Twenty-six was a pretty great year. I don't really remember turning 25. B and I had just gotten engaged and wedding planning was well underway. My Birmingham girlfriends took me out for a fabulous Italian dinner and loaded me up with pretty purses and fun earrings. A great one!
For eight months of this past birthday year, I was wedding planning, spending hours and hours on the phone with Mom and B and loving every minute of it.
B and I shared our first holidays together this year, me with his family at Thanksgiving and him in Florence with my parents. We welcomed baby Ethan and baby Carolyn and celebrated birthdays for every monkey all the way up to Alex.
We planned a wedding, enjoyed a honeymoon, and lived out of suitcases for a summer while we lived with B's parents (I miss our lunches!) and then in my apartment as we got packed up to move to Durham.
B finished his 2L year and started his first 3L semester. He rocked two summer clerkships, welcomed two job offers, and accepted a placement with a judge in Florida for next year, starting in August (update 27, anyone?).
I worked from home for the first time and set up a home office in Durham.
We lost Dad, which was the hardest thing I've ever been through. Mom and I planned a funeral/made arrangements while the siblings rushed to get home. I remember her looking at me and saying, "I knew you were strong enough to plan a wedding, but I didn't know you were strong enough to plan the funeral and bury your Dad."
I did a lot of growing up this year. While I was already "on my own," I wasn't really. Now I'm officially on my own two feet, which makes it so much more fun to reach back to everyone who has helped through all these years! I got married. I enjoyed showers, bachelorette parties, a friend's wedding, engagement parties, a honeymoon, and (ugh!) a name change.
B & I traveled to UVA for a softball tournament, to DC to visit his brother, to Virgin Gorda for the honeymoon, and all over the south to visit each other and friends. I flew to Chicago to visit my college roomie. I sold something on Craigslist (hey, it's the little things!).
While this year has included the hardest moment of my life, it's also included the best yet, making it a rewarding, worthy year full of awesome moments, both good and bad. I'm deeming 26 a great year, one I want to savor and remember. I am truly blessed.