I had an incredibly wonderful birthday week. The highlight was spending Memorial Day weekend in San Diego with Ryan. I went back and forth on whether or not we should plan some sort of brief "get-away" for this big birthday, and in the end, I'm so glad we did. We used credit card points to get there for free (can't beat that!), and we spent one night at Laura and Sam's house and two nights at a beach resort. It was a quick trip but so so fun and so rejuvenating. Ryan and I talked about life, laughed over ridiculous memories, ate at yummy restaurants, drank pina coladas, discussed what we want for our future, and lounged on the beach. It was perfect. Ryan is my best friend, and I'm so glad I got this time with him.
It was also amazingly fun to spend time with Laura, Sam, and Baby Luke. They even came and hung out with us for an afternoon and evening at the resort. We went swimming, chilled on the beach, went out to dinner, and then had a beach bonfire. Snuggling Luke was my favorite part!
Meanwhile, back in Idaho, Noah had a great time with his grandparents. I am so glad that they live close to us, and I am so grateful that they are not only willing but also excited to watch Noah and spend time with him. He didn't even miss his mom and dad during the four days we were gone, and he went on lots of adventures, such as finding a big, rundown truck with Grandpa.
As if our trip wasn't enough fun for one girl's birthday, the party continued on my actual birthday a few days later. My sisters sent a package filled with 30 little gifts for me to open throughout the day. (Noah did most of the opening--he was in heaven.) I was spoiled with scarves, note cards, earrings, treats, journals, and much more--my sisters have great taste and know me well. They also attached a note to each gift explaining one reason why they love me. Am I a lucky girl or what??
Ryan, Noah, and I spent the morning of my birthday at the Twin Falls' Western Days parade and fair. Noah was in love with the rides, especially the rickety space ships and the mini ferris wheel. It makes me so happy to see him so happy. He was grinning from ear to ear and waving wildly as he and Ryan whizzed around the ferris wheel. Watching that, I felt "pretty nearly perfectly happy" (in the words of Anne of Green Gables).
Later that night, we went canoeing as a family on the Snake River. When we started out, the weather was idyllic and the water was smooth and serene. Preggy sat back and let my muscle-man husband do all the paddling (with a little "help" from Noah). We admired the amazing scenery, stopped for a pizza picnic, and watched base jumpers parachuting off the bridge. Ryan serenaded me with a loud and off-key rendition of "Happy Birthday" (I would include a video, but I'm pretty sure he would kill me), and Noah made me nervous by leaning over the side of the boat to put his hand in the water (I am such a mom).
Just as we turned around to head back to civilization, the weather suddenly changed and the Idaho wind started whipping through the canyon. You have not experienced wind until you've lived in Idaho. It is ferocious. The water suddenly became super choppy, and even though Ryan and I were both paddling with all of our might, our canoe was going backwards due to the insane wind. I will admit, I was a little scared there for a second. Ryan was barking commands at me trying to teach me how to steer (I am hopeless when it comes to such things), and Noah was sitting in the front of the canoe with his little hands clasped and his head bowed praying fervently, "Please help us, Heavenly Father!" I told him to keep it up because I'm quite certain that God cannot ignore those sweet prayers! We pulled off to the side, and Ryan called the canoe rental company to see if they could send a speed boat for us. No such luck. They advised Ryan to hug the shoreline and just keep paddling--so that's what we did. And slowly, slowly, we started making progress. Noah was ecstatic and shouting, "See! Jesus is helping us!" (Is he the cutest or what??) Once we realized that we weren't going to die on the river that night, we started laughing. Sometimes catastrophes like that turn into the best family stories.
Somehow, we eventually made it back to our car, and the only long-term damage that we sustained was that I pulled my round ligament from all the vigorous paddling, and I could hardly walk or sleep for about two days. Ryan felt terrible. Some muscle-man husband he turned out to be. :)
All in all, it was a pretty great 30th birthday week. I am so grateful that I got to spend it with my two favorite boys in all the world, and I am so grateful to be pregnant with another little person who is inevitably going to fill this next year (and all of the years after that) with incredible joy and life lessons.
On the morning of my big day, I took a "belly pic" to commemorate being 30 weeks pregnant on my 30th birthday. Honestly, pregnancy has not been fun or easy (I found it ironic when I looked at this jolly photo after the fact that the little white trashcan that I still use for morning sickness is in the background)--but building a family is worth it. No doubt about it.