Friday, May 6, 2016

Ode to Late Twenties

Ode to My Twenties
The Late Twenties Edition
Age 27-29

 Age 27:
 Hands down, this age was my all time favorite of the decade, if not my whole life! A month after turning 27, we took our magical two week trip to Europe. It was the best trip I have ever taken to date. I am so happy we were able to do that before we had kids.

Though blurry, this cellphone picture of me in Florence is one of my favorite pictures ever.

After the wonderful trip of the decade, I finally was able to meet with my new ob-gyn
who gave me the prescribed voodoo pills that got me pregnant on the first medicated cycle. After 13 months of trying, I was finally pregnant. It was such an incredible time of my life. I wasn't working because our plan was for me to travel to see my family a bunch, go to Europe, THEN get a job. I found one but they were unable to arrange a client load for me for a long time, so while I was (technically) employed, I wasn't working. It was perfect. I got to be at home, rest as much as I like, read books, exercise, and obsessed over my pregnancy. It was the happiest I had ever been,  knowing that a baby was coming but not necessarily having to take care of a baby yet.

While in the glow of pregnancy, we bought our house AND went on a wonderful trip to New York City. It truly was just one incredible thing after another when I was 27. 
Then, with only 12 days left in this year, I became a mom. Jo was born. It was the perfect ending to my perfect age.

 Age 28:

While 27 was magical, 28 was nice and EXHAUSTING. My new motherhood was overwhelming and hard. I loved being able to be at home with our baby boy, but I feel as though this age was one sleepy, weepy, blissful breastfeeding fog.
Aside from the tiring joy of being a new mom, we were able to do some traveling. Including from Seattle trips, I took Jo to Vermont to visit my family. We spent Thanksgiving with my family in California. We also went to Hawaii with our baby and had a wonderful time. 

Another great thing about this age was how many friendships I was able to strengthen. Becoming a mother opened a door to a whole new level of bonding with my friends, and since I was going crazy being home alone with our baby all day, I became more extroverted and proactive at being social. I'm glad I did, for now I have such lovely friendships with such lovely women.

 Age 29:
Honestly, this was a pretty tough year. Probably my weepiest year of the decade. For the majority of this age, I was desperately trying to become pregnant again. The medication that got me pregnant right away with Jo has been less lucky this time. Plus, there was the grief of my chemical pregnancy, which really knocked me out spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

But it wasn't a year of only sorrow. I was able to travel SANS TODDLER several times during this age. We went to Vegas for four days. We took a weekend get-a-way to Dallas. And the biggest child-free vacation was our week long Caribbean Cruise we took with another couple in March. I am so grateful we were able to have an opportunity to actually miss our little guy. I look forward to more child-free trips in our future.

I was also able to see my family quite a bit during this age. Every year, I always travel back home at least once, often two or three times. On top of those common trips, I got to see my family in California and Oregon. My brother and his family was also able to come visit us here in OKC, and I loved every second of it.

I fell back in love with reading. Jordan got me a piano for Christmas and I fell back in love with playing music. I got to participate in a production called Lamb of God in the Chorus. It was a year and rediscovering my hobbies, which was greatly needed after the first tiring year of motherhood.

So to close, I will say that this past decade was full of major changes and milestones. I began the decade as a girl who had never moved from home to a woman who had experienced marriage, college and grad school, a career, motherhood, and traveling. I am happy with the woman that I have become as I entered my 30's, and I am curious to see what happens in the next ten years.

Ode to Mid-Twenties

Ode to Twenties
Mid-Twenties Edition
Ages 23-26

This time of my twenties was involved a lot of growing and adjusting, and a lot of tired nights.

Age 23:
Blurry picture from my 23rd Birthday

A lot of changes happened this year! A few weeks after my birthday, I graduated from BYU, moved home for about three weeks to prepare for my wedding, got hitched in May, and then promptly moved to Oklahoma to begin grad school and married life.

A few month into 23, I got to finally go to Graceland and get as close to Elvis as physically possible.

Twenty-three was an interesting year. Though it started out as an exciting whirlwind, it had its challenges. I was sad to move to Tulsa. Plus, going from dating at BYU to being married far from home or anything familiar was a big adjustment. Jordan and I didn't have the nice transitional period of being married while still at BYU, which was our relationship's original habitat. Instead, it felt like a million changes at once. It was tough on my 23 year old soul.

After some time, I did come to appreciate OU-Tulsa, which was very different than BYU. In January, I started my practicum as an actual therapist for adults. While I enjoyed it and learned a lot, I often felt like a little kid playing dress up. I always winced when someone asked me my age and would respond by saying, "Oh, I'm older than I look."  For the first time in a long time, I was actually looking a little forward to getting older.

Age 24:
Pictures from my actual 24th birthday

Twenty-three was a little challenging, but 24 was TOUGH. This was the year that I graduated with my MSW and got a job as a full-time children's mental health counselor. For the first six months of my career, I dreaded going to work everyday. It was so draining. So challenging. I cried a few times from being overwhelmed and questioned all my academic decisions. Plus, the whole paid vacation limitation was hard for me. I was so homesick and had to carefully juggle my vacation time to arrange to see my family. Luckily, after a while, I dreaded work a little less. I became increasingly confidant in my work and started to enjoy it ....sometimes. 

Plus, when I was 24, I got to do some cool stuff, too. We did a church history tour with my parents, Jordan and I went to Branson with his parents, and we went on a last minute weekend get-away to Kansas City, just for fun. This was also the year that I got to take Jordan to our family's traditional huge Thanksgiving in Boise. This was the final one, as we stopped the tradition after my grandfather passed away. I'm so glad Jordan got to go to one.

Age 25:
25th Birthday!

