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New Year’s Eve inevitably makes us contemplate on the past year and the upcoming one. And I know just about everyone says this every year, but this year was a big one for me, full of many ups and downs.

2017 brought incredibly difficult emotional challenges that I’m still struggling with. 2017 brought new hobbies that helped me explore my creative interests and relieve stresses. 2017 brought the growth of new and old friendships. 2017 brought a huge professional opportunity and a challenge that I’m still shocked I was able to handle. 2017 brought my 10th wedding anniversary.

Here are the big things that shaped my year.

When people find out we’ve been married 10 years, they all have the same response: Shock. And a little bit of confusion.
I see people’s eyes glaze over as they do mental gymnastics trying to reconcile that fact with all else they know about me. It doesn’t help that we both look young (myself especially, sorry y’all).

I might look 22, but no, I didn’t get married at age 12! I got married at age 19, which is slightly less insane.

But still absolutely insane. (Don’t blame me, love made me crazy. If it doesn’t, you ain’t doing it right.)

Two years ago, I fell into an amazing job I never would have expected to love so much. I work with botanists. They speak in a foreign language (of Latin names but also very technical science speak). Honestly, I don’t fully listen to a lot of conversations. I’ve learned to pick up what I need to.

And what I’ve learned and seen has transformed the way I view the world.

Where I grew up in Houston, the annual rodeo was, to me, merely a vehicle for concerts. My very first concert was in 2004, and I got to see my favorite artist at the time – John Mayer. At the rodeo… a fact which seems really strange to me now.

My chaperones were brother Brent and his wife Melissa. And I was super annoyed that they made me sit through the, like, rodeo activities before the show. Excuse you, I was just there for John. What’s with all the barrel racing?? What does this have to do with finding out there’s no such thing as the real world, that it’s just a lie you have to rise above?

Adult responsibilities have taken over, and this little old blog fell off my radar! A few people have mentioned they’ve missed reading it, and I have to say I’ve missed writing it and being a part of the blogging community. I also really, really miss having a reason to pull out my big beautiful camera and take photos.

So here I am. Hello, all! Before we get back into the swing of things, I’ll give you a few highlights of my past year.