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What a Difference a Decade makes

by Deborah Cruz

As I sit here on the precipice of a new decade, I can’t help but reflect on the past 10 years. Ten years ago, I was celebrating my second New Year’s eve as a married woman; the still newly dubbed Mrs. Beck. We were living in North Carolina for the first time ever. I was hundreds of miles from everything and everyone I had ever known. My life was changing in leaps and bounds. I was in my mid-twenties, starting a new graduate program at a new university, in a new state. It may as well have been a new part of the world. I was working in a new field, doing a job that I had never planned on doing. It was liberating and it was frightening. I was learning new things about myself daily. Up to that point in my life, I hadn’t really been living so much as traveling from point A to point B. Suddenly, I was left alone with just the Big Guy and my thoughts in my world. That was the year that I really began to define myself and learn to be not who everyone thought I should be but to become who I really was on the inside, free of any paradigm. It was exhilarating to discover the me buried under the sister, the daughter, the friend. The world was my oyster. Possibilities were endless and all I needed to do was figure out what I wanted to do with all this new found liberation from expectation.



Fast forward, 4 New Years later and we are celebrating our 5th year of marriage in our first home in Tennessee. We were 7 months pregnant with or planning to plan baby, Bella. My belly way burgeoning, my heart was bursting and I just knew in my heart that something astonishing was right around the corner in our lives. You know that feeling of excitement and fear that takes hold of you and then catapults you at lightning speed head first smack dab into the middle of your life? As you stand there looking down the barrel of the impending changes, your heart is racing but you are happy to be hurled. You take one last deep breath, step up to your turn and embrace it with a fervor, whatever may come. That is exactly where I was sitting on that New Years Eve. I had no concept what being a Mommy would feel like, what it would entail and the depth and breadth in which it would genuinely change my existence…the very way that I moved through the world.



Fast forward, 2 New Years later, the Big Guy, our then 18-month-old Bella and I sit in our second home… in Indiana. Again, I am sitting with a burgeoning belly and a bursting heart. We are expecting our second child and all is right in the world. What more could I want out of this world? My cup of life overflowed with love. At that moment, I felt like I had everything that I had ever imagined I could need in my life. People spend their entire lives searching for the kind of relationship that the Big Guy and I have together. To me, our girls were the living, breathing manifestation of all that love and respect that we have for one another. I sat there, fat and happy to be exactly in that moment.




Fast forward, 3 New Years later, the Big Guy and I are sitting in corporate housing with our two beautiful little girls in Virginia where we had recently moved. Life was chaotic and crazy and spinning a bit out of control. We had just started to adjust to the fact that we were again away from all family and friends with two very small children. We had spent the fall forging a new life for ourselves. Redefining borders and creating relationships with strangers, changing our perspectives and embracing change. We were blessed to have the opportunity to hit reboot even if it was forced upon us. Once again I was forced to take a hard look at myself and decide who I wanted to be in this world. It started an evolution revolution within myself. I began to realize that I had to be the change that I wanted to see in my world.I could either sit back and let life happen to me or I could jump up and make things happen for me. Last New Year set me up for becoming the person I never knew that I always wanted to be. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are blessed with so much in life. I only needed the moment of quiet change to realize it.




Tonight, a decade of New Years is coming to an end, a lifetime of change has taken place in my life in the last year alone. We, the girls and I, are living back in Indiana. The Big Guy no longer lives at home, due to job location. Luckily for me, we are actually more in love than that first New Years so long ago. He is my anchor in life, he keeps me grounded when I am about to fly off the deep end of reality. I’m his balloon, I lift him up when our circumstances pull him down. Our babies are now 3 and 5. I’m looking at them, as I type, and I can’t even believe it myself. They are so beautiful and perfect in the face of such craziness. The last year has not been easy but I think it made us all stronger. We were downsized, relocated, then the Big Guy has been away for the new job. Our lives have been in limbo and hell concurrently but you know what? It’s not impossible but its just the hardest thing I’ve ever done. This year, as difficult and testing as it has been, as much as I would not wish this kind of situation on anyone, it has made me once again aware of my blessings in triplicate. It’s given me an opportunity to focus on who I am. Who I want to be in the world. It has made me a stronger person, a more devoted wife, a more aware mother.I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I
‘ve also made a lot of hard decisions that have made our family better. I am a little worn for the wear but now I am focused. I am heading into the next decade with a renewed sense of self, a new determination to succeed, and a greater appreciation for the life and people that I have been blessed with in my life. What a difference a decade has made. I have come full circle and been made better in the journey. Next New year, I will be sitting someplace new but still with these 3 amazing people that I have been fortunate enough to spend the rest of my life with.


How was your past decade? What was the highest and lowest point? What will you do differently in the next decade? Happiest of New Years to you all and your families.

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Mandyland 2010/12/31 - 2:43 pm

A decade is a lifetime of changes. I was actually single and loving it, ten years ago. Well, maybe "loving it" is a bit of an overstatment, but still…crazy how different my life is now compared to then. Looks like you've had the same sort of journey.

