Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back...and Moving Forward

That’s it. I’m just going to say it.

I’m not sure that I’m ready for 2009 to be over.

This has been one stellar year.

For 8 months, I was engaged, planned a wedding, and spent special wedding-related moments with friends and my family, and with my fiancé. I graduated from Mizzou, and thus closed a wonderful four-year chapter of my life. I moved out of my first apartment, and found a new one in St. Louis where Bobby and I are starting a new chapter together.

And then there was a wedding! (Oh, that wedding….)

And a honeymoon!

And a move, and a new city, and a new job!

For 4 months, I’ve been a wife! And Bobby and I have settled comfortably into the last part of 2009.

Does it get much better?

It’s not that I don’t want the New Year to arrive; I just don’t want to say goodbye to what has been a beautiful, exciting, life-changing year. But, life just keeps happening, doesn’t it? 2010 is coming. And, I’m prepared for that. There really are so many other beautiful things that are to come, in the coming year…in the coming decade!

A few things I am already looking forward to in the coming year:

· Celebrating our 1st married Valentine’s Day, and our sixth anniversary of “togetherness”

· Celebrating our 24th birthdays

· Trips to Springfield

· Summer in St. Louis

· Visits from loved ones to our home

· Becoming involved at our new church

· Hearing about friends’ wedding planning

· A trip to Minnesota

· Kelsey’s wedding

· A vacation to somewhere

· Celebrating our first anniversary!

Tonight Bobby and I are going to make a list together of our favorite moments and memories from 2009 (his idea!), and I’m curious to see what makes Bobby’s list. There is much to look back on and smile about. And, if this little activity tonight becomes a tradition, I know that our list from 2010 will be a lengthy one, too. And that’s because we love life! We make our years together great, full of “little moments” and joy and laughter. If there are no major life milestones for us in 2010 as there were in 2009, that’s okay. I’m excited to grow in our “everyday love”, and settle into 2010 as husband and wife, continually exploring what that means…in our new city, our new home, our new church, and our new life.

I will always look back on 2009 with a smile, and thankfulness for the time of celebration that it was. But, here comes 2010! I’m ready. It’s a gift! And, it’s going to be great. My resolution? To recognize daily the little moments that will make it that way.


It’s happened again! Another engagement! Another bride-to-be!

My dear cousin, Kelsey, accepted (or, as I understand it, more specifically said “Yes! Yes yes yes! Yes!”) to Jared Bethune’s proposal on December 21st, under a street light and a starry winter sky. It sounded perfectly romantic, and I’m sure that it was just that.

Kelsey and I have always shared a fun connection, despite the distance that separates us and the lengthy time between our face-to-face visits. Our personalities (and the stories of our romances) are quite similar, and those similarities are part of what makes me so excited for all that she will experience in the months ahead.

Kelsey has waited a very long time for this point in their relationship. And, I can absolutely relate. Like Jared and Kelsey, Bobby and I dated for several years before getting married, including all throughout college, and when I graduated in May, the wedding was mere months later. Planning and organizing is in our blood, and like Kelsey, I was beyond thrilled for (and actually, motivated and energized by) all of the planning, organizing and busy-ness that comes with being engaged.

It’s amusing to hear about her engagement and celebrations to come and think “Hey! That was me this time one year ago!” Her 2010 will be my 2009! Life is such fun.

As Kelsey described her new engagement ring in a blog of her own, she said “He picked out the most PERFECT ring & isn't just me, or my style. It's us.” I love that description. “It’s us.” The ring is certainly more than a gift to the bride; it is symbolic of the pair. It can be a beautiful illustration of the love of the couple. And, Kelsey has wisely chosen to recognize it as such. Good for her. My prayer is that that wisdom will continue as they plan their wedding day, and their marriage, as well.

I like to think that Bobby and I enjoyed a perfect wedding day built together, and that it was truly a reflection of our love story, with God as the Author. I believe that we’re doing that as we build our marriage, too. How beautiful (and fun!) it is to plan for not only a day, but also a lifetime, TOGETHER.

Kelsey (far-left) and a few of the cousins at my wedding in August.

(Notice how she coordinated her outfit for the occasion? Yep, she's good.)

I absolutely admire the woman that Kelsey has become, and the cousin (and the avid planner!) in me cannot wait to hear all about the stories, stresses, and surprises that come their way as they move toward their “big day”. If anyone can design a beautiful wedding, Kelsey (and Jared) can. I have yet to meet Jared, but I have a feeling that the two of them, together, can create a beautiful marriage, too.

Congratulations to the future

Mr. and Mrs. Bethune!

Happy planning!