So I started checking them out, and clearly there was a theme: they're not so happy.
Time magazine called the first 10 years of this century The Decade from Hell, complete with a crying baby in a party hat sitting in a sea of confetti.
I get it. I do. Starting off with the Y2K ridiculousness, followed by the catastrophic events of 9/11, Katrina, the Tsunami, the market crashes, the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, George W. Bush, the housing and car industries, Bernie Madoff...the list goes on.
So I hope it's not inappropriate for me to say that this decade was, for me personally, the most life-altering. In the absolute best of ways.
The '90s were all about establishing my career and moving around the country and making several remarkably dumb "relationship" choices. However, I did meet David in May of '99 when I was moving to California, and we started dating in November of that year, which set up the '00s. Or whatever they're called.
My humble list:
2000: Got engaged, which was momentous, because I never thought it would happen for me. Ever. My mother had already mentioned, when I'd turned 30 and didn't have a boyfriend, that she'd given up on having grandchildren. Nice, huh? Anyway, we also bought our house.
2001: Got married on a beautiful, summer-like day in December on the beach.
Honeymooned in Costa Rica, where we stayed at the same hotel as then-New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza. Talk about having a tough time getting away from your job. Even though I knew Mike, I didn't want to be a dork and ask him to take a picture with David. We like the candid shot better (squint and you and you can see Mike sitting in the background).
2002: The team I covered won the World Series in my last full season as a Major League Baseball beat writer. David and I started talking about starting a family.
2003: Flew David out to spring training in Tempe, Arizona, in March because it was, you know, TIME. I got pregnant, and Sawyer was born in December, nine days late. He was worth the wait. His middle name, Cole, is after my grandfather Coleman, who died that summer and never got to meet him (the picture of he and I was taken at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. He was super thrilled to have flown across the country for the occasion).
2004: Worked part-time in Features while
2005: My job at the newspaper ended, my career as a journalist over - a loss I'm still mourning. ... Sage was born in a crazy, exhilerating surprise home birth, the most amazing experience of my life.
2006: Continued adjusting to life as a full-time stay-at-home-mom of two kids. Wondered if I'd ever shower on consecutive days again. I joined a running group to get me out of the house and exercising.
2007: Ran my first half-marathon, then decided to run my first full marathon, raising almost $5,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Also ran it in honor of my father, who passed away a few months prior.
2008: Ran my second marathon. Two weeks later, I was pregnant. Turned 40 on the last day of the year, big belly and all.
2009: Xander was born in a planned home birth, completing our family. In other news, Sawyer started kindergarten.
My life is so crazily different than it was 10 years ago. I can't imagine not having my kids, as much as they drive me insane lately. But how can you describe to someone without children the joy you get from the simple stuff, like Sawyer calling me earlier today from Costco to excitedly report that he has his first loose tooth?
I don't know what the next decade will hold. By its end, the kids will be 16, 14 and 10. It will be filled with school and friends and activities and I'm sure I'll be in the car more than I'll be in the house. The baby phase will be long left behind. I will mark the last time I pick them up in my arms.
And me? I'll be fifty. 5-0. FIFTY!!
Well, here's looking forward to the next 10 years. Let them be as miraculous as the last 10.
(photo by the amazing Angela of pbkisses.com)