It's tradition now; do something each year for two or three years and now people expect it, and you expect it of yourself. But it's a great thing, and so expectations aside, I'd like to do a recap of my past year, my twenty-third year of life, and celebrate my entering the twenty-fourth.
In the last year, I have:
- Walked across the Marriott Center's stage at Brigham Young University, alongside the handsome husband, and officially received my diploma
- Finished my short stint as a nanny, in which time my young charge had learned how to count to ten, spell "cat," say "please" and "thank you," and use the toilet
- Packed up in Provo, Utah and moved to Washington for the summer
- Visited Hawai'i (Oahu)
- Snorkeled with sharks, in the open ocean, and with sea turtles in the bay
- Ate poke, tuna steak, and pumpkin haupia pie
- Visited the Courts of the Missing and found my grandfather's name on the memorial, and laid my handmade plumeria lei nearby
- Visited Alaska
- Rode in a helicopter!
- Dogsled on top of Mendenhall Glacier
- Hiked Rainbow Falls trail in Tongass National Forest, the largest remaining temperate rainforest in the world, on our way to church service
- Rock climbed and ziplined in the forests near Skagway
- Moved to Texas, with everything we owned fitting inside our hatchback
- Visited Mesa Verde National Park and toured ancestral Puebloan communities
- Tried chile rellenos (careful, they're hot)
- Started working at Hobby Lobby
- Finished working at Hobby Lobby (sorry retail, not my thing)
- Cut off about twenty inches of my hair
- Lived somewhere no one in my family has ever lived before!
- Marked a would-be day of the birth of our eldest
- Supported the handsome husband during his first two semesters of graduate school
- Began to embrace and defend the role of a homemaker
And, it seems again we find ourselves with a need for a section of its own, or their own:
- Found out we were expecting
- Found out we were expecting twins!
- Found out the twins were not growing
- Miscarried two days before Christmas
- Mourned, and stretched, and grew all over again
I stated at the end of my last year, at the beginning of twenty-three, that I was ready for the challenges that lay in front of me this time around the sun, and though I did not expect such intense challenges to come, they came, and I was somehow indeed ready. It does not mean they were easy; but I felt strength when I was weak, and hope when I felt the darkness nearing. I felt the angels on my right hand and my left, bearing us both up through our great sadness at losing two more children before birth. It still confuses me, and some days it still weighs heavily on my heart, but I know in Whom I have trusted.
Thanks for reading; thanks for all the birthday wishes; thanks for coming along this journey around the sun. On to twenty-four; may it be a year of strength, a time of faith, and an age of learning.