This past Wednesday was my 23rd birthday. And it was a great one.
On Tuesday, Dominic, his parents, and three of my girlfriends put together a little birthday dinner with some more of my favorite foods. Ribs, chicken, cream corn, and mashed potatoes. It was all so good! My father in law’s ribs are amazing. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t love ribs the way I do today :)
After dinner, we had cake. Dominic went to one of my favorite local bakeries and bought me my favorite cake– yellow cake with chocolate frosting. There’s something about their yellow cake that is absolutely delicious.
And then we got to open presents. Dominic explained that two of the wrapped gifts were from him and Olivia, and the other wrapped gift was from his parents. I opened the ones from him and Olivia first. A heated blanket (score!) and The Lumineers album, and from his parents I got a beautiful new straightener (mine broke last week!).
And then Olivia walked over with a tiny little white box that was from Amanda and Steph. There were two Pandora charms in there.
And then Dominic chimes in and goes, “Yeah…..I kind of have a little white box for you, too.” I was stunned. Him and Olivia bought me another charm, and a clip for my Pandora bracelet! It was awesome. I didn’t expect all of the gifts that I received, but I was so thankful. I thanked everyone individually and then sat down to join them for cake.
Just as I was about to get up, Dominic walks in from the kitchen and says, “Okay……..I have ONE more gift for you.”
……I’m sorry. What?
Didn’t I just get enough?
(I mean, not that I’m not thankful for presents or anything…but I don’t think I deserve that many!)
And then he hands me over a shopping bag….a Michael Kors shopping bag…..With an absolutely gorgeous maroon Michael Kors tote bag inside. And again I say:
……I’m sorry. What?
Dominic has this thing where he kinda knows me better than I know myself. He’ll think of -and buy me, obviously- things I would never even know I wanted….Like the bag….like the Pandora bracelet… But then I get them and I’m like, “oh my god, YES. I’ve wanted this my whole life!” When really, I didn’t. It’s like a talent of his. I wish I was like that because I am a terrible gift giver.
Anyway, so after I marveled over the purse, we hung around a bit longer, and then left to go home.
On my actual birthday, I got my nails done, went to get my free Starbucks drink (duh!), and just overall enjoyed the beautiful day. I saw my sister in the morning, and she bought me the cutest little polka dot wristlet with gift cards to my favorite places inside the card slots (the best!) and she bought me an ice cream cake :) My dad treated me to pizza for lunch and Dominic, Olivia and I went to Texas de Brazil for my birthday dinner (I had a free dinner coupon for my birthday!)
And then last night, the girls took my out for dinner and drinks. And my friend Carly got me a mug with a Starbucks card inside, a pumpkin candle and she made home made pumpkin scones….I’ve already had 3 of them :x
Basically, for my birthday, I decided to celebrate by gaining 20 pounds.
On Wednesday evening, I sat down for a second to take in the fact that I’m already on my 23rd year of life. I’ve had a lot of hard times (like losing my Auntie Cee Cee, or when we had a miscarriage) but I’ve also had a lot of really wonderful times (like having my first baby, and getting married to the love of my life).
I’m happy, I’m healthy, my family is happy and healthy. I live a great life. But sometimes, I don’t think that I live my life to it’s full potential. As I get older, I realize more of the things that I should and want to be doing. It’s funny, before I met Dominic, I didn’t think that at 23 I’d be talking like this, or that my priorities would be buying a house, instead I thought I’d be worried about living just for me, and maybe finding a fancy apartment to live in by myself or travel across the country to study pastries. But I don’t regret my life. Not one bit. I used to despise change, but now I embrace it. I live in a beautiful little town home with the two loves of my life and I did travel across the country for a few months with Dominic. And now, instead of studying classy pastries? I’m at home looking for toddler friendly recipes so that my daughter can help me out and feel included with what I bake. Things change, plans change. And I love it. I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without Dominic and Olivia, and my new role in life as a wife and a mom is basically the best thing ever.
But don’t worry, I haven’t lost myself. I’m finally getting the hang of this parenting thing after almost 23 months, and am now finding more time to myself, or with my girlfriends, or with my husband, or even one on one time with my family (with and without Olivia). I decided to write down all the things I’d like to work on and accomplish in my 23rd year. The best part about having a blog is writing things down and being held accountable.
Here are some things I’ve come up with.
