Birthday 2016

Can I just talk about my friends for a second? 

I have THE most thoughtful and beautiful friends in the world! (And of course, not all of them are pictured... There were so many amazing friends and family that live too far away from me to just drive to their houses and hug them on my birthday, or whenever I want for that matter...but they too found creative and unforgettable ways to make me feel loved from miles away!) This group of girls right here planned the most special day for me so I could feel loved and celebrated going into a new year! Each and every one of them hold a special place in my heart. I've known each of them for years....some I've been close with all along and some I've be blessed to grow closer to over the last few years. I feel so blessed to call each of them my sisters.

I've been told that my love language is acts of service and quality time.

Acts of service not really meaning "I want you to do nice things for me" (not that I don't enjoy that aspect of it), but for me, acts of service makes me feel loved because it means someone took the time out of their day to carefully and intentionally show you that they were thinking about you, and that you're important to them. 

Quality time- I've always loved spending QUALITY time with the people I love and want to be around. Over the last year, I've realized how important it is to cherish relationships where both sides love intentionally and boldly. For me, this is done by making sure you spend quality time with a person you are trying to be close with. You can't be close with those you hardly communicate with! I've learned that with all the craziness and hustle of life, it's often time hard to keep the relationships you want to maintain in your life. Everyone has busy schedules and everyone always has an endless list of things that need to get done.....that's why I believe we must live with intention in order to keep us grounded and focused on what really matters: relationships. Goals and check lists aren't a bad thing, but when you don't make time for the people you love and care about, those things can be an idol that's not so rewarding in the end. At this point in my life, I realize that life isn't really going to slow down, but rather the opposite. I don't have time for relationships that aren't intentional. I want to only surround myself with those who will pour into me and ones that will let me pour into them, and with people who want to be intentional in loving me and I want to intentionally love them. I also have learned to embrace being vulnerability, and to embrace the ones you can be vulnerable with. 

I say this all to encourage those who question what friends should look like, and to thank my friends for being the friends that define what that is and for pushing me to better honor the Lord. To me, these girls couldn't have learned to love me any better than how they did/do. They took time to intentionally love me specifically to how I love to celebrate life. They found this day worthy of spending quality time with me and with each other. I told a handful of them afterwards that I wanted to journal and blog about this day so I will never forget it! 

Taking pictures is something I LOVE to do (no surprise there) because it's an art of capturing LIFE. How cool is our God to have created such a beautiful earth with beautiful people to capture beautiful moments with & in. I am beyond blessed by everyone who celebrated my 20th year by my side, and I look forward to all the adventures that are to come!