What's my age again?

I remember when 35 seemed soooo old.  And now here I am, on the cusp of that very age.  Does being 35 mean people will start referring to me as "that middle-aged woman"?  God, I hope not!!!  Mathematically, that puts me on death's door at age 70, and I plan to have plenty of good years long after that!  I don't feel 35, not that I know what 35 is supposed to feel like anyway.  While I don't quite remember what 5, 15, or 25 year old me thought my life would be like at 35, I can promise you that this life I'm living was not it!  If you told 5, 15, or even 25 year old me that at age 35, I'd be living in the south, running half marathons, raising two gorgeous daughters who surf, learning to surf myself, and running my own business, she would laugh in your face.  Yet that's my reality, and it's better than anything 5, 15, or 25 year old me could have dreamed up.  

For some reason, birthdays that end in 0 or 5 feel like milestones.  I started thinking about what happened in my life during the other years that ended in a 5, and was fascinated to realize that some pretty monumental things happened during each of those years.  When I was 5, for instance, my younger brother, Kevin, was born.  I became a big sister that year, and my life was forever changed.  

Not really sure what hairstyle lurked under that Santa hat, but I'm so grateful they made me wear it for that picture.  Kevin and his wife Meghan are two of my most favoritest people on the planet, and if we're being technical about this revelation, Meghan was also born when I was 5.  Coincidence?  Or something bigger?  Whoa.

When I was 15, I had my first "boyfriend," experienced my first kiss (I was a late bloomer, ok???), and subsequently my first heartbreak, and my life was forever changed.  

Obviously (well, I hope it's obvious) this is not a picture of myself and that boy.  But it IS a picture of me with the iconic gymnast, Nadia Comaneci.  At age 15, I had the honor of meeting this legend while performing some gymnastics skills on a balance beam in the middle of the underwear section of Bloomingdale's in New York City.  WHAT??? You really can't make that up.  Long story short, Nadia was doing commercials for Jockey underwear, so Bloomies needed some local gymnasts to help promote the brand.  Seemed totally normal at the time.  And wow, that is one Fancy lady behind Ms. Comaneci!

Fast forward another ten years to age 25...I moved from New York to Virginia, started dating this guy named Ryan, and was engaged to him seven months later.  And my life was forever changed.  

Before I started thinking about all of these huge life events that happened in years ending in 5, I wasn't really all that thrilled about turning 35.  After realizing how defining each of those other years were for the life I live today, I started getting really excited about what 35 may have in store for me.  And while I've never really been one to tempt fate, I have decided to be proactive and MAKE something incredible happen this year. I'm nauseously excited to announce that in about nine short months... 


 I even puked in my mouth a little while typing that.  You thought I was going to say something crazy like "welcome our third child," didn't you?  Negatory to infinity.  Much like surfing and owning my own business, running a marathon is something I never in a million trillion years thought I would even consider doing.  A few months ago, Ryan mentioned running one when we turn 40, but so much could happen between 35 and 40.  And thus my motto for 35 is: 


Crazy as it seems even in my own head, I feel ready for this challenge.  I imagine it (and by "it" I think I'm referring more to the training than the actual race) will be harder than anything I've ever done in my entire life.  I know it will be a challenge to log the miles necessary to be physically and mentally prepared on race day, especially since I'll be starting my actual training during my Fanciest time of year.  But I recently read a quote that said "The person who starts a marathon is not the same person who finishes."  

5, 15, and 25 year old me can't wait to meet the 35 year old me who finishes.


Camping...it's in-TENTS!

Summer is a big deal in this family, and what better way to officially kick it off than camping on a sandbar?  We packed Big Red to the brim with food, tents, surfboards, and more food and headed south on NC-12 for a weekend of being off the grid.  

The drive seemed especially long this time, but it's wiped away when I see the Mirlo Beach sign as you enter town.

Season after season of coastal storms have left this part of town covered in sand, once majestic beach houses on the verge of collapsing into the Atlantic.  A little bit spooky, but totally awesome.  

We set up our tents once we got to our campsite, then hit up Lisa's Pizzeria for dinner, as is tradition.  Once we had our fill of a Polynesian pie (ham, pineapple, green peppers, and bacon...aw yeah!), we headed back to camp for s'mores and a summer solstice sunset.  "You've seen one, you've seen 'em all" does not apply to a sunset on Pamlico Sound:

For the first time, the girls slept in a tent by themselves while Mommy and Daddy camped out next door.  They've gotten quite accustomed to sleepovers in the tent in Brynn's room at home, so it wasn't much of a stretch with the real deal.  We were up with the sun on Saturday and hit the beach for a little swimming, sunning, and surfing.  While Ryan was surfing, I was capturing the beauty of Rodanthe:

When it was determined the waters were too rough for the girls to get any surfing time in, we headed back to the campground for them to swim in the serene waters of the sound.  Camryn loved being able to walk out for yards and yards and still be only knee deep...she was convinced she was in "the deep end."  We took some kayaks out for a nice little paddle, then Ryan took the girls out on a jet ski for a bit:

Camryn said her favorite part of the trip was riding the jet ski.  Shocker.  I kept a close watch on Purple Teddy and Coco while she rode like the wind:

We played hard that day, and a perfectly timed rain shower led to a perfectly timed nap for the Psimas girls while Ryan got in another surf session.  Camryn didn't rest long, but Brynn was out for quite some time.  While waiting for her dinner to cook, Camryn pulled up a chair and enjoyed watching the good-looking Canadians hit the volleyball around:

Brynn couldn't be coaxed from her slumber for dinner, but she somehow managed to rally when there were s'mores involved:

After a not-so-restful night's sleep (thanks to my face hurting from what was probably a sinus infection, and our neighbor snoring like a chainsaw didn't help), we were up when the sun started cooking us in our tents.  We hit the beach for some more fun in the ocean, with Brynn riding waves like a champ.  We made a couple of four-legged friends on the beach:

This guy was one of them.  My phone had died by the time another came down and plopped himself right on top of my feet.  Love a laid back beach dog!  We watched storms come and go on either side of us, but managed to evade bad weather the entire day.  The Outer Banks is probably my favorite place in the world to watch thunderstorms:

But all good things come to an end, so we soaked up every last bit of sunshine we could before heading home:

Seeing all of these pictures together almost makes me forget how much work goes into roughing it for a weekend.  Almost.  We'll head back down again this summer, hopefully for more than just a two night stay.  Camryn asked if we could stay forever, so that's the least we can do!