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Whoa, it’s crazy to think that exactly 10 years ago, I was welcoming the New Year of 2009 in a hotel ballroom in London. Our hotel was next to the Tower of London, and my mom and I could see the Tower Bridge from our hotel room window.

It was a trip that I’ll never forget.

At cheer camp that summer, I made the All-Star squad. That got me a slot on the London trip where I danced in the London New Year’s Day parade. My group danced to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, which is still my favorite song since I listened to it on repeat on the stereo in my room trying to learn every step before I got to London.

We got to see the Tower the day we landed. Climbing all the stairs in that place helped us fight the jet lag. The next day we got to check out St. Paul’s and walk around the city. We saw the West End production of The Sound of Music. We spent a whole day at Windsor. On New Year’s Day, we got to ice skate at the Tower (which explains the painting of people ice skating at the Tower that currently hangs above my TV).

On New Year’s we had our own little party in the ballroom. You better believe Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” blared over the loud speakers as we ditched our shoes to dance in the middle of the room. Once midnight struck, a bagpipe player played “Auld Lang Syne.”

 While that thing screeched, I realized that the year was now 2009. It was a year I had looked forward to since I was a freshman. It was the year I was to graduate from high school. I had so many big dreams that year, so many hopes for my future at Baylor University.

Just this afternoon, while driving around town running some last minute errands, “Just Dance” came on the radio, and I was transported immediately back to that hotel ballroom where I tried to fit in with the (somehow) trendy thing of wearing jeans with a dress I got at a shop in Windsor.

I remember all those hopes I had for my future. Looking back now, all of those hopes for my time at Baylor were well exceeded by reality.

It was also around that time that I started thinking ahead to my brother’s graduation. Where would he go to school? Of course, I hoped Baylor, but I wouldn’t be that sister that shoved my school down his throat whether he liked it or not.

That year would be 2018. By then, I would be 27. (Wow, so old!) Of course, I would have to be married by then. The only thing up in the air then would be whether or not I would have kiddos to tote along to Colin’s graduation festivities.

So when I rang in 2017 a year ago, I was hopeful. I had always thought this would be the year I would have a family of my own. Certainly that would happen this year.

It didn’t.

But so many more things happened.

I worked a full year at a job that I really enjoy with great people in my favorite place.

I finally got connected in my church home.

I made new friends.

I went to freaking SPAIN!

I GOT A PUPPY!!!! Those of you who know me know just how big a deal that was. While I’m writing this at 9:55 p.m. New Year’s Eve, Scout is currently passed out on the floor. This dog is my very favorite and most certainly will give me the side eye as she puts herself in her crate for bed before the stroke of midnight.

And, as I envisioned all those years before, my brother graduated from high school. He wrecked shop in the scholarship department and is now a freshman at the very best university in the history of the land – Baylor.

While 2018 hasn’t looked how I thought it might when I’d daydream ahead, it’s been so much better.

And I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store.

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