Today is my 31st birthday. For some reason it has me thinking about my 21st birthday. I am SO THANKFUL to be in my thirties. I didn't get upset or feel weird when I turned 30, and I think a lot of that has to do with the tumult I went through in my 20s. I was ready to kiss them goodbye and move on to happier pastures.

And here I am! Happier pastures!! It's awesome!

For instance?

First thing I hear in the morning, age 21: My alarm, or more likely? One of my roommates throwing a shoe at my door because I've hit the snooze on my alarm 18 times.

First thing I hear in the morning, age 31: "MAMA! WAKE UP! IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY TIME!" and then my family sings me "Happy Birthday."

Breakfast, age 21: Diet Mountain Dew while running out the door to a class that I was already late for and then probably ended up ditching anyway.

Breakfast, age 31: Perfect over-easy eggs, hash browns, bacon and toast made exactly the way I like them by the person who knows me best and shared with my sweet daughter over Sesame Street. Two cups of hot coffee from my fancy new coffeemaker. Oh! And then a chai latte!

Best birthday present, age 21: My parents arrive and surprise me in the afternoon with a little party and give me a diamond necklace that belonged to my late Grandmother.

Best birthday present, age 31: My kids take a nap AT THE SAME TIME!

Attire, age 21: A too-small button down shirt I bought in the Kohl's junior's section (I could make ANY shirt into a midriff shirt! It was a special talent of mine), a denim miniskirt cast off by my roommate, and 5-inch pleather platform sandals from Payless. HOT.

Attire, age 31: Stretchy anything.

Hairstyle, age 21: Platinum blonde "Meg Ryan Wannabe." It was probably the third haircolor I'd had that month.

Hairstyle, age 31: I washed it today!

Body image, age 21: "I'd better lay off the Doritos. My favorite shorts (which were, for the record, size FOUR two-inch-long denim cutoffs from Abercrombie) are getting a little tight!"

Body image, age 31: "I made two beautiful children with this body! PASS THE ICE CREAM."

Dinner, age 21: A giant margarita at the classiest Red Lobster in Central Illinois.

Dinner, age 31: Crock pot roast beef at home with my two favorite shorties.

Dessert, age 21: SHOTS TIL YOU BARF! with all my dorm buddies.

Dessert, age 31: CAKE AND ICE CREAM TIL YOU PASS OUT! with my dear friend Christina (John has to work tonight).

Relationship status, age 21: "I am tired of this lame boy. But he'll do until John realizes that he's in love with me." (I had to wait another year, but he finally figured it out.)

Relationship status, age 31: JOHN IS IN LOVE WITH ME!!!

Favorite place to be, age 21: In my bed, asleep.

Favorite place to be, age 31: In my bed, asleep (some things never change! Well except for the fact that I share my bed now. With that hot guy I had a major crush on ten years ago. WOOT!).


You guys, aside from occasionally missing those size-four shorts (SIGH!), there's never a moment when I wish I could go back. I love my life. I am so incredibly blessed. Looking forward to another great year!

12 thoughts on “21/31

  1. Caci says:

    Happy Birthday Manda! So glad you were born! So glad you married Johnny! So glad you are my sister and my kiddos auntie! Love ya!

  2. Dr. Maureen says:

    Hey, anne nahm stole my comment. Really! I really clicked over from GReader to say, and I quote, “Aw. Happy birthday!” We just spell “aw” differently.

    Anyway, happy birthday. I like my thirties too. 🙂

  3. feefifoto says:

    Age is so much better when it’s multiplied by kids.

    Did that make any sense? Probably not, but I think you get my meaning.

    Happy Birthday.

  4. Maggie says:

    Happy birthday, lady! Love this. I am loving my 30s. I would NEVER go back to 21! Of course, I was never a size four either.


  5. Jennie says:

    Happy birthday to you, dear lady!

    (Also, if I could go back, I’d do nothing but stare at my own thighs at age twenty-one. How tiny they used to be!)

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