Thirty Years Old

Hello, again. Saturday is my 30th birthday. Tomorrow is my last day “in my twenties.” I don’t think I’ll wake up feeling any differently on Saturday, but it’s a strange transition nonetheless.

I loved my twenties. I went to India, graduated college, moved out of my parents’ house, adopted several puppers, married K, had my little Moo, bought and sold a few houses, traveled, found my (fingers crossed) forever job… It was a decade of discovery and growth and freedom. I squeezed a lot into those ten years. K was with me for all of it, too ❤️

I momentarily freaked out when I hit 25 but I have no qualms about 30. I truly have everything I want and I’m excited to live my life in that mindset. We’re comfortable, we’re in love, we’re happy. Is 2020 a weird sh*t show? For sure. But personally I’m entering my 30s with confidence.

As such, I thought I’d share 30 thoughts/tips/pieces of advice that I live by…

  1. Look up.
  2. People, animals, and experiences will make you rich. Things will not.
  3. Speak clearly and learn to communicate well. It will alleviate so much heartache.
  4. Spending money to get your dog(s) groomed is worth it.
  5. When you can help someone, help them. When you need help, ask for it.
  6. Pay attention to what and who bring you joy- then invest your time & energy there.
  7. Find your people and show up for them. Quality over quantity.
  8. Know how to calm your mind: pray, read, meditate, write. I prefer sitting in the dark.
  9. Clean your dishwasher & washing machines. I guarantee they’re gross.
  10. Same with fan blades.
  11. The miracle of aging is a gift. Accept your mortality & appreciate your longevity.
  12. “No” is a complete sentence.
  13. Eating chocolate before bed makes for some really weird dreams.
  14. You’re not for everyone. Everyone’s not for you. See #23.
  15. The most rewarding things are often the hardest things.
  16. You can do hard things.
  17. Less really is more.
  18. Order a side of gravy for dipping when you get fries at Dairy Queen. Trust me.
  19. Eat your veggies. And if you don’t like veggies, change how you cook them. They’re delish.
  20. Honesty is the best policy but sometimes silence is the best option.
  21. Respect your sig. other & give him or her the benefit of the doubt. They are on your side.
  22. Drink more water.
  23. It takes all kinds of kinds.
  24. Wild animals are meant to be wild.
  25. The grass is greener where you water it. (K says this a lot actually.)
  26. Adopt don’t shop.
  27. Always try to be kind. You don’t always need to be nice, though.
  28. Absolutely positively NOTHING is guaranteed. And no one owes you a damn thing.
  29. It’s not a good deal if you can’t afford it.
  30. Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours brighter.

Just call me the Audi Lama. I kid, I kid. Sometimes (often) I fail to take my own advice, but over the past three decades these are the things I’ve learned bring me the most joy and serenity.

What am I doing for my birthday, you ask? Getting a professional manicure (FINALLY! I’ll be masked up, obvi), going on a family hike, and playing a board game at home. Coming into my 30s like a mad woman! 😉

Learning to Adult at 25

Welcome to another week, friends. This is the week I’ve been publicly celebrating and privately dreading- This is the week I turn 25. I’ve attempted to play it cool, but ever since hitting 24 I’ve been trying to figure out how to stop time and stay below the adult line. (I was already freaking out back in February!) Let me better explain this with a chart…


See? So on Saturday at 1:09pm I will no longer be a “young adult.” Anyone on the other side of 25 is probably rolling their eyes at me right now, but I’m a quarter of century old. What the hell.

I’m actually coming around to the idea of 25 more and more, I guess (which is good since I never figured out how to stop the aging process). When people ask my age I respond with, “almost 25” and I totally understand that age is just a number. Looks-wise, I’ll probably be carded for alcohol until I’m 40. This is lessening the blow.


My biggest reservation about turning the big 2-5 is that fact that I’m still learning to adult. (Millennials have official made that a verb so just go with it for the sake of this post.) I mean, I’m still flying out of bed just in time to clock in at work, I own multiple Disney shirts, and I watched two episodes of Arthur the other day because it was on when I turned on the TV. Did you guys see my Halloween movie list? More than half are rated PG…

Then again sometimes I feel very confident. I own a home, I work a full time (and a part time job), I’ve kept my dogs alive for the last few years, and I go on vacation without my parents. Coloring books aside, I feel like some of these things prove that I am a very capable adult.

A handful of things changed for me during my “young adult” years. I think that I’ve changed my behavior and I’ve changed my attitude. My priorities and passions and relationship have all changed, too. One thing that hasn’t changed is my love of lists… so here are the five biggest things to change in my early twenties:

Thankfully, my relationship with my parents has changed immensely over the last +5 years. I was a dreadful teenager. From the outside looking in you’d never know it, but my poor parents (especially my mother) went through the wringer. When I left for college things got much better (a.k.a. I stopped being a snot) and when I moved out and got married at 22 it was like the clouds parted and a new, open friendship blossomed between my parents and me (and K). I love calling up my mom to go shopping or inviting my parents out to dinner. As a matter of fact, this weekend I hung out with them every day.

