And then on the note of getting older, my sister (she's 30 mind you) jokingly reminded me this morning that I'm now in my upper 20s - seriously? I feel like I just celebrated my 21st birthday yesterday! Where has the time gone? Honestly though, I'm proud of where I am today. I've come a long way since I was 21 but also recognize that I still have a LONG way to go. God keeps working on me each and everyday... some days I feel I've made progress and other days I feel like I've taken a step back. Either way, I've learned so much about myself in the past six years. Maybe most people go through a journey of self-discovery earlier in life, but I'm still searching, hoping that I'll one day be able to look around and feel perfect peace that I'm right where I belong.
My dad reminded me this morning that our birthdays are a time of celebration and reflection, not only on the past year, but of all the years that have led us to where we are now. Let's take a look back, shall we?
I studied abroad in Paris the summer after I turned 20. John was studying abroad in Cambridge at the same time, and I was lucky enough to spend this weekend with him in Paris - a romantic dinner this night was topped off with a long conversation in front of the twinkling Eiffel Tower. It was the most perfect night of my life.. until he proposed three years later :).
I celebrated my 21st birthday with all my amazing friends. My best girls drove in from other cities to celebrate with me - that's love!
I graduated from UT - such a bittersweet moment - hard to leave all my amazing friends but also excited to start a new chapter.
I visited Chicago with my family when I was a little girl and I told me parents then that I wanted to live there someday. It happened! I moved there the summer after my 23rd birthday with the challenges to excel in a new job, make new friends, and learn my way around the city. Although there were a lot of tears that year, I am so grateful that I had the courage to make that move. I learned SO much about myself that year!!
After nine... NINE years of dating, we finally got married! The most special day of our lives, no doubt. So blessed to have shared it with so many of our amazing friends and family members.
And then it all came full circle and we moved back to Texas. If I've learned anything over the past few years, it's that life is so completely unpredictable. Never in a million years did I think I would be living in West Texas and LOVING it here!
And this one is just for fun :). One of my best childhood friends, Airiel, and me in our dance costumes. Childhood friends are the best - we played with dolls together, slyly passed each other notes in 6th grade, used each other's makeup, borrowed each other's clothes, cheered together and cried together. My childhood friends are still some of my best - they just know me better than anyone else, and I find so much comfort in that.
In man's realm, time diminishes beauty. In God's realm where we will spend forever, time perfects beauty.