Happy 3rd Birthday, Simply B!

Y'all, my little blog is three years old! It's crazy to think about everything that's happened in this space over time. I had no idea when I started this blog that a significant portion of life events would unfold within the following three years, but goodness, what a good time to be documenting things. I wish I could go back in time, high five pre-teen Beth, and let her know that after filling up only the first few pages of a dozen diaries/journals, she actually stuck with something.

To celebrate three years, here's a walk down memory lane.

In July of 2010, I started this blog mostly entirely out of boredom. (Have you seen my first post? Life doesn't get much more trivial than that!) It was my first summer in Winston-Salem in five years (not by choice, womp), and I was semi-miserable. My boyfriend was stationed hundreds of miles away, I had given up a really cool graphic design internship (again... not by choice, womp), and I was going stir-crazy.

I had blogged a few times in the past (Xanga, anyone?), but never anything that lasted for more than a few months. I didn't really have any intentions of becoming a blogger; I enjoyed playing around with the layout and design of the page more than anything! I didn't even share the link with anyone outside of my two best friends for a while.

Shortly after I started blogging, Zach received orders to 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, which was a pretty big deal. Up until that point, he had been with a non-deployable unit, but the new orders meant a deployment within the year. That fall brought the start of my junior year of college (lots of art/design-related blog posts), my 21st birthday, and my grandfather's traumatic brain injury. I also dealt with mental health issues during that time, and although I never wrote about it, I think that having this space really helped. Even though I felt incredibly isolated at Duke, I felt connected to some sort of community by sharing bits and pieces of my life on the blog.

Spring of 2011 saw much more of my life as an art major and a coffeehouse barista. I spent way too much time eating sushi at a restaurant where my best friend worked, but also made time to visit friends at Bridgewater College, serve on the Leadership Team for a faith-based retreat called Pilgrimage, and sell a few of my prints in an Etsy shop. I wrote all about how Zach and I met, kissed him good-bye as he left for Afghanistan, and packed my bags to spend three months as the summer program coordinator at Camp Bethel.

In the fall of 2011, I dove into my senior year at Duke and my second year of blogging with somewhat of a "less is more" approach (less frequent, higher quality posts). I kept the world updated with Zach's adventures in Afghanistan and tried to keep myself busy with a ridiculous amount of creative projects (and an overloaded class schedule... what was I thinking?). I even photographed a couple of engagement shoots (1, 2).

I spent fall break in Florida with my cousins, turned 22, and threw a party for my parents' 25th wedding anniversary. And, of course, the highlight of 2011: Zach came home from Afghanistan six days before Christmas!

2012 brought the dearly-loved sketchbook posts and the not-so-loved job search. I enjoyed spending time with Zach, even if we were still in a long distance relationship. Counting down my final days at Duke, I designed my own graduation announcements, completed my senior capstone project, and celebrated the end of college with some of my dearest friends.

One of my favorite parts of 2012 was graduating and getting engaged on the same day! I wrapped up my second year of blogging by traveling to Atlanta, moving to Raleigh, and getting my wedding dress.

In the fall of 2012, I wrote lots about planning our wedding and counted down the days until the long distance portion of my relationship with Zach was over. I visited Camp Lejeune a few times and enjoyed Zach's final Marine Corps ball. In December, I watched the man I love hang up his combat boots, and a few weeks later, we got married!

Since then, we went on our honeymoon and settled into our lives as newlyweds. Zach started taking classes for his degree in criminal justice, and I completed my first year in the working world (and even threw some bangs into the mix). Missing Winston-Salem is pretty rough, but we visit often (like here and here) and can't wait until we can move back.

And just like that... three years flew by! I never envisioned that I'd stick with blogging for so long, let alone tell people that I have a blog... yet here I am :)

I loved going back through the archives and re-reading my favorite posts from the past three years. Whether you've read my blog since its very humble beginnings, discovered it recently, or joined somewhere in between, thanks for following along and allowing me to indulge in this little blast from the past! I have absolutely no idea where the pages of this blog will take me next, but if the past three years are any indication, it's bound to be unpredictable. And awesome. Definitely awesome.