Wednesday, October 01, 2014

This is 30.

So, I'm thirty.  As in, 30.  Like, thirty years old.  

Thirty looks so much different than I thought it would.  Not that I sat around and dreamt about being 30 when I was a kid....but we all have an expectation of what we'll be like when we're older.  

Hear me: thirty is better than I ever imagined it would be.  I have the sweetest little sunshine-boy to wake up each morning.  I live in a community that I love, with people that I love.  I've got a sweet baby on the way, and couldn't be more excited.

And my husband.  Guys, he's the best.  Don't believe me?  Let me tell you a little story.

About a week ago, Jake told me he was taking me out for my birthday.  On Sunday night.  Huh? A Sunday night date? That's weird.  Oh, and none of our family is available to watch Carter, so we're hiring a sitter.  Huh? Weird!

So Sunday night: I got ready, the sitter came, and off we went.  We arrived at one of our favorite restaurants, walked through the parking lot, and went up stairs to the second floor.  Huh?  We've never eaten on the second floor! Weird.


Huh? For me?

Remember - that's a baby belly.
Keep this in mind as you look at these pictures, please :)
I couldn't believe that all these people were here for my birthday.  On a Sunday night, too! (Because who does anything exciting on Sunday nights?!)

So I greeted my family, and then I saw my friends.


Guess what I'm saying here.
"Haaayyyy!!!" :)

Do you ever wonder if people really like you?  I do.  All the time.  If this sounds crazy to you, we'll call it an 'adoption/abandonment' thing (because I'm adopted, too).  But when I saw all these precious people, I felt so loved.  And I later told Jake that I was surprised that "so many people really like me.".


My awesome husband then said all kinds of nice things about me.
"She deals with Carter with such grace and love." - HA.
"She takes such good care of me and makes me fee so special." - I do?!
"She's such a good pregnant mama (notice the coke I'm drinking) and doesn't complain about her nasty jaw pain." - Well, yes I do.
And he pretty much went on like this.  Have I convinced you yet?  He's the best.

My face here says exactly what I'm thinking.
"I'll pretend he's talking about me, but he HAS to be talking about someone else."
And then I heard music.

Yes, my husband hired a mariachi band.


As I looked around the room, I was reminded of our wedding day.  Everyone was smiling and laughing.  Everyone was having a good time.  People who don't clap and sing were clapping and singing.  And they weren't even under the influence of alcohol!

"Guantanamera, guajira Guantanameeerrrraaaaaaa!"

"Ay, yai, yai, yaaaii, canta y no llores!"

Then they sang Happy Birthday and I cried.  So there was that.

We ate tacos.  I drank non-alcoholic pina coladas.  We laughed.  We sang.  I cried.  My baby belly was patted.  We talked.  We laughed more.  I blew out candes.  We gave hugs.

There was so much love in the room, I could collapse under the weight of it.  How did this happen?

Hey Ben - how many pictures do we have exactly like this? Twenty? Ninety?  Now I'm curious.
Also, this hat looks so studly on you! You should wear it more often.

My mom made the awesome cake.  She's the family cake lady.  Carter knows this well - all we have to say is 'birthday', and Carter is saying "NaNa! Birthday cake!" :)

I have always loved 'The Wizard of Oz'.  It's easily my favorite movie. Because, Dorothy! How can you not love her?  And when she sings 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' and is secretly wishing to be somewhere else, someone else...and then it really happens.  But it's scary, and she has to be brave and strong and independent - but, her friends! They already have everything they think they need! The tin man is already loving! The scarecrow is so smart! And the cowardly lion is no coward, at all! But they just didn't realize, until someone told them.

And maybe that's a little bit like life.

We think we need more of this or less of this.  Or we wonder if people really - actually - truly like us.  And then someone tells us it's so - and we can believe it.  Someone shows us they care, and we know it's true.  And everything we need more of is right there - we just need to grab it and believe it.

I'm believing big things for my thirties.  And I know that everything I need - joy, love, peace, patience, understanding, kindness - it's all right there.  It's within me.

Raise your coffee or tea or non-alcoholic pina colada or Coke or whatever.  Here's to 30.  And because I've said enough words - let's let someone else talk.

May I always remember "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." - Corrie ten Boom, says.

Thomas Edison said "When you exhaust all possibilities remember this: You Haven't."

Elisabeth Elliot want's to tell me "Don't dig up in doubt what you planted in faith."

May I always "Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.".  Thanks, Kid President.

Some dude named John Gottman once said "Admit when you're wrong. Shut up when you're right." Words to live by.

A.W Tozer reminds us to live big for God - "God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible.  What a pity we plan to do only the things that we can do by ourselves."

Even Audrey Hepburn has something decent to say - "Nothing is impossible.  The word itself says I'm possible."  Hmm.

And finally - "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not.".  We can thank Dr. Seuss for that one.

Three cheers for Thirty.  Three cheers for family.  Three cheers for friends.  Three cheers for love, love, love, love, love.

One Thing I Know For Sure: I'm thirty!


  1. Beautiful! :) You deserve every minute of it!! (And, P.S. I happen to know ALOT of people who like you ;)

  2. Happy 30th Birthday Ashley!!! Looks like you had a great day! And what a guy...Jake really pulled off a great one! :-)

    This will be a great year for you! And a great decade. :-) May the Lord richly bless you all!

  3. Happy Birthday! That first pic is priceless!

  4. You're adopted? Did I miss that part? I've been following since Carter came home and I didn't know that. Happiest of birthdays! I turned 30 almost three years ago and feel like this has been my best decade yet. I know it will be the same for you.

  5. Beautiful post! Happy birthday!!


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