On my twentieth birthday, I celebrated by going out to the diner I was working at with my boyfriend and some friends. I remember feeling terribly sad because I’d just moved in with my boyfriend at the beginning of the month, and while I didn’t expect a huge fuss for my twentieth, he’d bought me 3 CD’s–one of them, he boasted, for a penny.

I worked 5 grueling days a week slinging plates of cheap breakfast food from 8 AM to 4PM, making roughly $400 a week. It was, my boyfriend often rubbed smugly in my face as I wearily rubbed my feet at night, the same thing he made sitting on his ass working the help desk. He’d laugh cruelly at the irony of it all.

I was confused by my life.

I’d dropped out of the college I’d been planning to go to for ages, I was now living with someone who I was pretty sure wasn’t who I thought he was, and my mother had taken to leaving me horrible, mean letters rather than talk to me. My life didn’t make sense any more.

But it was a new decade, I reminded myself, and I sadly blew out the candles on my birthday sundae as my boyfriend said, “they’d BETTER pay for that.”

My early twenties were kind of like that. Moments of sweetness marred by intense, searingΒ  sorrow.

I walked into my twenties with an abusive boyfriend on my arm, and today I walk into my thirties with my three hilarious crotch parasites bounding along by my side. They remind me that life is all about bounding and rebounding.

Alex runs into walls and bounces off them, laughs, gets up, and then does it all again just to make me laugh. I cannot grimace at one of his particularly fragrant diapers without him trying to swoop me up in his spindly arms and remind me that he loves me more than anything else. Ever.

His sweetness is breathtaking. His sense of humor reminds me that everything is worth a good solid belly laugh.

Amelia painstakingly crawls up onto the couch, her cellulite-dimpled butt struggling with exertion, then, finally gets up there triumphantly, flashes a four-toothed grin, claps her hands and yells triumphantly, “AAAAAAAAYYYYY!” It’s expected, of course, that since we are all mere mortals in Queen Amelia’s Court, that we all chime in with applause and screams of “YAAAY!”

Her triumphs over the small things in life remind me that everything should be celebrated.

And Ben, Gentle, sweet Ben. Who is trying so hard to learn the things that come naturally to other people that it breaks my heart into a million pieces. Ben who is only good inside. Ben who is made of only sweetness and light.

Ben who reminds me that we can overcome anything so long as it is what the heart desires.

And who could forget The Daver? He may not be the one who “swooped me off the streets and rescued me from a life in The Gutter” like my parents think he did, but he’s about the kindest person I could ask for. I smile as he swoops my babies up in the air and laugh as they breathlessly scream with joy.

Dave reminds me that sometimes I should TRY on the rose colored glasses for size, even if I don’t wear them.


I’m thirty today.

I’m no longer confused by my life.

A couple of weeks ago, it dawned on me that I’d been spending a hell of a lot of my time reacting to things rather than focusing on controlling the things I could. I was floundering in the water when I could have been handily doing the backstroke and Pranksters, that’s bullshit.

That’s been a hallmark of my twenties, that behavior, and frankly, I’m done, Pranksters. Certainly, life was chaos during these years, and the behavior is a learned one, but that’s done. I’m taking out my gigantic set of platinum-and-diamond-encrusted balls and I’m super-gluing them on.

It’s time to do the one thing I never managed to do in my twenties: get a career and make a name for myself (besides #1 Slore)(which, let’s be fair, is an awesome name).

Aunt Becky is back, world. Get ready.


Thank you to everyone who gave me advice on Mushroom Printing, the new group blog. Been working my ass off on setting it up (also added CommentLuv and Comment RSS here, too!). Is there anything else I should add on my blog?

PLEASE, keep the advice rolling in. I don’t read any other community blogs and I want to make ours full of the awesome. Because, obviously.


And, uh, thank you for everyone who voted for me for this, uh, award I didn’t even know about but won:

Suzy and I decided it means we got our very own MBA now, so, rad. We’re business people now, Pranksters!

And as soon as I remember my login, I’m voting for Suzy for Best Humor Blog:

Because I’m up for Hottest Mommy Blogger (which means they DID NOT see the balls picture above)(heh):

113 thoughts on “Eyes Wide Open

  1. Ya know, I had a pretty crappy “20s”…I got married at 20 to a world class asshole and spent years believing his bullshit about my self worth. At the ripe ole’ age of 29 I said “Enough!” and kicked his ass out. While my friends were sad about turning 30 I was partying with The Killers (true story!) and embracing my new life.