When I hit 21 drinking became legal. And boring. For the record, I was not a huge underage drinker. I didn’t attend college parties every weekend and I can count on three fingers the amount of time I’ve gotten sick from the bottle. Nowadays I have a glass a wine with dinner once or twice a week and call it a night. Even when we gather with friends I typically nurse a single glass (or don’t drink at all). Plus our best friends are parents so our last few get togethers have been at brunch time.

*(When you actually plan a brunch you know that you’ve reached adulthood.)

Speaking of friends with children, my outlook on those little rugrats has changed, too. Kids have never, ever annoyed me (even working at a kids’ clothing store), but they used to overwhelm me. Kids are cuddly and in your face and loud and messy… and I can handle that in small doses, but the idea of owning parenting a child was not appealing. Now I will admit that I no longer cringe at the idea of being a mom. (NO, we are not pregnant and we are not on the path to becoming pregnant. DON’T EVEN ASK.)

One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed about myself has been my confidence. Plain and simple, I like who I am. In high school I struggled with body confidence as well as my personality. My freshman year of college I felt so lost- mainly because I was trying to define myself to fit in with a certain sorority. The last 3 years have been a confidence roller coaster, but as I near 25 I am so dang happy to just be me. I wish I’d found this confidence 10 years ago. (Seriously though, how easy would high school have been with a little self confidence?!) Yes I still have teenage acne and I wear a size 12 and I love Harry Potter and I color-code my closet… but I’m so in love with my strange, quirky, nerdy self.

My confidence is a reflection of Kyle and his love for me. I think that it also reflects on our relationship. (This month marks 8 years together.) Holy cow… we have changed in sooo many ways, especially these last 4-5 years. For one things, we went from dating to engaged to married. We also moved in together after the wedding. (That alone changes a relationship.) I didn’t think it was possible, but I love that guy now more than I ever have before. He just gets me. He makes Harry Potter jokes and he picks up an extra nachos and cheese from Taco Bell for me and he understands that sometimes my bad moods can be fixed by making the dogs talk and sometimes they can’t. Our relationship has matured and strengthened and gotten more comfortable and more fun, all at the same time. He is my absolute favorite person to have around, even when I want to stab him. I am so proud of him and I know he feels the same pride for me. I can’t use words to express how wonderfully our love has changed.

In the end, I’m grateful to turn 25 on Saturday. I’m grateful to crest the hill of “young adult.” I’m grateful to be surrounded by so much as I blow out the proverbial (or literal) candles. My husband says I’m already an adult, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Hopefully it never feels like it 😉


Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Time Flies

Today is my grandfather’s 80th birthday but the family went out to dinner and celebrated on Saturday night. We went to a snazzy little steakhouse called The Olde Jaol in Wooster, Ohio. Typically my grandparents like to asked about K’s business and my career and my brother’s life, but my mom wanted to keep the conversation on my grandpa and his experiences. She decided we would all wear a t-shirt (under our sweater/button-up/whatever) that represented a time in her dad’s life and, as we revealed them, the topics would shift. It sounded a little weird, but it worked out well!

me, christina, fred (brother and his girlfriend)
me, christina, fred
(brother and his girlfriend)

We heard about his childhood in the family cheese house and his time at OSU and his adventures in the air force. It was the first time I’d heard stories from him about Vietnam. My grandpa also flew Air Force One and got to fly vice presidents, senators, and other officials. After that he went on to fly commercial jets. He had a lot of stories and my mom brought a tape recorder to capture them all.

As this was going on I thought to myself how easily 80 years can be summed up! My grandpa was born in 1935. I mean, everything was in black and white! When I’m 80 it will be 2070. That’s so crazy. I wonder what will happen between now and 2070. So much has happened in the last 24 years of my existence- it’s such a weird thing to think about.

I hope that when I’m 80 I will be celebrating with K and our family. That night my grandma helped tell some of the stories- their life together has been so unique and adventurous! My uncle (who lives in St. Louis) also flew in for the evening and my brother and his girlfriend drove home from college. Overall, it was a really nice night.

my grandpa & uncle
my grandpa & uncle

Last night my friend Erica and I were talking about 2070. Her daughter will be 55. (Right now she’s a two week old baby… I was cuddling her while we were talking about this.) It’s insane how quickly time can pass and how short we’re here to enjoy it! I mean, 80 years is a LONG time in my eyes, but really it’s not. Totally freaks me out.

Assuming I make it that long, I have a whole list of things to accomplish and experience!

This was kind of a downer so here’s a random puppy that played in the mud:


Sometimes I think about how old I’ll be when my youngest cousin graduates high school (34-ish) or gets married (40?!?). Do you ever contemplate the phenomenon of age?