Here I sit on my 31st birthday full of love and gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.
This has not been an easy year. Earlier this month marked one year since I lost my best friend and sister, Crystal. We had our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday, and Mothers Day without her. Strangely enough, those haven't been the hardest. The most difficult days have been that random Wednesday when you're sitting in traffic on the way home from a regular day and realize that you can't call and just shoot the breeze. Or on the day when life presents an opportunity or challenge and you can't call and get advice from the one person who would give you the brutal truth that you need to hear. Life goes on, but a part of my soul went with her last year on August 5th and I am not sure it will ever return.
Two days after that anniversary, my amazing, patient, hysterically funny Grandpa went to join the love of his life in heaven. It was sudden, but peaceful and all I can think of when I remember he is gone is how happy he must be to be celebrating with Grandma Terrie. My Grandpa was full of love, acceptance, and gratitude for his giant clan of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family of siblings, nieces, nephews, and adopted children and so many friends. He taught me to never ever sweat the small stuff- "and most of it is small Age."
Last Friday marked 17 years since my Dad passed away. Since it was a difficult month, Sabin planned a nice weekend get-a-way to Palm Springs for us to relax. We got to the amazing resort and as soon as we opened the door to our private villa overlooking a beautiful lake, I saw a edible arrangements bouquet on the table and a bottle of champagne. I went to open the card attached to the arrangement, when I turned around to Sabin down on one knee asking me to spend forever with him. I was in shock, and he was shaking so I pulled him up by the face and said YES! The ring is incredible, with 52 black diamonds set in four rows, but the best part of the engagement is realizing that I get to spend the rest of my life with the most incredible man I've ever met. We've begun planning our dream wedding for Fall of 2015.
It is totally cliche, but also so true that beyond the storm lies a rainbow. Despite heartache and pain, I love my life and am beyond grateful for all of life's outstanding blessings. I've come to dread the month of August, but now I will forever be filled with memories of that amazing Palm Springs afternoon when the person who was designed to complete my life asked me to share forever with him. Cheers to the next 31!