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I can’t believe the difference a year makes

We just got home from the beach yesterday. We went last year during the same week.

I found our old beach pictures from last year and was amazed by how different the two year old looks.She looks so much older now, is now the size of a 3 year old and is talking, running, jumping and was so much more active. She was even trying to teach herself how to swim in the baby pool (partially dragging herself and partially starting to dog paddle- following the lead of some of the other kids she was watching and playing with)

It had me thinking about last year (she was 1 1/2 and now she’s 2 1/2) and also wonerding what the next year will bring us.

Now, she still loves bubbles, she loves nail polish, hats, headbands, necklaces, bracelets and rings. She loves lollipops, Ciao brand vegan cheese, apple juice and soy vanilla yogurt. (or as she calls it, “ice cream.”)

Back then she ate everything but had chronic diarrhea but now we know she can’t have animal milk or animal milk products (including goats milk or cheese) so we have to give her vegan butter, sour cream, cream cheese, cheese and ice cream)

Back then she would eat nearly anything and had a very healthy appetite, but now she only snacks and eats cheese, fruits and some vegetables- she’ll eat sandwiches occasionally and loves apple juice.

 

My 7 year old is fully potty trained, but has been since she was 5. (she was potty trained during the day at 4 but still in overnight pull ups- now she’s almost fully accident free), she’s talking a lot more, starting to be able to jump off the ground and can do stairs and stoops/curbs alone. Her speech is improving and she’s now going into her bedroom to play. She still melts down with loud noises and has ear tubes again but she’s getting a tiny bit better with some noise. She’s the one in the family who can eat whatever she wants but still eats like a bird. We did finally get her stably up to 38lbs but next year her sister still is probably going to pass her up weight wise.

She has also come so far this year, but she looks about the same. She’s not at an age where looks drastically change. With the two year old, she moved out of being a baby to being a toddler and you can see it plain as day.

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I never thought I’d be the type to let myself go after a marriage and these past 2 years (last year and this year) I’m getting myself back.

I have been with my husband almost 8 years now. Before he and I met, when I was younger, it would take me over an hour just to leave my house. My hair, make up, clothes and everything had to be perfect. After we had our first baby, I had an extra 60lbs (went from 125 to 198 at the end of my first- complicated- pregnancy) and I started stress eating (before that, if I was stressed, I couldn’t eat). I managed to lose 10lbs down to 180 but stuck. I did workouts sporadically but the stress turned to fatigue and even laziness.

With my second pregnancy (the one we lost) my weight stayed the same after the baby was born and I was too depressed to really work on it.

By the time I had my third, I gained up to 220- higher than I ever weighed and was a size 18. This time, I was more active but my thyroid went into hyper due to the toxic cyst and I lost 30lbs in the first 6 weeks and another 20 recently. Now that I’m down to about 170 and a size 14/16 I’m gaining the motivation to continue.

After I had my first baby, I continued with my hair, make up and skin routine but over time, lost it.

In the past few months, I’m working on changing myself. I realized a while back I let myself go so now I’m working on undoing the damage before it becomes harder.

My daily skin routine now involves pre cleanse and cleansing, sometimes exfoliating (not every day- usually 3 times a week to every other day), spraying my face with either rose water or Dermalogica’s Multi-Active toner, moisturizer, then I’ll put on a mask 1-2 times a week. That’s my evening before bedtime routine. My morning routine is the same but after the moisturizer, I’ll put my make up on. That full routine can keep my eczema from acting up too bad. I have found that to keep it down, exfoliating and moisturizing is key.

I’ve studied skin care professionally (I’m a licensed skin therapist) so keeping my skin next to perfect is key. Luckily for me, when my eczema breaks out, it’s mostly still skin colored but the itching does me in. I still get compliments on my skin on a daily basis- I get rid of zits immediately, don’t have black heads and you would have to look at my skin under a magnifying glass to see my pores- my skin has been my pride and thanks to that, I still look as young as I did when I met my husband. I’m heavier now, but I’m also working on losing that (I did make it from 130 to 220, I’m back down to 170 and working on losing the last 40lbs if possible). I’m down 50lbs from 220 to 170 from two years ago (hit my peak weight at the very end of my last pregnancy- but there will be no more pregnancies so I can focus on losing the last bit)

I’m also looking at what types of workouts are best for people with Osteo arthritis and Ehler Danlos Syndrome to try to get my body toned back up.

I’ve been working on trying to get back to how I was in college. Back then, I was active and felt great. I also looked better. I’m not sure how to handle my thinning and really dry hair (the wrong shampoos grease my hair up and make it look wet, when it dries it dries like straw. It’s hard having greasy skin in that one area of my body but then having dry hair. The thyroid issues don’t help at all.)
The selected image is what I looked like in October. I’m hoping to get back to a slightly older version of what I looked like when I met my husband. I’m not trying to look like a teen again (or very young adult) since I’ll be 30 this week, I just want to be about the same size, weight and to feel good again.

The first picture was taken right before my husband and I met (same week)

The one with the hat was shortly after we got together, before I got pregnant and the third was our first Christmas with our new baby (she was 9 months old)

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I’m turning 30 in just under a month

I try to always set New Years Resolutions. I do it mostly for fun but this January is a milestone for me. I’ll be turning 30.

