on my eighteenth birthday

today is my eighteenth birthday. i'm eighteen. I'm an ADULT.

that's weird.

I don't feel like an adult. I bought a Monster's Inc. Boo doll the other day, I steal spoonfuls of cookie dough from the fridge, and I still pour over the American Girl doll catalogue when it comes every November. I think i'm still 7 years old in my head. definitely not an adult. definitely.

to celebrate turning 18 today, here's a look back at my favorite moments of being 17 (which I'm convinced is the best year ever) ... :)

1. christmas eve 2012 ... my family + my two other families came over for chili and we opened presents and drove around looking at lights and watching the Nativity and going to sleep late convinced that Santa is on the roof. Yep. Christmas Eve was the best.


2. New Years Eve! My favorite little girl slept over and we rang in the new year together. We built a tent and read books together. Best way ever to end one year and start another.


3. Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for Best Actress. I threw her a big party. I also cried when she won. Proudest moment of my life. tumblr_miqseg1rPv1qjfoqfo1_1280

4. I went to Israel. I took 982523750293 gazzillion pictures and hung out with the camels. I was overwhelmed by God's goodness when this beautiful rainbow appeared over the Sea of Galilee. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Even cooler, I went with my mom and my grandma. Oh the memories we made.


5. My three best friends and I planned prom together. It was the best prom ever, let me tell you what. Downtown, antiquey classic brick building, chirstmas lights, cake pops, and the best music ever (I would know. I was the DJ.)


6. I hung out with this little buddy a lot. I mean, it just doesn't get better than chilling with your favorite godson. :)tumblr_mldjmn7nMH1qjfoqfo1_1280

7. My best friends all graduated high school, one year before I did ... they were amazingly generous and threw me a surprise graduation just for me, so I could feel important too. They're amazing. So blessed.


8. I went to Chicago with my choir. One whole week exploring a new city - I took so many pictures and had so, so much fun with them.


9. I started taking time out of my busy schedule to photograph for ME. These sessions filled me up, they reminded me why I do what I do, and allowed me to fall in love with photography all over again.


10. I flew to New York and spent a week with my favorite cousin. She's the best. We went on so many adventures and also watched a lot of baseball. (Which, really ... what is baseball?)


11. I had the incredible opportunity to go to Chicago AGAIN and basically do everything I had ever wanted. I enjoyed chicago-style pizza, got so lost in a vinyl shop, stopped at every Argo tea I could find, and hung out with Jen and Scott for a few days in our favorite city. :)



12. My really great friend Phoebe (from Singapore, remember?) - she came and visited again! We shot 11 newborns together and we totally hung out with the band. Vampire Weekend. We went to their concert in the cities and then literally hung out with them. It was basically the coolest.


13. Wyn Wiley photographed my seniors. It was the best day ever. My best friend Jaci came with me on an epic roadtrip to Lincoln ... we blasted Taylor Swift and FREAKED out because in our eyes, Wyn is pretty much a major celebrity ... it was the best few days ever.


14. I photographed and snuggled and posed these little cubbies. My favorite Chicago Bear player is a new dad to these snugglebugs. So fun. :)


15. My last big thing with my "girlz" before they left for college ... we went away on a three day camping trip to Lansburo. Honestly - the memories we made on that trip. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. I would pretty much do anything and give anything to have those three days back.


16. So they left for college. I was just a little bit (a lot) heartbroken. I only made it two weeks before I had to surprise them and show up knocking at their doors. Drove 20 hours in two days to be with my best friends. Worth it.


17. Fall happened. Autumn is my favorite season in the world and it was the most beautiful fall that Minnesota has ever seen. Every fire in the fireplace, every crunchy leaf, every pumpkin spiced latte, every weekend drive ... mmmmmm. :)


18. After waiting 2.5 years to meet Chelley and Naika Saski, they finally came home. Loving on them has been one of the best things of my entire LIFE. Goodness sakes do I love these girls. (All five of them so much, but wow. wow.)