Wednesday was my 34th birthday and it was a great day for many reasons, but mostly because Leyton was the.best.baby he’s been to date in 4 months. He fell asleep with ease and stayed asleep for long stretches. I got things done. It was glorious! It was also a good time for me to think of something other than feedings, sleep schedules, and how to entertain a 4 month old during wake periods. I started to just think back to last year….the last 10 years….and the last 34 years really and just sort of reflect on how things have changed and what 34 looks like (this is something I’m told we do as we get older. Reflect back. Do you love how I’m talking like I’m 80 and have so much life to look back over)? Anyways, I laughed when I thought about 34 year old Jill compared to 24 year old Jill, or even 14 year old Jill (cringe…we won’t dig up the teenage years). So I thought I’d come clean about what 34 looks like to me. What I’m loving. What I’m not. And how different it looks from 10 years ago.
Let me first just say how crazy it is for me to look back to a year ago this time and realize I had literally JUST found out I was pregnant 4 days earlier. I remember thinking “next year at this time I will have a baby.” That seems so long ago though which just makes you realize how long pregnancy is! (And how long I went without wine and caffeine. It’s truly miraculous). Let me just say though, as great as having a baby is and so worth all the sacrifices, it will always be depressing to be drinking La Croix out of a wine glass en lieu of wine.
The look back over 10 years really makes my head spin. 10 years ago, I was living in Eureka, California working at KIEM-TV as a reporter/weekend anchor. It’s where I met Eric and several other amazing friends. Aside from the fact that I hated the area, I loved so much about that time. The job, the independence – as it was my first time being so far from home in PA, and the freedom. But now, 10 years later, I can truly say I don’t miss it at all. Heck, a year after leaving there I didn’t miss it. But it served its purpose and I will always be grateful for that time. These days I’m so much happier living in Ohio, being closer to family, and not paying upwards of $4 for gas. Lets take a look at some pictures from that time shall we?
We look so young! It wasn’t until leaving this place that I realized how beautiful northern California is. I definitely didn’t appreciate it at the time.
Here we are on the news set. Eric was the weekend sports anchor and I (along with my friend Sara pictured here) was the weekend news anchor. It will be funny to show Leyton our segments when he’s older.
Here I am with my friend Jessica (she also worked at channel 3). She has a blog you should check out! It’s Utility Mom.
Man we look young here! This was my first UM game. I’ve been hooked ever since!
Some other fun facts about 10 years ago, just to really bring home how long ago that was…..I had a Myspace account (and remember how your Myspace page could play music? Mine played “I’m going back to Cali” by Biggie, since I was living in Cali. I was really cool you guys). Also, I had a Blackberry and it made my whole life that I could check my email on my phone. Oh if that Jill could see me now! Wasting 10 hours of my day watching insta-stories and shopping with one click on an app. Back then, Coach was the biggest named store I had heard of and I certainly didn’t know what Nordstrom was. Eric may still wish that was case. I was hooked on every reality show known to man and rarely read a book. These days, Goodreads is one of my favorite apps, I have an audible account, and I can barely stand any reality TV (with the exception of The Real Housewives, but even that’s slowly losing my interest). And perhaps the biggest change of all….you won’t even believe it….I didn’t care for wine! No lie, once when my parents came to visit I got them box wine (because hello most bang for your buck) and they didn’t finish it, obviously, because they were there for like 4 days. Well anyways, that wine sat in my fridge for probably close to a year. Untouched. These days that wouldn’t last the weekend.
So that’s just a brief look back to ten years ago. It’s crazy how much has changed since then. Moved to a new city, got married, bought our first home, moved, bought our second home, got Sebastian, went back to school, changed careers, started a new job, had a niece, took lots of great trips, and finally had a baby. It’s certainly been a fun and exciting ride. Can’t wait to see what the next 10 have in store! Before I go, here’s just a quick list of some of the things I’m currently loving and hating at 34 years old.
- Being a homebody: I used to love to go out and hit up the town, and on occasion, if we are meeting up with friends or traveling, I still enjoy that. But more often than not, you can find me at home, on the couch, loving my yoga pants, no makeup, going on day 4 hair with a lot of dry shampoo.
