happy birthday to me! thoughts on turning 30

I'm a person who loves birthdays and will celebrate the whole month long, but on the day I turned 27, I distinctly remember being truly sad. In the days leading up to January 14th that year, I felt an overwhelming sense of dread, and when the day finally arrived, I found myself wishing it away. Why? Because I suddenly realized how close I was to 30, and in my head, I had a long list of things that I had to have accomplished by that self-inflicted deadline. I had to have my life figured out by 30 - after all, I'd be a real adult by then (ha!). I look back at the feelings I experienced that year, and I can't help but laugh. 

I've now reached that milestone - the big 3-0 - and what I now realize is that I'll never have it all together. There'll always be more that I want to achieve and more adventures to be had. And my 20s were so very full - I learned who I was, found a new sense of confidence in who I am and learned to care less about what others think, discovered new interests, gained so many incredible friendships, and experienced more love than I can handle.

Here are a few of the big highlights from the past decade:

Got engaged and planned a wedding

Spent a summer studying abroad in Spain and travelled to Portugal and Morocco

Survived Erie winters and graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and International Business

Married Josh in a  beautiful ceremony in Nashville... one of the best days of my life

Photo credit  Eyeris Photography

Photo credit Eyeris Photography

Moved to North Carolina

Retired my 1995 Volvo and bought my first car

Brought home our first baby, Monty, a Scottish terrier

Got my first full-time, post-college job as the Marketing Director at a nonprofit agency

Made the scary leap of quitting that job to start and grow a thriving business

Bought our first home

Celebrated the weddings, babies, and new jobs of dear friends

Traveled lots of awesome places, including San Francisco for our fifth anniversary, Jamaica for a destination wedding, Vegas for work, Chicago, London, Paris, New York City, Amsterdam, and lots more!

Had some epic yearly reunions with my friends from college... so grateful for these friendships!

Moved to Germany

Became debt-free!

Got pregnant and welcomed into the world our baby boy, Miles... another best day of my life!

Also, not to be forgotten are all the really wonderful, memorable, and completely normal things that happened in my 20s... dinners with friends, movies on the couch with Josh, visits to and from family, Sunday brunch at Mary's Diner, hours spent rocking a tiny sleeping baby, late night omelets at The Breakfast Place in Erie, Starbucks dates, game nights, and so, so much more than I could ever name. 

Josh, Miles, and I, along with my mom, are in Italy right now celebrating, and I can sincerely say that I'm excited to see what this next decade of life brings!