Wednesday the 22nd was my 29th birthday. So, why am I blogging about it now, you ask? Because I've been up to my eyeballs in work, I respond.
It's finally here, the last year of my 20's. On the day that I turned 20, I couldn't wait to be 30 and now it's only 1 year away. I was so excited to no longer be a "teen mom", and all of the women I worked with were in their late 20's/early 30's and seemed to have their lives all together. They were married, with or without kids, buying and renovating houses, taking their vacation time and actually going somewhere, leading meetings with confidence and ease and calling customer service to get their problems resolved and doing so with a firm voice. I was not married, with 1 little girl who was 3 years old at the time, living in a 2 bedroom condo that I bought (so, yay, I at least bought something)..and I think I had bought my car by then too (a 1999 Mitsubishi eclipse). My vacation time was usually spent taking my daughter to the doctor because she got pink eye; strep throat; ear infection; illness-that-made-me-miss-work-itis. I felt like I had no self-confidence at my job because everyone was older and wiser than I was. And if I got screwed over by a company, you can bet I wasn't calling customer service with my firm voice.
As of my 29th birthday, I now have 4 children...and my darling little girl (SAM) who was only 3 years old 9 short years ago, will be 12 in October! Cita is 7, Monkey is 4.5 and Baby Pants is 14 months. I've been married, divorced, and married again. I have paid off one vehicle, which just a few short months later I had to turn around and trade in for a larger one because we added Baby Pants to the family (this just goes to show the validity of always factoring in a car payment in your budget). I have spent the last 10 years developing my relationship with God...I first started back on that path right around 19 years old. Choosing that path has been the best decision of my life to date. I've been to school at ITT Tech, and quit when I realized that software programming was not my cup of tea. I've lived in 3 different states...Arizona, Nevada, California and back to Arizona. I've had my heart broken a handful of times, and have probably broken some hearts myself. I've begun the struggle with my weight and crows feet and GASP! gray hairs. I've started removing my tattoos after I realized that as much as I wanted to be a tattoo person at one point in my life, I'm really just not. I have no problems leading meetings and calling customer service now. My husband and I are in "house buying" mode, but just need to find the right place. I learned how to ride a dirtbike this year. I have really come to appreciate all the family and friends that I have in my life, and think I am a darn good friend, daughter, granddaughter and wife. I found out I had 4 uncles after my mom got her adoption records released several years ago, my biological grandmother's middle name was Crystal, which no one knew when I was born and named Crystal. I know what I like and what I don't like, and I won't let anyone make me feel bad for what I like or don't like. I've outgrown my "gangsta rap" and "techno" phases, and have discovered 70's classic rock. I've had my gall bladder removed. My kids still think I'm pretty, and I think they are the world.
I asked my grandpa on the day before my 29th birthday what he was doing when he was 29. When my grandpa was 29, the year was 1961 and they were living in San Diego, CA. He was working for a company called General Dynamics and my grandma was working at a trucking company. They had moved to California just a couple years before from Wichita, KS because the company my grandpa worked for had been bought out by another company and he no longer had a job. When they first got there, they rented an apartment just 75 yards from the ocean for $70 a month. Yes, seventy, I didn't leave out a zero. They didn't have jobs, and didn't have much money in their pockets. My grandma had been walking on the beach and praying about what they were going to do, and when she got back to the apartment, there was $40 laying right by the front door...over half of a month's rent. They rented an apartment after that where the landlady wanted the blinds in the apartment to be at a certain level at all times, or she would have a hissy fit. They left that apartment...and rented an apartment that was infested with cockroaches. They left that apartment when my grandma decided that she wanted to buy a house. The guy they purchased the house from was in the real estate business, and my grandma talked him into letting her have the house with no money down, and he would carry the mortgage (which was $21,000). Their payments were $150 a month. My grandma has moxie, I tell ya. I don't know who else could talk someone into letting them have their house while they carried the loan with nothing down. My grandparents were making about $78 a week, each. 1961 is also the year that my grandparents adopted my mom. They had started an adoption process with another woman who changed her mind at the last minute, and someone that my grandma worked with told her about my mom's biological mother, Pearl. They didn't use an adoption agency, they just contacted Pearl directly, paid for all of her medical expenses and showed up at the hospital on August 8th, 1961 to bring her home. My mom had a spinal issue...I want to say it was spina bifida, but I can't be sure...she had to have surgery within a few months of her birth and still has the thick scar on her back. But, because of my grandparents, she can walk today. Their lives at 29 seem much more interesting than mine...it just made me wonder in 50 years from now if I will have any grandchildren that will be turning 29. My oldest daughter could wait until she was 32 to have her first child, and that child would be turning 29 when I'm 79 (which is almost how old my grandpa is).
Time sure flies doesn't it?