HOW IS IT ALMOST 2020!?
Last night, Luke and I went out for dinner and really got to thinking about the fact that we are about to close out a decade and just how much has happened the last 10 years – for us individually and together, because this year marked 10 years of us being together! We discussed the big things that have happened in this decade and tried to put into words what the Lord has taught us about himself, one another, ourselves, etc. I mean I’ve only lived a little over 2.5 decades, but this is the first one where I can remember each and every year, and how the days became months became years and basically I went from being a little teenager to an adult and wow…time is truly a crazy thing.
Exactly 10 years ago, as 2009 was ending and ushering me into 2010, I remember a deep sadness. I was in the midst of some depression and anxiety, really struggling through my junior year of high school, had been dating a boy (NOW MY HUSBAND!) for 2 months, and just felt overwhelmed by life. I also remember though, my amazing parents, who were my advocates in every way. Just 8 months later, as I was starting my senior year – I was in a fresh and hope-filled place. The Lord had taught me so much and I had been equipped with skills to battle the anxiety, skills that I still lean on today when those seasons creep in.
So in 2010, I finished my Junior year, went to my first prom, Luke graduated high school, I started my Senior year as Student Body President, we had a great high school football season and I remember it being a really fun time of enjoying my friends, enjoying visiting Luke at Clemson, and overall being excited for the future!
2011 was my high school graduation year!! I went to the same school from 4K to 12th grade and I remember them giving us sweatshirts in kindergarten that said “WCCS Class of 2011” and that seemed like the most far off year that could ever be…but it had come! In 2011, I turned 18, received my admissions letter to Clemson University, went to Grenada on our senior trip, went on a cruise with my family over Spring Break, went to prom, had a fun summer preparing for college, moved into Clemson in August with Political Science as my major (LOL), roomed with Kendall, Kathryn, and Haley in Clemson House, got a little homesick, joined an FCA Small Group, and finished my first semester with a 4.0! I remember coming home for Christmas break to get my wisdom teeth out and binge watch One Tree Hill!
2012 – I went to Chicago with Clemson FCA over Spring Break, finished my freshmen year @ Clemson and worked at Comporium that summer as an intern in Accounting. Also during the summer of 2012, my family moved from our house of 17 years and moved across town to where they live now. I was in a really bad car wreck on moving day. I started my Sophomore Year at Clemson and changed my major to Psychology. I lived with Lauren and Andrea and Andrea and I co-lead an FCA girls small group.
2013 – I started the year by going to the Passion conference in Atlanta with Luke and some of our close friends. I celebrated my 20th birthday by doing the color run in Columbia with sweet friends! I went to New Orleans with Clemson FCA over Spring Break, which was a turning point in my college career. After that trip, I remember feeling like I was growing deep friendships, figuring out my place and purpose at Clemson, and it was just a sweet season. I finished my sophomore year @ Clemson and babysat June during the summer…sweetest summer ever snuggling a 6 month old every day! My dad graduated with his double masters in Divinity and Pastoral Care! I moved into Daniel Square 11 with Caitlyn, Kayla, Taylor and Sam. I became a Tour Guide!
2014 – We went to the Passion again! I celebrated my 21st birthday at midnight on the 50 yard line of Death Valley! That weekend we went to Olive garden and a trampoline park. My family came to visit as well. I went to Cincinnati with Clemson FCA over Spring Break. I finished up my Junior year. Clay graduated high school and we shared one year together at Clemson! Luke graduated from Clemson and started Pharmacy School at Wingate! Murrell’s Inlet Trip to Ashley’s beach house. I interned at Comporium in Shareholder Services (my current department!). Our family went to Arizona, saw the Grand Canyon, and also spent a few days in Vegas. I started my Senior Year at Clemson and lived in Campus View (its very first year being open) with Laura Beth and Caitlyn. I was on the FCA Missions Team to plan the Spring Break Mission trip to Indianapolis.
2015 – I celebrated my 22nd birthday by going out to dinner with sweet friends and then having a sleepover at Campus View and watching High School Musical 3. One of the most fun birthdays ever! Helped lead the FCA Mission Trip to INDY. Got engaged! Graduated from Clemson with a degree in Psychology and minor in Sociology and a 4.0 GPA. Went to Nashville with Caitlyn and Courtney after graduation. Began working at Comporium in Shareholder Services part time while also pursuing my Masters Degree in Counseling from Gardener Webb University. Planned our wedding. Visited Caitlyn in Boston.
2016 – My bachelorette party in Brevard! GOT MARRIED to my sweet Luke on my 23rd birthday! Moved into our rental house at the farm and started making it home…started to realize just how much I loved decorating and making a space a home. Joined North Rock Hill Church and got plugged into our small group and started building community and serving in the student ministry. Luke completed his second year of pharmacy school and started his third. We attended SO many weddings! We spent a week in Destin, FL over the summer with my family. I decided grad school was not right for us in that season of life and quit and began working full time at Comporium in Shareholder Services.
2017 – This is the year I started recapping each month on this blog to help me remember all of the little, mostly mundane things that make up a year – so much of 2017-2019 is already documented here, but here are the highlights … I turned 24 and we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, Luke finished his third year of Pharmacy school and started his last with rotations. I went with my mom and Lindsey on a cruise to the Bahamas, we had so many fun weddings to attend for our friends, I started Caroline Hamilton Wedding Coordination as a side business and coordinated two amazing weddings for the dearest couples. Luke was in a horrible car accident and his car was totaled and we found out the next day we had to move quickly and unexpectedly from our rental house. We celebrated my mom’s 50th birthday and enjoyed a trip to Lake Lure for Thanksgiving.
2018 – This was a rollercoaster year living with my parents and trying to figure out our next steps. Seth and Lauren got married in January. I turned 25 and we celebrated our 2nd anniversary with a night at the Ivey’s in Charlotte. Luke graduatedfrom Wingate School of Pharmacy in May and we had a big party!! Clay graduated from Clemson. My Nanny passed away. We coordinated five weddings. I started singing on the worship team at church and we continued to volunteer in student ministry. Luke studied all summer to pass his boards and started working from home doing MTMs in August. We enjoyed a trip to Murrel’s Inlet with the Nesters + Bolands. We ended the year hopeful for 2019.
2019 – This was a banner year. Two weeks into January, we started looking at houses. We bought our first house on February 14th!!! We celebrated my 26th birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary with a getaway to Whispering Willows (a little early/the weekend before our closing). Luke started his job with Carolina Pharmacy in February and then was hired as manager of the Rock Hill store in July. We welcomed out sweet puppy, Willow, in April and Luke turned 27. We coordinated 8 weddings. We spent a week in Hilton Head with my family and took a trip to DC to visit Clay. After 3.5 years at North Rock Hill Church, we took steps of faith to join a church plant team sent by NRHC into Downtown Rock Hill. We have now been in the process of planting Old Town Church for 6 months and it is one of the sweetest seasons I’ve ever experienced.
There ya have it…A DECADE. Reflecting on these years reminds me more than ever that our God is a God of seasons. His patience with me is so abundant – because I’ve managed to have the same revelation over and over again that I am not in control and His ways are always better and He is kind enough to allow me to relearn it. These are just the highlights…thankfully it’s easier to remember the high times than the low times. But, in struggle and triumph, our God is good and gracious and wise and powerful and learning more about Him and His character has been the best part of growing older – with each year, He builds me up in spiritual maturity and establishes my roots deeper and I’m just SO.VERY.THANKFUL. Here we go, 2020!