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>Dear Friends and Family,

Well, it’s been a while since I last blogged, but I’ve been busy and enjoying the Spirit of the season. This letter is here to inform you, although most of you know, about the events of the past year.

On October 5th of last year, I met a boy. I developed a relationship/friendship with said boy. I fell in love with him. After the new year, I kisssed and became official with him.

Just before Christmas (the 23rd to be exact) my beloved grandma passed away. Last Christmas was less than joyful as we struggled to say goodbye and plan a funeral. I am grateful for a loving family that still brought a spirit into the room as we mourned the loss of such an amazing woman. I am grateful for funeral home workers and slideshow makers who worked through the holiday season with us to make sure we gave my grandma a proper farewell. It sure put things into perspective, though. I am grateful for the legacy she left all of us.

As the year came to a close and I struggled with the loss of my grandma, I developed a stronger and better friendship/relationship with Zach, which was a huge saving grace during that time. We became the closest of friends and I really started to rely on him. I also delved into my second half of the teaching year–teaching 5th grade. The second half was FAR FAR worse than the first, for various reasons which I won’t delve into here–let’s just say I wasn’t quite as happy as I had been. By the close of the year I learned that I wouldn’t be teaching fifth grade but rather fourth with a new team and a new classroom (which entailed quite a move and a lot more packing than I felt was actually fair: )

After the school year came to an end, I packed up my things and took off for Georgia with Zach. I went to visit his family and I had THE BEST time. Honestly, I love his family so much. We played games, ate great food, and even took a little trip (actually two…one to Nana’s and one to Charleston, South Carolina :) I fell in love with South Carolina! I thoroughly enjoyed it…and can’t wait to get back to the south.

In July, Zach proposed, it was no big surprise, we had been talking about it and planning it for what seems like forever. We set the date for November 6th and began planning the next element of our lives together. We had a great summer, we enjoyed the weather, our friends, and our families. We packed up my little apartment at the end of the summer and I moved home with my parents prior to the wedding.

The school year started and I immediately fell in love with 4th grade. Okay, so I was still hung up on last year’s class for the first week, I missed them so much, but after the first week, I fell in love with my new class and new team and I’ve been on cloud nine ever since! :)

On November 6th Zach and I were FINALLY married!! :) I say FINALLY because it honestly felt like I had been waiting forever. Probably because we’re soulmates and I had been waiting a lot longer than I had realized. We have enjoyed this past month of marriage. So much. You know, growing up I realized that I looked up to my young women’s leaders and such–I wanted happy marriages and homes like theirs, I always have. The other day I actually had to ask myself, were they THIS happy? I don’t know..if they were they didn’t tell me how amazing it is. I get so excited still, when I realize whether we’re home or out doing something that when it’s time for bed, he doesn’t have to leave at the end of the night and neither do I. Our home feels like a home, it really does. We’re liking our new ward and we’re getting into the Christmas spirit for sure in our house. I love my new husband so much, so much it’s kind of ridiculous. I am so grateful for the blessing of that kind of love. It has truly changed my life.

I am grateful for this time of year. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who love me more than I can comprehend. They bless me with far more than I deserve. I love this time of year, where I can openly truly celebrate my Savior’s life with music on the radio, a Christmas tree, and most importantly, the spirit of giving. We are all so blessed to have His love always and to feel it so abundantly at this time of year!

“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appeared and the Soul felt it’s worth…
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn…
Fall on your knees….”