This was not a particularly noteworthy age, aside from some awesome traveling. We went on a Caribbean cruise for our two year anniversary, as well as Disneyland with my whole family. As with every other age, I visited Seattle once or twice. 

I continued to progress as a therapist during this year, and I continued to be exhausted by it.
The biggest trial of this age was brought to me by my kidney. I had to have minor surgery that ended up being absolutely terrible (See blog post from January 2012). I remember thinking that with the pain I was experiencing from kidney surgery recovery was kicking my butt so badly, childbirth was going to be a nightmare. It turns out that my kidney procedure and recovery was DEFINITELY worse than childbirth. Yeesh.

This was a pretty good year. It had some fantastic highs and a few disappointing lows.

In my career, I was able to FINALLY complete all the necessary clinical hours that I needed for my LCSW. I also took and passed the clinical test and officially became an LCSW. Holla! In my work, I continued to get better and better as a therapist, and was even offered some temporary positions due to my successes that I was experiencing. It was very validating. When I gave my supervisor my notice of leave, she told me that I was an employee that the supervisors could see as a future supervisor for our area of the agency. It made leaving my job that much  harder, as I felt as though I would be starting fresh, but I ended up not working after I left this particular job anyway!

The reason that I left my career at 26 was because this was the year that Jordan graduated from PA school, accepted a job in OKC, and we moved there in January. I actually really liked taking a few months off of work. It felt good to relax and focus on my physical health. During this hiatus from work, I really focused on exercising and got in the best shape of my 20's...not that I was in body builder shape or anything, but I certainly made strength progress. 
This was a hard year for my body, too. Shortly after turning 26, we decided to start trying to have a baby. After six unsuccessful months, I was able to get pregnant, only to painfully miscarry. I spent the rest of 26 desperately trying to ovulate once again without any luck.

My favorite trip at 26 was our lovely Christmas in Vermont to visit my brother and his family. We had a blast and enjoyed the beautiful East Coast snow. We still talk about how much fun that trip was.

Last, but not least, at 26 I was able to be in the same room as Jim Gaffigan!

Ode to Early Twenties

My twenties are over. I'm not freaking out about turning the big 3-0 as much as I thought I would be, though it does weird me out a little.

Overall, the past decade of my life has been wonderful. Twenty year old me has grown so much, and in some ways, she has not changed at all. It's been insightful to look back and mentally review my twenties.

So, without further ado, here is my ode to my twenties: Early twenties edition.

The Early Twenties

Oh, geez. Early twenties is the era in my life that makes me cringe the most. The worries that I had. The awkward way I dealt with boys. The way I viewed several things. It makes me want to say, "Uggggggghhhh". But it wasn't all bad.

Age 20:
I was a bit of a late bloomer. When I graduated high school, I was too anxious to leave home, and decided to attend a community college. When I was 19, I applied to BYU and was accepted a few days before my 20th birthday. So this was the year I finally left home. This is the also the year when I experienced a lot of heartache. A few weeks before my 20th birthday, my niave, young heart was broken by a boy (that, looking back, I wasn't very easy to date at the time). So I spent my 20th birthday in Provo visiting my siblings, mentally preparing to move there, and feeling sorry for my lonesome heart.
During the age 20, I grew a lot living away from home. I got to live with my sister, start school, meet a ton of people, and land a job that is my very favorite job I've ever had to date- working as a paraprofessional at the Career and Learning Information Center on campus. This job lead me to meet some of my dearest college friends, as well as solidify my decision to go into social work.
Twenty was also the age when I met Jordan for the first time...though when I met him, he was just a guy I was dating's roommate; NOT a potential husband. This is the first picture we took "together" and it always makes me laugh:

Age 21:
Age 21 was kind of a harder year for me. My sister, with whom I was extremely close, got engaged and married, and I had a hard time adjusting to that. I also moved to a new apartment with all new roommates and lived in three different wards during this year. I often felt unsatisfied and antsy. I also continued to be incredibly awkward with dating, despite going on what felt like 1000000 dates that year. 
Besides some struggles, there was also a lot of fun things that happened. My sister and I took a trip to Washington DC together for a week and had a blast. I was accepted into the social work program and began its classes. I ended up making some really fantastic friends, and about three weeks before my 22nd, I went on my first date with Jordan.

 This picture was taken on my 21st birthday by a guy who Molly was sort of dating named Brad....who later became her husband!

 Hitting up DC in August 2008.

Age 22:
On my 22nd birthday, my good friend at the time, Dan (below, taking a bite of cake), threw me a "surprise" party. I think it was supposed to be an ironic surprise party, because he told me about it before it started. Whatever. 
 Dan's gift to me on my 22nd birthday. You can't see it because of the glare, but it's a picture of me and him. I actually still have this book today!
At the end of my birthday, Jordan (the guy that I had been on about 3 dates with) came over, sang "Happy Birthday" to me with his guitar, made me a cheesy candy card, and brought me a gift basket from Bath & Body Works. I was very flattered. After he left, my roommate said, "Oh, he loooooves you!" Then, unrelated to that, I promptly threw up.

I remember thinking the puke on my birthday was an omen, but the age 22 was actually fantastic! It was the age where Jordan and I had our Summer of Love, which was summer 2008 when we were both were obsessed with each other.
This picture was taken a few hours before our first kiss. :)

It was also the summer that I went to New York for the first time!

In the fall of being 22, I applied to graduate schools and had my first internship with the Provo School District. I also dressed up as Princess Peach.

In the winter of being 22, I went to Mexico with some of my family, flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time, and became engaged to the cutest Oklahoman.

Yes, a very good age indeed! My heart grew a lot Grinch-style. I was able to fall in love and learn what I really needed in a partner.