Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye 20s

As I am the last of my friends to turn 30, I've really enjoyed reading their posts all year long about things they accomplished in their 20s. So to celebrate the big 3-0 today, I'll continue the tradition.

* Great American road trips. Road trips in college saw some fabulous hiking in places like Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Moab, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef and Escalante areas, Havasupai in Arizona; a couple of road trips to various parts of California (like waking up in college and just deciding to drive until we hit the ocean), and who knows where else. Too bad people didn't really have digital cameras much back then or I'd post some awesome pictures. Just imagine me skinny and buff doing lots of crazy stuff. :) Oh yeah, also a few friends' weddings in Seattle and St. George, and a super-lame trip with a then ex-boyfriend (the trip was already planned!) and some other friends to Nauvoo and the mid-west.

Then when we were married, Ryan and I took lots of good road trips from New York. We went up to parts of Massachussets (anyone else ever get into those get free stuff for going to time share presentations? Ryan loves those. I hate having to sit there knowing I'm just going to keep saying no to everything, so I refuse to do anymore, but we did get some free trips from them). We also went to Boston, Plymouth, and Cape Cod.
That was a crazy trip. Anyone know that Provincetown is a gay community? That made for some great people watching, and one of my favorite pictures of all times. I came out of one shop one time to find Ryan waiting for me Forrest Gump style like this:

I love the slight shifty eye, I'm-a-little-uncomfortable look Ryan has in this picture. I still really have no idea if that was a man or a woman sitting next to him.

But really interesting people watching and crazy stuff to see everywhere you looked. (And um, yes, these are men.)

We were also too cheap to get a hotel up there, so these were our accomodations:

We also visited the Jersey shore, and went to Atlantic City (super lame and ghetto compared to Vegas), but we did manage to sleep in the car at the Trump Hotel parking lot (once again, too cheap), went to Niagara falls and Palmyra, Ocean City Maryland, Philadelphia, Chicago a few times (when we lived in Milwaukee) and of course, just lived up our time in the Big Apple:

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Went to the Republican National Convention while we lived there:

Biked along the Hudson:

Danced with the crazy pink sports bra lady in Central Park (oh how she loved to just shake it for our babies):Walked over the Brooklyn Bridge (from the pier on the other side):

* Traveled for work all over the U.S. training doctors on medical software. Went to lots of small towns mostly, but also got to work in Beverly Hills at a very posh clinic (one doctor's roommate had just broken up with Matthew McConaughey), a cool and slightly creepy little town in Maine (but was there during an amazing time of year):

And Wasilla, Alaska (proud home of Sarah Palin).
View from the airplane flying in:

Got to take a flightseeing tour of Denali. Seriously crazy, you don't just fly and look at it - you weave in and out of these small canyons, and land on glaciers and stuff in a sketchy little prop plane.

And I also got to go to the Talkeetna Wilderness Woman Competition, where rather burly women race to chop wood, load it up on snowmobiles (snowmachines), shoot guns, and make some food and get a beer for their man - all to claim the title to be the next Wilderness Woman and get her pick from the "male order" catalog for a date to the evenings events. Crazy, but when else do you get to stand outside in below zero weather to witness something so wacky? The local moose was really trying to get me to participate. Luckily I kept pulling the pregnancy card.
* International trips: Japan, South Africa, Botswana, Italy, London, Paris, Malaysia, and Cambodia.


* Graduated from college. Majored in Human Biology. Kissed lots of boys.

* Also became a hairdresser. Learned the art of reading trash magazines while at the salon.

* Was at my skinniest (yes, I was actually as skinny when I left on a mission, and at my wedding as I was in high school, probably only maintained that weight for like a week though).

* AND was at my fattest. Multiple times. And currently. I'm hoping that means it can only get better from here when I enter my 30s?

* Was even a red-head for about 2 seconds.

* Got a husband through medical school.
(He was the graduation speaker at his medical school graduation in Carnegie Hall). Then graduation dinner at the Waldorf:

* Had three babies (and that took less than 1/5 of my 20s).

*Lived in Provo, Utah

*Lived in South Africa and Botswana

* Lived in New York

* Lived in D.C. for a summer

* Lived in Wisconsin

* Lived in Miami

**** Made some amazing friends along the way****

Yeah, I guess it was a pretty good decade.


Anonymous said...

HAPPY 30TH!!!!


Anonymous said...

Incredible! Just thinking of calling you this morning on your birthday! What a list of accomplishments. You are a wonderful, outstanding girl, mother, wife, woman, and example.
I'm thankful to be your mother.

Well, couldn't you come up with a Tokyo picture -- like karaoke in the private room at a 2nd floor restaurant on the busiest street corner in all of Tokyo. Whatever it cost your brother to feed about 14 of us was well worth it! We have memories that will never fade of that experience.

Have a great day!

Tennille said...

What a great post--and I love the pictures from Provincetown. Happy 30th!

Lu Lu said...

Happy Birthday! Way to take advantage of the childless/1 child days. You guys are really good at traveling...I mean actually making plans and going. You are missing your most amazing trip(s) though...CHICAGO! And I did one of those promotional time share things once...biggest freakin' waste of time! :) Bless Ryan's heart for all the time he spends to save money. You guys are going to be the millionaires next door...if you aren't already. :)

Spar-Mar Girl said...

