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Turning 33 + Things I Know

Mar 8, 2013

In two weeks I turn 33.  That used to always seem so old to me.   What does seem kind of crazy is that in two years I will be 35, meaning  then I will be 5 years away from 40.  I can remember my mom throwing my dad an “over the hill” party when he turned 40 and thinking wow, that is old.  Things are different now, 40 is like the new 30 and really not that old at all (or at least that is what I tell myself).  Overall I still feel pretty darn young most of the time.  My 33 years have at least taught me some life skills.  I guess it is true you get older and wiser.  It got me thinking about what I have learned in my “old” age plus a few random thoughts.  

– I am sad I no longer get carded for alcohol.  Do I really look that old?  I am hoping the fact that I always have a little one with me is the reason I don’t get carded.  Or it could be the dark circles under my eyes and wrinkles.

– For once in my life I am comfortable with my weight give or take 5 lbs.  It took me a long time to learn how to eat to manage my weight but for once I am happy with my body- minus my stomach because lets be real is it ever the same after having a child?

– Which brings me to what I have learned about weight maintenance,  85% of it is what you eat not exercise.  I exercise for my mental sanity and not to be flabby but it is not what makes me lose weight, it is what I put in my mouth.

– Your parents are usually right.  Sometimes you don’t want to hear it but for the most part they are right.  Now that I am a parent I look at my parents differently and appreciate their input.  Listen to them they are the two people who always have your best interests at heart.  Sometimes it is hard to hear what they have to say but they will always tell you the truth and be honest like no one else in your life.

– Marriage is hard, really hard.  It takes work.  Planning the wedding is the easiest part of being married.  Having a child makes marriage even harder.  You must have a solid friendship and be willing to compromise to make it work.  After a child it is really important to carve out time for just the two of you to be alone.  Your spouse will annoy you and that is ok and normal.  It is the person you spend the most time with of course you will get on each others nerves.

– Once you have a kid a hangover is just not worth it.  I know my limits now and rarely drink too much.  There is nothing worse than tending to a child while you are hungover.

– Men are clueless you need to spell things out for them- ie what needs to done around the house and what gifts you want.  They are good with a list and ideas.

– Much disappoint is caused by ideas we have created in our heads.  I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten upset with Matt for him to reply “I am not a mind reader, we never discussed that.”

– I still don’t feel like a grown up.  Sometimes I laugh to myself that I am married with a child because at heart I still feel like I am 16.  Do we ever really feel grown-up?  I did feel old while waiting in line to watch Twilight and the Hunger Games though……

– There are so many different kinds of love in life but none as strong as the love you have for your child.  It is the most powerful love ever.  Nothing can compare to it.

– Call your parents and grandparents often.  Even if it is only a 5 minute conversation I can guarantee you it is the highlight of their day.

– It is so important to nurture your relationships with girlfriends.  They get you a way your husbands never will.  You can bitch to them without them getting annoyed.  Men have a short tolerance for complaining but girlfriends don’t.  My girlfriends are my happy place they bring so much joy and laughter into my life.

– The expensive version is usually worth it.  Especially when it comes to purses, shoes, and jeans.  They hold up better, last longer and are more comfortable.  

– It is easier to get away with cheap white wine than cheap red wine.  Cheap red wine will cause a real bad hangover.  Don’t ever trust a bottle of wine that is less than $5.  That being said you can get some fabulous bottles of wine between $10-15.

– Some of the best beauty secrets are the easiest- drink lots of water and get enough sleep.  Those two things can make a world of difference on your skin.

– Once you have a kid it is nearly impossible to have a clean house.  Just resign yourself to the fact that things will never be put away.  I am always picking crap up, it never ends!

– I am the luckiest person in the world to have a sister.  There is nothing like the bond between sisters.  I love my brother so much but we are not as close as my sister and I are.  If you have two daughters consider yourself lucky that they will have each other growing up.  We always say “Sisters by Chance, Friends by Choice.”  Love you Tay!

