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On 26, and a Reflection on 25

cupcake2

Today, I turn 26. I always feel a little nostalgic on my birthday. Not just because I’m another year older, but because on September 2nd, the day usually falls on or around Labor Day, marking the unofficial end of summer.

This summer season, and this year in general, have been a whirlwind. You always hear that the days/weeks/months feel shorter and shorter the older you get, but never was that quite so apparent to me until this 25th year. And to be honest, I always thought that was just something old people said.

As I reflect on this year’s past, I am filled with joy. To keep it real, years #23 and #24 were rough. Fresh out of college and feeling like every step I took was a major life choice was no playground. Suddenly, I was away from my friends and support system, and even more suddenly, making new friends was harder than it had ever been before. Add planning a wedding and feeling constantly broke to the list, and you can imagine the mood swings. There were some wonderful highlights of course, but there were also some major slumps.

Then, around 25, things started to click. I widened my social circle and put myself out there. I grew confident in my career and as a young professional, and I celebrated a year of marriage with my wonderful husband. I (we) traveled. We explored our own city as well as many more. I stopped comparing myself to friends and acquaintances on social media. I drank spinach-filled smoothies for breakfast and ate dessert every night. I found my own, real, personal style. I also finally settled on a hair color (for now).

As I step in to my 26th year, and as the season changes from summer to fall, I am nothing but optimistic about the months ahead. A big reason for that is you – my family and friends. For the support you give me and J, for being there even when I don’t call as much as I should, and for being by my side through some of my best memories of the year – Cheers. Bring it on, 26.

year25

 

Rambles on Life Lately

Carrie

Hi friends! Sorry to have fallen off the radar these last couple of weeks. In addition to the usual catch-up that ensues upon returning from vacation, J and I decided to throw a move on top of that. Let’s just say we tend to live by a “power through it” motto.

After returning home from our Cape Cod vacation a week and a half ago, we immediately started packing up our apartment to get moved to a new community later in the week. Living off Subway sandwiches, we spent this past Thursday and Friday after work packing our cars and making trips to the new place with boxes of what can be described as nothing more than “stuff.” First thing Saturday morning I headed to Pittsburgh to celebrate the baby shower of a wonderful friend while J and his brother and BFF loaded the U-Haul with our furniture. By the time I returned Sunday almost everything was out of our old place (including the cat!) and we finished our last cleaning and to-do’s there before dropping off our keys.

Exhausted and slightly overwhelmed, we are now getting ourselves settled into the new space. We are really excited about the community, and we are both ready to get it put together so that it starts to feel like home (aka – decorate!). It’s a brand-new apartment community that really appeals to young professionals, so I think it is going to be a great fit for us. Even better? It’s a non-smoking community, which if you’ve ever been a non-smoker living in a huge apartment complex, you’ll understand how awesome that is. The hope is that we can settle here for a bit. This is the third time we have moved since January 2012, and while moving is a great opportunity to purge the junk we don’t need, we’re both pretty sick of it. When we first came to the area we had no idea what we were looking for in terms of an apartment, and we were utterly blown away with sticker shock. After being here for almost three years we know our favorite restaurants and neighborhoods, and where the best middle ground is for our commutes (I’m in DC and J’s in Baltimore.) We’ve also learned that you unfortunately get what you pay for! Hopefully this is the community we’ve been looking for to meet some new people and enjoy the next few years.

In case you’re wondering, the cat is doing ok. She has moved from about a 9 on the terrified scale to a 3. She’s been exploring the space and has been alternating her time between trying to jump on the countertops (not ok), hiding in my master closet amidst the boxes, and peering out the sliding glass door to the scope out the patio. I took advantage of the move to buy her a new bed as her old one was getting pretty rough, and after a full 48 hours of sitting on the carpet next to it and staring it down, she finally cuddled up last night.

Overall, with the exception of our trip to Cape Cod (which was perfectly beautiful and relaxing), the last few weeks have been chaos. Pumpkin ales are already on tap at our favorite watering holes (too early!) and summer is flying by. While we scope out some new furniture options and talk gallery walls, we’re also getting set for our trip to England and Scotland in … 11 days!?!

Posts may be a bit sporadic around here through Labor Day as I work through the boxes, take advantage of the last weeks I have to enjoy the sparkling new pool I now have access to, and travel to Europe to celebrate the wedding of some wonderful friends. I’ll check in whenever I get the chance – now go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

xx