Tag Archives: children

project 30 – sarah

30 Oct

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Sarah, 30 / from the site Sarah Ann Noel 


What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

I spent the first half of my twenties really looking forward to my thirties. I spent the second half of my twenties reminiscing the first half. The biggest lesson of my life continues to be be present. I wish that 21-year-old would have been solely focused on all the fun she was having, all of the world she was seeing; and that the later-twenties gal would have begun her “aging” process gracefully. Be present! That’s what I would have said to her at any stage!

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

I wish that I had taken my creativity more seriously when I was in my twenties. I was a very calculated, forward-thinking person. Of course, some twenty-somethings can sort of laze through the decade, and I’m glad I didn’t do that. But, as it turns out, I’m pursuing creative endeavors professionally now, and I wish that I would have allowed those tendencies to flourish when I was in the decision-making stages instead of just brushing them off as “hobbies.” On that same note, I wish I would have taken “pace” more seriously. Life moves as life moves, but I was definitely of the notion that I could will things into being by sheer force. It was very tiresome, but then I had more energy I guess. 😉

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

So many things! I was laughably serious at the beginning of my twenties, when now, I realize how your twenties are such a delicious in-between. But then, it really felt like THE BEGINNING OF THE REST OF LIFE and every decision I had to make was wrought with drama. I think, at the root of that, was still this desire to please people around me—authority figures, family, friends. So more than anything, I wish I had taken those opinions and perceptions less seriously and really honed in on who I was. I think if I had managed that, I might have had a more relaxed attitude toward a lot of other things.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I always joke to Trevor, my husband, that I sometimes feel “frozen” at 21. Despite my high-strung personality, that year in particular was a really monumental one for me. I studied abroad in London, which is definitely a most cherished memory. It was such an experience to see the world, and I met a very dear friend who is still a friend to this day. When I returned to the States, I met my husband, right before college ended! It all felt like a sweep of experience, that whole year—traveling, falling in love so young, graduating from school. It was sort of like this sweet, sweet grace period between childhood and adulthood, and I’m quite nostalgic for that time.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I think I still expected to be “career woman” at that point. I’d just shifted to creative journalism studies, and so my attitudes toward a professional life were changing a bit; but I still imagined myself in an office, preferably that of a magazine! I seriously considered moving back to London and making a go of being an ex-pat. I also considered New York, and Chicago too, since it was nearby and special to me and Trevor both. I think I envisioned being in a big city and holding down a job that I was happy to dedicate the hours to. I was pretty certain I would marry Trevor, so I assumed we would be wed before I was 30; and I probably anticipated only beginning to entertain the idea of children as I entered my thirties.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

Surprise! I was a mom, not once, but twice! Trevor and I did marry young (I was about 24), and by 26 I was pregnant with our first daughter, Iris. I really wrestled with what to do professionally because I wasn’t particularly happy with my current job, but I wasn’t sure that I was ready to give up working. I had always wanted to give freelance writing more than a part-time shot, so I left my office job and stayed home with my new baby, working when I could. Mostly, I learned to love being a mom, and then the other pieces of me really started to flourish. At 30, I am actually living in New York, and I’m pursuing writing “full-time.” But first and foremost, I’m a mom of the two most beautiful, bubbly, blonde-headed girls and loving what they’re teaching me every day. It’s a privilege I couldn’t have imagined for myself in my twenties, but one that I’m glad happened when it did. It really paved the way for me to 30.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

All the time! I still worry about it! Sometimes being 30 feels young and fresh and vibrant, like I can do anything. Other days, I feel so stinkin’ old, like I’ve missed my chances at everything! Of course, that’s all ridiculous. My twenties brought on so much change, so much that was different from what I had pictured; but it also ushered in this amazing peace and happiness. I started learning to love the things that “happened” to me way more than the things that I’d “made happen.” So while I still wonder if my goals or dreams will fall into place, I also know that the surprises of life can be even better anyway.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

I think the best gift is simply a bit of perspective. At 30, we are still so young, with so much to look forward to, so much to learn. But I also feel a bit removed from the hyperactive worry that I feel saturated my twenties. I’ve learned that life has sloping patterns, places that feel up, places that feel down; and I’ve learned that time never feels consistent either—sometimes life moves so slowly, sometimes you just blink and parts are over. While I haven’t mastered being present, my thirties are reminding me of the importance of it. The twenties I lived in the future, mostly, sometimes in the past; and I want my thirties to be about living in my thirties, realizing that everything that has happened is a collective part of who I am now, so that’s what really matters.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

