Hello, 29

Technically, I should say, "Hello, 30," because when you turn 29 it means you've completed 29 years, seeing as we don't call a newborn baby 1.  The Chinese, apparently, reckon a baby's gestation into their age, so they are all 9 months older than we are, I guess.  But anyway, I am now 29 years old, embarking on my thirtieth year of life.  WOW! It's hard to believe I've been around that long.
28 was a year of big ups and big downs.  Big up: Max was born while I was 28.  Big down: some of the toughest patches Allen and I have yet gone through where when I was 28.
And this upcoming year promises to be just as full of question marks and surprises.  Allen will be graduating in just a few months, and then what? That's the biggest question: then what?  Will he go on to grad school? If so, for what, and where?  Here in Portland? In Bend?  In another state altogether?
When our lease is up in March, where will we go?  Will we continue to throw in our lot with Andy, Alishia, and Whitney?  Will we try to go it alone for the first time in almost three years?
After this year's job, what next?  Will I continue at MRA?  Will I try to find fulltime work again?  Who knows?
So many questions, so many potential life changes ahead.  But the good news truly is that I know Who holds my future, and I know that He is good.
I did not do much to celebrate my birthday yesterday.  I got an awesome card that I read first thing in the morning.  Allen asked all of the housemates to write a note or letter of affirmation to me and then collected them all.  They were very touching and a great way to start off a birthday.  Allen had work, so  it was just the kids and me.  I also had access to the car for a change, so I decided to bundle them up and we went out into a very blustery and rainy morning to get a "special breakfast" at Great Harvest Bread Co.  I think that I would like to make a tradition in our family of going out for special breakfast somewhere on birthdays.  I think it is even more fun than going out for dinner, because it starts off the day.  Then we drove up to visit Allen at work and bring him a yummy roll.  By the time I got home, I had just enough time to take a shower and then head out to school.  Normally, I don't work on Thursdays, but Thursday and Friday are conference days and I was asked to be on hand from noon to 8 pm in case anyone needed to talk to me.  Sad to say, no parents wanted to talk to me about library or 8th grade projects, so I just had a very quiet and solitary afternoon and evening cataloging books.  I think I entered about 200 books into the system today.  At dinner time, my principal delivered a birthday card signed by everyone and said, "You know, if you want to, you can leave a little early."  So I left at 6:45 instead of 8, which was nice.  I came home in time to read Ruby stories and put Max in bed.  Allen and I played a game of Bananagrams and then went to bed, where Max decided to wake up and scream for a while. It was quite a mundane birthday, but I don't mean that in a bad way. I wasn't thrilled about having to go in to work...yet I remembered that it was a blessing that I even had a paying job to go to.  Kids waking up and fussing isn't fun, but they are undoubtedly some of my greatest treasures and you take the good with the bad.
Today is Whitney's birthday (I think she's turning 22).  She's having a fancy dinner party, cooked and served by us, so I'd better hop to it and start getting ready. I'm excited for her. I think it will be fun!  I'm sure pictures will follow...


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