26 Things I'm Grateful for on my 26th Birthday

wuest-60.jpg

Today is my birthday! 26! My new favorite age.

I once asked my grandmother what her favorite age was and her response was, "You know, no one has ever asked me that. I'd have to say that whatever age I am is my favorite! Life just keeps getting better!" She was the most optimistic, sunlight-filled person I've ever met. She passed away earlier this year, then my grandfather followed six months later. Losing them, plus other family illness, has made this the hardest year of my life. I shared a bit more about her yesterday.

Losing someone special to you is like having a hole punched in your heart. That's about how I feel. The holes in my heart are raw and painful, but I am so fortunate to have thousands of memories with my grandparents that I look back on every single day. For some reason that I can't pinpoint, I was always very aware that our time together was limited so I always chose to spend as much time with them as possible, even if it meant missing out on something else. It was always worth it. The lessons on life that I learned from them are irreplaceable. If you weren't able to spend Thanksgiving with someone you love, take five minutes, pick up the phone and call them. Ask about their day and tell them you love them. It will always be worth it. 

In the spirit of my positive grandmother, my confidant, my cheerleader, my mentor, my sunlight, I thought I'd share a list of 26 things I'm grateful for that have made the past year incredible. 

  1. Celebrating our first wedding anniversary with a trip to National Parks out west- our goal is to visit all of them in our lifetime (we're 9/59!)
  2. I'm grateful we took the time to have a few anniversary photos taken to remember the trip and this season of our lives
  3. Getting to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center- I love musicals
  4. Starting this photography business! It has brought me so much joy and I am very excited for 2018 (I'm beginning the year in Costa Rica photographing a yoga retreat- a dream come true!)
  5. Lots of quiet work-from-home days and Sunday mornings spent at Chinatown Coffee in the past year, the best coffee shop in DC conveniently located around the corner from our old apartment
  6. This year's annual "Galentine's Day" trip with Nicole- a weekend in NYC complete with a show and many amazing meals!
  7. Visiting Denmark and Iceland with my family during the summer solstice
  8. The old friends that have supported me through all the ups and downs and the new friends I made through photography, yoga, and a shared love of interior design
  9. Weekly game nights that lead to discovering Secret Hitler and Bohnanza, both of which we have forced on almost everyone we know (and are excellent when the sun never sets in Iceland...). Many fun memories were made around various coffee tables with these games.
  10. Diving deeper into yoga and exploring Eastern medicine for the fun of it
  11. Moving into our new house- the space and quiet was initially eery after our cozy downtown apartment, but now we can't imagine being back in 800 sq. ft.
  12. Celebrating Patrick's birthday at Lake Anna- friends, boating, bonfires, games, beer!
  13. The honor of giving the eulogy at my grandmother's funeral
  14. Experiencing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on a whim with my Italian amico at Wolf Trap
  15. Joining a running club- yay for trying something new! Turns out, my flat feet (ow) are quite the barrier to becoming a great runner, but the club made me realize running is not a total loss for me 
  16. Watching my sister graduate from college and navigate her job, business, and post-graduation life with grace
  17. The times I got to really enjoy living in the city- like stealing 20 minutes to walk through a museum, deciding last minute to go to a fantastic restaurant, or the warm afternoon we spent at Gravelly Point watching planes land
  18. Miraculously keeping my house plants alive another year (my mom has a notoriously black thumb so I'm working to reverse the curse :)
  19. Watching Carrie Underwood, Reba McIntire, and Dolly Parton perform together at the Grand Ole Opry 
  20. I'm grateful for the delicious coffee Patrick makes every morning and our Saturday morning pancake ritual :)
  21. Discovering new local gems in our Maryland area
  22. Seeing my brother love his major and kill it at college
  23. I'm grateful to have found this dinner recipe- which has saved the day on many a weekday night
  24. This little blog- who knew I'd love writing the stories about my clients so much?
  25. This list would not be complete without our family (his and mine)- after this year I've never been more grateful to share this life with them and even though we see each other all the time, I don't take a moment of it for granted
  26. And I saved the best for last, Patrick- the shoulder I cry on, the hand I hold during the uncertainty, and the person I get to laugh with when we can't help but be amazed by how incredibly blessed we are.

 

Thank you for being a part of this wonderful year by checking in on my website, however you got here! I am grateful for you, too!