(Alternately titled: A Completely Self-Indulgent Egomaniacal Post About Nothing But Me.)

A few weeks ago, upon meeting someone in real life for the first time, they told me,

“Wow! You look so much younger in person than you do in your twitter picture!!”


Hey waitta minute … how old have I been looking???

Is the entire internet looking at me and thinking “Wow, she should have really stuck with that face cream regimen” ?!?!

I know, I should have stuck with the face cream regimen, but that’s beside the point.

(I hate greasing my face up, what can I say.)

Anyway. After getting on Twitter and bemoaning my ancient looking self, my blogging friend and fabulous photographer, Amy, ever-so-kindly (and tactfully, not pointing out how awful my former self-shot photo really was) offered to take some photos of me.

Being that I’m used to taking pictures and not being taken, it took a little bit of time to stop feeling so. dang. awkward.

But Amy was wonderfully gracious with my complete inability to pose, and thankfully told me exactly what to do.

She also managed to catch a couple of the kids and I,

Rachel and Kids

Including one that epitomized the constant multi-directional pull of two kids.

Rachel and Kids 3
I love that photo.

And I know, all you Moms of five kids are thinking “You should see what my photo would look like.” And I would like to see that photo – very much.

While I was going through these pictures, I had a nasty realization: these would probably be the last photos taken of me in my twenties.

In a month, I’m leaving this decade forever, something I’m having a little less than a joyous attitude about.

(October 9th, in case you want to send flowers…or a sympathy card.)

Up until my last birthday, the joy of having a day, week, month, or however-long-I-could-stretch-it-out all about me completely outweighed the pain of aging.

… but I don’t feel like a thirty-something.

And really, maybe no one does. Maybe we all stop aging in our minds somewhere around 25, and never re-catch up to ourselves. But there was just something illogically wonderful about feeling “the same age” as a 20 year old based solely on the fact that we had the same first digit.

So I went back to see what I looked like before this decade.

Six months before I turned 20,

One month before I turn 30.

Besides the obvious lack of tan and a few wrinkles here and there, the last decade has been good to me.

Too good, really. And I don’t mean to my wrinkly face.

Here’s the real deal:

My teens gave me him,


My twenties gave me them…

Rachel and Kids 2

How could my thirties possibly compete??

43 thoughts on “Meanderings About 30.

  1. Love the pics! You look younger now to me than you did in your wedding picture. How is that even possible?

    And I love your sentiment about what each decade has given to you. So true! I was freaked about turning 30 last September, but it wasn’t so bad. I try to remind myself that it completely beats the alternative!

  2. i can’t wait to be thirty! Its something about being an older twenty that makes me feel like i am close to being an adult…just not there yet.

  3. You only look different to yourself. You still look like the 19 year old he married. The only difference I see is you look thinner. Your thirties will be a joy as the kids get older and learn more and more from their Mom.

    1. I actually weighed about the same as I do now, I was just still carrying some MAJOR baby fat around in my face. Thank goodness that finally decided to shrivel up and die!

  4. Well I think you look fabulous and like me you will never look quite your age (no one believes I am 35 almost 36) and no you never feel 30 something. I still have a hard time believing I am half done with my 30’s where did the time go and I had so many things I wanted in life before now (Husband,kids, college degree) I will have one by 36 (College degree) but that is it. 30 isn’t as bad as it sounds.

    Love the pictues especially the 2 with you and the kids. They are adorable.

    1. Thanks! I’m never sure if I look my age or not – some people say I look younger, some say older. But yes, in general, I’d like to look younger at this point! And you definitely do!!!

  5. You are ridiculous, Rachel…you are a very pretty gal and lucky that you are photogenic. The pictures are so cute, your friend did a great job. I love how you ended your post with what you got in your teens and your twenties that was such a sweet way to end on that note and I can only imagine that your 30’s will be equally as wonderful for you.

    (My oldest daughter is facing the same thing you are about turning 30 but that won’t happen for her until March.)

  6. You look so beautiful! That first picture of you is so, so pretty. Love the shots of you and the wee ones too, of course. I know that I tease you a lot about my being so much older than you, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t feel like I am. Being in your 30s is kind of great. I feel like I know who I am, who I want to be, and who I don’t want to be. I feel settled into myself. I’ve celebrated milestone anniversaries in my 30s, and I’ve had the privilege of watching my sweet boys grow and a mature from little bitties into fun, sweet, “big” boys. I’ve also met an amazing group of people who pour into my life each Thursday night and who I can’t imagine being without. My 30s have been awesome! I’m excited to welcome you to the club :)

  7. Wow…I can’t even believe there is a 10 yr difference between this two pictures. You have barely aged. It is great isn’t it? I have people telling me all the time that I barely look 20. Nice- since I am 33. 30s aren’t that bad. I am more terrified of 35 than I ever was 30.

