(WICHITA, Kan.) -

This week is my husband's birthday, he turns 34. I still find it hard to believe I am married to someone in their 30's despite the fact I've had ten months to get used to the idea that I am 30 years old. Clearly, I still need some convincing.

I take birthdays seriously. If you are blessed enough to get to the next one with your health and happiness you are way ahead of the game. Cliché alert!

I ponder and plan for weeks so as to leave no room for disappointment. I like to start birthdays off right. I make sure he wakes up to a small gift, balloon, card or all three. I am always gone before he wakes up so I like to leave notes around the house too.  I stick them to the coffee pot, bathroom mirror or on top of the trash can, creative enough? Maybe not but I know he'll find them there. There's dinner and some sort of activity to follow. Oh! And I buy a cake or in this year's case a pie. But this year, or the first time I really dialed it back. The last few years we've traveled like when we rung in his big 3-0 with a trip to Cancun. 34 is much more subdued. We did dinner at Luciano’s and World War Z with Brad Pitt (his choice). Note: I forgot to take pictures this year (I'm a bad wife) so I included one from a few years ago, you get the idea. He was happy!

My obsession with celebrating BIG started when I turned 7. My mom planned a party at a chocolate factory where I was carried in on a throne, yes you read it correctly. Pretty cool! We made colored chocolate molds complete with a balloon making clown. Go mom!

Think #7 was the exception? Think again. Cool birthday celebrations were the rule in our house. I reminisce fondly over my hotel and pizza party. If you're reading this mom thank you for staying up all night with a dozen 9 year olds piled into one hotel room. And the limo you had pick me up from school; I felt loved.

At 30 years old no one is sending a limo for me at work but celebrating big doesn't mean money. In every birthday I look back on it was the experience, not what I got, that made it special. There are those clichés again. Scavenger hunts, picnics that you didn't have to pack or running a 5K with friends and family sound like ideas that might make next year's birthday list. You have to figure out what is right for you. The point is honoring a day that you were blessed enough to get again. It is another year that sadly many others won't get. Make it special, make it memorable. I will close with one final cliché; go big or go home (with some birthday cake, of course).

Happy Birthday Nick!