I’M 34!

Today, I’m 34. I feel so settled, which is a feeling I’ve craved my entire life. I like that I like where I am in life. At the same time as feeling settled though, this is definitely a phase of life where I feel most “out of control.” I think I have truly just decided to lean into that feeling though. I know this is just a stage and I know it won’t last forever. There is chaos, but there is also so much beauty. Somedays it feels like this is how life is always going to be, but I know we will look back on life with little toddlers and babies and pregnancy with fondness. (Also isn’t it nice how our brains have a way of smoothing over the worst parts so we only miss the good??) Just this past week, I was at the park with this freshly turned two year old toddler and I know he won’t always be this little and I won’t always be a mom of little babies and toddlers at the park. I had this vision of myself in the future driving past the same park in fifteen years missing that young mom life.

33 was an intense year. As crazy as it sounds to simultaneously describe feeling “settled” and at peace and to also feel an intensity, that is really what I’d say. I’ve leaned into the lack of control, but this past year was probably the greatest test I’ve experienced in weathering that lack of control. We exited babyhood and entered toddlerhood; my toddler dropped the morning nap, learned to walk, and weaned from breastfeeding all within a short period of time. I finally felt like myself physically and emotionally after having a baby, enough so to start trying for a second. We got pregnant and then lost the baby. It took a toll on me and my body and was a rollercoaster recovering between that and other health issues.

One of the biggest things I learned about myself throughout all of the hard stuff was how optimistic I ultimately am. I don’t really think of myself as super cheery or even overly positive person, but I think I actually am… definitely more so than I give myself credit for. I just kept looking for silver linings and seeking out tiny happy moments and…. got through it.

Then I was pregnant again and had multiple health scares (unrelated to the pregnancy)… It sounds so scary and overwhelming to even type it all out. When I really sit back and think about the past year though, it’s a good one. I see a slideshow of happy memories with a soundtrack of laughs! Jack walking right out of the room the first time he ever walked, a picture perfect Christmas morning in our home, redecorating our house and feeling truly at home, a cozy trip to Copenhagen, a spring spent playing outside, a handful of special summer trips.

In a lot of ways, I feel like a different person today. I feel more capable and more sure of myself than ever before; I’m excited to see what unfolds for 34!

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Dear Carly,
happy birthday and all good wishes for your next year from Eltville at the Rhin in Germany. Have a great day and enjoy it.
Kind reganrds

Laura B

Happy birthday, Carly! I am about to turn 30 later this month and echo your sentiments exactly about liking where you are in life – so happy for you!


I’m so sorry to hear you miscarried but I love your optimism and positivity that it brought tears to my eyes. Here’s to your best year! Happy Birthday

Lisa Mari

Happy,happy 34th Birthday,Carly! Have a wonderful day! I love following you along on Instagram and reading you blog and I’m wishing you all the best for the year ahead ❤️


Hi Carly, reader since 2014, first time commenting. I am also pregnant after two losses. I am so glad you made it through MC physically with your support system and am thrilled to share in your journey as a fellow pregnant reader. You have been such a sense of stability in the blogosphere, and I am grateful for your writing and heart. I love your writing 😊


Happy Birthday birthday twin! I turn 39 today and definitely mirror your feelings of being settled and content. My two girls are 9 and 7 and while that has certainly has made things less chaotic and has allowed us to do so much more with them (travel, dinners out, schedule flexibility!), I truly, truly miss the toddler years. I am already driving by our local park and missing those years! That being said, I am definitely more confident in myself as an individual and mother than I was back then and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’m ready to celebrate my last year as a 30-something and am looking forward to my 40s! Cheers to September 1st!


Happy Birthday Carly! Thanks for sharing part of your life with all of us. I’ve followed you since college days–seems a long time ago! Best wishes to you and your family!


Happy 34th Birthday! I wish you a year of joy and health.
I am very sorry to read about your miscarriage. That must have been very hard for you and Mike.


Happy Birthday Carly! Loved reading this reflection. You had an eventful year! Thank you for sharing with us. You look beautiful!


Happy, happy birthday, Carly! Love reading your blog daily and wishing you a lot of laughter & joy in your new year!

Jannet Hudson

Wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays! q( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)p (。◕‿◕。) d(◔◡◔)b (◠‿◠)😄😍 🎂 I hope that you’ll have a AWESOME day! W00-H00! hehe! Plz take care and stay safe there! 😄😍 🎂

Angela Duke

Happy birthday! I’ll be joining you at the end of the month! I love seeing how confident and at peace you are, even through the storms! ♥️


Happy birthday! 33 was one of my toughest years, but 34 marked the start of a whole new chapter. Best wishes to you!


i’ve followed you since your early georgetown days and it’s been such a journey that i’m so thankful you’ve brought us along for! happy 34!