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Today, I enter a new decade. Today, I turn thirty.


I didn't start blogging until part way through my twenties, so I thought it might be kind of fun to go through the last decade and do a very brief highlight of what happened each year.

20 - I was taking writing classes and quietly writing Miss Match when I was supposed to be editing a suspense novel I'd written earlier. It ended up taking over and I took Miss Match to a writing conference that year and left it with an editor with a hope that gradually faded as time went by and I didn't hear anything. Highlights for this year? Spending time with my amazing family - I will forever cherish the Worst Movie Ever nights with my sister, the late night talks with my brothers and the sweet times with my parents. :)

21 - After a birthday on the beach, I went to Colorado, met my now-dear friend Melanie who worked at NavPress as an acquisitions editor and she called later to offer me a contract on the series. My dream of becoming an author was coming true! This year was also when I started working as a youth intern at my church - hands down my favorite job I've ever had (well, my favorite job that has taken place outside of my house!). My highlight of this year was going to writing conferences with my mama - we had the absolute BEST times there staying up late and eating out at places like the Cheesecake Factory. :) :)

22 - This birthday has special significance to me. My birthday this year fell on a Wednesday night which is when my parents hosted a college Bible study from our church at their house. That night, we had a visitor come to the study. His name was Jon. :) Best birthday gift I've ever received. ;)

23 - I spent my birthday planning a wedding and preparing to take a group of high-schoolers on a winter retreat. We got married in March, Jon graduated in May, I quit interning and started working at a tea room part-time while writing almost full-time during the summer, NavPress signed the Cool Beans series in September, we bought our house in November and adopted a husky puppy in December. It was a busy year. ;)

24 - We spent the majority of this year working, writing and most likely sleeping because we were married without kids. ;) We decorated the house, went out on dates and just enjoyed each other. The highlight of our year came at the end of October when we found out that my 25th year was going to grow our family by one. :)

25 - I spent my 25th birthday throwing up with terrible morning sickness and spent a good amount of the first part of this year reading What to Expect and researching everything imaginable about pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood while trying to cram in a deadline for Sketchy Behavior before July, when the best part of our year happened and our goofy, adorable Nathan was born.

26 - I don't remember very much about 26. Ha! It was spent in a cloud of Desitin, burp rags, baby food and diapers. I had one baby but felt like I had ten and I was so stressed about his schedule and nursing and milestones that I could barely see straight. So God was very good and gave me this amazing group of moms who had their heads on right and we called ourselves the Lunch Bunch and basically adopted each other. Those women were my highlight that year. NavPress also signed the Paige series this year and I added a couple of deadlines to my already harried brain. ;)

27 - This was a hard year. In May, after a year of trying, I found out I was pregnant again and we were completely overjoyed for this little one and for Nathan to be a big brother. Two months later, we lost our sweet little one and we were crushed. It took a long time for that wound to heal. But Jesus was good and God was faithful and we ended the year closer to Him than we started.

28 - Right after my 28th birthday, we started fertility treatments and spent the first part of the year spending lots of money with nothing to show for it. We stopped trying in May to take a break for the summer and to spend some time enjoying Nathan's third birthday in July. Two days before he turned three, I found out that I was shockingly expecting again and the highlight of our year came a couple of weeks later when we saw that beating heart on the ultrasound and heard our doctor say the words that brought tears to my eyes - "baby looks great".

29 - I spent my 29th birthday downing milkshakes all day because it was the only thing that stopped the awful heartburn that I had around the clock with Parker's pregnancy. After a few times trying to come early, our silly, precious Parker was born exactly one week before his due date in March and kicked off this amazing, wonderful year that has been the absolute best one of my twenties.

And so here we are. Thirty. One wonderfully sweet husband. Two adorable, crazy boys. A precious family and wonderful in-law family. Eleven novels and seven novellas. A house busting at the seams with toys, laundry, loud laughter and lots and lots of blessings.

The twenties are a weird time in life. I bought my first alcoholic drink and my first bottle of anti-aging moisturizer this past decade. I got paid as a single college girl to watch other people's kids and I now pay single college girls to watch my kids. I started off with this vague dream of someday being a real writer and not really knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up and now I hear at least eight times a day what a certain four year-old wants to be when he grows up.

The verse that completely covered my twenties was definitely Isaiah 41:10 - "‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’" I wonder what verse will become dear to me this decade??

So thankful for the dear family and friends that God has given me over these last 30 years. Can't wait to see what this next decade holds. :)

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