updated 07/19/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/21/2012 AT 1:35 PM ET
Reese Witherspoon turns 36 on Thursday, but she’s already received the gift she’d long hoped for: a new baby is on the way!
After weeks of speculation – whipped up after the actress sported a series of loose, bump-concealing frocks – several Witherspoon pals confirm that yes, the Oscar winner and her husband of almost one year, Hollywood talent agent Jim Toth, are expecting their first child together.
“They are both thrilled,” a friend tells PEOPLE.
“I would love to have more kids,” she told Britain’s Closer magazine in January. “My children are the best part of my day.”
Toth, whom she married last March in a country-chic ceremony at the actress’s ranch in Ojai, Calif., “has always wanted kids,” adds the friend. “He adores Ava and Deacon.”
Now the whole family is eagerly anticipating their new addition.
“Jim and Reese are looking forward to having a bigger family at this point in life,” says the friend. “They can take the time to enjoy the next stage and make sure the transition for all is easy and joyful.”