I’m sitting here at my favorite place on earth: a local coffee shop.
The glossy, wooden tables and deep red walls set nicely against the Alaskan mountains in the distance. That’s right: I’m at a coffee shop in Anchorage, Alaska! (Can I just take a moment to do a happy dance?!) My husband James had some clients to see up here, and we decided to turn it into our one-year anniversary trip!
You see, this week is a big week. Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. Thursday is my 30th birthday.
And this past weekend was my “13 Going on 30” birthday party — celebrating both my inner teen and 30-year-old body.
The party was complete with hair & body glitter, a candy bar, Polaroids and a “yearbook” to sign, and was held in a COFFEE SHOP. (I felt SO LOVED — thanks to my hubby and bestie for throwing this amazing party!!)
Below I’ve included a couple photos — I try not to put people up on my social media without their permission, so I’ve included one of me and two of my closest girlfriends (we tried painting our eyes bright teenage colors though you can’t see it well here) as well as one of me and my hubby, James. 🙂
So here we are at age 30. Just twelve short months that seem to contain a lifetime have passed since we said “I do.” And every day, I am so thankful we did.
Twelve months of learning how to sleep in the same full-sized bed with someone.
Fifty-two weeks in which we visited approximately 30 states.
365 days of learning to live together, disagree and make up, and how to love each other better.
The most surprising thing is how much more I love my husband than I did last year. It’s not like I consciously loved him more every day; it’s just that now I find myself in awe of how much deeper my feelings for him run.
His selfless love & encouragement have stolen my heart. Sharing our bad days and our good days — having someone else see you like that — has brought deeper intimacy than I’ve ever experienced with another human. And I’m so thankful that we’re learning to love each other and love God better through it all.
Because isn’t that what this life comes down to anyway: loving God and loving others more fully every day that we live?
And then, there’s this Thursday: when I’ll trade my 20s for age 30.
Not gonna lie, I’m super excited to be 30, because each year that goes by, life just gets better and better. My hormones have balanced out since my teen and college years, so I feel better emotionally — happier than I used to. I also gain a better perspective each year so things make more sense each year that goes by.
But there’s still this little part of me that’s going, “WHAT?! How? When? Where has time gone? There’s no way I’m 30!”
As I look back, I stand in awe once again. My 20s were such a gift from God. The adventures He and I got to have together! —
- exploring His gorgeous creation,
- working with young people in my job at a college that I so loved,
- starting a homemade speaking tour business,
- writing two books,
- starting a YouTube channel,
- building beautiful friendships,
- and then re-meeting and marrying James, who is the most perfect fit.
So, before I go explore this wilderness country of Alaska, making the most of my 19 hours of daylight, here are two YouTube videos I posted this month, talking about some of the things I’ve been learning over the past year. I hope they can encourage your heart.
Thank you for listening to my ramblings! God bless you! I am excited to embark on this brand new year full of adventures. I can’t wait to see what He has in store!