Ok, now I'm left feeling like I need to go on a million road trips and travel more before I turn 30 in Feb.! I'm so impressed by everything you've done! Hope you have a great birthday---especially your date night tonight!

emily johns said...

Happy birthday Jen! Your 30's will be great too :)

Jenilee said...

Happy Birthday Jen! I wish we were together like last year. What a fun decade. Here's to the next!

SSAS said...


I remember the pink sports bra lady. She was fantastic.

Yesterday Malcolm said "I need my phone." I said, "Who are you going to call?" He said, "Cash."

It was fun to look back with you. Life is good.

Melanie said...

Happy 30th! That must make you feel great to look back and see all you have done. Makes staying home for a few years more tolerable since you can repeat "I use to travel and do interesting things (repeat)" Im glad we were neighbors!

Jess said...

Wow. I have done nothing compared to you! Way to live it up.
Happy Birthday!

Heather said...

Great post. So fun to see all the things you have done!

Happy birthday. Welcome to the 30's.

lindsy said...

Happy Birthday!
WOW you guys have done a lot!

Kimi said...

Cash really did get the shifty eye look from Ryan. I love that you caught that look. Classic. Happy 30th. Glad you didn't waste your 20's sitting around.

H. said...

Wow! Happy 30 to you and what a great decade to remember!

Aimee said...

Happy Birthday, Jen! I love this post - a fantastic recap of the last 10 years. I've got to hand it to you, you make the most of your life!

We went to a timeshare meeting once...and when they found out what our annual salary was, we were politely asked to leave...

AnnaMarie Ferrell said...

At our time share thing, we lied about our salary so we could get a free breakfast. No trip or anything. But really, I like seeing all the things you did in your 20's! I have some catching up to do!

Anne Marie said...

Happy Birthday! I can't believe all the places you've been and all the things you've done in your 20's!!!! Holy cow!

Gavin and Shawna said...

Hey old lady! Happy Big DAy!!
It was so perfect to be reading this as I listen to soothing Christmas, make you cry had some awesome experiences! I am glad to be counted as one of those friends you found along the way...even though we have both been millions of places since NY...its great to stay in touch with an inspiring old lady like yourself=))
(I still have another 1.5 until my 30 so I am living up the ability to tease=))

Laurie Jones said...

First of all Happy Birthday!!. I remember the day before your birthday I saw on facebook that it was the next day and I made a mental note to email you. But, my mental notes don't last long anymore so sorry!!!

You make my life look so dull and boring. You have accomplished so much in ten years.

I can't stop laughing at the picture of Ryan on the bench next to that guy (it is totally a guy), dressed as a lady with his shirt half-way unbottoned and his hairy legs!! Couldn't he pick a better hair style? So hilarious!! I think next time I see Ryan I will laugh becasue that picture will come into my mind.

That was a great post. I didn't realize you have had so much fun over the years.

Ty and Trista Swartzlander said...

That was so fun to read all about your 20's. I loved your road trip and your "hotel". I hope your birthday was amazing. Happy Birthday.

Anonymous said...

Wasilla, Alaska, is now known throughout the world. I had no idea you had been there, and today in Church the local missionaries spoke, one is from Wasilla, Alaska, the third of 12 children. Small world. He was an outstanding young man who gave an excellent, inspiring talk.

Dawson was my page-turner today for a very tricky choir number I had to accompany. We both did beautifully. The song was "Look at the World." We rehearsed the page-turning last night and it went very well.

Hope your birthday was great. On to the 30s!


Chadlee said...

Wow, I had no idea you had seen the world. I don't know anyone who has traveled that much, that is really impressive. You've accomplished a lot and had fun along the way. Happy 30th!

chelseareeve said...

Happy Birthday...I didn't remember your birthday...sorry about that. I got your information from Aimee, I hope that was ok. I've been calling your other number, but when it was disconnected I remembered that you told me you were switching your number. I am so glad Aimee gave me your information. Your twins are look fabulous...

I am going to invite you to view my blog if you want to. I went private for several reasons, but I'll send you an invite as soon as I am done posting. I hope you are doing well. Your decade was fun to see. Your pictures are so much fun and you really did soooo much stuff...what a sucessful decade. I'm glad I met you during the beginning of your decade and that we've reconnected at the end of your decade. I just love you Jen.

Tania said...


This makes my life look completely boring - oh wait - that's because it is! What a great list of things you've done.

Winnie said...

That's awesome. I wish was was able to do more than I did...come to think of it, I kinda did, got married and had almost 4 kids. Anyways, Happy 30th. I'm gonna turn 30 March '09 so you are not the last one to turn 30.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm jelous...I wish I had traveledmore. Maybe there is still some time. Sounds like a pretty great life. Happy birthday!

Tyler Jorgenson said...

That Forrest Gump pic of Ryan kills me. Hilarious.

Good post Jen, but now people won't feel as bad for you being trapped in your apartment in Miami seeing as you're such a world traveler.