{30 until 30}


In July, my little sister Destiny turned the big 30! I still can't believe it. Sometimes I can only picture us as gawky teenage girls sharing a room up in Alaska. My how life has changed :)

The 30th birthday is a big one if you ask me. The 20's are so tentative and ever changing, and in the 30's you're starting to solidify who you are. Dare I say become an adult?

This birthday was especially a big deal for Destiny because it was the last birthday before welcoming her first baby into the world.

I really wanted to make Destiny's 30th birthday celebration special, which is kind of hard to do when you live 1700+ miles apart. So this year, I borrowed an idea I saw done a few years ago for a friend's 30th birthday. I created a birthday advent calendar.

A what? Basically for the 30 days leading up until my sister's 30th birthday she opened up one gift a day. It was so much fun to send a box, out of the blue, filled with goodies. So what kinds of things did she get? Well my favorite was that every other day she would open up a card from a friend or family member and she had a scrapbook that she could glue her messages into. On the days that she wasn't opening a card, anything was possible. Some different gifts I sent: chocolates (of course), a yummy smelling candle, cute mug, a fun journal, my version of a BFF necklace, a lucky penny (minted in 1984), pedicure supplies (toes gotta look good when you go into the hospital), and a cute scarf to name a few.

It was so much fun to get a text from my sister each day, and so much fun to make her wonder each day what could possibly be in that box! I love that I could help her ring in her 30th while being so far away!



There is a Positivity challenge and a Happiness challenge going around Facebook these days, and I can't lie, it makes my heart happy. I love seeing people stop and reflect on the good in life. Even better it isn't in November :)

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. Let's be honest, life is hard, doesn't always go our way, and can get tedious. It is very humbling to slow down and see what is going right.

As I write this, I'm on "baby duty" for my beautiful niece while my sister and brother in law try to eek out a little sleep before I leave town tomorrow. I am so thankful to watch over this precious life, but also thankful that my flight home was delayed to give me a few more hours. Yes, tomorrow will be a long day, but I'd rather focus on this bundle of sweet.

I am thankful for the community of women I have been blessed to grow spiritually with over the summer. It has been challenging and encouraging to meet up on Thursdays and dig into God's word together.

I am always grateful for Paul. I am encouraged and challenged by him. I love that we are a team and facing this world together. I'm grateful for celebrations, especially celebrating four years of marriage earlier this month.

I am thankful for the Kaetzel Pretzel's, our dear friends who we can talk honestly with about faith, community, church, marriage, and everything else that comes up in life.

I am so grateful for travel. That Paul and I were able to experience two new cities this year and best of all the pure quality time that comes with being together 24-7 for 10 days.

I am thankful for summer vacations, for the time to rest and slow down and tap into my lazy side.

Most of all, I am grateful for a God who is faithful even when I am not.

Gotta go, Eleanor Rose is waking up!