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Brighter Days

January has been a hard month for myself and a lot of my friends, and it has been hard to not focus on those things. Despite rough moments, there have been amazing ones. Brighter moments that are worth hanging onto when darker days prevail.

Friday, it was a kiss. Simple and sweet. Fun and familiar. Just what I needed.

Saturday, it was my great-grandma’s 107th birthday:


Nanny and me


Me, Uncle Curt, and cousin Corrina


Me and my teenaged cousin, Corrina. She has turned into a woman of such great character!

Sunday, it was a blizzard and the annual Super Bowl/Birthday party at my sister’s:


Finally six years old, this boy defines precious. He is the best solution to a crummy day.

Simple and common as they may be, they are some of the best things life offers, and I’m thankful for them.


Grateful to Get Old

Over dinner tonight, Brandon and I laughed about how we don’t feel like we should be turning 33 in the next few weeks. Surely we were supposed to be grown-ups by the time we hit 33, and yet here we are, looking at each other and our friends thinking “who do we think we’re kidding?”

We don’t feel 33 until we look at the 23-year-olds and shake our heads, glad that we aren’t that dense and arrogant anymore. Of course, in another 10 years, we’ll say the same thing about being 43.

I’m really glad to be turning 33, unlike Brandon. Here’s why:
– When I was eleven, my friend Peggy was one of eight children to die in a house fire.
– When I was thirteen, my choirmate was struck by lightning and killed.
– When I was seventeen, Chris, Matthew, Brandon, Rob, and Joshua all died within four months. All friends, all right around my age, give or take a year.
– When I was 31, my 17-year-old friend and congregation member was murdered.
– When I was 32, my high school friend Tommy died, followed by another classmate I didn’t know as well.

Getting older is hard and I don’t always like the realities that come with it, but I’m looking forward to 33, partly in honor of those good people who never got to see that many candles on their birthday cake.