Day 30::: It’s Gonna be Worth “turning 30”

I have arrived. A New Decade. A new age group. A New year.  Today is my last post of “Here’s to turning 30″…because today I turned 30!! I woke up this morning with a little bit of mixed feelings. Super excited about the day but also sad of my decade ending and my 30 day adventure “ending”.  The past 30 days have, honestly, changed my life more then I realized it would when I ventured out on this lil’ experiment of trying 30 new things to hanging out with 30 different friends.  As you might remember (or not), 30 days ago, my first post, I disclaimed that I wasn’t super excited about turning 30. Hence the whole 30 day thing. For some of you, you might know how when you feel God leading you towards a direction, an idea and you agree because it’s a good idea and you take a risk, go forward and at the end, it  turns out not exactly like how you planned but so much better. This has happened to me. I had NO idea how blessed, how much I would learn about myself, how much breakthrough and shifts in my own life I would receive. I feel like I have come out of this 30 days with more confidence, more hope, more expectation, more love and more joy then I did 30 days ago.  Wow a lot can change in 30 days…actually a lot can change in a moment, a second, a day.

dome trail endOne of the my 30 things was to hike Castle Crags. Now I have hiked it before, but never actually hiked to the dome (well I least I wasn’t sure because it was foggy).  My sister,  Melissa and I decided to go for it today.  Unsure of the weather (it said it was supposed to be lightning, rain and thundering…but didn’t look like it would) we headed north towards Castle Crags trailhead. On the way there I kept singing “It’s gonna be worth it” by Rita Springer.  Along the hike, a 1,000 ft incline, straight up, I kept singing, “It’s gonna be worth it” and after some intense mountain climbing, being attacked by manzanita bushes, finding the “Dome Trail End”, we worked our way up some rock with almost jelly legs and found the top.

Not only was it worth it all but better then we thought (just like in life).  The view was ….the only word coming to mind is… majestic. Melissa found a lil’ hide away that we like to call “The Club House”.  It was kinda of like a  private spot just for me, Steph and Melissa on my birthday.  We had our lunch and just rested and enjoyed the amazing view of God’s glorious creation.  I couldn’t have asked for a better view on my birthday. It’s was totally worth it.  The way down was breeze.  After mountain climbing down, we trail ran the last mile. AMAZING…there is nothing like trail running, SO exhilarating.

Club House View

birthday dinnerAfter our hike, we came home…slightly sore…but ready to party some more! My parents (though they were not here) took me and 7 of my closest friends out to dinner (a few couldn’t make it). 🙂  My choice. I wanted something simple but yummy and outside. So we headed out to Grilla Bites.  It was beautiful day to sit out on the patio and enjoy each other’s company.  Thanks Mom and Dad again for dinner! So great.

13 going on 30 movie

After dinner some of us went back to my house to finish off this epic birthday with a very fitting movie….”13 going on 30″.  We ate ice cream, cupcakes and other goodies, watched a great movie and danced a little at the end…well at least I did. Thanks ladies for “joining” in at your seats. 😉

Now that’s how my day ended, but I forgot to tell you about how it began…another first for me.  My roommates, sister and Melissa were going to go for birthday coffee before we went hiking, so we head out to my car and low and behold…

Yep that’s ME, “Thirty and Flirty”…and thriving. 😉  Thank You Core Group ladies AGAIN! for a great surprise and making my morning. 🙂

I loved having coffee with my roommates, sister and Melissa. A lot of good laughs were had, stories shared and what this year may look like. Thank you all again for making my 30th the best is could have been. I will forever remember this year.