    Good on ya girl! Welcome to the kickass 30s!!!

  2. I just wanted to say thank you and happy birthday. Through reading your blog and watching you realize your strength, I am beginning to realize mine. Thank you. More than you’ll ever know.

  3. OMG #1 Slore!! Totally stealing that AND making a shirt. Can I wear it to my Junior League meeting? Because that would be FANTASTIC. I’m new to the blog but I laugh out loud every day because of it. The fact that your 30 with 3 kids blows my mind because I’m 34 with 1 and most days I’ve barely got that covered. Enjoy your birthday and all your blessings!

  4. Happy Birthday, Becky!!! Those are the prettiest goddamn balls I’ve ever seen, and with your permission, I’m getting a set for myself. 20 years late, but better freakin’ late than never. Right? I said, Right?!?

  5. Happy Birthday, beautiful woman! And guess what? Your thirties are only a sweet preparation for the best decade (well, in my case) which is your forties! I’m not kidding you!

  6. I was feeling like I was floundering too for the past few years. There is nothing like getting a decade older to kick your butt into gear. Even though I have only been 30 for a month, I have already started to make big changes for no one else but me. It has been the best month I have had in a looong time. My birthday wish to you, is that you get to do the same. Do what you love and do it hard. Happy Birthday Becky! I hope it’s a great one!

  7. Your twenties are for bad boys and ill thought out choices. Your thirties are for self enlightenment. Welcome to the club. I’m thinking my forties are going to be for rediscovering my inner cougar. Like Courtney Cox on Cougar town-though I kinda want to be like her creepy over-sexed neighbor who shows up just to make cheesy remarks at hunky boys.
    Your kids sound adorable.
    P.S. I like your blog and happy birthday.

  8. You are my most awesome 30 year old friend, and I am SO glad you wont be in your 20’s when I finally meet you IRL! (awk) lol. Love you! Happy Birthday!

  9. I already said it on Facebook, but it bears repeating:

    Happy Birthday from England! May your day be as special as you are.

    My thirties have beat the pants off my twenties, and I still have a few years of them to go. Can’t wait to see what the next four years bring me! It has been a wonderful adventure, and I hope your thirties are the same for you. I am finally the person I was meant to be, and that is no bad thing.

    *birthday smooch*

  10. Happy Birthday Aunt Becky! Some of the things you said here about reacting to your life really hit home for me. I realized that about myself not too long ago and that is one reason why I named my blog Embracing the Chaos. Life can be funny but if you don’t pay attention, you’ll miss it! May your 30s kick the living shit out of your 20s, dear favorite Aunt Becky πŸ™‚

  11. Your post made me weepy. Damn you.

    Happy birthday anyway. I made you a cheesecake. Seriously. I posted it on my own blog about 20 minutes ago. And it is hereby dedicated to your 30th. Enjoy! (Your birthday, I mean.)

  12. Happy Birthday Becky! It’s all downhill from here…

    (which is actually awesome because running downhill means you go much faster, much more easily, and you get a better breeze)

  13. Happy B’day, Becky!
    If you plan to celebrate with a little vodka, Diet Sprite mixed with Raspberry Vodka is full of the Awesome! Low in calories, too. Two ingredients means that you won’t screw it up after you’ve had a couple.
    That ought to make your balls sparkle!

  14. Well this just got me a litte bit misty. πŸ™‚
    Have yourself a great birthday and my you continue to find your smile. πŸ™‚

  15. Happy Birthday Becky. I hit 32 back this May and wish I was having the clarity you’re going through. My oldest parasite is about to start preschool and I’m hoping with them out of my hair a little bit I’ll be able to figure it out.

    What the hell is your daily routine? You look like you’re 21 still. Here’s to being ageless!!!

  16. Thank you for this today, Aunt Becky. It’s your birthday, but you gave me a gift. I needed to hear this, doesn’t apply exactly to me, but close enough to be the smack in the head I needed today. Time for me to find some pretty, sparkly balls of my own! Rock On Becky! Have a great day, week, month, year – a great forever!

  17. Happy Birthday! Have a fabulous day!
    You are one of the highlights of my day! I can’t wait to see what you’ve written. Never fails to make me laugh.

