This past weekend one of my dearest friends got married to her best friend.  I cried all the tears and laughed all the laughs.  I also didn’t catch any of the sleeps.

Basically the weekend was like a forced friendship between eight girls.  But the beauty in it was that we were all linked to one amazing woman- Danielle- so we were pretty compliant.  Eager, actually.  And true to form, I found that Danielle has picked some amazing women to stand by her in life.

If I were to write about all the things Danielle means to me, I’d probably type until my fingers fall asleep so I’ll spare myself. I hate that painful prickly feeling.

Instead, I’d like to highlight a few things that come to mind.  First, something she has taught me is the beauty of imperfection.  This was monumental to me during college because I’ve always grown up with this ideal image of what I need to be.  What my life needs to look like.  Expectations not only put on myself by others, but mostly from myself.  I’ll never forget seeing her make mistakes during our time in school.  Each time she learned something valuable and crucial for her personal growth. I remember her talking about “embracing the messy” in our lives.  And it was in those moments where I realized I didn’t have to be perfect. I learned how to live life freely.  Free to be myself,  mess up sometimes, and take responsibility to clean up after.  If you know me, you’ll understand why this is such a big deal.  I’m kind of clumsy and crazy things happen to me all the time. I’m anything but perfect.

It’s actually what you do after you make a mistake that counts.  We all fail.  We all screw up. And that’s ok.

Something else I drew from Danielle was how she holds on to her values.  She doesn’t take them lightly. Time after time I have been in awe of how she lives out her faith and loyalty to the ones she loves. I’ve watched her waver over decisions and I’ve seen her hold fast to the things that she knows and believes. She chooses according to what makes her a better person. I’ve watched as she moved hundreds of miles away to cultivate her relationship with Bill. I’ve listened to her speak words of life over me during some of my lowest moments. She’s not afraid of doing difficult things. I love that about her.

So here’s a bit of the weekend. I hope it gives a glimpse of the camaraderie that unraveled.  It was so good to make new friends and travel with older ones.  Travel does my heart good.  billelle-95 billelle-96 billelle-98


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