– Sometimes you just need to eat that cheeseburger, cookie, drink that bottle of wine , etc.  It is important to indulge sometimes and just enjoy life.

– Stay true to yourself.  I went through many stages growing up trying to fit in with others.  Adapting to them and doing things that really weren’t me.  Now I am just “me.”  If you think I am stupid for loving Reality TV or shopping too much- oh well. That is me take it or leave it.

– Along the same lines don’t compare yourself to others, there will always be others with more than you have but that doesn’t mean they are happier.  You have way more than alot of other people.  The blog world makes this hard because people are always posting about their fabulous houses, clothes etc.  I am guilty of feeling a little jealous sometimes.  But I try to remind myself how lucky I am and how much I have.  I am blessed.  Some people don’t even have a roof over their heads.

– Forgive and Forget always.  A grudge is never worth holding on to.  I am always the first person to apologize I hate being in argument life is too short for that.  It is also to short to spend time hating anyone

– Have some Faith.  Religion has become a really important aspect of my life.  Take time to pray and thank God for all your blessings.

Ok, so spill it, I would love to hear from people older, younger,  and my age on what you have learned thus far in your life?  and if you agree with my thoughts!
Have a great weekend friends!

Happy Friday!



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  1. I was just a nodding and nodding through so many of these. 30s will be such a highlight of life (I turn 31 soon so I don't feel like I can talk too expertly about them, ha). Every stage is truly amazing if you allow it to be. A lot of things come to "light" as you get older. Let's get our "annual" co-birthday dinner on the books stat. March is crazy busy.


  2. Lisa says:

    I think this is your best post! Loved all of it!

  3. I couldn't agree more with every single thing you said. All of it! Cheers to you Natalie! And your wisdom and wit and friendship! xoxox

    And get that date on the books, if I'm not buying a house this month I sure as crap can come down to Charleston!

  4. I love this! You're so wise in your young 33 years. I'm going to turn 37 this year. I sometimes can't even remember how old I am when asked. It all just starts to blend together.

  5. Every single one of these bullets totally resonates with me. These are really fantastic points and things that you truly only learn through experience and self-reflection. (And it also gives me a bit of satisfaction that my life lessons are aligned with others).

  6. I love this! I love being 32 because we know these things. It makes life easier. One thing I've learned (and I actually heard this phrase at church) is that the worst thing is not the last thing. I definitely did not know that in my melodramatic 20s. I also love "check yourself before you wreck yourself" to borrow from Ice T (I think).

  7. Katie says:

    I can relate to you on so many levels! I'm also 33, have one (almost)3-year old son, and a husband.

    Only thing I don't relate on is the holding a grudge part … although you're totally right its never worthwhile letting go is not something I have mastered šŸ™‚

  8. I'm turning 30 this year which would normally freak me out — but I'm really realizing that age is just a silly number and means nothing! xo


  9. Dee says:

    I love your list! I will be 30 in August, and I've learned a few important things about myself:

    * My husband, my two kids and I are our own family — it will always come first, over any other.

    * To help someone is not to hinder them, but rather to show them love in a different way.

    * Say no to others, and yes to yourself more often.

    * Never turn down an opportunity to learn a new skill/trick/tactic.



  10. Ok, I am turning 45 (yikes) this year and it sounds so much freakin' older than I feel. My mid-thirties were not a good time in my life so I am thankful to be in the happy place I am no matter what decade is on my license.
    I think as you get older it is easier to be at peace with "the number".
    Happy birthday!

  11. Liza says:

    Great post! I promise things aren't too bad on this side of 33. To me the best part of being in my 30's is as you said, just being you. I really like me now but cringe at the person I tried to be in my in my teens and early 20's!

  12. lcason says:

    Thank you for posting what you did. I am going through a period right now where it is nice to know that life is hard, but damn worth every minute. This is probably one of my favorite posts that you have done.

