This morning, it is hard to believe my 26th year has come to an end. My main challenge this year was to just enjoy the year, instead of being too focused on the wedding (we got engaged about 1 month before my 26th birthday, and the wedding is in 6 days).
Enjoying the year did not prove to be difficult. In July, Brendan and I took an epic trip across the Northeast, visiting 10 states in one month. In August, I started my first full time teaching job. In September, multiple friends came to visit us in Midland. In October, I gave a reading, and Brendan and I celebrated two years of dating. In November, I gave another reading, and we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. In December, we flew to CT and celebrated Christmas with Brendan's family (and my first Christmas there); we were also given a surprise couple's shower. In January, I finally started to see results from the weightlifting program I started in October, and we took trips to La Marque to see my grandmother and to Lubbock to see friends. In February, we took a work trip to Houston, TX and enjoyed the city too. March brought spring break and a trip to Austin and my best time yet on a 5K. In April, we took a trip to San Angelo to see family and were also kept super busy by the end of the semester. May was a blur between graduation, my bridal shower, and a week in Austin to take care of wedding details. And in June, I got hired on full time at Midland College.
My 26th year was wonderful, and keeping busy with work, friends, family, and wedding planning meant it felt like a very fast year too. I will definitely always have great memories of our engagement year.
Every year on my birthday, I choose an organization, and I give my age in dollars to that charity. My mom told me about this idea called "Donate Your Birthday," and I just loved the gesture of giving back to celebrate the year that you've been given.
Yesterday, Brendan and I went to the county clerk's office to pick up our marriage license:
It was awesome, and we're so happy and excited, but honestly, the only thing that made the moment bittersweet was the thought that not all of our friends had the right to do the same thing. That's why choosing the organization to donate my birthday to this year was easy. I picked the Human Rights Campaign, which is an organization that works hard to make sure every US citizen (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered) enjoys equal rights to marriage and is protected from hate crimes and bullying. Check out all the great work these folks have done. The Human Rights Campaign has a four out of four star rating on charity navigator, which you always want to check before donating. Brendan and I have supported another equal rights project with our wedding, which I look forward to telling you about soon. This is something we believe strongly in: Love is for everyone, and every couple deserves the same rights and benefits. I really hope one day we can live in a world where every person can choose whomever he or she wants to marry and have that marriage recognized legally.
So, I donated 27.00 to Human Rights Campaign, and for a limited time (seriously, I'm not sure how long), someone is matching donations (so, $54.00 went to HRC today, yay!) If you are interested, you can find out about giving here.
My plans today include lunch with my bestie, going out for my favorite sushi tonight with Brendan, and eating a piece of raspberry truffle cake tonight with my family (Brendan, the cats, and I are back in Austin as of Thursday night). It will be a happy 27th birthday indeed, but the best gift of all is still 6 days away :)
We dropped off my engagement ring yesterday to have it refurbished before the wedding, so I've been wearing my grandmother's (mom's side) wedding ring set (they are soldered together) so I don't feel too strange without my ring. They fit perfectly; beautiful, right? My grandparents were married June 2nd 1944, but they have both passed away. I am missing my 3 grandparents a lot lately, wishing they could all be at the wedding, but we got good news yesterday that my grandmother (dad's side), age 95, is planning to come.
Here's to all things happy, including birthdays!
<3 S, B, L&Z