A Salute to Fragile Hours

Yes, it is 5 AM back in the States, and I feel like the jet lag may only be getting worse. Either that or it's the basket-case of nerves that I've become about life in general - disguised by inordinate amounts of caffeine and an attempt to keep endorphins coming.

But I am back on native soil, enjoying time with family and friends in my last two weeks as a single woman. Plans proceed. Things must be accomplished. But, at the end of the day, or in wee hours of the morning, I get a taste of the peace that I so desire during daylight hours. It's around this time that really delight in the prospect of marrying my best friend, sharing our dreams, passions, and faults, growing old together, and knowing that these most fragile hours will soon be shared with him.

As I was unpacking yesterday, and surveying the room that will only be mine for another twelve days, I thought about my life up to this point. I thought of the way Blake and I met, how young we were, and how we've grown. I thought of how much I love this home, this beautiful place that my parents have made for their children to grow up. I thought of how hard my parents have worked and the kind of example that they've set. I thought of how blessed I am to have both sets of grandparents watch me grow up and be there for my wedding. I thought of the girls who will be most prominently supporting me at my wedding - my sisters, Jillian and Christy; my best friend of 19 years, Rachel; my high-school rival who became a friend, Erica; my middle-school partner in crime, Jessi; my roommate who saw me through ins and outs of college, Rachel; and my twin pillars of support through the last two years, Melissa and Heather. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by these people. I can't recognize that enough.

A part of me is terrified to move on. It's the part of me that has never paid a mortgage, never found a potential-career job, and never shown a husband the constant love, respect, and support that he deserves. I want to do these things, and I know that I'll do them 100%. That doesn't stop me from the few times each day that I need to take a step back and live in these moments.

There's another, larger part of me that is wild with excitement. It's the part of me that checks www.stylemepretty.com regularly for pretty ideas like this:

It's the part of me that reads Real Simple and Better Homes & Gardens for recipes and decorating tips. A part of me that wants to decorate my home with this simple, classy style:

It's a part of me that went on a walk with Blake yesterday and talked about where we'd like to travel, the things we need to see, and how we're excited to do it together.

It's a part of me that bought my bathing suit for Disney weeks ago, plans months in advance what we'll be doing for my quad break, and consults Blake on where he thinks I should go in a career.

It's a part of me that cries in sentimentality when I think of my father making Blake's wedding ring.

I relish these hours of the morning. That's probably another reason why I can't sleep. Before the day gets busy with doctor appointments, fittings, seating charts and dance lessons, I bask in the glow of potential.

Because that's what it is - potential. Marriage is not just the end of my bachelorette-hood. It's the beginning of something better.

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