  13. I love this! I agree with everything on this list! Happy almost birthday!

  14. megan says:

    Natalie, this is such a great post and it makes me realize a lot. Like to not get upset with Cameron over stupid little things. And that girlfriends really are the best thing in the world. Also that I cannot wait to experience the ultimate love that I will have for my child(ren) one day. Have a great day!!

  15. Erin says:

    This is one of my favorite posts you've ever written! Especially the ones about marriage. Sometimes it's so easy to look at someone else's marriage and wonder why yours can't be that simple… but it isn't simple and they're probably going through the exact struggles you are.
    Thanks for this!

  16. Love these. I've learned that it's okay to just say no sometimes. It's easy to get tied up in busy schedules and commitments, but it's way more important to release some of those duties and remain sane!

  17. Meredith says:

    I love these! And happy early birthday šŸ™‚

    I'm 28 and can say I relate to a lot of what you wrote today (no kids yet, though). I think one of the things I have learned is to follow "do unto others, as you would have others do unto you." Kindness goes SO far!


  18. agreed. your best post ever. happy bday. šŸ™‚

  19. Nat says:

    I agree with all of these! I'm enjoying getting older so much more than I thought I would, the numbers used to scare me but now I just think that every year is more fun than the next.

  20. Alicia xoxxo says:

    LOVE this post! Girl you are so right on every single point! In a couple weeks I will be halfway to 40….sigh. I still feel 16 though, just like you. I think it is so important to have God in your life. I don't know where I would be right now without my faith.
    One things my grandma taught me, was to buy furniture and or things for the house that you really truly love. Dont just fill a house with "stuff" just to fill it up with something. If you cant afford it right now, save for it. I listened and did just what she said. It took me years to get furniture for my house and I am still working on it. But she was so right. I have never gotten tired of what I chose.
    I agree with you buy the good jeans/handbags, etc. I want to add one more to the list! A good dress! It will last longer and you can wear it for years!
    Have a great weekend my dear!

  21. 17 Perth says:

    LOVE your thoughts! And I couldn't agree more! I will be turning 33 soon too!

  22. Meg says:

    You are wise for just (nearly) 33.

    I really like your blog. It's the first one I hit each morning. I realized this morning when for the first time ever there was not new content yet posted on weekday.
    My morning started early!

    Which reminds me – we spring ahead this weekend.

  23. Laur says:

    This by far, has to be one of my favorite posts of yours! I just turned 31 in Jan and also agree, I feel so young and times, until I hang out with younger cousins, etc- then I feel old again. I get sad that at 31 I'm divorced, but reading your blog makes me feel better. I know I am not the only one who got in disagreements with my ex, and I just wish he had someone to tell him life wasnt always perfect so we could have worked things out. But in the long run, I know it makes me stronger and really think about dating certain guys. Life can be hard and throw us curve balls, but every once in a while you need to check in and realize, its too short and need to enjoy what we have. Like you said, some people don't even have a roof over their head. I'm thankful I do. And I'm thankful I found your blog to make me smile! Have a wonderful day!

  24. Miranda says:

    Oh my goodness…this is such a powerful message! I completely agree with every thing that you listed on here and related so much! I remember thinking that after 25, what was there? I'll be 27 this year and 35 is my new number…I suppose after 35, I'll change it to 50 šŸ™‚


  25. You are such a wise lady! I kinda feel old now… 5 years from 40… whoa! You still look 21!

  26. Anna H says:

    Such a great post. I think any young mom & wife can relate. I look forward to your posts every morning at work..it's goes great w/ my cup o' coffee ; )

    P.S..I was at TJ yesterday and found a Nest candle..I was like "NO WAY!" …even better, it had a tiny indention in the wax and I asked if they could discount-they gave me 10% off…$27 for a $60 candle, woo hoo!

  27. Just when I think I can't love you any more, then you go and write this little thing and *BAM*, I know we'd be besties (c; I'm going to be 32 in a couple months and I always think that I don't feel like I'm a day over 21…until I'm around people that are that young! True story. And I think my biggest lesson so far is DO THE HARD STUFF. You never know what you're capable of until you confront the stuff that looks impossible/scares you. Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right (c; Happy early birthday, sweet lady!

