I love birthdays.
Like, really LOVE them.
I am absolutely horrible at remembering other people's birthdays and yet, I insist that no one forgets mine. I make it easy on them by reminding them for an entire month ahead of time. Because, internet, I'm just that kind of person!
Today is June 1st. It is officially the start of my birthday month.
Yes, I said month. My birthday is June 19th (hint hint) and so at the beginning of June, I declare it officially my birthday month. This is the way it's been as long as I can remember (and don't even get me started on my birthday week!)... It must be part of that only child syndrome that is absolutely NOT evident in my life :)
A couple of years ago, I made a new friend who's birthday is also in June (luckily the first week of June). I had a very hard time learning to share my birthday month and all of the festivities that go along with it. Luckily my friend was very gracious and let me still be the center of attention :)
So in honor of the start of my birthday month (and my blog... which I do NOT have to share)... I thought I'd share 19 cool things that have happened in my last year of life... because my birthday is on the 19th (NOT because I'll be 19... because I won't... I'll be 24!). This last year has quite possibly been one of the toughest of my life, but it has also been one of the best. Go figure :)
1. I moved back in with my parents. So far we have not killed each other. In fact, we kind of like each other :)
2. I did NOT cut my hair... See, I have this weird thing about getting bored with my hair and dying it brown, then blond, then brown, then cutting it short, then deciding to let it grow, then changing my mind and cutting it again... this year I have yet to cut my hair. I'm growing it out. Really.
3. I DID dye my hair. Several times actually. But it has remained some shade of blond or another for the entire year. Also quite a feat :)
4. I lived at a fireworks stand in a parking lot for 4 days straight. Yes LIVED. We did it as a fundraiser for the youth group at our church and I was there the ENTIRE time. It was pretty amazing.
5. I went to Mexico 4 times with our church. Every time was different and every time was amazing! The relationships we have with the people there are so cool. I love the kids. I can't wait until we go again!
6.I was a bridesmaid/photographer for my cousin's wedding. Obviously there was another photographer as well, but it was still quite an experience! My cousin is one of my best friends so it was super cool to be such a big part of her day!
7. I shot my first Quincenera. And can I just mention that I have gotten SO MUCH better since then???
8. I was a counselor at summer camp. It was one of the funnest weeks of my life! I even got to help with security and drive the little carts around. I'm. So. Cool.
9. I went to Magic Mountain AND Disneyland (I even had a pass for Disneyland!)
10. I "modeled" for a trash the dress session set up for Photographers. I was so nervous but these guys made it amazing and easy and fun! The photos were spectacular! If you're a photographer and you ever get a chance, jump in on one of Chris Austin's TTD shoots.
11. I was a counselor at winter camp.
12. I went to Oregon to visit my family. Twice.
13. I took 10 million pictures! It's what I love :)
14. I bought a 50mm lens which is totally the new (AND WONDERFUL!) thing :) I also got several other great pieces of equipment this year!
15. I bought Ice Cream from the Ice cream man for the first time!
16. I bought my first bike and rode it on 22 mile bike rides, to the beach and back, throughout the summer.
15. I started running regularly... then stopped. Twice.
16. I did a photoshoot with Jasmine Star which was AWESOME!
17. I bought a 2000 Jeep Wrangler. I've wanted one since I was 10. It is the coolest car EVER.
18. I made a wonderful new friend named Bianca. We watch Friends. And go to Disneyland. She's my favorite :)
19. I challenged myself over and over. I grew in leaps and bounds. I began to discover who I really am and who I really want to be.
This year has had it's ups and downs and its challenges, but looking back, it's been a great year as well! I am so blessed to have wonderful people in my life for one more year... and some new ones that just came around this year! I am not afraid of growing old... I'm not avoiding it... I love it! I think it's an amazing thing. I hope that when I'm 90 years old, I'll look back and tell crazy stories that begin with "back in my day...." and end with, "those were the days..."
To quote my mother, "better to be one year older than dead." :)
I'm sure you will see many more birthday things on the blog this month, so keep an eye out!
I'll leave you with this picture of me at our youth car wash last weekend... We had a blast!