    I’m so glad that you’ve found your happy!

  18. I too, turned 30 recently. I was so happy to say FUCK YOU to my 20’s. The worst decade EVER! I am looking forward to everything now, a fog has lifted. I’m probably the happiest I have ever been. I wish you the same. Happy Birthday Aunty Becky! 30’s Rock!

  19. Happy Birthday! I’ve heard good things about the 30’s. I’m still struggling to make my 20s worthwhile and I really admire you for all you’ve been through and your matter of fact way of sharing those struggles with integrity and humor. Good luck on the next years!

  20. Happy birthday, dear one. I’m only a couple of years into my thirties, and there’s been some agonizing pain involved in them, but they’ve also brought me to the other side of my Darkness, and they’ve brought me incredible joy and love. May there be much of the latter and little of the former in yours…

  21. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY strong and ageless Aunt Becky!! Shit woman, you look like you’re 18 in that pix. and my eyes are raining again from your sweet touching words. Enjoy your blessings and have a great sparkly balls birthday!…i guess Dexter will be bringing you the cake.

  22. Damn, 30. I remember that milestone like it was yesterday (well, it was only a year ago). I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that hated their twenties. I spent my entire childhood and teenage years in misery and as soon as I left the house, I spent another ten years trying to figure out that misery. Now, that I’m 31, I flip my middle finger to the past, as a march up the hill to 50- because it will be here before I know it, right?

    30 is a new phase in life. It was more about finally feeling comfortable in my own skin, which my son had much to do with. Ever wonder the earth (Okay, not the earth) wondering what your purpose is? I found purpose and meaning to life when he was born. Damn, if I would have known being a mommy was this great, I would have had kids years ago. Trust me, I did alot of trying-well, not to have kids but you know how babies are made.

    So, I’m closing my novel with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I salute my middle finger to that GD birthday sundae and here’s to hoping you have a big, fat, mushy cake for your 30th.

    Oh yeah, and your balls are pretty beautiful but mine are shinier. Top that!

  23. Happy Birthday! Make sure while gluing those fab balls of yours on you take the tame for a cocktail! Love the post and the ever-present honesty. You rock.

  24. Happy Birthday, you sexy thang, you! Your 30’s will have it all over your 20’s. May this decade shine as brightly for you as it did for me. (yes, did. I’m officially in my 40’s, and you know what? They don’t suck. So that’s something for you to look forward to. heh.)

  25. Happy Birthday Aunt Becky! Grab those sparkly balls and show the world who’s boss.. just don’t tell Amelia, she might not like that too much. I just hope that when I turn 30 in a few months, I might take it with the humor you do. ‘Cuz honestly the more I think about it, the more I freak out and the more I want to yell “holy crap, when did I turn into an adult?!”.

  26. Happy Birthday!! I don’t recall my 30th b-day. It was before I had kids & my memories tend to blur those years into a haze. A happy haze, with sleep and money. I miss sleep and money.

  27. Happy Awesome Birthday and congrats on the well deserved blog awards!! And guess what…your 30’s are going to be fantastic…but just wait till you hit your 40’s…there is just no letting up of the awesome then!!! I promise!

  28. Happy birthday! And thanks for making me almost cry at work, you bitch! It’s a good thing, though. Really. Now go make someone give you a free drink because that’s what they should DO on your birthday.

  29. Those balls are gorgeous!

    My mother said that for her, each decade as an adult got better and better. Hoping the same for you, birthday twin! As much as I don’t want to let go of them, the last 10 years were hard. Here’s hoping for good things for the next 10.

  30. Happy bithday Aunt Becky!!!!!
    Now then, just go ahead and drop your pants, grab your ankles and get ready for some birfday fun!!!!

  31. It’s to be expected that you would have the prettiest balls. 30’s have been way nicer to me then my 20’s were, those 20’s were hard and kicked my ass any chance they could.

    30’s have been nice. I’m sure they’ll be your friend too.

    Happy birthday my friend!

  32. Happy Birthday! May all your wishes come true.

    My best birthday moment? This past birthday (the BIG 4-5) I was mugged in the dining room. It started out innocently enough, the 7 year old girl wanted to hug me, the 4 year old boy joined in. The hug got a little over-zealous & we all tumbled to the ground. The Husband took one look and exclaimed, “Dog pile on the rabbit!!” My 3 favorite people in the whole wide world lovin’ all over me? Priceless.