Now what would be my last post with out a re-cap of the whole 30 days?! So here goes the 30 days of turning 30 list (roughly in the right order):

  1. Go on a Blind Date
  2. Go to the launching on an online dating service party
  3. Attended a McCulley Family Easter
  4. Plant a garden
  5. Drive a different way to work
  6. Pay for someone’s coffee in the drive-true
  7. Create an online dating profile
  8. Attend a California Mentoring Partnership Meeting
  9. Travel to a new city and explore it – Crescent City, CA/Brooking, CA
  10. Visit an old World War II Bunker
  11. Put my feet in the ocean on the Oregon coast (Brookings, OR)
  12. Run a race with my parents
  13. Try a new restaurant – Strawhouse Cafe
  14. Eat Thrifty’s Ice-Cream with Parents
  15. Order Business Cards for Photography Business
  16. Make Protein Bars
  17. Cook a Meal for Bethel Lighthouse leaders (Ryan, Josh, Ross and Kiley)
  18. Learn to Longboard
  19. Go to a Redding Farmer’s Market
  20. Go to a Justice Event – Sing Freedom
  21. Go to a spinning class
  22. Get taken on a surprise birthday breakfast
  23. Deposit a check via ATM
  24. Try a different Starbucks Drink
  25. Have my name written on a billboard
  26. Finish a Fitness Bootcamp class
  27. Have my car written on
  28. Hike a new trail
  29. Try Zumba (on the wii)
  30. Consistently updated my blog for 30 days! I didn’t give up!

Wow…what a 30 days!!! AND 30 days with friends was my favorite part of this journey. Thank you for each person who had coffee with, went on a walk, grabbed a meal or had a picnic. I was truly blessed by your stories, dreams and encouragements.

So I begin my 30’s not in fear or disappointment, but with excitement, great expectations, hope and knowing that God has changed my heart, deepened my identity, getting me ready for some changes, growing relationships and surrounding me with people who I am going to run alongside with for the rest of my life.

Here’s to turning 30, Here’s to 30 crazy days, Here’s to 30+ friends and here’s to all of you who stuck it out with me these thirty days. 🙂

Who know’s maybe this isn’t the end of my crazy experimental blogs.  I had such a fun time, I might need a new “project”….any ideas?

Here’s to turning 30! It’s great so far. 🙂



My first attempt at hiking Castle Crags was in 2008 with some new friends.


Day 29::: “Here’s to Turning 30” in style

“Asphalt Cowboys Pancake Breakfast, REI Anniversary Sale, birthday party tonight, my Seester (Stephanie Hartley) is in town, Melissa Harding is coming up today for my birthday weekend, my core group has given me an amazing week, wow..the past 29 days have been amazing!!!! What a great way to turn 30. ♥” was my thought this morning.  My sister and I got up at 6am, got ready and met my friends Jen and Natalie and new friends Elisha and Daniel at a local starbucks to grab coffee and walk on over the Annual Redding Asphalt Cowboys Rodeo Pancake Breakfast.  Every year for the Redding Rodeo, the Asphalt cowboys put on a pancake breakfast. I am pretty sure the whole town of Redding comes out…or at least 10,000 of them come out for this event.  It’s pretty much a big deal.  If you have never been, go, experience and enjoy.

over 10,000 people showed up

Jen (in the middle) is my pancake breakfast buddie. This is our third time going together. We went together, 3 years ago and decided it would be our annual

So today is my last day in my 20’s. How do I feel about that you may be asking.  I am finishing off my 30 days of 30 things (which I have a secret…I haven’t done 30 things), hanging out with 30 different friends (which I have hung out with more then 30 friends) and turning 30 tomorrow.  I can honestly say I am looking forward to a new year. I don’t feel like I am turning 30. I still feel like I am going to be in my 20’s but, hey, you are as old as you feel or wanna be. Right?  😉

After work, I came home to a house being prepared for a par-tay! …and I wasn’t allowed to help…but I tried.  I was so excited for almost all, the people that I love (in Redding) to be in one room!  Alot of work went into the party. I have so much appreciation and am sooo thankful beyond words for my sister, Steph, my three roomies, Mel, Anna and Holly and again my core group ladies, Amy, Christina, Natalie and Emily.  They did the invites, the decorations and food. wow. wow. wow. My seester rocked in the baking in making gluten-free cupcakes and no-bake oatmeal cookies.

decorating cupcakes!