I know 30 doesn’t seem old to many people, but I thought I’d be further along than I am. I feel like I’m right back at 19. I’m working back in retail (not by choice- I went in to skin care but the highest paying job I found was retail)

All my early adulthood, I wanted to be married, 2 kids, own a home and have my dream career. I’ve been married 7 years, have the two kids (technically 3) but we rent and I work a job- not a career.

At 19, I dropped out of college, got into an abusive relationship and was stuck until I finally got away from him at 21 and ended up homeless. I bounced around from couch to couch and ended up on harder drugs. I finally woke up and cleaned up, moved back with my mom and dad and got a stable job.

At 22, I met my husband. We fell in love fast and were married in 3 months. Our oldest daughter came along a month after we eloped. (we celebrated our 7th anniversary last August, so I definitely do not regret marrying that fast nor that young- he was 10 days past 20 when we eloped and he also has no regrets). At 23, I lost the job I had and went to school- the plan was to take the six month course, graduate then the baby was due shortly after graduation, then I was going to take 6 weeks to recover and start searching for a job. Instead, she came half way through the course and I had to take maternity leave. I went back and graduated almost on time (stacked up hours before and after she was born- it was a 600 hour course) while she was still in the NICU. She had to transfer to a different NICU in a different state right after I graduated so I went on to live in the NICU room (and Ronald McDonald House) with her while my husband and parents visited occasionally but all three worked. During that time, I started loom knitting and making earrings to deal with boredom from being alone while she slept and with the hats, Bethcessories was born but not well thought out. It was just put on Etsy and forgotten. After she came home, we took her out grocery shopping one time, she got sick and ended up in the PICU and on the vent. It was that moment (along with some bad experiences with a few home care nurses) that made me realize I’d be unable to work and put her in daycare and at that time, we were unable to find jobs that would allow us to work around each other’s schedules.

During that time, I found I was unable to get into the local colleges but was able to get the financial aid restriction lifted at the college I left but I’ve had the major issue of- do I want to go into debt for a job that doesn’t pay well but I am passionate about or do I want something I don’t really like much but makes more money?

The logic vs emotion disagreement has had me torn apart and is why I’ve successfully been re accepted 4 times, had almost everything planned out perfectly but then one tiny thing always falls through.

The very last New Year’s Resolution I kept was back on January 2, 2010- I promised myself I’d stay away from all drugs and as of right now, I’m going on 8 years clean. It’s something I’d be proud of- if it was a challenge, but it was my way of dealing with the trauma of what happened to me in those two years and lasted such a short time, it was very much against everything I have ever stood for and due to my nature, I know I’ll never be tempted to go back. It feels like it threw off my life path and since then, I’ve lived in regret and even shame that it happened. I know it’s me holding myself back from my goals but it feels like that one year threw me off so bad.

 

Most of what I have wanted to do ended up being dead end or low paying.

My cousin got a Bachelors in what I was originally wanting to get into (interior design), spent a year out of college (my senior year of high school) and couldn’t find a single job- back when the economy was better so I changed my mind.

I started off in communications (journalism) then switched to marketing before I dropped out.

My first job was writing for the local newspaper in a teen section they had weekly. I loved going to the meetings, doing the interviews and writing the articles. I had a friend who did it professionally (a huge dream) but it was lower paying. I went to beauty school to get into make up artistry (it’s always been a dream to either write for a fashion magazine or work behind the scenes at a runway show, now I’m too old to get into that. I’d be in my mid 30s by the time I graduated and I’m sure most places want an early 20 something fresh out of school to intern and I only studied skin, most make up artists need to be able to do hair as well, I believe)

I’ve read so many blogs and articles on so many different websites that seem to reinforce the fact that women are pretty much useless both career or otherwise after they hit the mid 20s, that what you make in your 20s is the highest you’ll make and if you’re not lined up to move up in your career by the time you’re 30, you’re screwed so it does kind of give me the mind set of “why bother?” I wouldn’t say I wasted my 20s. I loved staying at home with my oldest, I wanted kids young and the biological clock is a real thing but now I’m out of that stage (I very happily signed to be sterilized after my third c section) and as my youngest gets older, I’m thinking more seriously about career (the plan- first kids and focus on education then focus on building career while kids are older and in school. I didn’t want to have to freeze a career for 6 weeks to go on maternity leave- it happened when I was in a salon and it killed the career I was starting to build but I also wasn’t a proper fit in that particular salon)

People always tell me to not plan so rigidly- that life always throws curves into plans, but trying to have a plan is one of the best ways my ADHD mind is able to focus.

I had another plan to have my main work ready to send to try to get traditionally published by the time I was 30. Thanks to my OCD perfectionist personality, I literally spent 4 years editing the same 3 pages and am no closer to finishing it than I was when I finished the rough draft (the story is fully written from front to back- but I want this one traditionally published so I want it perfect). Once again, I had friends who have been published telling me I needed to stop being so hard on my work, stop overthinking and to not have such high standards for myself. My new goal is to have it ready by 35. I actually have several others started (thanks to Nanowrimo- a fun challenge I do every November)

I’m not sure why I’m writing this, I have severe anxiety over turning 30 and I guess I need to just get it out.