Today, I turn twenty-four. While I know I'm still a youngin' to many, this year more any before has been a wake-up call. This year, I actually feel older, physically, mentally, emotionally. I cannot put my finger on one reason in particular, for there are probably many. Maybe it's because my mom got married at twenty-four, or maybe because next year is the big two five, also known as a quarter century. Hellllo what? Although a year away, I can already feel that number being hard to swallow.

This stage of life is exciting and riveting and unique. While I'm very much over the shock of the real world, I'm not old enough to be sick of it yet either. Though there are certainly moments where I wish I could curl up in a ball and go back to being ten with not a care in the world, I'm truly in love with the way life has unfolded for me. I actually think I would be content with being twenty-four forever. While I look forward to the months and years ahead and changes that come with them, I'm soaking in this moment, this transition from twenty-three to twenty-four.

As the years pass, I discover more and more things to be grateful for. I've learned to appreciate the simple things in ways that I never thought I could. I'm grateful for those moments, the simple, quiet ones. I'm grateful for the family I was born into and the family I have made, the friends who have become family, the opportunities I've been given and this beautiful world I've been fortunate to see so much of. Instead of craving more out of life, today and tomorrow and the rest of this year, I'm going to savor it.

Twenty-three was a good year with so many beautiful moments that this blog will remind me of years down the road. But twenty-four will be good. Now, more than ever, I realize just how much the power is in my hands to make this year one to remember.

Some favorite memories from this past year! Our Days In Raleigh | Father's Day Weekend on Block Island | A Spring Day Walk | Meet Zooey | A Note To Our Little Home | The Next Step & A Few Thank Yous | Men Cook Too Now In Stores | What Is Love? | A Short Film, Vermont Style