I am 26.

A week ago I turned 26.

I was a little skeptical about getting older. 26, while no milestone birthday, seemed like a turning point of sorts - a distinct beginning of the movement from mid-twenties into, well, older-twenties.

Jeff tried to persuade me that 26 was a really great year for him and that I should be excited. He wrote me a note during church about how great 26 was. I then asked if that was due to his ending up in the hospital, or our car turning out to be completely worthless just before we were supposed to drive it cross country, or the stressful months when all our mail was one rejection after another from PT schools. However, optimist as he is, he pointed out that he did finally get accepted by one school-which was all he needed-and we were able to move out to DC.

He ended the note with this - "A lot of bad things may happen before anything good comes around."

Such words of comfort as I start the year out.

I got two birthday cakes - one in Utah (which, let's be honest - I made and then forced my family to sing to me. They were all still just excited to have Nils come back, and it took some time to persuade them to come eat cake instead of watch Pysch.) and then one here with friends in DC.

Shadow thought she wanted frosting the whole time I was making it. I finally put some on my finger and offered it to her, and then she realized it wasn't anything like what she thought it was and was no longer interested.

I'm so proud of the cake I made last week. How did I ever make anything cute before Pinterest?

With Sarah, Jacki, Maggie and Amy, who came to celebrate.

And of course dear Jeffrey.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the candles were down to basically nothing when I finally got around to blowing them out after we took all of these pictures. There was wax all over the cake, which had been Maggie's biggest fear. We scraped most of it off, though.

If I could go back in time and ask 16-year-old Linnea where she thought she'd be at 26, it would be nothing like where I actually am today. I don't have a house, or children. I'm still struggling to figure out where I'm headed in life, and what I really want. However I have a wonderful, incredible husband that I love so much, a terrific family and great friends! I'm sure I still won't have any more of life figured out by the time I'm 27, but hey - let's bring on this good 26-year-old stuff that Jeff says will happen!

I just hope I don't end up in the hospital on the way like he did.