I turn 30 today.

Last night amidst a torrential lightening storm, I stayed up late looking at old photos, as one often does, when times like these come around.


August 2011
age 28 

Our engagement photo, circa July 2004.
age 21 

The image is poor, because it’s a scanned copy of a photo that is stuck to the glass of the photo frame.
But you get the idea. We’re happy, we’re in love.

Us + Hyrum, Salem, Amalia, & Asher.
August 2011

age 28

May 2009
age 26

August 2011

age 28

 Can you believe the blonde hair?
And is was so long. (*sigh*.)
Summer 2003 as an EFY summer counselor.

age 20
 What can I say? I like to smile, even as a chubster baby.
sometime, 1984 

This picture is a bit eerie–I look so much like Salem in this picture.
My brother Loren, my mom & sister Colette (love the fros, ladies!)
I think I’m about 3 here, so sometime 1986ish.

I never did learn how to play the piano.
But, it’s not a goal I’ve given up on yet.
1987 or 1988

My brother Nate, my doll Purple, & me at one my favorite spots in Mt. Rainier park.
I think 5 or 6 here. So, around 1989. 

My senior pic.
Oy vey, it looks an awful lot like a glamor shot, doesn’t it?
I should have known better.

April 2011
age 28
Salem in the sling.

With child (Amalia)
June 2008
age 26 

August 2010
age 27 

Amalia, before she plumped up.
August 2008
age 26 

A few hours before Amalia was born.
July 2008
age 26 

You know what I realized as I was looking through these old pictures?

I was way too hard on myself. I always thought I wasn’t skinny or pretty enough. Silly. I guess that’s what a little age does to you. You realize your perceived imperfections or shortcomings were not exactly as dramatic as you remembered.

Now that my twenties are behind me, I still feel young in many ways, but I’m glad I’ve earned the perspective I have now.

I am thankful, humbled by the fact that I was blessed to meet & marry the person whom I love the most. To have children with him, & to watch life unfold in a beautiful, sometimes messy & chaotic, interesting way.

Here’s to another decade.

Here’s to 30.


  1. janet @ the taste space
    on April 7, 2013 at 5:18 am said:

    This was a wonderful post. You are so beautiful, a mom of 4, and still so hard on yourself. Trust me, you are a model for the rest of us. 🙂

  2. Clare
    on April 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm said:

    Happy birthday, Janae! I hope you had the best day. I loved seeing all of these photos, you are gorgeous! I know exactly what you mean, I am always too hard on myself, and then I look back at photos and feel the same way you mentioned here. 30 is a great age – still young, but also wiser. I hope you are doing well! xo

  3. April
    on April 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm said:

    Those are great pictures- you are just so gorgeous! And you look so much like Salem-I love seeing resemblances like that.

  4. lfwfv
    on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 am said:

    I love your thoughts on the topic of self-acceptance Janae. It is amazing how hard we are on ourselves moment to moment isn’t it? Happy belated birthday!!

  5. Joy
    on April 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm said:

    Happy birthday! My goodness, you’re gorgeous. Isn’t it funny how we look in the mirror and all we see are flaws sometimes? It takes a moment to step back and be nice to ourselves.

    I’m completely in agreement that the perspective gained over this decade is worth being older. Our thirties, I’m sure, are going to be full of lessons and growth as well, but in a more peaceful and sure footed way. I can’t wait to go through them with you. xo

  6. Lisa
    on April 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm said:

    I love this post! 🙂

    I often look back at old pictures and think how silly I was at the time for being so hard on myself. Why do we do that to ourselves?

  7. Marsha
    on April 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm said:

    Happy Birthday, Janae! Perspective is a truly amazing thing. I look back at my twenties and I know in my heart my 30’s have treated me so much better!! I married the man of my dreams and had the most wonderful little girl I could ever imagine! It looks like you had a wonderful set of 20’s! 🙂 I believe your 30’s will be even better! Cheers to you, my friend! Enjoy each and every day!

  8. Alissa N
    on April 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm said:

    So gorgeous, inside and out!! Happy birthday, I hope it’s as incredible as you!!

