The Five-Year Plan: Reconstructed

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Though it’s not something I’ve talked about much on my blog, if you’re somebody who’s very close to me, you probably know that I came up with a tentative five-year plan shortly after tying the knot. It went like this:

1. Graduate college

2. Renew Vows

3. Go to Italy

4. Make Babies

All of this was meant to happen in that particular order, and all shortly after I turned twenty-five (which, at twenty, seemed like a lifetime away). See, there was to be a quaint little five-year vow renewal and, afterward, Italy was meant to be somewhat of a second honeymoon. A perfect, well-deserved vacation after my college graduation and then the husband and I would be all ready to make lovely little children!

But then, as it tends to do, life happened and not everything went exactly according to this adorable plan of mine. After transferring, I graduated close to a year earlier than the date originally estimated by my advisor. Soon after this, my husband and I found out that baby girl is on the way.

And so our upcoming trip to Italy becomes less of a second honeymoon and more of a baby-moon.

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There is a certain beauty to plans rearranging themselves and falling into their own place, isn’t there?

We leave in FIVE days (Really, where does the time go!? I meant to blog about this months ago.) and will be gone a week and a half. Hotels in Venice, Florence and Milan have been booked. This is such a huge and lifelong dream come true and it still doesn’t seem real quite yet. I’m going to Italy. With my husband. In less than a week.

I’ve always been both a planner and a dreamer. I like lists, and even more than that, I like putting a check mark by each item on said list. So it may have surprised my twenty-year old self to learn that so many of my most cherished memories and accomplishments were made before even the first goal in my five-year plan was ever checked off. That I would learn to dream even bigger. That there is endless beauty to be found in life’s in-betweens, rearrangements and surprises. That I would still be twenty-four, with a job directly related to my college degree, a baby on the way and a trip to Italy on the horizon.

Out of order as it may be, husband and I are still planning that little five-year vow renewal come October. I will, by then, be twenty-five. We’ll also have a six-month old little lady on our hands. But for now, I’m twenty-four and she’s in my tummy and all three of us are heading to Italy on Friday morning. And goodness. There is just so much behind me that I love looking back on, and so much ahead that I have to look forward to. My original five-year plan didn’t give nearly enough room for this full of a life.

Twenty-Fourth Summer

This summer has been an incredible one, to say the least. I’d even go so far to say that it’s been amongst the best of my life. The last summer I remember being filled with as much magic was my eighteenth. After a sheltered childhood and graduating from a small, private school, I was full of enormous curiosity and ready to live as fully as I possibly could. Within a couple of short months, I traveled to London, Paris, New York, Colorado and Maryland. My very first plane ride was to Europe, in fact. That summer I got my bellybutton pierced and drank beer by a river on a starlit night and walked through the bustling streets of New York City and made smores by a campfire in the mountains and climbed up a windy staircase to make my way to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I wanted life, and I got it– And a small dose of its wonder, beauty and sadness too. I will always look back fondly on those months, and that innocent and wide-eyed girl getting her first little taste of this big ‘ole world. summerstuff Fast-forward six years later. Though I’ve lost much of the innocence and naivety of eighteen, I’ve managed to keep in tact that wide-eyed fascination and zest for life and living it. Within the past few months, I’ve had the chance to travel to Progreso, Cozumel, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan and Puerto Rico. I’ve sand-sledded down the gorgeous White Sands, drank martinis at a bicycle shop, bowled at the oldest bowling alley in the US, visited a lovely island in between Detroit and Canada, feasted on delicious brunches in New Orleans and Tucson, cruised to Mexico with my hubby, and enjoyed the beautiful beach of San Juan with one of my favorite girls. Being an event blogger has given me the opportunity to try adventures like ziplining, flyboarding, indoor skydiving, paddle-boarding, helicopter touring and beekeeping. I’ve even been able to make art (I use that term loosely, considering my lack of skills in that area.) at a bar and chow down for media events at restaurants like the delicious Uncle Julio’s.eventblogging Bits of this summer still seem like a really crazy, extraordinary dream to me. After auditioning on a whim, I was cast for a role in a national commercial. I then had a film crew follow me around for a week in my life. A month and a half later, this same crew liked me enough to send me to Detroit to film a piece that was later played at American Idol and Bruno Mars’ tours. This amazing whirlwind consisted of flying first class for the first time, filming on a theatre that rock stars perform on, playing dress up with my own makeup and wardrobe artist, looking over pictures of myself in a conference meeting whilst drinking wine and being shown around the city of Detroit by an absolutely fabulous crew. A couple of months later, I was sent to a concert with awesome seats and the chance to watch myself talking to the crowd on a mega-screen.

In August, I graduated college with honors and thus became a first-generation college graduate. My big and crazy tribe celebrated the day with me and had me feeling all kinds of loved, blessed and accomplished.

boatyay My husband and I even bought a boat. The floors were gutted and the engine didn’t run properly when Robby brought it home. After putting in countless hours and an immeasurable amount of energy, my dude had our boat fixed up and running. He’s pretty great, that boy. Now I have the perfect outlet for little weekend getaways made up of pretty sunsets, crashing waves and my handsome husband.

Oh, and I met the former White Power Ranger. Yeah.

To sum it all up, My twenty-fourth summer has been an unforgettably enchanting one. I’ve experienced so much, seen so many dreams come true and have lived really, really big. If my eighteenth summer was the time I took my first small taste of the world, I’d say that the summer of twenty-four will be remembered as the time I took a really large, intoxicating bite. And oh, was it delicious.