Cheers to the next ten years!

Danni 2010/12/31 - 2:48 pm

Beautiful piece.

Azure Skyyes 2010/12/31 - 2:49 pm

Here's some comment love!
Yes, a decade does make a big difference in who we are…10 years ago I was living in Germany in a miserable relationship…time flies and now I'm a foster mom!

Nikki 2010/12/31 - 3:39 pm

Hello Lady! That was an amazing post! It was so eloquently spoken and so heartfelt. You and your family are beautiful and I wish nothing but the best for the 4 of you in this next coming year!
The last decade for me was my twenties! This next year will bring on my thirties! I was in college, took a break from college, met Justin, got engaged to Justin, bought a home, got married, had my munchkin. I also lost some pretty incredible people that meant the world to me. These last ten years have taught me to take nothing for granted and enjoy every moment!
Happy New Year!!!

Daria @ Mom in Management 2010/12/31 - 3:44 pm

Your girls are stunning! I love the black and white picture of your brand new baby. She is SO cute!

I too looked back 10 years because my hubs proposed 10 years ago on Christmas. Isn't it amazing how quickly time flies? Amazing all the things that have happened and how much I've grown and yet still feel the same.

Congratulations! Happy New Year!


here's that 10 years ago post if you are interested…


Bruna 2010/12/31 - 4:46 pm

Wow, Lady! Your story is amazing! Love the pics you shared. You were and still are a very beautiful woman! My two fav pics are your first one of you and your hubby and the one of your hubby in a tux and your girls all dressed up pretty:) Beautiful moments. You're are truly blessed with three amazing people in your life.

All the best in 2011!

Gigi 2010/12/31 - 6:05 pm

it's so true that our most trying times can bring us closer together as a family – and you have a truly beautiful one. Here's to a great 2011!

Mommy This and That 2010/12/31 - 6:16 pm

What a great look at the last 10 years!

10 years ago I was making extra money as a sober driver for an older couple wanting to drink but not drive. Hubby was my boyfriend and we had only been together 6 months.

Truthful Mommy 2010/12/31 - 3:01 pm

U are telling me! 10 years is crazy what can happen in that amount of time. I am an entirely different person than I was then and I don;t just mean the hair:)LOL

Cheers to 10 more my friend!

Truthful Mommy 2010/12/31 - 3:03 pm

@ Danni,
Thank you.It has been a beautiful journey! I cant wait for the next 10 years with these rapscallions of mine.

Truthful Mommy 2010/12/31 - 3:04 pm

@azure skyyes,
Thanks for the comment love. I was feeling a bit neglected over here. It really is quite remarkable the difference 10 years can make. Makes me curious to know where I will be in 10 years, but not in a rush them away sort of way:)

Cheers to a prosperous and healthy new year!

Truthful Mommy 2010/12/31 - 4:11 pm

@ Daria,
Thank you!Seriously, 10 years has changed absolutely everything. My life has done a 360 and I am back at a place where I have been thru many changes and returned to a point where I am focusing on defining who I am..again.happY new year!

Truthful Mommy 2010/12/31 - 4:12 pm

Lady Ive missed you! I thought you had abandoned the bloggy world for greener pastures:) SO glad u are back. 10 years changes everything. I would never have thought I'd be who I am. I have everything, I never knew I always wanted.happiest of New Years to You, Justin and Mia!XO

Sandi a::k::a KnitMyRhino 2011/01/01 - 12:30 am

I love you on twitter…and I think I just fell in love with you even more. I am glad I took the time to read this post! I know there is more to come in your amazing life! Thank you for sharing it with us!

anuncommonfamily.com 2011/01/01 - 4:05 pm

Beautiful post, as always. We've had a crazy ten years as well. So, so many changes — it's hard to wrap my mind around them. I want to do a post so I have to actually sit down and think through the past ten years b/c it's hard to remember. Happy New Year!

BTW, I say it all the time, but your girls are gorgeous.

Wayne Beck 2011/01/01 - 11:12 pm

What a life we have together! Even the bad times together are better than the worst times apart!

dacruzbe 2011/01/04 - 12:39 am

Love you

Alicia@ Mommy Delicious 2011/01/01 - 11:45 pm

Wow! What a difference 10 years make!!! When I think back to ten years ago (I was still in HIGH SCHOOL!) and now (a second year grad student, single mom, NYC mom blogger, etc…), I am stunned by how my life is so different.

I found you on twitter (@mommydelicious) and I am so happy that I visited your blog from the twitter link. I've been looking to connect with new mommies and I am so happy to have connected with you. I am your newest follower from Mommy Delicious (www.mommydelicioius.com) and I've also "liked" your FB page (www.facebook.com/mommydelicious).

Cant wait to connect with you more this year!

Busy Working Mama 2011/01/02 - 6:45 pm

Happy New Year to you all, too! I love the pic of them in their purple dresses. Gosh, how quickly the time flies!

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