This is 6 year old Mercedes.  Our new "adopted daughter" of sorts.  We are her "sponsor parents".  Mercedes lives in Peru, and this picture melts my heart.  I wrote Mercedes for the first time today and am so looking forward to connecting with her.

Chuck and I chose this special little girl because she was born on October 21, which was our baby's due date.  We wanted to celebrate the life of our unborn child by supporting another child in need.  I think our baby in Heaven would be pretty happy about this. 

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!

Today I am officially a thirty-year-old woman!  I know I turned thirty yesterday, but I was still 29 for half of the day.  Today I am completely thirty!  I have been a little upset about leaving the twenties behind, but as I've thought about it- what's to be sad about?

A lot of my twenties were wrought with heartache, pain, loneliness, and great loss.  Why would I want to stay in that decade?  Hello 30!  And Hello Jovie!  Meet my 30th Birthday present from my absolutely incredible husband.

I have wanted a puggle for several years and was completely shocked when Chuck surprised me with my very own!  He came home one day the week before Christmas and told me he had a surprise for my birthday but he needed to tell me about it early.  I thought he was going to tell me about a trip or something, but then he said, "I am going to get you a puppy!  I've been talking to a breeder and we can pick her up before Christmas Eve." I, of course wanted to get her RIGHT THEN.  So we hopped in the car and headed an hour and a half south.

We met two puggles that night and my heart was instantly drawn to the sweet, quiet, calm little one that would sit in my lap and cuddle.  The little daughters of the breeder told me that she was their favorite.  It was so sad to take away their favorite puppy, and even more sad when they cried as we walked out of the house with our new addition.  But, once we got in the car with our girl and bundled her up in a blanket, the happiness consumed me.  I had my very own puppy!

As if getting Jovie wasn't a big enough surprise welcome into the 30's, Chuck also threw a big surprise party for me with the family and friends I grew up with in PA.  It was held at one of my favorite places in NEPA- Northern Lights Cafe.  What could be better than coffee, birthday cake, and friends all in one night?

Chuck had our favorite cake baker, Julie- who made our AMAZING wedding cake- make my cake.  It was a banana cake, with chocolate chip butter cream filling, covered with chocolate butter cream frosting.  OH.MY.WORD.  It was fabulous!  Thankfully we had left overs so I could enjoy it over and over that week.  To have Julie make my cake was just extremely special.  It was really touching that Chuck and Julie worked together to give me such a sweet gift.

Awesome poster Chuckie made for me.  Had lots of pictures of family/friends.

Some of the fam- love 'em so much!
Love these guys!

My favorite Mama!

2 of my BFF's that came!

Many more were there, it was such a special night.  I'd say turning 30 has been pretty wonderful.  So far so good!

Special thanks to you, Babe.  I could not have dreamed up a more perfect husband for me.  Thankfully, God knew.  I love you!