- Nights watching HGTV: I think I’m not alone on this one, but give me all the HGTV and Chip and Joanna any day over scripted, obviously planned, fake reality shows.
- Two Glasses of wine: Okay don’t get me wrong here. I would looooove an entire bottle of wine no doubt, but over 10 years, I have learned two glasses is really my limit if I don’t want to feel like garbage the next day. I used to drink without abandon and deal (suffer) the next day. Now, I know my limits. I like enjoying my wine AND still being productive next day.
- Cleaning/Organization: You guys, I get giddy at cleanliness and organization. A trip to the container store makes me more excited than black Friday sales. The thought of spending an entire day off cleaning the house from top to bottom fills me with joy. And don’t even get me started on planners! (Did that sound as lame when you read it as it did when I just typed it)?
- An early bedtime: Okay, well this one came about out of necessity from having Leyton, but I used to be such a night owl (as in on days when I didn’t work the next day I’d be up until 2am and sleep in until 11 – don’t judge) but now that I have to get up early, I love it! I love when you have a productive morning and look at the clock and see it’s only 9am!
- Getting in shape: Okay, what is the deal with how hard it is to lose weight past the age of 30? At 24 I could have eaten IHOP stuffed french toast for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch, and cake for dinner, have 4 glasses of wine, maybe work out 2 times a week and still be in a smaller size than I am now and probably have abs. That might be a slight exaggeration but you get my point. These days I have to have an all egg white omelet for breakfast, a slice of whole grain toast with avocado (but certainly not the whole avocado because even good fats can be too much at this age), a grain of rice for dinner, and like 2 grapes for a snack, workout for an hour every single day doing some sort of satanic cardio that makes it look like I worked out in a swimming pool, and after a month I’m down maybe 1 pound on the scale and my boyfriend jeans are still fitting like painted on skinny jeans. I mean what gives? I never understood the expression “youth is wasted on the young” until I turned 30. And yes, I know I’m still “young” but friends, I’m not 24. I have my fitbit to prove it.
- Teenagers: This one makes me laugh just typing it but it’s soooo true! I people watch teenagers sometimes and I cringe thinking that I actually was like that at one time. The best part is that Eric and I are one of the younger couples in our neighborhood but we might as well be a grumpy elderly couple because we are constantly griping about “kids these days!” You’d think we’d be the cool, hip neighbors, totally understanding the wild behaviors of these adolescents since we aren’t that far removed from their age, and you would really think I’d be more understanding because I assure you I was just like them if not worse. But, waking up to a beer cans in my lawn, broken glass in our driveway, or trying to keep Sebastian from barking and waking Leyton when 20 cars are parked in front of your house and car doors are constantly being slammed at 10pm (I mean WHY are they in and out of their cars 50 times?) would make anyone annoyed right? We once saw some boys hiding a case of beer in a bush and they saw us catch them in the act. I’m sure they thought, “oh it’s just those neighbors, they’re cool, they won’t say anything.” Wrong! We are not cool, would most definitely say something and to be honest Eric and I had devised a plan to go steal the beer when they left the bush, but by the time we got outside it was already gone.
- Night Driving: Anyone else hate driving at night? I swear my vision is getting so bad and I seriously don’t see as well at night anymore. I mean it’s not dangerous but I definitely notice it and it definitely makes me feel super old. One time in high school my friend’s stepsister was driving us around late at night and as she was racing down the streets and hugging every corner she informed us that technically she wasn’t supposed to be driving at night because she couldn’t see. I white knuckled it the whole way home and now, that’s me.
- Crowds: This one I’m not even ashamed to admit. I seriously hate crowds. I can’t stand the shoving, getting my feet stepped on, rude people, slow movers, or lines. No thanks. Apps for stores has been the best invention ever. The fact that I can shop for groceries and clothes from my couch is nothing short of wonderful.
- Wrinkles: I know I’m not alone on this one. Am I right ladies? But seriously if I have one more facial where the Esthetician tells me my skin is so dry and really needs hydration I’m gonna go nuts. I get it. I’m working on it. And no I don’t need your fancy spa serum. I need to be 20.