Tuesday, December 31, 2013

a lot of semi-colons and parentheses

I started writing something to summarize how terrible and how surprising this past year was -- full of death, heartbreak, tragedy. It was immediately depressing -- and even though I lived it and made it and feel stronger for it -- I started getting depressed doing my year in review.

That's not to say great things didn't happen, because they did --

several of our friends gave birth to their first (and second) children;
 several close friends got married (and I was lucky enough to be a part of two of their celebrations as a bridesmaid!);
we traveled (to Savannah -- several times, with various friends; to California -- both the deserts and the ocean; to the mountains -- of Georgia and North Carolina; to Texas -- a girls trip with one of my best friends; and to Florida -- many, many times), but not enough;
my brother was accepted to and has been studying at a major university in Florida;
I experienced personal career growth that I am proud of; we participated in our first season of a community-supported agriculture system -- and had lots of fun with it;
we participated in our first two 5ks -- one was fun and the other was hard work;
we had photographic opportunities;
friendships blossomed; our families traveled to us this holiday season;
I am now the proud owner of a Vitamix.

Other (good) things happened too. Seeing the good listed out is good. I still have it my head that 2013 was a really terrible year. Maybe in a while I won't feel like that.

Or maybe I still will.

But do you know how my last day of 2013 was spent?

I listened to a podcast about Vampire Weekend on the way to (and from) work;
I spent it with coworkers that are strong, beautiful women that I love;
I found out the patient I had been caring for for the past week is my neighbor;
I picked up Chinese food on the way home (and tipped well);
I was welcomed home by two black, white & grey dogs, and a happy husband;
I got a nice text message from a person I do not know who wished me a happy New Year;
and now I am watching a movie while sipping a beer.

I am happy today and I am optimistic about tomorrow. The stuff that wore me down through the year is behind me, and though there are still big reminders of the pain, I am making goals, and I am overcoming my Seasonal Affective Disorder. I feel closer to my husband today than I did a month ago, I have recognized and realized the value of family (and miss them more than ever before), and I am (happily) basking in the glow of a Christmas tree.

Cheers to you and your family. Praying this next year will be better.

It has to be.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Photos: Wedding

Last month J. and I traveled back to our home state for this beautiful wedding (you may remember their engagement portraits here). J. and M. did a wonderful job creating this special day with all of their handmade touches. While different from our own, it definitely brought J. and me back to our wedding day...almost four years ago (which is crazy!). There were so many personal touches: M.'s stunning dress was handmade by the same woman who also created her previous QuinceaƱera and prom dresses; up until the day-of, family was assisting with putting the final touches on the decor; M. and J. together designed and made the popular photo booth; friends and family gleefully lit Chinese lanterns like children; they invited the chauffeur to stay for dinner and managed to pull me onto the dance floor; J.'s youth pastor even flew from one of the Dakotas to officiate the wedding! I could go on, but the end point is this: you both, with your families, really made everyone feel special.

M. and J., I hope you are able to look at these photos and remember your day piece by piece, since I have heard it can be a blur. (; Love you guys!