally get the baby girl thing. I took forever to get pregnant and when I finally did 4 years after the first "try", I went into that gender discovery ultrasound totally confident it was a girl. Della. Blonde hair, brown eyes. Squatty. Sweet. When I found out I as having a boy, I felt bad for Della. Like she was still floating out there in some babyland or something. Totally lame, I know. But I seriously hope I can make her real someday.

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  85. I turned 30 in May, and wow, you nailed it! :) Happy birthday!

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  86. I love this post. And I guess this realization came for me a few months before I turned thirty as well. I'm glad you love the you that you are and that's you've found Brandon and Huck who love that you as well.

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  87. Love this. I hope more than anything you get to meet your little girl soon. Even though I don't know you, I'm always hoping for the best things to come your way. Reader for life right here!

    ps: rock those 30's!

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  88. I could have written this, minus the baby girl part, but I know she's out there for you too. My hubs passed the Bar the same time as yours, and am I happy to be on the other side. I was SO happy to be 30. Because 30 is the new 20, but with more money/stability/security (fingers crossed)!

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  89. Happy late birthday, Nat! :)

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  90. thank you for this post. it gave me peace and made me cry in one of those weird ways that's like "i don't even know this person." but anyway, thanks and happy birthday.

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  91. Happy Belated Birthday! Glad you spent it in Alexandria! I've lived here my whole life and I bought a house a half a mile from Mount Vernon on GW's land. Sometimes I forget how wonderful our little city is, but your beautiful pics reminded me!!! Looks like you had a wonderful trip!

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  92. This is so dang beautifully written! I love your style...it constantly speaks to my soul. Thanks for sharing your talents!

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  93. This is really beautifully written post. I love it!

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  94. " i know now that my journey to and along the path of motherhood is meant to be very spiritual, very purposeful, and very hard-won for me. and i'm proud of that."---thank you, i so needed that this morning. the wait is unbearable sometimes.

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  95. So refeshing to accept who you are, where you are, yanno? And happy birthday.
    ~Deirdre

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  96. i love how honest and true you are. you really are a lovely person.

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  97. beautiful post and i love your writing style! happy belated birthday :)

    p.s. can you please tell me what blog template this is? i've been trying to find one that will allow me to post my photos the way you do :)

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  98. Happy belated birthday! I actually like my 30s. They're better than the broke 20s right? I have a house, a car, and I could fly to the Bahamas for the weekend if I wanted to. I won't, because I'm responsible now, but it's nice to know that I could.

    Watch out for 31 though. That one is a little depressing.

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  99. Hi, Natalie! Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I really liked this post because I'm in my mid-20s and I look around me at other people my age and I feel like I should already have it together. Sometimes I forget that I need to be patient with myself and not skip over the tough stuff because, if I do, that might mean there's no good stuff to skip to. Thanks for reminding me!

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  100. What is your lip color in the second photo?

    The bright-ish, pale-ish, you-know-what-I'm-talking-about, pink?

    I love it.

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  101. thank you for linking to this post at the end of your most recent DC recap. It's like you (or someone) knew I needed just that end piece about turning 30. my turn is coming up this Oct. and I feel just as you describe...like Im going to be finally meeting myself...the self I have been since I was two. Thank you Thank you!

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