Disneyland and a Disposable Camera (and Thoughts on 33)

My birthday at Disneyland
 

Last month I turned 33. Matty surprised me with a trip to Disneyland — my first time ever! I thought we were spending the day at Laguna Beach and so I really had no clue until the very last minute when the highway exit approached and Matty said, "Hey, babe..."

He had a disposable camera on hand and so we decided to document the day the old-fashioned way. We snapped photos, let the camera sit in the car for awhile until we found a place to develop it (did y'all know they don't really do that anymore at pharmacies?) and then we picked up the real, printed images. Can you even remember the excitement of taking a photo and not knowing how it turned out, waiting a few weeks, and then reliving your memories right there on ink and paper? It was so fun! Reminded me of when I was younger, which may have been Matty's ploy all along...

Disneyland + a disposable camera = I'M YOUNG AGAIN

At least 5 of the photos didn't turn out. There's a classic photo bomb and definitely a thumb-over-the-viewfinder offense. Yep, just like it used to be. But the ones that did turn out? Pure gold.

Spending your birthday at Disneyland

Matty made me breakfast in bed and Avery helped me get my hair fixed (he currently is transfixed by the hair dryer).

Spending your birthday at Disneyland

Disneyland and a Disposable Camera

Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Spending your birthday at Disneyland

BOMBED!

"It's a Small World" was Avery's first and favorite ride! He loved all the music, lights, and animatronic puppets. We loved watching all the wonder on his face. People talk about what you learn from your children, and things called "fun ages," and the joy of watching your child understand concepts. It never really sunk in for me the sheer joy of watching your own child take in new things. It's like finding out one of you best friends has never seen Harry Potter and you're thinking: you don't even know the joy that awaits you...that feeling.

Every. Single. Day. 

Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Spending your birthday at Disneyland

Wanna hear a funny story?

Since the trip was a surprise, I wasn't exactly dressed for breastfeeding in public. (I figured if we were in Laguna then I'd just go to the car.) Thankfully, there was a blanket in Avery's bag, but I literally had to unhook my jumpsuit from the shoulder to feed him, so if anything got, say, pulled down by tiny, roaming hands, I was completely exposed from the belly up. 

Spending your birthday at Disneyland

Just before I took this photo, we'd grabbed hot dogs for dinner. Avery was reaching his limit and getting hangry. I grabbed a table to feed him and asked Matty to get me some water, just as the ragtime piano player sat down to entertain us. The piano man looked around to see if it was anyone's birthday (they give out birthday pins...if you ever want to share a birthday with the entire universe, go to Disney) and Matty mentioned as he passed the player that it was mine. The man engaged with the crowd a bit more as Matty went inside and I was getting Avery sorted.

Can you see where this is going?

Spending your birthday at Disneyland

The piano man turned his attention to me. (Remember that I am half naked under a linen blanket.) Everyone turns to look at me as the man begins singing "Happy Birthday." Avery begins to get handsy. Matty is gone. It was recipe for disaster.

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Let's just say that I made it out, but only barely. Just after this photo was taken, we grabbed ice cream before heading home. All I wanted ALL DAY was ice cream. We waited in line. Avery made friends with the patrons. We ordered. Avery started crying. They called my name to grab the cones. Avery puked everywhere. Matty said he never saw anyone change a baby's clothes that fast...melting ice cream just motivates me.


To the Beach

My birthday celebrations continued another day at Manhattan Beach. We had coffee and went on a walk to the pier, finishing off the roll of film along the way. It was a beautiful, puke-free afternoon. 

Driving to Manhattan Beach
Spending your birthday at Disneyland
Manhattan Beach on Film
Manhattan Beach on Film
Manhattan Beach on Film
Manhattan Beach on Film

On Turning 33

You're only as old as you feel, right?

It was an easy mantra, back in my 20s. I felt young, I was young. Age was never an issue for me until I turned 30 and I was suddenly faced with all these fears that I never knew I harbored. 

Somehow, I feel more myself and younger now, turning 33, then I did at 30. I've said it before, but becoming a mother is my absolute favorite version of myself so far. I feel at home here. I've never been less conscious of my physical body. I can remember how fixated I was on the shape of my body from such a young age and how it stole my attention for so many years. It became my driving force: look better and I'll feel better.

Nope.

I have stretch marks. My body has given birth to a 10 lb. child. It does weird things sometimes. And I love it. It is capable and strong, even if I did lose all my muscle in 0-9 months flat. My body nourishes my son and I feel better about it than I ever have.

I've been thinking a lot about what my future-self would say to me in this moment. Sort of the opposite of "write a letter to your younger self." (That doesn't really help me...the past is gone, ya know?) Here's what I think she would say:

Set your goals, yes. But be wise. The goal is not the thing. The time you have is the thing. Live every moment with intention. If you're playing with your children, be there. If you're talking with your husband, be there. Lap it up, all that love. Say the nice things that cross your mind. Be kind to people — the world needs it.

Stop worrying about money. Make things with your hands. Sing. Play. Have fun.

Manhattan Beach on Film

A Life lived With Intention

My word for 2018 (and therefore year 33 of my life) is intent. I don't have much time to waste as a work-from-home mother. I can't blame not working on "not being in the zone" anymore. I have to find that zone in an instant because my son could sleep/play happily for 5 minutes or 50 minutes. YOU NEVER KNOW. It's intention and preparation.

What it's not? It's not striving. If at any moment I feel the pull of striving over the pull of pursuing (and yes, it's already happened), then it's time to reset, refuel, and pick back up. 

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Thank you to Matty and Avery for making me feel so special, on my birthday and every day. It's easy to love you two.