I just have to start out by saying that I have the best husband in the world! I’ve been avoiding thinking about my 30th birthday, which hasn’t been too difficult considering how crazy busy we’ve been lately. To celebrate the big milestone of being 3 decades old, Justin took me Hannibal, MO, famous home of Samuel Clemmons, AKA Mark Twain, and also the setting for the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. It was just an overnight trip, but we packed in a lot of interesting sites including a trolley ride around Hannibal, riverboat dinner cruise, totally romantic night at a secret location Bed & Breakfast, hike up to a light tower, tour of Mark Twain Cave & the infamous Lover’s Leap.

I was really impressed with the rich history of Hannibal. It was fun to see the actual houses and landmarks that Mark Twain used in his dearly beloved stories from my childhood. I wish I would have reread them before going, but I think I’ll read them again, now! Anyway, I was thoroughly grateful for the trip and the time Justin and I got to spend alone together. “It was so thoughtful of him to put that together,” I thought. Then we got home and the real surprise was out of the bag.

Justin, in cahoots with my family & friends, had planned a surprise party for me. I walked in the door all anxious to see Audrey after being away from her for 24 hours and was taken aback to see about 20 people, including my dearly loved Aunt Judie and Uncle Bill all the way from northern Illinois. Audrey proudly exclaimed, “Mommy’s party!” My mom created a beautiful scrapbook of pictures for me and Nora designed a precious shadow box with pictures of our most recent trip to Arcadia, MI. My Aunt Judie showcased her creative talents with a Pixy Mom purse scrapbook that is just too cool to describe – I’ll have to take pictures – for me to display photos of Audrey and Anna. Sarah got me NEW maternity clothes and I was spoiled with lots of other gifts from family & friends. What a day!

I can only hope and pray that the next 30 years will be filled with as much love and joy as the first 30. I truly am blessed to love and be loved by so many extraordinary people!