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I celebrated my thirtieth birthday yesterday.  A lot of people feel trepidation about their thirtieth because it signifies the end of youth and the beginning of middle age.  I felt it too–it’s sort of a similar sentiment I had walking into class on the first day of kindergarten.  I think the magic number thirty also has been looming since my mom turned thirty.  Only a child, I remember her turning thirty and fretting that she was going to drop dead any day because thirty was so old.

My three darlings.

I am pleased to report that though I have aged another year, I nowhere near feel like I am going to drop dead (my mom’s still alive even!).  I didn’t wake up with arthritis or age spots (I will admit to pulling out a few stray white hairs on occasion) and in general, I feel as healthy and vibrant as I did when I was in my twenties. I’m told there is life after thirty and that truly, middle age is the best of both worlds.

Kate helping with the drywall.

Though I’m not old by any means, I sure don’t feel as naive as I did when I was young.  I might even use the term wise by virtue of experience.  I am still plagued by some of the trials of childhood–an ever present dread that everyone hates me, acne (which has more than one gotten me mistaken as a teenager so yay?  I guess…) and my own timidness.  The difference is that I’m not debilitated by my weaknesses and I’ve begun think outside myself and realize that other people have weaknesses too and can therefore be more forgiving and patient with them.

Watching the nice old neighbor scoop our driveway.

And though I’m not young, I’m surrounded by youth.  Not only do I have a healthy body and am able to enjoy all of the same activities–riding horses, running, and occasionally toting around a sousaphone–as I did when younger.  Plus, I’ve got three little girls that constantly remind me of my own childhood.  Everything is magical and new through their eyes and though I’m not experiencing it firsthand, I might as well be.  And if I’m fortunate, more babies will bless our home and eventually grandchildren and great grandchildren will continue the cycle.

Nope, not a bomb! After building his own working wind generator, a pottery wheel was a cinch.

Other than occasionally shouting and whining, breaking my favorite ornament and drinking an entire bottle of snow cone flavoring between the three of them, the girls were angels.  Jack, as usual, was his suave, clever self and not only got me a bottle of my favorite perfume, he made me a pottery wheel.  Yes, he MADE me one.  It needs a little tweaking to work well but by golly, he not only knows what interests me, he encourages me to pursue it and makes it possible.  What a guy!

Kate wishing she could join her sisters out in the snow.

The girls played in the fresh snow, Kate helped me drywall the entry and Jack worked from home since the roads were icy.  I finished reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and though I used to hate having a birthday so close to Christmas and New Years, I’ve come to appreciate it.  It gives me a jump start on any goals I have for the new year and still allows me time to finish out the current year with gusto, not to mention I love the festive, reflective mood the world seems to enter as it remembers the Savior’s birth.

A very ordinary birthday: unfolded laundry, screams of joy, toys everywhere…just like I like it.

It was a quiet, fairly uneventful day in the world at large but for me, it was practically life changing:

Got the Christmas decorations up in time for my birthday!
Middle age is only the beginning.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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