  28. Sonny says:

    Long time reader, first time poster… Loved this! I turned 35 this year and still think my 20s were just yesterday… time flies!

    I would add on to the parent comment that once you have kids, if possible- live close to your parents!!! It makes a world of difference.

    Not sure if you reply to comments, but can you remind me of the two books you have talked about often- 1 was a religious one and the other on relationships. You inspired me to buy them finally.

    Keep up your positive outlook on life!! Thank you.
    A Philly reader

  29. Emily says:

    Love this post, and agree with everything you said. I will be turning 30 next month and although I find it hard to believe I am happier than ever and really can't wait for what the future holds!! Happy Friday!! Thanks for sharing! Cheers to the Weekend!

  30. DaniMarie says:

    Such a great post! I turning 30 in two weeks so it's good to know that things can only get better!!

    Do you have any party dress recommendations for a girl on the verge of 30? Hubs is throwing me a big party.

  31. BEST.POST.EVER!!! And I agree with so many things here! So funny we were just talking about how we're all 30ish but we still feel like we're 20ish. And really…I can't believe you're almost 33…you don't look a day over 23. Honest. Happy Friday!!! XOXOX

  32. Salima says:

    Everything you said was definitely on point. I just turned 33 as well and have an almost 3 year old little boy, so we are in the same situation and have the same mindset. As soon as became a mother, not only did my life change physically but also mentally. I used to party a lot but as soon as I became pregnant, most if not all of my girlfriends stopped hanging out with me because I was not able to party with them anymore. Having a child makes you realize there are more important things in life and besides, I would rather spend a Friday night cuddled up with my son than getting drunk at a bar. Well done Natalie- wiser words have never been said more perfectly!

  33. What a great post!! I just turned 30 last August, and well being on this side of 30 hasn't been all that bad. šŸ™‚ Although it is so true that I do realize my age when around 20 year olds! and boy is a hangover not even worth it anymore even without a child to look after. For the more serious, I do think life is way too short to hold on to grudges or get into arguments about trivial matters although it's not always easy it's something worth working on. Also, it's so important to appreciate and enjoy the people that are in your life! I need to call my grandmother more. I've been trying to tell myself daily to "Choose Happiness." It's a great way to try to get in a good place every day and let all the little things go!

  34. Such an inspiring post! I must pin it and reread often!

  35. I think you and I would be great friends! I feel the same way with a lot of what you said. I am turning 39 in two weeks, when is your birthday? Mine is March 20. I still feel much younger than that, love Twilight and anything Real Housewives! Totally get the hangover thing, so not worth it when you have to deal with kids the next day. Hope you have a fabulous birthday! Andrea

  36. Ashley Kirby says:

    Longtime lurker, first time commenting. I couldn't agree with you more. It's like you took the words right out of my mouth!!! Love reading your blog!

  37. Sarah Karp says:

    Great post, Natalie! I'm 27 and something I've learned the hard way throughout my early and mid-twenties is knowing when to move on from a relationship that isn't going in the right direction. Actions speak louder than words. When you've found the right person it's natural on both sides, nothing is forced, you're equal to each other, one person isn't superior to the other, etc. I'm getting married in June to my "Mr. Right" and I will definitely keep in mind that marriage is hard! It's not always going to be a walk in the park. Thank you for your honesty!

  38. Natalie says:

    Love this! Love the part about marriage and having kids. Happy birthday!

  39. Kim Aull says:

    Love this! I feel so much wiser and more confident with what I want in life being in my 30's. You had so many good points. Love the part about calling your parents and grandparents! Too many people forget to make time for family. Great post!

  40. I love everything you wrote here šŸ™‚ That's a good batch of wisdom to have amassed in 33 years. Well…almost 33 years šŸ™‚ I turn 35 next week and you're right, it's kind of a bitch-slap. Halfway done with my 30's?? Really???

