happy erins from twenty-eight
Dear twenty-eighth year,
Twenty-eight! Where did you go? Life is all about living and this year, you worked hard and played hard! You got a new job, worked on finding your place on a leadership team, managing staff, getting to know processes, training, teaching and building trust. You challenged yourself with feeding therapy and you continued to drive yourself to continue to refine your professional skills. You played hard and made some serious progress on the bucket list. You hiked the wave and went to white pockets. You went to Europe and specifically, the Louvre. And...you bought a house! But we'll get there.
This has been a year of many things: work, play, friends, family, balance, imbalance, refinement, craziness, flexibility, organization, disasters, joy, heartache, broken, light and darkness, happiness and hope. Through it all the Lord has been there. He has been so merciful. That mercy has come in many forms but one was being able to serve as an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple for the past year. Sacrificing Saturday mornings was hard; however, the Lord taught us that sacrifice truly brings forth the blessings of heaven, and that when you put the Lord first, everything else falls into place and He prepares a path for you. That service has not only kept us grounded but has buoyed us up. Never ever forget the things you have learned while serving in the house of the Lord.
Living in Sugarhouse was a dream this year. You had awesome roommates and the Spirit was so easily felt in your home. You had an incredible ward. You challenged yourself to be vulnerable. You had the pleasure of teaching Relief Society and what a blessing it was in your own life.
You brought me more "sister time" adventures this year! We have frequented the Pizza Pie Cafe, Chick-fil-a on Monday nights. We have sung songs, danced through target, and played at the cabin and the zoo. Christin even learned how to text and use emoticons this year. She's also an instragram wiz these days!
You have been a year of loss. Most recently, Grandpa Bandley passed away. I will always cherish the day I felt impressed to go see him just a month and a half before he passed away. I visited him while he enjoyed lunch, we walked the halls, watched the birds, reminisced his childhood. Then he "rode" me out to my car, inspected it to make sure it was clean and then waved and "danced" as he rode the wheelchair back in. He and Grandma's puzzle picture now sits in my house. It makes it real that he really is gone. I truly appreciate that he was always consistent in his love and support for me. He was always proud of me and what I was doing. He was always checking up to see if I was dating anyone and assuring me that things will work out in their time. His love has left an impression on my heart that I don't feel will fade anytime soon. I truly treasure the time we have been able to spend together throughout my life.
You have been a year of memories. Mom and I went on the trip of the lifetime. We saw windmills, got rained on with the best of them, got our feet run over by the french, ate delicious chocolate, went to the top of europe. didn't miss a minute or an adventure, went in anne franks house and to a concentration camp, had deluxe bubble baths, got lost in Brugge, saw a Michelangelo, ate liege waffles and fries with curry ketchup and mayo, stood on the beaches of normandy, ventured to mont st michel, trekked through Versailles, climbed down the Eiffel tower, went to the louvre and met dear friends---mona, venus and winged victory, ordered a croque monsieur, gazed at the real matterhorn, got schooled on how to really do fondue, saw european rainbows, bought german shoes, went on long train rides, skated in a glacier, transcribed swiss english dialects, saw lots of waterfalls, ate tons of cheese, sneezed my way through switzerland and france, learned that i loved germany and treasured having my mom by my side the whole time! We had a blast!
Lots of friends got married this year and had babies. You sat in sealings and cried with the best of them. You held sweet babes of dear friends. You kayaked, read books, sewed some quilt squares. You enjoyed the beauty of the cabin and fresh cut flowers. You made incredible new friends. You went to insitute. You discovered great new restaurants with great new friends. You went house hunting...oh you went house hunting. You got your finances together, made big decisions and bought a house! You moved, painted, refinished, organized, cleaned, decorated and lived real life! You learned to do things on your own, go things on your own and learned to just be yourself by yourself! You went to new places like antelope island and cliff and wade lakes. You strove to radiate in every sense of the word. While you haven't embodied that as much as you'd have hoped, you have tried.
Twenty-eight, you've taught me valuable lessons. A couple of which are:
We all wish our circumstances were different in one way or another. Fortnately, our current circumstances are not our eternal circumstances.
Don't look back, it's not where you're going.
Twenty-nine...I can't wait to see where you take me!