Thursday, October 25, 2018


Still at that 31 Day Writing Challenge....

Today's prompt-capture

I went ahead and skipped yesterday's prompt because the word was 'brief'. Y'all I wouldn't even know where to begin-ha! Today's one word prompt is capture and since I've been meaning to come back here and 'capture' my thirties in a blog post this works.

Back when I hosted the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge I asked people to describe their 20's in one sentence, and then later to do the same for their 30's. Since one sentence is never enough for me I wrote a whole post about my 20's (here). I wanted to do the same for my 30's and today is going to be that day.

So, it's been a while. What do I remember about my thirties? How does that decade look from a vantage point some twenty years down the road?

I turned thirty just a few days after giving birth to my second daughter. If you'd asked me then I'd have said I felt every bit my age and then some. Baby girl was an absolute beauty and she loved her mama so much she did not ever ever ever want me too far from reach. She sleeps like it's her job now, but those early months were sort of a par-tay whoop whoop all night long.

And I was tired for the first half of my thirties.

You know there's a very short window in motherhood where you actually get to sleep the way you want to sleep and not the way your children dictate you sleep. That window opens up about the time your children are between the ages of 5 and 15. For the rest of your parental life sleep will be interrupted either by babies needing to be fed, changed and soothed, toddlers needing water or the potty or to climb in bed with mom for no reason at all, or by teenagers who drive cars and college students living just out of reach. Then all of a sudden they're all grown up and sure you could sleep if only your own body would let you.

Actually I think I might make this two posts because life is chock-a-block full of experiences, feelings, and lessons learned in your thirties. We'll do the first five years today, and somehow I'll make the second five fit tomorrow's prompt. Or Monday's prompt. Or sometime.

When my thirties began we were living in a tiny little town in the far northern tip of NJ. Hubs had a brutal commute to work and on top of that was traveling a ridiculous amount of the time so sometimes it felt like I was living there and he was living at the office or Newark Airport. Almost weekly a car service would show up at our door at 3 am so he could make a 6 am flight or some such nonsense and hey, no wonder we were tired.

We were involved in a church in a nearby town and it was here I attended my first Women's Bible Study group. The women in that group were a Godsend to me in those early exhausting days of parenting. My faith grew here by leaps and bounds, and the love and support I felt from these women helped me navigate one of the hardest seasons of my life, the loss of my dad.

I don't think we have any idea how the loss of a parent will shape and change us in the years to come, but it does. My dad enjoyed his grandchildren so much and all these years later I still feel sad that he didn't get to watch them grow up or know them as the enchanting young adults they are today. He left a legacy of faith and courage though and these are gifts you treasure with an ever deepening sense of gratitude as the years roll by.

Daughter1 turned three years old and after a scary episode of mono ended she was finally able to start preschool. Every Tuesday and Thursday we moms would linger in the hallway as we dropped our littles off for class. Then we'd all kind of shuffle off alone to our own homes and repeat the ritual at pickup. I became friendly with one of the moms because our daughters had latched on to one another from the word GO, and she and I decided together we'd organize an informal coffee morning.

So we invited all the moms to come to my house the next week for coffee and cake while our preschoolers were in school. Most of us had a toddler or a babe in arms too, so everyone came and brought their babies and it was the beginning of a wonderful weekly play group/mom support system that carried on through Daughter 1's kindergarten year which is when we moved.

We moved in my thirties. Nobody's surprised are they? More about that in the second half of the decade writeup, because today I'm remembering what it felt like to be 32.

To have babies who fit in the crook of my arm and who snuggled up close on the couch.

There was that time a bear got in the garage, the wonky steel swingset perched somewhat precariously on the side of our back hill, the maple tree that turned the prettiest shade of red I've ever seen.

There were birthday parties on the brick patio, bicycles with training wheels, and home made ice cream.

Fourteen country miles to the nearest McDonalds, three trips to the ER for stitches (hello Daughter2!), weekend walks through apple orchards, the A.T. trail, Central Park and Waywayanda.

A pacifier smile, the silky edge of a well loved blankie, the color pink.

Blonde curls and books and freshly bathed girls.

A full day. A full life. A full heart.


  1. I haven't thought about being 30ish in a long time, but think that might be a good exercise for tomorrow. I do know that those years were made up of days that were full of crazy, busy activities and one of the most challenging periods of my life in many ways. I think I will only remember the good parts.

  2. A wonderful recollection Joyce and yes "brief" was never a good heading for you :)

  3. Excellent post! If your married with children or even divorced with children in your thirties is can be a rough time. I had Amber when I was thirty and 10 months later my mother passed away. Nine months after that Mark left me. I guess my thirties were pretty sad but I was thankful to have my children. Mono at three, I didn't even realize you could get mono at that age. You have excellent memories. I should try writing just for fun to see what comes back to me. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Now I am looking forward to part two! I missed having kids and always wonder what it would have been like to have little ones. My boys were 16 and 20 when they became 'mine'. So I really enjoy reading about the littles!! Thanks!!

  5. What wonderful memories! Did the bear leave on his own? Or did you talk him out of there?

  6. I really enjoyed my thirties. I was newly married to Hubby #2 and our girls were in their early teens. We traveled and laughed and had fun. It was my twenties that found me exhausted.
    I hear ya about being alone. Jack was an Airline Pilot, so I was alone a lot. I was so thankful for the church.