Words cannot describe how loved I felt tonight. Over 50 friends showed up, through out the night just to say happy birthday to me and join in the festivities.  I loved seeing all my worlds come together. Seeing every person who has made me who I am, who has encouraged me, believed in me, trusted me, seen me cry, seen me lead, laughed with me, gone on mission trips together, took long road trips together, know details of my life that others don’t, knows how to push my buttons and knows how to cheer me up, knows my quarks, knows my strengths, knows my weakness is muffins, knows my predictability. yep. all those people make up those who came to my party. Look at all these good lookin’ people.

My Seester is my best friend. I honestly couldn’t live with out her.  She knows me, sometimes then I think I know myself.  She knows my love language is words of affirmation and she loves me a lot.  For my birthday she gave me the best gift I have ever received from someone. She got all my friends, past, current, new to write words of encouragement, prophetic words or a lil note that describes me for my birthday. She typed them all out and went online and created a book for me called “30 years of Joy”.  Each note has a photo of the person/people that wrote the note.  Wow. I was soooo taken away by this gift, as I glimpsed through it when she gave it to me at the party, I got a little teary eyed but by the end and seeing all who wrote in it, I couldn’t hold back the tears. So much love and joy filled my heart. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who wrote in it. I still have some blank pages, so if you would like to please feel free to send me a message and I will print it out to add to the book.  I love that I can look back at all the words you  all wrote and be reminded of all the champions, heroes, leaders, world changers, revivalist, conquers and beautiful people I have in my life.  again…thank you.

Now my core group is next. They are crazy and have blessed me so much this week from waking me up and taking me out to breakfast to putting my name up on a billboard-ish sign. Tonight they gave me a gift to go towards my dreams. The gift was progressive. #1 – tour books and maps to help me towards my National Park dream #2. fancy running socks, to help cushion my feet as a run #3 a pair of toms…a dream of mine to own a pair.  Thank You Ladies for believing in my dreams. Having you in my life is a dream. 🙂  And thank you for making turning 30 easy. 🙂

Goodnight world…when I wake up I will be 30,

Here’s to turning 30!



For my Seester’s 30th and my Dad’s 60th birthday party, some of my family from Las Vegas came over.  SUCH fun was had. Here are me and my sis with my two cousins. yep. we all have Hammond/Hartley blood in us 🙂


Day 28 ::: “Here’s to turning 30” and sometimes things just happen

Sometimes, things just happen, life happens and it always doesn’t go as planned. Two of my “30 things” were..and I say were going to be kayaking under a full moon and riding my bike to work. Due to a crazy rain storm and technical issues with a bike, neither of those things happened. This week is Bike to Work Week and I was soooo bummed. I wasn’t able to bike this week.  I guess I will have to extend my “birthday” and bike next week 🙂  So since I couldn’t contribute to saving the planet by biking to work, I decided for my lunch break to walk to the local grocery store and grab lunch.  Since this week has been rainy and cold, today’s 70 degree weather was perfect for a walk.

After work, I was meeting up with one of my roommates catch up on life!  We decided to grab some starbucks and after some driving around head out on a walk, which kinda …. turned into a hike.  I love Redding and it’s random gem hiking trails. There are soo many!  I loved chatting with Holly (I always do).  I love that I can just share my heart (good, bad and ugly) and she listen’s and always has some amazing loving indepth perspective on what you just said. 🙂 I also love that God seems to be teaching us the same things at the same time, so we can relate to one another.  Holly…you are beautiful and I am so blessed and thankful to call you friend and be roommates with ya! (Here’s to another year!!!) Thank you for always believing in me!!!

Holly and I on the Sacramento River Trail

Tomorrow is a big day. Even though my 30th birthday is not till Saturday…the big 3-0 par-tay is happenin’ tomorrow night!!! YEAH!! I am so excited to celebrate with so many amazing friends.

Here’s to turning 30!!



One of the first hikes I ever went on near Redding, was with my Parents to Mossbrea Falls in Dunsmuir.  To get to the falls you have to walk one mile on/along side some rail road tracks. But watch out for trains!! If they come just step aside and watch it go by. 🙂