I hope to age with grace. I’ve surprised myself by not being good at that so far—I had always aspired to, and therefore assumed, that I would. I want to be less consumed with what’s changing on my body or how life feels different from what I pictured, and really just be where I am. So I hope that by 40, I’m just a more peaceful, content version of myself, like that these realizations and desires will mature throughout my thirties to yield someone who truly appreciates life for what it is. By my forties, I want to really be a role model of that for my girls, since they’ll be entering the years of decision-making and figuring out who they are.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

I am a lover of words, and so it’s hard for me to pick just one quote. I grew up in the church. As I’ve grown, my faith has grown and changed, but it has remained an important part of who I am. There is a verse in Colossians (1:17) that says, “He is before all things; and in him all things hold together.” I like the idea of things “meant to be.” I think a lot of us rely on that, whether we believe in a god or not. And so while I always want to be working toward a goal, and while I’ll never stop dreaming, I also like believing there is a plan and my life is following that, even if sometimes I get it wrong. Certainly my life is the picture of the unexpected and surprises; but as I’ve learned to appreciate that rather than fight against it, it sort of makes this verse (and the mentality!) make perfect sense. Whenever I feel out of control, I like to remind myself of these words.

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wait…your 33 or my 33???

16 Jun



Many moons ago, before Brian and I were even engaged….actually, it might have even been before we were even living together, but both knew that we were most likely going to end up together, we talked babies. We talked about them in a very broad way. Both checking in with each other that the other wanted children one day. Both did, check! Then we talked about when the ideal time would be to start a family and we settled on 33. I don’t really know why we chose 33 but it seemed like the right age. At the time 33 was many years away.

Cut to our honeymoon (Brian currently aged 32 and I will be 32 next month) as we floated around the pool, tropical beach in front of us, drinks on the lounges behind us when somehow in walked the conversation of starting a family and we both looked at each other with wide eyes and said “WAIT???? Your 33 or my 33????”  I think 33 snuck up on us both rather quickly! We agreed that it would not be Brian’s 33 considering that is only 8 months away and feels much too soon for us both. So it’s looking like it is going to be my 33.

I honestly can’t believe I am at a point in my life where this is a real conversation. Time flies! I will say though…babies are starting to look pretty damn appealing. Clearly, my baby radar has been turned on. I also get a flutter in my heart when I think about meeting a little human that Brian and I made together. Not to mention Frank is going to make a fabulous big brother. With all that said…I am not ready to add one to our lives at this exact moment. I’m just saying….I am warming up to the idea. I’d also love to get one more big faraway trip in before adding a little one to the mix. I don’t imagine babies love traveling for 24 hours or trekking the Himalayas, you know?

But, is there ever the perfect time to start a family? I mean are you ever really ready?? I don’t imagine you are. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

1 / 52

18 Mar


 “a portrait of my child, once a week, every week″

Frank: After a wild night of playing with our neighbor’s new puppy Harley……Frank was so damn tired that  he opted not to get out of bed the next morning and play our normal game of “ball…ball…ball”. Instead he lazily watched me get ready for work from the comfort of my bed. 

I am sure avid blog readers know about the series called “project 52” but for those of you who don’t it’s a series where various bloggers photograph their child/children every week for a year. I happen to love this series…I find it so sweet. My two favorites….Bleubird & Small Time Cook. Sooo, considering I happen to think Frank is my firstborn…I thought, why not…you know?

Clearly, he also happens to be insanely photogenic…so…your’e welcome.


project 30 – bianca

24 Sep


Bianca, 36

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

I would tell myself to slow down. To ease up on over-thinking everything. That where I think I’m going to be in 10 years will in no way resemble where I actually end up and yet it will all make perfect sense when I look back on it all. That life has its own plans and loves nothing more than to pull the rug out from underneath you, but that if you put your faith and trust in its wisdom it will always show you the way back onto your feet. That even the great heart breaks will come to feel like old friends, reminders of your immense capacity to find the light, even in the darkest hours. •

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Honestly, not much. I feel like you kinda need to say “F-U” to a lot of things in your 20’s so that you can look back later on and say “I had my time as a rebel, I left no stone unturned”.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

Time. I wish that I didn’t put so much pressure on myself to get certain things done by a specific time. Everyone’s life is as unique as their fingerprint, and there’s no need to compare yourself to anyone else. Just because so and so had the family and kids and house and dog by their 25th birthday doesn’t mean that needs to be your story. We spend so much time fighting against our natural progression and it doesn’t make anything happen any quicker, it just makes you miss out on the ride. Your life is the beautiful story about YOU. Live it without apology. You are exactly where you are supposed to be for the lessons you need to learn at any given moment.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Driving down the coast when I moved from Seattle to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of becoming an actress. The world was my oyster. Anything was possible. What a pure, pristine moment, I will never forget that feeling.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

Oh for SURE married to Leonardo Dicaprio and living the dream with my first of many Oscars on the mantle. Hey, I like to dream big.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

hahaha ohhhhh, on my way to a divorce and on a network sitcom where I felt artistically frustrated and unchallenged. So, you know, REALLY CLOSE to the above vision.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

