In the quieter, less stressful moments, I am made aware of the incredible blessing of friendship.

For the most part, I lean toward independence. I value solitary walks, quiet reading, and time to reflect. I think my having a blog goes to further that point. In fact, I go a little crazy when I don't have "alone time". Of my girlfriends, I was probably the least likely to get married young. It goes to show that God has an interesting sense of humor.

In the past week, I've spoken to a few of these girlfriends about marriage and how it's changed my life. The funny thing is - it hasn't really. The hardest thing has been deciding whether or not to write "Stephanie Bittner" or "Stephanie Walker" on my tests (given that I haven't yet legally changed my name). Of course, I now have to wear earplugs, initiate any kind of cleaning, and set the alarm clock. Small things have changed, just as they would with a new college roommate. But being married isn't like dating; it's better. I know that I'll be with my best friend for the rest of my life. This hasn't changed my life drastically, it's only made life more... real.

Aside from the best "best friend", I've also appreciated those relationships which are commonly overshadowed by newlywed life. This past week, we had Heather and Brian over for fajitas and apple crisp. I had lunch with one of my most trusted confidants, Rachel, who was also one of my bridesmaids. I might have gone for walks with Melissa on 3 of the 5 weekdays.

So yesterday at my friend Abi's 22nd birthday as we were wildly dancing to hits from the 80's (the deejay had an odd collection), I thanked God for girlfriends, husbands who let their wives have fun with these girlfriends, and His saving grace from the life that I would have chosen for myself - one of complete independence.

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