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Despite everything, life is good

The second week of January has become very special to me in the past two years. I got engaged on a Sunday night, January 13, 2019, in New Orleans. I was on cloud nine from the beautiful, elaborate surprise as fireworks lit up the sky in my favorite color. The milestone moment coincided with cheers from football fans blocks away as the Saints defeated the Eagles. All seemed right with the world.

On Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, my then-fiancé and I toured three houses along with my aunt and our amazing realtor, Kayla Scott. The first two were nice but didn’t quite click with the vision we had of our first home together. The third house was one Kayla had scouted for us. It had only been on the market one day and already had an offer on it. Within an hour, we took a leap of faith and placed an offer.

Our offer was accepted that night. Matt drove over to my (parent’s) house and pulled me into his arms as he told me the amazing news. Another milestone moment.  Later that week, my mom told us that one of her patients had a litter of newborn puppies in need of good homes. It was meant to be, and on Jan. 15, 2021, our dog Royal celebrated his first birthday.

Earlier this week, I realized exactly one year had passed since we first saw the house. My husband and I got Chinese takeout and spent Tuesday night sitting on the living room floor, assembling a small desk we ordered for his game room.

I thought of where we were at the beginning of 2020 and how we sat on the floor assembling furniture the day the house officially became ours. Everything seemed right with the world again.

Last year, without question, contained some of the best and worst days of my life. November in particular felt like a constant string of punches to the gut. I came face to face with a loss I have been dreading for years as I said goodbye to one of the very most important people in my life. I did not get to say goodbye to a close co-worker who we lost only a few weeks prior. Many days that didn’t qualify as the worst were still filled with paranoia, fear, grief and stress. It felt as if the entire world had gone insane. 

But I got married to the love of my life. The honeymoon we went on certainly wasn’t the overseas adventure we planned in 2019, but it was still a week of bliss that I wouldn’t change for the world. We became an aunt and uncle when our niece was born on December 5, and we got to see her for the first time last Friday. We got our house and our puppy, both of which have brought great joy to our lives. As I sat on the floor this past Tuesday, despite everything, I still thought to myself, “We are here together. We are O.K., and right now, life is good.”