A Year in Polaroids: My 21st Trip Around the Sun

For my 20th birthday last year, a friend gave me something I had been considering getting for quite some time: a Polaroid camera. While the hyped-up fad of these passed while I was still in high school, I never got into it. I was fascinated with the idea of having physical copies of pictures I had taken, and let’s be honest: Polaroids are cute.

I’ve taken quite a few pictures in the last year, and have documented some huge milestones in my life. I’ve now had my camera for an entire year- the entire year of my life that I was 20-years-old. I took pictures of my travels, wedding, friends, and family, and through doing so, documented amazing memories.

The night I got my camera was a big one. Jaycee and Shane threw me a surprise birthday party, and it was so so much fun. I truly felt so loved and happy.

The weekend of my birthday, Shane, Jaycee and I drove back home to see Brenna play Ariel in her school’s musical! She did so amazing and I might have teared up a couple times because her voice is beautiful but it was a ton of fun. Around the same time, Jaycee and I finished recording our last segment of “Tofu Talk”, a plant-based podcast for her audio class.

At the end of the semester, Shane and I went with Jaycee to Colorado for a week! It was a ton of fun, and we went on a bunch of beautiful hikes and adventures.

Right after we got back from Colorado, it was wedding weekend time! The weekend of our wedding was probably one of the best weekends of my life. My bachlorette party was SO MUCH FUN, and we had so many great friends at our rehearsal dinner to celebrate with us.

Then it was wedding day!! I took a bunch of Polaroids over the course of the day, which I am very glad about. I’m so thankful for these memories and people I got to share them with.

To celebrate our new marriage, Shane and I traveled to Isla Mujeres for our honeymoon! We captured some beautiful Polaroids during that week, as well.

When Shane and I got back from our honeymoon, we moved to Branson to work at the Track for the summer. This was our 4th summer working there, only this time we were supervisors!

Our home for the summer was a small, 500-square foot guest house. One of our managers let us stay there so that we could work at the Track! It was small, but it was technically our first home, and I loved it.

We did a lot of working that summer, but we did have some fun memories! Jaycee and David came to visit us for a couple of days, and we rode the Ferris Wheel, went to Silver Dollar City, and got shaved ice!

We drove over 10 hours to go to an Imagine Dragons concert in Wisconsin (RIP getting a good picture in Milwaukee), and on our way home we stopped in Chicago to see the Bean!

I really enjoyed being able to ride my bike a bunch that summer. It’s so peaceful and amazing. (Also, RIP wedding nails) I also had a good summer of growth where I started to care less about what other people thought of me. I decided to get a septum piercing, mainly because everyone was saying I shouldn’t because “it wasn’t me”. I decided to say screw it and do it anyway.

We had to document our move from Branson to Joplin with another Polaroid:

On our last day of summer, Shane and I drove to Bentonville to visit Crystal Bridges, one of my favorite places. A few weeks later, we celebrated Shelby’s birthday with some friends!

The fall semester was a very rough one, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun! We had a breakfast for dinner night with Lawrence and Emma, and for Shane’s 20th birthday, we celebrated with Oreos and Friends! I also voted in an election where I actually understood the issues and felt proud of that fact.

For fall break, Shane and I took a one day trip to St Louis to visit the Arch together. It was a short trip, but a lot of fun!

A few weeks later, I went to Branson for a day to go to a pumpkin patch with Brenna. We carved Minions into our pumpkins, which was such a meme. I love it. About a month later, Shane and I went home for a late Thanksgiving day with both our families.

Once Christmas season hit, I took a ton of Polaroids, especially with a tree in the background. Once Shane and I put up our first Christmas tree together, I had to take a picture. We exchanged presents with Rachelle and Jonathon, and I also became Rachelle’s maid of honor!!

We went to Branson for a night to see Samson at Sight and Sound with some friends, which was a ton of fun! Then we spent our very first Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as a married couple together!

Our next adventure took us out of Missouri and to North Carolina! We went on a road trip with Chey and Lauren, where we took tons of pictures. We went to the beach, Asheville, a waterfall, and the Biltmore! We also celebrated New Years Eve together, which was a great way to ring in 2019.

At the Atlanta airport at the end of the trip, Chey, Shane and I took probably the grossest selfie I’ve taken on my Polaroid to date XD

Later in January, I took a trip back home to see Briar’s senior homecoming game. I spent the night at my parents’ house that night and in the morning I decided to make my family some vegan cookies, so they could see how good they were. Brenna, who’s trying to avoid dairy, was in love. And then, about a month later, Shane and I went back to Branson to see Brenna play Belle in Beauty and the Beast! It was amazing, and I might have cried.

At the end of January, Shane and I flew to Miami for a weekend for Tiffany’s wedding! It was a short trip, but a ton of fun.

For spring break, we went to Chicago with Chey and her boyfriend, Levi! Once again, it was a short weekend trip, but so much fun!

Flash forward to April, and I was zeroing in on my 21st birthday. Before the complete “1 year” of having my Polaroid was up, however, I got to see my sister star in her LAST high school musical and she did AMAZING. The next day, I organized my best friend’s bridal shower which was awesome!

This year has been one heck of an adventure. Not only did I change my hair multiple times, but I changed my last name, too. From concerts to musicals, traveling and fun with friends, I’m so thankful for all God has blessed me with this year. Time for 21!

The “2” balloon broke before I could take a picture so I wrote a “2” on this piece of paper. #Improvising

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