Dear friends,

It's hard to believe what my life looks like today, on this my twenty-seventh birthday.

It is not the vision I had in mind even two years ago, but it's better than I could have imagined. One reason being that I am about to enjoy the sight of Savannah's Spanish moss covered trees. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, knows that things don't have nearly the effect on my restless soul that experiences do. Every year he asks, "Do you want a thing or an experience?" and every year without fail I reply with all certainty, "An experience." The same thing happens at Christmas and at every other 'gifting' opportunity. So life as I know it is richly blessed. (Here is last year's birthday adventure)

Of course there are the pages in my life's story that I wish I could skim ahead to, and pages I wish I could skip past all together. Such is life and the fact is, I am not the writer. God is the author and perfecter of my faith... and of my story. He has a plan for where this life will lead, and though it is easier said than done, I trust in Him and in His plan. There are days when it's hard to see that plan at work, and days when it is so abundantly clear. But regardless of where my feelings are at on a given moment, I know that the faith He gives is rooted on solid ground.

I am thankful for where my twenty-seven years have taken me.

From Iowa, to Wisconsin, to Georgia, and all the visits and adventures in-between. From an insecure grade-school child, to a confident college graduate with an unbeatable spirit, to the young wife of a man twice her height and equal in sassiness. From a blond to a brunette. From a desk slave to a free-spirit. From a learner, to a better learner. From a talker to a listener. From an apartment dweller to a homeowner. From a pushover to a powerhouse.

Yet so much has remained the same. I am still a bad driver, heights and I don't bode well, mornings are still my enemy, and coffee my fuel. Cheesy breadsticks still make me salivate upon thought, and dogs still cause me to emit a gasp from the passenger seat that scares my husband half to death (though he's gotten good at seeing the dogs before me and preparing himself). I still love my routine, my long, dangly earrings, boots in fall and winter are still my favorite, and talking on the phone with my mom and sisters is still the highlight of each week. Of course, being married to the most wonderful, loving, thoughtful, and handsome husband is still my greatest pleasure.

Twenty-seven will bring with it more joy, excitement, hardship, and tears. More uncertainty, fierce love, hair dye, and lessons learned. It will challenge me to grow, push me to new heights, and remind me to be quick to forgive and to say sorry when I'm wrong. I refuse to let my humor, my outlook, and my personality age; they aren't synonymous with the years I've spent on earth.

Today, I rejoice. I thank God for another year and I ask His blessings on the next ones.

I'll raise my bottle of wine to the shores of the Atlantic and say, "cheers"... and I'll thank you, dear readers and friends, for joining with me each step of the way. You're in this too. Somehow wrapped up in my joys and messes and haphazard DIYs... and I'm grateful beyond words. You're the ones I share my cup of coffee with each morning. Though, you should know I am usually donning a large tee, messy bun, and giant glasses on our coffee dates - hope you don't mind. Thank you for sharing in my travels, marriage adventures, house renovations, and hard lessons learned. You're some of my favorite people and I know you'll be there through twenty-seven too.
Much love today and always,

the 27 year old