  9. alanna
    on April 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm said:

    You are gorgeous my friend. Love these photos.
    I’ve just welcomed my thirties with open arms too and share many of your sentiments.

  10. Maisy Sylling
    on April 3, 2013 at 10:56 am said:

    Happy Birthday, Janae. When I think of you, the photograph that comes to mind is the picture the Daily Sun took of you in your blue Midsummer dress in a (stage) fight with Audrey Henry. That photo showed your spirit, joy, energy, humor and beauty!

  11. Adina | Gluten Free Travelette
    on April 3, 2013 at 9:34 am said:

    Janae, you look gorgeous in all those photos and so happy! I think my favorite has to be the one from 2011 with Salem in the sling.

    Happy 30th! I’ll be joining you in there next year!

  12. Angela
    on April 3, 2013 at 7:17 am said:

    Happy Birthday Joy! What beautiful pictures of you and your family. I can relate a lot to what you said about never thinking you were skinny enough or pretty enough growing up. I turn 30 in May and when I look back at pictures of my teens and 20’s I wonder why I was so critical of myself. Us women really need to ease up on ourselves, but like you said perspective comes with age and that is a wonderful thing to look forward to. Hope your day is filled with celebration!

    • Janae Wise
      on April 3, 2013 at 7:22 am said:

      Thank you Angela, for taking the time to write me well wishes.

      “I turn 30 in May and when I look back at pictures of my teens and 20’s I wonder why I was so critical of myself.”

      I know, isn’t it so funny? I remember when I first saw that picture of myself (the top picture of the post) & I thought I looked fat! Can you believe it?! Now I look at it (even though it’s only been 2 years later), I can’t believe how good I look, especially after just having had a baby.

      Thanks again for the birthday greetings!

  13. Lauren
    on April 3, 2013 at 7:12 am said:

    Happy birthday! You are absolutely beautiful, and so is your family. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these sweet photos from your life. Here’s to 30! Hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

    • Janae Wise
      on April 3, 2013 at 7:23 am said:

      Thank you Lauren! You are very sweet.

  14. dana
    on April 3, 2013 at 6:14 am said:

    Happy Birthday, Joy! You (and your family) look absolutely beautiful and radiant in ALL of those pictures! Loved seeing you as a wee one- thanks for sharing! It IS nice how the passing of time minimizes the importance of issues we thought so crucial as we were going through them (“bad” hair, skin break out, silly surface things that no one but us typically notices). I still sometimes look at photos of myself with an uber critical eye and want to delete all unflattering ones, but then I remember that in years to come, my boys will enjoy seeing their mom when she was a bit younger and won’t care if her hair was a mess or the pose gave her a double chin!

    I hope you have a wonderful day and a blessed and healthy year to follow. Eat cake for breakfast if you want- it’s YOUR day!!

    • Janae Wise
      on April 3, 2013 at 7:25 am said:

      Thanks Dana. Time, as you point out, does help knock some sense into us, doesn’t it? And so, true, the ones who love us most, especially our children, do not care one wit about the trivial things (our nails, our wrinkles, our sagging behind) we too often were preoccupied with in our younger years.

      So glad to here from you!


      • dana
        on April 3, 2013 at 10:35 am said:

        Oooops- you can see how fast I was typing that I called you Joy instead of Janae- though in my mind, you are both- a joyful Janae ! 🙂

  15. Hannah Wetzel
    on April 3, 2013 at 6:11 am said:

    Amazing, as usual. And true! I hope that when I’m 30 I can look back on my twenties like this. I’ve got 7 more years to wise up. 🙂 Happy belated birthday!

    • Janae Wise
      on April 3, 2013 at 7:30 am said:

      Wow, 7 years?! You’ve got quite a ways to get to your thirties, my dear, & that’s an exciting thing. Right now you are creating exactly the kind of life you want. The twenties are an oft under appreciated decade of life. Don’t underestimate how powerful the twenties are in setting the foundation for the rest of your life.

      Thank you for thinking of me Hannah.

  16. Alicia
    on April 3, 2013 at 5:29 am said:

    What a beautiful post. 🙂

    • Janae Wise
      on April 3, 2013 at 7:31 am said:

      Thank you, Alicia.