Is it my birthday yet?

I thought I was turning 40 this week. That’s how stressed out I’ve been; I lost a year.

I’m actually going to be 39 on Friday. I still get excited about my birthday. Dave calls it “Mandi Awareness Month,” because I start reminding him well in advance of the big day and make it very clear what my expectations are: a birthday card made by the kids, a cake with candles that Billy can blow out, a second DVR for our bedroom, and a trip to some place with daily maid service and a heated pool.

But this year has been a little different. Or at least, this month has been a little different. It’s been tougher, more stressful.

I want to be honest about the stress and the hard times, because I always write about our breakthroughs, our happy moments and our family’s abundant joy. Those moments are worth writing about. But so are the hard times.