1. Live a healthier lifestyle. I want to start eating cleaner, eating better. Dominic and I have already started to switch out a few things, and are starting to buy organic produce and such. We want to feed our bodies the good stuff. Olivia obviously included. Living a healthier lifestyle also means exercising. I’ve decided to start up my Barre3 workouts again, continue using My Fitness Pal, and I’m even considering trying out the insanity work outs (has anyone ever done it??? I’m scared but I really wanna give it a go!). I want to live as long as possible, and taking care of my body is a major part of that.
2. Be a little more unplugged. Social media plays a huge part in today’s society and while I think it’s more positive than negative, I still think I’m way too involved. I don’t want Olivia to look back and remember me always having my phone in my hand or doing stuff on the computer. Even more than that, I don’t want her to grow up thinking it’s okay to be more involved with technology than going outside to play, spending time with friends/family, or even taking time for herself.
3. Be a better role model. While I don’t think I’m the worst mom on the planet, I do want to be a better role model for my daughter (and our future kids) I want to pass down the things I mentioned above and instill them into our child(ren) who instill them into their children and so on…
4. I really want to buy a house. Once I get my credit sorted out (a really long, pathetic story), Dominic and I want to start looking into buying a house. We have been trying to save (why is saving so hard?!) and are kinda hoping that this is our last year renting the town home we’re in now. Fingers crossed!
5. Be a better mom, wife, sister, friend, daughter, daughter in law, grand daughter. I’d like to show the people that love me, that I love them back. Not that I don’t do it now, but I’d just like to be a little better at it. I wanna take the time to send a card, or pick up the phone and answer/make a call or text. Spend more time with them. Basically just do a little bit better a job of showing them all how much I appreciate them being in my life :)
6. Read more. When I was in school, I would read a new book every three days. Ask Dominic! It used to amaze him. I would read his books for him for his classes because I loved to read so much. The last time I picked up a book, I wanted an easy read. So I started Fifty Shades of Grey. The first book is still sitting on my night stand…..I probably got through half of it. I want to reconnect with my love for reading. The old fashioned kind, not on an app on my phone, a good old fashioned book. There’s a library about 2 minutes from me, next week I plan on going to get a library card so any book recommendations would be lovely :)
7. Take better care in my appearance. Because I got so comfortable in my mom body, I got used to wearing sweats, or yoga pants, all the time. Recently, I started to wear dresses a lot more but I want to go even further than that. I want to put makeup on more often, do my hair and get dressed in big girl clothes. I’m tired of wearing yoga pants all the time, and for me, it was an excuse to never work out. Which just leads me back to #1.
8. Blog more. I really do love blogging. It’s the finding time to sit down and do it that’s a little difficult. If I had the willpower, I’d get up early to blog, ala my friend Lauren, but no such luck so far. I am just not a morning person. I feel guilty blogging while Olivia is awake and when she naps, I find myself half writing a post (which in turn just turns into a draft for another day) and half reading my favorite blogger’s posts for the day. Then by the time she goes to bed for the night, I clean the house, shower and when Dominic is home we usually just go to bed. I’d like to find a better balance (something that Dominic and I actually discussed this morning!) so that I can make more time to blog (among everything else), with better content and my thought.
9. Follow through with what I pin. Okay, so this one probably sounds SO silly but please let me explain! I am obsessed with Pinterest (who isn’t now a days?!) But my biggest problem is over-pinning, and never following through with any of them. I am constantly showing Dominic new recipes or DIY home projects that I “really want to do” and then I never do them! Out of almost 5,000 pins, I’ve probably tried about 10…..do you see my point? So many delicious meals and cute easy activities I can probably be doing with Olivia, gone to waste. Well not anymore!
10. Overall, just be a better me. While I loved my first year of being a parent, and then moving into our first town home, and then planning our wedding, and obviously still being a parent (just with a little better handle on it!), I’m ready for things to calm down for a bit and start focusing on myself some more. Reading, writing, taking pictures again, listening to music, catching up on my favorite shows, cooking, baking, learning new things. They all took a back burner for a little while and I am excited to get back to enjoying all of my favorite things, with Dominic and Olivia at my side! 23 is going to be a good year, I can feel it.
Do you ever write out goals after you turn a new year? I think it’s a tradition I’d really like to keep up with.
By the way, thank you for all the happy birthdays :) I really did have an awesome birthday week!