ONE THOUSAND PERCENT. I felt like I had failed at everything I set out to do. I felt like a child. I felt lost and confused and scared of what might come next. So I did the only thing left to do… I asked for help. From family and friends. From wise teachers. From my dogs. I asked for help from anyone who stirred something within me. And very slowly, I started to find my way. I started to see that I was never really lost and that everything was unfolding as it should.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

For me it has been embracing humility and learning what real love means. I thought I was such a badass in my twenties! Now I’ve got my number… I don’t let myself get away with much. Now it’s about living a life of compassion and truth. It’s more important to me that I leave a legacy of kindness than a bunch of statuettes on my mantle. I believe that when you set out to live an honest life, that’s when all your dreams come true.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

Well for me, forty’s more like at the water’s edge than the horizon 😉 So I guess I would say I hope it looks a lot like now. A happily married work in progress with a little more experience, wisdom, and humor thrown in. If I’m lucky, maybe the pitter patter of some little feet around the house(although with my kids I’m sure it’ll be less pitter patter and more herd of wild boar).

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

Without question, my go to quote is by my favorite poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.

“Let life happen to you. Believe me, Life is in the right, always.”

To me, there is no greater comfort than to trust in the almighty flow of life itself. It is the beginning, it is the end, it is everything.



connect with Bianca: twitter

project 30 – chantal

16 Apr

Chantal walked into my life when I was twenty. I was dating a man at the time who was friends with Chantal’s then husband. Did you follow that? Anyway in walks this opinionated, fun, fiery, beautiful Dominican woman to a dinner party one night and we immediately hit it off, becoming fast friends. I can safely say that I got into more trouble with Chantal in my 20’s than anyone else. We were both a bit wild in those days. HA. But I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything and like all lasting relationships do, we’ve stayed close through the changes the last ten years have brought. We’ve held each other’s hand through break-ups, divorce, moves, triumphs, failures, marriage, babies (she has THE cutest little boy named Sebastian) and everything in between. I adore this woman and I thank the Universe for bringing her into my world. She’s always made me feel understood and some days that’s all you need, you know?

I love her more than words can say.

Enjoy her insightful answers to the “Project 30” questions. I fell in love with this line “Yet I now find solace and comfort in the result of what is, and not what isn’t.” Amazing


Chantal, 35

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

It would tell her, not to take life so seriously.  To relax, and perhaps take life with a little more ease. To love herself first, and more. It seemed as though when I was in my 20’s I was more concerned with the exterior of things, or of life itself, how at the time it was supposed to look , or be.  I was more concerned with what people wanted of me, thought of me, what I should do, or be.  I did not have enough faith in my inner self, my inner voice, and what I thought was best for me.  Through time I realized that my exterior, the things of life, career, nor success would define what I was to become.  Nor who I am.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

The concern and advice of my parents, and elders.  In my 20’s I felt like a young adult that was beating to her own drum, perhaps neglecting their advice and maybe learning the rules of life the hard way.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

My studies. I should have dropped my books, and just traveled the world. Maybe taken a few years off to travel the globe, in search of nothing, and everything.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

When I got the opportunity to go on a sailing trip for 2 weeks through the British Virgin Islands with a group of friends. One memory that sticks out is the afternoon I was sitting alone, on the deck of the sailboat, basking in the afternoon sun, on this beautiful day, with my headphones on, listening to Sade, and staring into the vast, serene, and endless ocean that was in front of me. Not a worry in the world, I was just happy right where I was.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc ) by 30? 

I thought I would be working for the United Nations, or some other foreign government as a Foreign Service Officer, or working in a field that dealt with the economic development of 3rd world countries. I was a dreamer for sure. I thought I would be living in NY, or off in some foreign country.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

By 30’ I was at peace, and felt balanced.  I was neither working for the UN, nor living overseas. After leaving my 20’s behind, I had finally found me, with a few years of soul searching, some inner and outer work, plus a heavy dose of nurturing, I was able to patch up a few of the wounds, and walk into my 30’s at peace with the world, and what was in front of me.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

I think its human nature to worry that what we want, wish for or yearn for, will not fall into place. So yes, I worried. Yet I now find solace and comfort in the result of what is, and not what isn’t.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

Being happy with who I am now. Finding love again, and the right partner for me, to share my life with, to grow old with.  Becoming a mother, and having the privilege and gift to raise our son.

When you look out into the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

I hope at 40 my life continues to evolve, grow, and manifest what ever I set my heart out to achieve.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

There is a line in William Ernest Henley’s poem Evictus, which resonates with me, and I try to live my life by, it reads,  “I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul.” I think that’s it in a nutshell.