Summer flashed before my eyes and suddenly I am now 40 years old and my youngest is 1 years old!
We did our annual pilgrimage to Chicago and Pennsylvania. We went to Chicago to celebrate my grandmother’s memorial. It’s been 2 years since she passed and I still get emotional thinking about her. I haven’t been to Chicago since.. well, I can’t even remember. I wasn’t able to go to Chicago last year on her 1-year anniversary because I was so close to being due with Cameron. So that must’ve been almost 2 years since I’ve been to Chicago. How is that possible??
The travel itself wasn’t as awful as I thought it’d be. I packed Jacob, Cameron and my stuff the night before. We booked our Airbnb a while back that had a washer/dryer so theoretically I could’ve packed a whole lot less but we all know what a ‘just in case’ packer I am. Cameron slept the middle 2 of the 4-hour plane ride while Jacob enjoyed movies for the entire trip. He gets so excited about pushing his carry-on suitcase himself- it’s a riot. The airport patrons get a kick out of watching him push his suitcase around the airport.
Cameron finally got to meet his great-grandmother for the first time. Jacob didn’t remember her but he loved the flower patch and pinwheels at the cemetery. Visiting her always brings a rush of emotions and sadness. I wish she could’ve met Cameron and seen how much Jacob has grown up. I miss her so much everyday. She
loved Jacob so much and she would’ve loved Cameron as well. They all would’ve had so much fun together. My aunts and uncles met Cameron for the first time when we went to their house afterwards to pray and celebrate her.
Our AirBnB was in Old Town. We hadn’t stayed an AirBnB in a long time (I had fears about last-minute cancellations) but we needed an extra bedroom and space now that there were 2 kids. Although there were a few hiccups (no parking passes, no baby PacknPlay, no soap in the bathroom), the location was great and we were in the city! Walking around Old Town, Lincoln Park brought back a lot of memories for Jeff and me.
The following day was Cameron’s big (early) 1st Birthday Celebration. In Korean, it’s called a Dohl. It’s a big celebration in Korea because infants rarely survived to their 1st birthdays. It can be quite a production like a mini-wedding but I tried to keep it casual since we planned from San Diego. I literally copied and pasted my party planning file that I had from Jacob’s Dohl. It’s nutty to see how much I planned and how much I spent on things like flowers, cake, etc. This time around was a bit more economically friendly.
The food was delicious, the cake was yummy and it felt great to see our friends and their kids whom we hadn’t seen in a long time. I wish I could’ve eaten more and talked more with our friends. Cameron picked a microphone so there will be an entertainer in our midst. No tears (major tears, anyway) and no bloodshed is the sign of a successful party!
Our second leg of the trip was to Pennsylvania to visit Jeff’s parents. Their parents have an annual family reunion/party for their wedding anniversary. The timing didn’t work out for us to be there when Jeff’s brother and sister’s family were there, unfortunately. But we had a lot of fun relaxing in their giant pool and catching up with Grandma and Grandpa. Being in Pennsylvania felt like a vacation we all needed. Chicago was filled with car naps, driving to/from suburbs, and on top of all this, we found out we won the bid to buy a house!
After 12 days away, I was ready to come home and sleep in my own bed. We timed our flight back so we could celebrate my big 4-0 at home. I haven’t been in San Diego on my actual birth day for a while. Actually, last year we were in San Diego and had been moving into a temporary apartment a week before Cameron was due. Talk about a fun birthday!
As I was woken up on my birthday at 6:30am by my #2’s good morning cry/pinch, I started the day with a huge load of laundry, making breakfast for the kids and husband and unpacking suitcases from our trip. Later on that day, Jeff and I planned to go to a movie (at our fancy movie theater) and dinner. I did want to spend some time with the boys but I was also looking forward to some adult time! Of all the movies to choose from, the only option was a Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbs and Shaw, starring The Rock and Jason Statham! Perfect! Then dinner was at a nearby Italian restaurant within the ‘mall’ complex. I fought Jeff on this because I wanted to go somewhere ‘fancier’ and/or use this gift certificate I had for another ‘fancier’ restaurant. But he reasoned with me that we don’t have to deal with traffic and also could make it back home in time for me to put the boys to bed. That made more sense so I went along with it.
As we’re walking to the restaurant, I see profiles of people who look like my own friends. But I thought, weird, why would that person be at this restaurant on a random Tuesday night? Then I saw a ‘40’ helium-filled balloon bouquet floating in the wind and thought, ‘Oh yay! Someone else is turning 40 today just like me!’ As I walk closer to the restaurant, it begins to register that these people’s faces are actually my friends’ faces and I’m wondering, what is going on? And then finally when I see all my friends’ faces and hear a ‘Surprise!’ does it finally sink in that they’re here for me‼?! Oh my goodness. As I burst into tears after seeing one of my OG friends from LA, I couldn’t believe what was happening? How? What? When? How in the world??? How did I have NO suspicion whatsover!? Especially when I was with Jeff 24/7 these last few weeks?
What a wonderful surprise and evening it was! #Roseallday except that I knew I had to work the next day! Had I known otherwise, I would’ve taken the day off! I felt so loved and celebrated and it sure was a way to greet the start of my 40s. At the end of the evening, I reminisced about this last decade and how the entrance of this decade was 180 degrees different than my 30s. I probably slept in, watched the news leisurely with a cup of coffee, had zero responsibility, enjoyed the quiet of just me in the house. I realize how much more meaningful and blessed this is now as I reflect upon the many blessings in my life- wonderful husband and 2 healthy amazing boys, best of friends, healthy and living parents and family, and we are about to embark on the next journey of our lives as we move to surburbia and become homeowners!
Cameron also turned legit 1 years old. The year went by so quickly. Suddenly, he is this little man who loves his big brother. He is a happy and chill guy. I could not be more blessed than I am with all the Chisdak boys in my life. I’m excited for what the IDGAF 40s (I Don’t Give a F__k) has in store for me. Stay tuned as we embark upon this journey together! Before I end this long blog, I have some travel tips for my friends and future self:
TRAVEL TIPS when you have lots of stuff:
(1) Suitcase/luggage that you can push on 4-wheels. It saves your back!
(2) Pack lighter! Take away half of the things you think you’ll need.
(3) Wear a fanny pack- if you’re carrying a baby, diaper bag, etc. you’ll need something that has your essentials at your fingertips: cell phone, wallet, chapstick, hand sanitizer, hand wipes!
(4) Baby wear: Forget the onesies- when you’re in a stinky bathroom in an airplane or airport, you don’t have time to unsnap and resnap a onesie while your child
Thank you for walking this journey with me thus far!! If you have any advice about how to make the decade even more awesome, I’d appreciate your expertise. Cheers to what is next for all of us!