^^sometimes, i think the blurriest photos capture that specific, wonderful moment in time, in a way that the “perfect” photo, never could^^
Eight days ago I turned 26, & got to celebrate the occasion in the best way that I know how – by watching two of my very best friends profess their love for one another in the act of marriage. And probably the best part about not just one of your friends getting married, but two of them (!) is that every single guest there at that celebration is your friend too. And so what better way to bring in another year of life, than to be surrounded by all of my college friends who each make my heart swell every time I see them.
26 was a special week for me. (You see, I strongly believe that birthdays should be celebrated all week long. 7 full days of treating yourself and doing things “because it’s my birthday.” After all, we only get one a year). I started my birthday week off by flying back to Pennsylvania for my friends’ wedding, and making it back to Harrisburg just in time to catch some of my brother’s murals along the river right at that magical golden hour. I got to kick back that night and eat Chinese food with him, my mom, and my dad. I slept a full eight hours and woke up bright and early to help paint another mural by the river, in the crisp September air of Central Pennsylvania. And there’s something so peaceful about being up early and being outside; doing things before a lot of people even get to hit the snooze button the first time…
I spent two full nights catching up with friends, and I got to watch my best friend transform into the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. I was honored to stand in front of a room full of people and tell them why I love these two souls so much, & how they have brought so much joy into my life.
And then I was sung “happy birthday” to at a brunch full of friends. I was given beautiful and thoughtful gifts. I felt so damn loved (!) to be thought about like that.
Not only that, but I got to see the beautiful airstream home that two other friends of mine are renovating. Witnessing all of the hard, unseen work that they’ve been pouring into this “tin can home” of theirs – wires strategically placed & floor plan meticulously drawn out – had me standing there in awe, at their passion and dedication – at all the hours put in that no one else sees.
And then coming home to my husband and pup, with a burger and fries in the front seat, and bouquets of flowers on the counter at home. To a homemade banner welcoming me to my “mid-late twenties” from the neighbors, and then a night filled with bottles of wine, hugs from my gals, and a carrot cake with a 2 and a 6 placed lightly on top…I really hit the jackpot, you guys.
Because 26 is all about gratitude. Feeling grateful for all the little things – for the people you surround yourself with and who inspire you everyday. It’s the small acts. The handwritten cards, the oil changes on the house, the “glad to have you back”s, and the “this reminded me of you”, that turn normal days into really good days. And then really good days into really great weeks. And then what if you get fifty-two of those really great weeks?? And so for the year of 26 I’m focusing on just that – the small acts. Both noticing and appreciating them, and also being the root of them for someone else.
And, of course, gratitude…always gratitude.