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We both turned twenty-nine this year, and for my birthday, since we don't get as many photos together as we used to, I asked if you would take friendship photos with me. So one night after work we headed out (with our favorite Bruce behind the camera) to find the most magical meadow at golden hour. I laughed in every picture, you rocked your model face, we were silly, and I smiled so much my face hurt. On a scale of 1 to 10, how loved did I feel? 9 3/4.

This season has been different for us. We haven't had the time together we were gifted when I first moved here. But I hope you know how much I treasure the time you and I take to catch up, check on each other's hearts, and talk about our dreams. Our almost weekly lunches this summer have been a highlight for me.

I asked you to pray for something the other day and your response was "I prayed for that this morning, and I'm going to pray again!" I don't think I told you, but tears immediately sprung to my eyes because of how much that meant to me. Because even without being asked you were praying for me in the ways I needed it most. I'm crying again just thinking about it!

In the twelve years we've known each other, we've walked through a lot of life together. Pieces of high school and college, hard friendships, breakups, marriage, moving, disappointments, celebrations, friendcations, new jobs, big dreams.

You are a sister I never had, and I'm so thankful for the ways we are alike but also the ways we are different. Our differences have challenged each of us to grow in understanding and what it looks like to love one another and Jesus well. I'm thankful for the ways you see me and know me and love me all the same.

The days are long, but life is short, and at the end of it all, I'm grateful for a best friend with a heart like yours that I get to walk towards Home with.



I turn twenty-nine today.

I know what you're thinking, "You barely look a day over twenty-eight!" It's true.

Twenty-eight was a year filled with so many adventures. Adventures in the outdoors and of the heart. It was a year of deeper friendships, life changes, lots of laughter, and lots of tears (I believe you can't have one without the other. After all, I've learned a lot in the past ten years of how joy and suffering walk hand in hand.)
It was a year of learning how to be more patient, more supportive, and how to trust on a deeper level. Trust Jesus and trust other people.

It's encouraging to look back over the last year and see how Jesus has changed me and allowed me to grow, and I get teary-eyed in the best way knowing that He isn't finished with me yet.

There's no telling what this year will hold, but I'm grateful for it. For the chance to keep walking through this life, through the good and the hard, with my people and my Jesus by my side.