This past Sunday was my 30th birthday. It wasn’t until last week when Louie I were talking about my birthday and he mentioned The big 3-0 that I realized how old I was turning. My response was, Nooo… I’m not turning 30, yet. Wait. I am. Really???
I remember when 30 seemed old and far away. But here it is. Here I am. And in a lot of ways, I think I was right. I definitely feel much older and much, much further away from the world I used to live in. I can say this: Even though I am in a different place than where I thought I would be even five years ago, I am blessed and I am grateful for this life.
30 ways to know me better
For my birthday, I decided that I would do one of those 30-questions memes. I figured it would be a great way to reflect, remember, document, and commiserate.
- Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Grace Elizabeth, who turned two today and is the adopted rainbow daughter of two amazing friends.
- What has been your favorite age so far?
I guess I would have to say 29. That was the age that brought me two more children, Gaelen and Charlie and grew our family of four to a family of six. It’s also when Louie and I took our honeymoon to Kaua’i (I still need to blog about that trip!), and when I became a full-time employee at WestEd, where I get to do non-profit work in education and tech for a great company.
- Where did you meet your husband?
I met Louie in high school. More specifically, I met him in our honors English classroom, during our first year of high school. I first noticed him when we were presenting our summer projects, and he shared a drawing of someone getting bullied in a playground. A few years after I graduated, the state took over the school because of poor performance. Then, a couple of years ago, the city decided to close it and move the middle school into the space. Weird and sad. (Photo credit: Hogan High School FB page)
- How many children do you have?
Four: Calvin (who will be celebrating his 3rd heavenly birthday next week), Rainbow (who will be celebrating her second heaven day in December), Gaelen (who will be celebrating her first heaven day at the end of this month), and Charlie (who is due to make his entrance on June 4).
I call this picture Mommy’s Eye View because I can “see” Calvin, Rainbow, and Gaelen, who I am carrying in my heart, and Charlie, who I am carrying in my belly.
- Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?
In a group? Many a time (church, birthdays, etc.). By myself? Just once at Louie’s grandmother’s viewing, and it was hard; my voice was shaking as I tried not to cry.
- What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?
I’m a sucker for smiles :D.
- What really turns you off?
Statements that are self-righteous and judgemental. And really bad BO.
- What do you order at Starbucks?
I don’t frequent it much these days, but the drinks I used to order enjoy were: Soy Chai Latte, Caramel Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. I think the last thing I got from there was the oatmeal.
- What is your biggest mistake?
This would have to be not letting our families see and hold Calvin after I delivered him. You can read more about that in R is for Regrets.
- As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?
Hmmm… this list includes singer, pediatrician, marine biologist, actor, chef, writer, artist, and mommy.
- Say something totally random about yourself.
I recently noticed my first stretch mark on my belly. It looks like the number four. I tried to take a picture with my phone; it didn’t turn out so well, but I think you can kind of see it. When I asked Louie if my stretch mark (on my actual belly, not in the photo) looked like a four after he got home, he said, Yes. I think it’s pretty cool: a 4 for my four babies.
- Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows?
Yes. And I’ve found that a lot of “kiddie” movies touch on adult themes and have grown-up jokes, which I never noticed when I was younger.
- Did you have braces?
Yes, I did. I got them in 9th grade, I think, and got them off just in time for my high school senior pictures.
- Favorite Social Network?
Right now, I would have to say Pinterest and Instagram even though I’m not as active on them. Path will probably become a fave once more of my peeps are on it.
- What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?
I can’t really pick “the” most romantic thing. So I will share a recent romantic something: one rainy day after work, Louie IM’ed me to tell let me know to come down because he was there. When I walked out the door, he was standing there with an umbrella so he could walk me to the car. I love simple gestures of sweetness like that.
- When do you know when it’s love?
Honestly, I know when it’s love after it’s already happened. Is that weird?
- Do you speak any other languages?
I speak broken Tagalog (lost my fluency after moving back to the United States). I also used to be able to speak passable French. Does web jargon count?
- Have you ever been to a tanning salon?
No. Those things scare me.
- What magazines do you read?
I don’t really. When I was younger, I used to subscribe to “Jane” and “YM.” Once in a while, I’ll pick up a fiction magazine or a copy of “Real Simple.”
- What is playing on your iPod right now?
That’s All I Ask of You by Raphael Saadiq was the last thing playing on the iPod on our way home from my doctor’s appointment.
- Have you ever ridden in a limo?
Yes. The first time was for my senior prom. It was kind of cool riding with friends, but it did cut our time at the actual prom short. The second time was from my parents’ house to the church for my wedding; my mom insisted. Here’s a cool picture of the limo driver taken by the very talented Ed Pingol.
- Has anyone you were really close to passed away?
Yes: my babies, who were growing in my body, and my maternal grandmother, who helped raise me.
- Do you watch MTV?
Not since they stopped showing music videos regularly. Plus we don’t have cable.
- What’s something that really annoys you?
When people patronize me and don’t speak to me like I’m an adult.
- Which television show you were sad to say goodbye to?
I think it has to be a tie between Felicity and Firefly, though most of my watching of these series was via DVD.
- Can you dance?
I’d like to think so—at least well enough to enjoy myself while doing it!
- What’s your favorite place in the world?
I haven’t done much travelling, but the first place that comes to mind is Kaua’i.
- Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?
No, but families members have been. Once, when Louie’s grandmother was being taken to the hospital, we somehow ended up behind the ambulance on the way there. We could see her through the back window.
- If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
My heaven babies.
- If you could change one thing in the world for your child, what would it be?
For my heaven babies, I want baby loss to be something that is more openly acknowledge and discussed and for their short but precious lives to be honored even by those who haven’t experienced a similar type of bereavement. For my earth baby, Charlie (please, be my earth baby), I would like him to experience compassion and generosity of heart from the people he encounters.