  41. First let me say I love your blog! It is so heartfelt and hilarious all at the same time. This post knocked me right on the head like those V8 commercials šŸ™‚ I turn 30 in a couple years and always hear how much you learn once you hit this age bracket.

    Blessings to you and your family!

    "The things you know that make you grow" šŸ™‚

  42. Kristin says:

    Great post! I love the posts you do that really get me thinking. The biggest life lesson for me so far is that the number one key to happiness is being grateful. I count my blessings daily and i think its SO important to teach children to be thankful. Also, i try to keep in mind that these are the good times- the times when you are raising your children. One day they will be all grown up and we'll look back and say- those were the good ol days. I want to enjoy each and every one. I want to appreciate the here and now. Whether its shopping with my mom, playing with my daughter or even cooking at home with my husband- at that time, there is no place in the world I'd rather be.

  43. Chimmy says:

    Great post! You make the 30s look pretty darn good!

    I'm 36 and can't believe 40 is creeping closer and closer. So I try to remember one thing about birthdays… they are all to be cherished because not everyone gets one.

    Stay blessed and have a great weekend!

  44. Michaela says:

    I love this. So much wisdom! Love learning for you and other bloggers. Especially mamas šŸ™‚ The more expensive version is usually worth it– amen! ha:)

  45. rox says:

    Ditto to all of those!

    Also…."Every day is a good day. Some are just better than others." My dad says this all the time, and it is SO. TRUE. We are blessed, y'all!

  46. Stephanie says:

    Love, love, love this post! My favorite is about the marriage. So very true. Nick drives me nuts sometimes, but I don't know what I'd do without him. He's my "person", you know?

  47. Love this post. It is so true and a good reminder to put things in perspective. Thank you!

  48. Keely says:

    Great post Natalie! Welcome soon to the 33 club! Like many others Im with ya girl on this list! I've learned sometimes it is better to go to bed angry…sometimes I feel like I would say something I would have regretted later if I didn't give myself time to think about the situation and what really is important rather than react on emotions. Have a great weekend!

  49. I think this might be your best post ever!! For an "almost 33 year old" you are very wise. I have to tell you. I'm going to be 44. Don't be scared of 40. I remember my Dad's "over the hill party" too. I feel just as great at 44 as I did at 33! In fact, I feel better. You will only become more wise and beautiful, and honey… 40 is FABULOUS!! šŸ™‚

    P.S. I totally agree with you on not comparing to others, esp in blog land. It will drive you crazy. I feel jealous too sometimes.

    P.S.S. It is what you eat, not how much you exercise!

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  52. Kelly Shealy says:

    Natalie, I love this post! I couldn't agree more, especially the part about being comfortable just being yourself. The older I get, the easier that is to do, and it makes life a lot easier. Thanks for letting us know you – reality TV addiction and all šŸ™‚ Love reading your blog!

  53. Val says:

    Oh, how I love this post…..33 has never looked so good. I find that every year in my 30's is a year of growth and wisdom. We are like a fine wine that only gets better with age.

  54. Love this post Natalie! I couldn't agree more with everything you said especially the marriage, kids and kids part!

  55. 33 is young. Great advice for everyone. I also think that once you have kids, a hangover is not worth it. I spend weekends blogging nowadays. Much more productive than hanging out at bars.

  56. Darling you don't look a day over 25! Happy birthday darling!! Love this post!

  57. Sara Mueller says:

    33 is young! I am turning 34 this year! And you don't look in your 30's at all pretty girl!

  58. I really really enjoyed reading these! As a college student, I really enjoy reading Mom's blogs to get some life advice. Some of these are things that I'm just starting to learn now and I'm sure will learn more about with age! Loved this post!

  59. Megan says:

    I liked the photos and desinger diaper bags, Very good blog post

  60. NeneBerry says:

    Wow..this is an amazing post.. much respect!!

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