Tuesday, April 12, 2011

27...and A Year in Review

Today is the day, the big 27!  My morning started off perfectly with a sweet smile and a "happy birthday" from Matt and a million emails, texts, and FB messages.  Because I'm a big fan of reflection (and because I did this post last year and loved it) I'm celebrating 27 by taking a look back at all the things 26 threw my way.

DSCN2143I celebrated my 26th birthday with some of my best friends at a Texas vineyard and had a blast sipping wine, nibbling on fancy cheese, and laughing till my face hurt.

IMG 0925I spent the year with some fabulous students and tearfully said goodbye as we all moved on.  But not before a celebration and some obsessive picture taking :)

DSC05845Matt and I flew to Arizona to see his family and celebrate his birthday before our big cross country move.

DSCN2673The biggest adventure of 26 was certainly our move to Chicago!  After two full cars, a jam packed U-haul, and two and a half days on the road, we arrived in our new home!

DSCN3164Matt and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary together.  (I can't believe we're already coming up on our second, eek!)

DSCN2832We flew to New York for the fabulous wedding of one of Matt's childhood friends.  The wedding was breathtaking, and we also got to squeeze in some sightseeing and family time with Matt's brother.

DSCN2725We explored Chicago and fell in love with our new home.  The Windy City is so beautiful and I'm constantly pinching myself to see if we really live here.

DSCN3314I fulfilled a long time bucket wish list to see Sarah McLachlan in concert.  It was beyond amazing.

DSCN3500My little brother flew back from Spain and came to see me in Chicago!  My love affair with picture taking at The Bean was already in full swing :)

DSCN3719Matt and I traveled back to our grad school stomping grounds so he could get his university ring and I could propose my dissertation.  Success on both fronts!

DSCN3876We experienced a true fall, and I fell head-over-heels in love with the season.  We went apple picking, and it became one of my top 3 favorite things we've done since moving to Chicago.

DSCN3911Our best friend Miguel came to visit and we celebrated his birthday with our first trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo and an insane amount of good Chicago food.

DSC07670Matt's sister Julie and her family came to visit us, and we got to do one of our favorite things, play tour guide!

DSCN4127We spent Christmas in Chicago with my family and had our first white Christmas in years.  It was one of the best Christmases I've ever had and having my family in Matt and I's new city was the best present of all.

DSCN4500We survived our first Chicago winter complete with a blizzard and 2+ feet of snow!

DSCN4483Prayers were answered as Matt landed a full time position in Chicago.  Best news of 26 was certainly the fact that we get to make Chicago our long time, permanent home.  We celebrated and continued to say "Oh my gosh, I can't believe we get to stay here" all throughout dinner :)

SANY2910After completing a million applications, interviewing all over the place, and enduring way too many hours of "what if" stress, I found out that I matched for an internship position at an incredible spot.  Blessed is not even the word.  One step closer to those three little initials!

037 2My best friend got married and I flew back to Dallas for showers, bachelorette parties, and of course the big day.  I loved being able to share so much of the experience with her.

SANY2954My brother came back to Chicago for a spring break visit, and like any obsessive big sister, I was thrilled to have him in town and spoil him Chicago style.

To say 26 was a year of blessings is an understatement.  I also learned a lot about sacrifice, conquering fear, and trusting God's plan.  Throughout it all, I've been surrounded by incredible people (including you!) who have supported and encouraged me.  And honestly, that is the very best birthday present a girl could ever ask for!  Thank you for the bottom of my heart.

PS: In this post, I asked what yall were looking forward to about April, and oh my goodness, there are SO many exciting things going on!  Weddings, trips, babies, visitors...I am so excited for all the fun things happening and I can't wait to hear all about them on your blogs!


Norma said...

awww, i'm loving this post. HAPPY HAPPY Birthday!!! Love you!!


Glitterista said...

What a fabulous way to celebrate the past year and upcoming year of opportunities ahead! Best wishes for fabulous birthday celebrations and a phenomenal 27th year! :)

Jenna U said...

Happy Happy Birthday!!

ty said...

I love this post :) 26 was a crazy year for me, but I'm very much looking forward to 27!

Alivia said...

WOOO!! Happy fabulous birthday to you, dear!

SKB said...

Great post and I am really and truly so happy for you guys. Your story reminds me that things work out exactly like there supposed to if we trust and keep doing the right thing. Happy Happy Birthday! Congratualtions on a fabulous year!

George's Mum said...

Happy Birthday and ermmm, you look amazing in EVERY photo!!! A very pretty year lady.

I'm 27 now too, here's to an amazing year for us both :) x x

Kasey Lynne said...

Wow! It looks like you had such an amazing year!!! Hoping that 27 is JUST as great( or even better!)

Amanda* said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I hope you have a great day!

PursuitOfLLT said...

Happy Birthday, Allison!! What a fabulous year you've had. I think it's fun to look back and see what a difference a year makes. I hope you're having a fabulous day and enjoying it being all about you!

So excited for Saturday :)

Lindsay said...

Happy birthday!!

What an amazing year you have had, I've loved following along and reading about all of your adventures :)

Anna Walker said...

Happy Birthday! I hope that 27 treats you as well as 26 did :D
PS you look fabulous in every single picture! How do you do it!?


caknitter said...

Happy Birthday to you!!!
Enjoy your awesome day!

Whitney said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLISON!!!!! Thinking of you and know you will have as fab a 27 as you did 26. Muah!

Veronika said...

what a FUN POST :) thanks for sharing your memories!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!! Such a fun year in review!! Wishing you another fabulous year!

So-So Good said...

Happy birthday from Tokyo! Ah 27, what a great age (I just turned 28 myself). Hope your 27th year is just as exciting and fulfilling as your 26th was!

Kinsey Michaels said...

what a year you've had!!! happy belated birthday Allison!

amy kelinda said...

I LOVE this post. What a fun idea for a birthday post! I am totally stealing this idea for NEXT YEAR'S birthday, haha! Happy belated birthday, and I hope you had another "laugh until your face hurts" celebration! It's incredible how much you can experience in a single year -- now you're staying in Chicago, both have great jobs, and experienced your first real fall! Look at all those apples on the ground in your apple-picking photo -- I'm so jealous. And I literally gasped when I saw you in all that snow. Insanity.

Sundresses and Smiles said...

looks like it was a successful year!! i love that pink ruffled dress!

LaLa's Land said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you!! You are going to HAVE to do an OOTD with that pink/peach dress you wore to both Arizona and at The Bean! It's adorable and you look stunning in it! Here's to a great year ahead for the both of you! CHEERS!

AN said...

Not just this past year, but all twenty seven years have been amazing.