  33. Happy birthday Aunt Becky! You rock those bedazzled balls of yours. It’s like a disco ball in your pants – and who doesn’t love disco balls?

  34. Happy Birthday Becky! I totally love your new balls. I hope the 30’s are full of nothing but good stuff for you and your wee ones.

  35. Happy Birthday my friend. Wise advice, indeed. I will take it to heart and use it myself since I’m having a shaky day.

    And funny isn’t it? How in one second’s time, you’re with a loser and life sucks and then you turn around and you’ve got 3 beautiful babes and a good man. Life is sweet. Blessings today and every day.

  36. Happy birthday, sugar, and many happy returns.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who is worn slap out and headed for a nap, or she’d sing for ya)

  37. Happy Birthday! So sassy and filthy mouthed in just 30 years! It took me until 40.
    Doesn’t a woman reach her sexual peak in her thirties? Best of luck with that!

  38. I have to agree, the 30s are infinitely better than the 20s. The 20s are about being stupid and having fun, but the 30s have been far more full of joy and (I think) wisdom. You will have an amazing decade, I know it!

  39. It’s something no one in their 20’s wants to believe, but the 30’s are soooo much better.

    And, Columbia record club love? Only something someone in their 20s would do…

  40. Happy bday aunt becky! The dirty thirty. It probably wont be as dirty as you like, i mean, with the lack of your whore pants, but still nice and dirty nonetheless.

    Cant wait for mushroom printing! YEAHHH!

  41. de-lurking to say I hope you have a GREAT day today and for many, many, MANY days to come!! you so deserve it!

  42. Happy Birthday, dear. I can say, since I’m 40 and have experience, you will LOVE your thirties. I’ll tell you what – it gets better with every year. Really. I hope you continue to keep us posted on what’s going on in your life, because we are better for it.
    Much love, and may your whore pants come back to you!

  43. I shall blast “Big Balls” by AC/DC in your honor today. Happy birthday and best fishes for lots of awesome ahead!

  44. Happy Birthday.

    You’re not the first person I’ve heard this from. Its cliche but some people.. more specifically some lives.. really do get better with age.

  45. As a 23 year old with a crotch parasite of my own (who also has this persistent and random vomiting thing…motherhood makes me drink sometimes…) it gives me hope that (more) good things are coming my way. It’s just the beginning that I have a great husband and one (out of my desired football team) little crotchfruit who adores me. My life is an adventure, and even if my husband deploys, and even if my kid randomly barfs like a little drunk, and even IF sometimes I wish I could just hide from everything that knows my name…I am still a damn fine (hot/smart/smartassed) mother and wife whose life has only just begun.

    Happy Birthday Aunt Becky, you’re like the big sister I never had (only brothers- LAME)

  46. I hope you had a fantastic birthday. Hell,I hope you’re STILL having a fantastic birthday! You’ve still got a little bit of time left in the day. After that, you can go set fire to this new decade in your life, and I have little doubt you won’t!

  47. Well here’s to your thirties (insert pic of me raising a shot of vodka here) go and dry hump the career you’ve always dreamed of!

  48. Happy Birthday! Eyes wide open is a great way to be. You and the Daver are wise beyond your years, and I wish you all happinness.

  49. Ok, so I’m a day late, but that just means that you’re birthday lasts for an extra day. And why shouldn’t it? You’re so awesome that a mere day can’t contain all your awesome-ness. Happy Birthday! May each day be better than the last!

  50. happy birthday, my beautiful BBFF (thats Birthday BFF for anyone not in the know reading this *smirk*)

    i love you and am grateful you are my friend and also that i get to share a birthday with such an awesome chick. and i only hate you a little bit since you are 30 this year and i am 39.


  51. Sorry I’m late. Happy birthday you crazy bitch! Mwah!

    Girl, you are wise beyond your years. And still smokin’ hawt!

    See you soon!!!!!!!

  52. I. LOVED. MY. THIRTIES! I would not have gone back to the years previous for ANYTHING. Not For Anything.

    Welcome to the next chapter. You’ve earned it. I’m so totally glad I found you and can come along for the ride. You inspire me.

    (and I hit my forties 8.5 months preggers 3 years ago, and I really really love them too. Every birthday, to me, is a victory of getting past those first 25. Phew.

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