my big brother celebrates his birthday today. i've always looked up to him and adored him and now my kids do too. (check out wyatt's shiner. he and noah had a head-on collision today while playing with water guns. i guess guns really are dangerous.)


i wasn't worried about turning 30. in fact, i wasn't thinking about it very much, except for when people would bring it up. i left my 20's behind with satisfaction: i graduated from college, i married my ideal man, i got a dog (she has an asterisk by her name currently, but that's a story for some other time), i bought a home with said wonderful husband, i birthed a healthy little boy and then right after that, in quick fashion, birthed a little girl. and as i said adieu to my 20's i felt satisfied knowing my next decade would be just as great. another little boy is on his way and who knows what other adventure there will be.

so i was feeling pretty good about this day, praying that all the jokes about surprise parties were just jokes and that it would be a fairly uneventful day. if tom wanted to spoil me a little that would be fine, but nothing outrageous. when he started getting the kids ready in the morning i thought nothing of it; he does that most mornings anyway. but then i heard him say we had to be somewhere by 9. that had me a little worried. i knew breakfast would be involved -- being 6 months pregnant food is always a center point. so i wondered, where would we have to go at such a specific time? then i saw paul and lauren's car drive by, shortly before 9, and my curiosity grew. once we got in the car and headed down the road my mind raced. it wasn't until we turned onto the frontage road that i knew, and my heart sank a little. krispy kreme.

i like donuts. they're delicious. in fact, that's where we went for mother's day. but a repeat breakfast, and so quickly after mom's day? bummer. we pulled into the maze of a parking lot, and there they were. i saw paul first, but then the rest of my family appeared in the windows and i started to lose it. it was a good surprise, and i had been fooled. as i walked through the doors embarassment washed over me, but i was glad to see it was only family, not everyone i had ever met as lauren and tom joked.
the shock carried on as they presented me with a large poster filled with pictures. for my 30th birthday my family was sending me on a vacation.
in october my mother-in-law took all of her daughters to a place called big cedar lodge outside of branson, missouri. this place looks nothing like the glitzy strip of hillbilly vegas. instead it reminds me of the trail through the buffalo where tom proposed. it's full of trees and water and all the flowers you could dream of.
four days at big cedar sounded like the perfect gift. then i found out that tom and i were leaving, without the kids, in a week, and i was ecstactic. i didn't have to wait around to enjoy this gift, i would get to leave as quickly as i could get my house in order. it should be no surprise that i cried. this was the ideal gift. better than a wooden cutting board or a rain barrel. perfect. wonderful. vacation. top it all off with the fact that tom and i have not had a night away just the two of us since i was pregnant with wyatt, and i am one blessed girl in her thirties. or should i say woman? either way i'm off to a good start.


there's too much to write about right now, but i do have photos to show you that i haven't just been sitting around getting bigger and bigger by the minute. well, i am bigger... but pop landscaped our front yard, gigi recovered our couch, susan and i planted a vegetable garden and blackberry bush, we started getting fresh produce from a local farm, i turned 30 and tom and i are taking a vacation! these are all blogable things and they will make appearances, but for now, take a gander:the blackberry bush is in full sun in the backyard in a fairly yuma-safe position. it has flowers that will be berries, however few, this july.
the cucumber plants are flowering and getting some little baby cumbers on them!
the cucumber bed with the fancy soaker hose. no more hauling the house around the house. it's hard enough to move that thing around at 6 months pregnant, i can't imagine what it would be like at 9. now i just flip the switch and viola!
tomatoes, peppers, watermelons and peas. check back soon for a pea update as these things are growing fast!
pop's remarkable hard work and great eye laid out some beautiful stuff in our yard: astilbes, azaleas, hostas, grasses. tom is very pleased that the holly bush is gone. i'm glad to have a little bit of color and diversity in there. and no more ground cover!

we are planning to pave out this little section in front of the window and hostas and then we can put some chairs our front. the kids are loving their bikes and playing outside so this would be a nice convenient place to sit. check out those giant hostas!