To the 5 people who might actually check this blog, remember when I announced this? Well, the time has come, and I am leaving the world behind for the next 18 months. However, my sister loves me (and you) enough that she will be keeping everyone up to date with my journey in Portugal over here, sistersamanthabrooks.blogspot.com. So go ahead and check it out if you wish.
Or write me sweet nothings to the following addresses:
Or, pretend I actually did fall off the face of the earth, and I'll meet ya back here in a year and a half.
Because I have the world's greatest parents, I have been lucky enough to (quite literally) chill at home for the last 6 weeks. Sometimes people ask me what I have been doing--like if I have a job, or if I have taken up some sort of hobby to keep me busy, or if I even know what the word responsibility means, but mostly, this is the answer I give: Well...I wake up (hopefully before noon), go for a run, shower and get ready (by three), go on an errand with Darla, and wait for Big Dave to come home so we can go to dinner. Then the three of us watch TV on the couch for about 12 hours straight. Okay, so maybe that's a bit dramatic, but it turns out that I fell into this laid back lifestyle quite easily. But I mean, that 6:30am wake up call is going to come soon enough right?
And fine, maybe that's not all I did. (Because well, I have the world's greatest parents.) Not only did I get to spend my 21st birthday in Ft. Lauderdale with Kelli and Kristan (#escapethecold2013), but I also have the greatest friends in the world and sweet Smelly pants flew down to go to the Justin Beiber concert with me. Because yes, we are 21, and yes, he is 18, but yes, I did fall even more in love with him during that performance. (I mean really, how can you not love him?) Then, I rode the Hogwarts Express to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for some last minute Muggle training. And in the car ride down, I received the happiest surprise phone call from K8 the GR8 telling me she booked a flight and was coming on the midnight train to Georgia. And what a dream it has been to have her here. I didn't show her Honey Boo Boo's hometown (because well, maybe I'm a bit ashamed that she can claim Georgia as her own), but despite that, I think she got a small taste of Georgia's finest. Between the Ringling Brothers Circus, World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, and some fried pickles, I think she might just be ready to call herself a Southern Belle (even if she wears vans and hipster necklaces).
And now, all the sisters are in town for one last hoorah. I could not be happier to have them all together again. So grateful I am for my perfectly, imperfect friends and family that have made this little "summer vaca" an unforgettable experience. I look forward to a weekend sure to be filled with lots of laughs, tears, and of course...Pitch Perfect.
"Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed."
(This post is mostly for me, so I apologize if I bore you.)
Looking back on 2012, I kind of can't believe it was only one year. However, I honestly think it was the best year of my life so far. It's weird looking back and seeing how I've changed, what I thought was going to happen six months ago and where I am now. In a way, it's exciting. It's shown me that I can make whatever plans I want to, but the Lord's plan will always prevail. And, that amongst all the change, what's most important always stays the same--like my family and best friends (and Diet Coke. Jokes...kind of).
2012 was an unforgettable and life changing year. I started the year off traveling around Jerusalem, Turkey, Jordan, and Galilee. I made 80 new best friends (who still love me even though they probably know me a little too well), studied the Old and New Testament in depth, walked where Jesus walked, gained the slightest insight into Middle Eastern culture and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, discovered the importance of faith among all religions, and developed a deeper relationship and greater love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. I celebrated Holy Week and spent Easter at the Garden Tomb. I came back to Provo for Spring term and road tripped to Vegas with my best friends to see Celine Dion live (life changing). I spent a weekend with my sisters in Connecticut and New York. I had the first of many reunions with my Jerusalem crew at Bear Lake. I moved in with my best friend. The 19's became the nuns. I decided to serve a mission, submitted my papers, and received a call to Lisbon, Portugal. I took a trip to LA to visit my best friend. I went through the Temple. I became an aunt. And another one of my sisters got married. Like I said, life changing.
2012 taught me a lot about myself and about who I want to become. It taught me about friendship and love and forgiveness and happiness and the eternal perspective. It taught me that I have a lot of growing up to do and a whole lot more to learn. But I think when I look back on 2012, I'll remember the amazing friendships that developed--the people I met and the friends I grew to love even more than I ever thought possible. Here's to 2013 and knowing that it is going to live up to 2012.
December 29th, my sister got married and became Mrs. Warcup. Oh, I was so happy I could cry. (Don't worry, I didn't. Neither did she, but he did. We Brooks are real emotional over here.) She flew us all out to San Diego for the wedding (and Kelli didn't stop complaining the entire 5 hour flight. "I don't fly more than 2 hours to go anywhere." "Are we there yet?" "Ugh, I could be in Europe by now." And she's the oldest.), because that guaranteed sunshine and warmth, but the jokes on her because it was cold and the rain started as soon as she walked out of the Temple. But, it didn't matter, because she and Dan were all smiles. I have never seen those two so happy. Afterward, we all jumped on a boat, and Cais put on the party of the year (Despite her informing the DJ that under no circumstances was "Party in the USA" allowed to be played at her reception...sorry Miley). Thanks you two--for listening to me gush about how in love I was after just about every date I went on, for eating all my cookie dough, for laughing at all my jokes (or just my life), for cuddling on the love sac so I could sprawl out on the couch, for letting me third wheel it all the time, and for constantly feeding my Diet Coke habit. I couldn't be happier for you two, and I couldn't be happier to have you in the fam, Dan. Now, I expect lots of letters and a mini you two by the time I get back, because ohemgee, I've never seen such adorable baby pictures side-by-side. You two really are mfeo. Ever happiness to you both :)
thank goodness for dance parties and boys and helaman halls for bringing us all together. we've come a long way the past few years--from stealing bananas from the cannon to no longer calling kena "the girl with the anklets," here's to the next 80 years with the world's best best friends.