Thankful Doesn't Even Begin To Cover It

"It's the oldest story in the world:
one day you're seventeen and planning for someday,
and then quietly, and without you really noticing,
someday is today... and then someday is yesterday...
and this is your life."
(OTH s9ep13)

This is my life.

There isn't a week that passes where I don't find myself completely overwhelmed by that thought (in a good way). So serious. I constantly catch my mind wandering while I'm sitting in my apartment or driving around Raleigh or working in my office, following this thought-process:

A year ago, Zach was my boyfriend.
A year ago, Zach was deployed thousands of miles away to Afghanistan.
A year ago, I lived in a dorm.
A year ago, I shared a bathroom with 30+ other girls.
A year ago, I shared a laundry room with 150+ individuals.
A year ago, I stayed up half the night writing papers and working on projects.
A year ago, I worked part-time as a coffeehouse barista and a resident assistant.
A year ago, I compiled my portfolio and tweaked my resumé to begin applying to full-time jobs.
A year ago, I had no idea what my life would look like after graduation.
A year ago, I was just trying to make it to graduation.

What a difference a year can make.

Now, Zach is my fiancé... less than five weeks from being my husband.
Now, Zach is three hours away, spending his final week(s?) at Camp Lejeune.
Now, I live in my own apartment.
Now, I share a bathroom with nobody. I even have a bathtub.
Now, I share a laundry room with nobody. I bought a washer and dryer, people. Big deal.
Now, I rarely stay up half the night, but if I do, it's because I'm planning a wedding.
Now, I work full-time as a graphic designer for a state-wide non-profit organization.
Now, I have my own office with large windows and multiple computers and my name on the door.
Now, I am less concerned with what comes next and am simply enjoying what is happening now.
Now, I am humbled by and so incredibly grateful for the blessings that God has poured out on my life this year.

I am marrying my best friend. I'm living on my own. I am doing what I love. So many dreams have come true this year, and so many more are soon to follow. Quietly, and without me really noticing, someday is today... and then someday is yesterday... and this is my life :)

• • • • •

Needless to say, the past six months or so have been a daily Thanksgiving (minus the gourmet food) as I continue to be in awe of the way my life is unfolding. As far as this year's official Thanksgiving? I not only got to spend the entire day surrounded by family, but I got to spend my first Thanksgiving with Zach! (One out of five isn't bad, right?)

I was a little surprised when Zach asked if he could spend Thanksgiving with us. I told him that I had just assumed we would spend one final holiday with our respective families since we rarely see them & then begin figuring out the whole "yours, mine, & ours" holiday rotations (It's going to take a lot of figuring out, trust me. My family alone celebrates Christmas eight different times in December. Sometimes nine).

Nonetheless, it was SO nice to be together: Macy's Thanksgiving parade on TV with my mom and sisters in the morning, lunch at my grandparents on my dad's side of the family, and dinner with over 40 cousins/aunts/uncles on my mom's side of the family. I love tradition... & I love adding Zach into it even more.

Somewhere between the festivities of the day, we managed to squeeze in a sister photoshoot. (Remember last year when my mom said it was going to be our last yearly calendar? False.)

I even ventured into the world of Black Friday shopping for the first (and last) time ever. (I think Black Friday is genuinely of the devil and would rather pay full price plus more for anything than deal with large amounts of people.) But the 21" dorm room TV needed a serious upgrade and I had a pretty good partner-in-crime... and now I'm watching NCIS on 43" of glorious screen. Hello, Gibbs.

Of all the things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving season, I would be remiss to not include my lovely blog readers. More so, the uplifting comments and never-ending support that I receive from my blog readers. Words not only have the power to tell stories, but they have the power to inspire and encourage, which is exactly what so many of you do when you take the time respond to my daily (weekly) ramblings. As a way to say "thank you," I will be having a giveaway on the blog tomorrow... so you should probably get really excited and make sure to check back!

Happy Monday :)