December 25, 2016

Today, you're 31, and one month (and one day) old. The last thirty-ish days of the year are normally dripping with some reluctant anticipation of Christmas without mom and Mimi, but this year was different. Finally, the decorating and baking and hosting commenced without much of the once-familiar and overwhelming heaviness of being the last lady in line of a generation that has passed on.

The last few birthday celebrations came and went with dinner at one of your favorite Nashville restaurants, and a kick-ass Christmas concert offered by the illustrious and adored Kacey Musgraves. The endless slew of Christmas parties spattered their way throughout the calendar, and in the minimal spare time you etched out, you found a night to host your best girlfriends for a ridiculously fun pie party--complete with vintage vinyl blaring throughout, a bottomless charcuterie board, and cutthroat series of Catch Phrase battles, complete with high-decibel screeching and some spiking in laps of the game piece. You carried on the tradition of Christmas photos with the sweetest, sassiest pup known to man, and earnestly pressed on with the newfound cross-stitching side hustle.

There might have been a wicked stomach flu thrown in there on a Monday, but you countered with some fierce adulting, by finally getting new tires put on your car. Before you knew it, the parties had concluded, and with the unplugging of the tree lights, overflowing Samsonite suitcase, and snappy call to Calvin with Lyft, you were soon on a plane to Texas, pup and presents for family in tow.

All-in-all, the first month of being 31 served as a stream of reminders of how much love and promise you're wrapped up in, dear. Quality time and warm embraces far exceeded time spent shopping and making Christmas playlists, and thus the ever-present to-do list took a major back seat. You're not overly feverish to bid 2016 adieu, but thankfully and thoughtfully walking away with so many lessons learned, and reclaimed grace for the person, friend, daughter, and sister you are.

You're pondering a lot about what 2017 will bring, and it's all teeming with excitement... to quote your adopted, yet fictitious spirit animal, Penny Lane? "It's all happening." 

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