  8. turning 30 isn’t that bad! promise!!

    ….and at least you have 2 kids to show for it! :) lol

    you look beautiful and definitely don’t look like you are turning a new decade! it’s fun being in your 30s…you get to say things like “back in MY day…” and “those darn college kids don’t know what they are talking about…” ;)

    Amy did a great job on the photos!!

    PS–Chris hasn’t aged either from yall’s wedding photo! :) Cant let you have ALL the non-aging glory!

  9. Great pictures! I love the one on the bench. Beth Moore said something one time about women getting more beautiful as they age because they mature and figure out what works best for their body and such. I think you look even more gorgeous now than you do in your wedding photo so it must be true!

    I am feeling the whole “last year in my twenties” thing too, but I think the 30’s are going to be great!

    1. That makes a lot of sense – I always chalked it up to being more style-conscious now – which I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not! I definitely wore some Mom Jeans early in our marriage (shudder)

  10. I turn 30 on Thursday. I feel I can face it now. Thanks.
    I met my husband when I was 16, my first was born when I was 28, my second will be born when I’m 30…

  11. I agree, that’s an awesome picture of you, Ali, and Noah :)
    I’m sure the Lord has some amazing things in store for your 30’s…maybe starting with a big 3-0 birthday bash?!

  12. Great pictures! I especially love the one with the kids pulling in opposite directions! It looks very familiar. My thirtieth is just a month or so after yours…but I’m probably crazy and am looking forward to mine. I feel like it is a milestone to mark so many good things in my life!

  13. First, you look gorgeous and all those pictures are amazing! (Side note: where’d you get that red/pink shirt?? Love it!) I don’t think 30 will be that bad (maybe because I’m not there yet) but the problem I am having is admitting my age to myself! I got stuck somehow in what I think of as “my age” and “old age” and it has made for some very unpleasant conversations. I really did time-lock myself at about 23 (I’m 27) and my parents around 45-50 (they’re 56 and almost 59…obviously those don’t add up to match my age which makes this even more confusing!) But I’ll say stuff about other people to my parents comparing the age difference and not realize what I’m saying. Like our mailman who is “a nice OLD man, probably in his 60s”…um, my dad will be 60 in just over a year. Oops. My feet taste quite nice, thanks for asking! =)

    1. The shirt was from Express – it’s really a dress, but a dang short one!!!

      And yes, my parents will be 60 next year and I don’t like the sound of that AT ALL.

  14. You can’t think of 30 as a bad thing! These pictures and your family are all so beautiful, you have accomplished a lot and should look forward to the next season of life!

  15. What would be appropriate to include in a sympathy package? Anti-wrinkle cream? A guide to how those dumb punks kids talk these days? Large button telephone? Your very own pair of personalized mom-butt jeans???

  16. Wow! LOVE the photos! Reminds me that we REALLY need to get some family photos taken. Those are so precious. My hubby had a hard time with 30 -but what is it that Jennifer Garner says in “13 going on 30” – Thirty’s the new twenty? Thirty flirty and fabulous? :)

  17. I think you look younger now than you did in your wedding picture. Age is a luxury and as you said, how can your 30’s compete? The pics were gorge. With age comes wisdom and more experience. It’s always fun to look back on our younger selves and compare the wrinkles, aging process, or what not. I’ll simply say Happy Birthday and not send a sympathy card (haha) when the time comes!

  18. So precious. I think time has only made you prettier! :) You don’t know this, but I got married barefoot because I couldn’t decide on shoes and one day my mom said “Rachel Zannis got married barefoot, you should too”..or something to that effect. So I did! Thanks for unintentionally letting me steal your idea. :)

  19. Where are your wrinkles?I don’t see any.I feel bad about turning thirty next year too but,I try to tell myself not to because when I turned twenty six it was horrible.I was like oh no I’m so old.I used to think use old hags say your only as old as you feel but,it’s true.

    Email me!I haven’t put your new email in my contacts because I procrastinated now I don’t remember it.Of course my email address is the same.

  20. LOVE this post, sister. Thirties bring wisdom and even more blessings. Here’s to moving forward (and looking fabulous along the way)!

  21. Aw! Such a sweet post! Thirty was hard for me too! But one of my friends reminded me to take a look around at my where I was in my life and ALL I had to be grateful for and it helped change my perspective. And anyway, age isn’t a number, right? If you FEEL young, then I say you ARE young!! :)

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