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For some reason, it seems like my thirtieth year of life flew by and yesterday, the girls and Jack were already singing Happy Birthday to me for my thirty-first.

Making kitty ears after a nice, loooong nap.

Like turning thirty, nothing magical changed the day I turned a year older. I do find a few more white hairs than I did even at thirty (it’s got to start sometime, I guess) but overall, I think I’m in pretty good shape thanks to a continuous year of running and my overall God-given good health.

Getting ideas for bunk bed frames at the flea market.

In some ways, thirty was rough. Most of the tears this year were from our two miscarriages which were heartbreaking in many ways. But when I step back and really analyze the year, thirty was great in a lot of ways.

Jack and the girls made me an apple swan for my birthday weekend.

I ran a half-marathon and several other races, became a registered bone marrow donor, published my first book (and got a good start on the sequel!), visited some new places, spent lots of time with family, completed some pretty hefty home improvements, sent my oldest off to kindergarten and fulfilled dozens of personal goals in many different categories.

Jack shaved off his No-Shave November beard into a mustache at my request just so I could see what he looked like. I think it looks like he should be in a British Calvary uniform, personally…

We spent my special day being serenaded over a homemade cheesecake, opened some beautiful gifts, had a delicious Chinese lunch, looked through a very eclectic flea market, napped, relaxed and spent some time in the evening with friends at the ward Christmas party, eating more delectable food and remembering the birth of the savior. The one thing I didn’t get to do was ride–the weather and ground wasn’t conducive to climbing into the saddle, a regular problem with a December birthday with no indoor arena. (I’ll be sure to ask for an indoor arena for Christmas, haha!)

My ward birthday Christmas party.

It was a special day and I’m looking forward to an even more special year. Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes and kind words. My friends and family are my favorite gifts!

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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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