I can honestly tell you that I've experienced more heartbreak, disappointment, and trauma in the past month than I have in a long time. But when I stop to reflect on this, my favorite month of the year, I would rather note all of the things that made this a truly great month.

I kicked off February and my birthday celebration with a trip to California. Everyone kept asking what I was going for. Me. I found a cheap flight, had wonderful friends who graciously let me be their guest, and I spent 5 days enjoying time away to shop, sight-see, and enjoy the beautiful weather and sights of Pasadena and LA.

For those of you bugging me about my recent weight loss, I ate like a pig in California! Mostly fresh foods but also indulging in gourmet cupcakes and splurging on my favorite, See's Candies. Truffles of course. It was a wonderful vacation. A time to think, process, pray, enjoy the outdoors, engage in conversation with a dear friend and mentor, and just relax.

I have had some new opportunities to be a weekly blogger for a Christian publication, freelancer copy writer for a web-based business, and consulting with another start-up publication. All opportunities I am truly blessed to be able to take part in. And they all wanted a picture of me. Really?! I want to write for the web - not post my picture! Well, I have a lot of photographer friends so I enlisted the talents of one to take a headshot. "It can be low-key," I told him. I should know better than to stifle the creativity of an artist. The day after it snowed we had a full blown photo shoot in some of Lynchburg's little known locations that turned into perfect picture backdrops, producing a fun experience and some new headshots of yours truly. I can honestly say, while I do NOT count myself as a model (I assure you, I have no ability to do a serious pose to save my life), it was a really fun experience and I think everyone should get to enjoy a photoshoot "just because." (Thank you Scott Hill Photography for your awesome work!)

I took advantage of a birthday gift and had a body polish massage. What is a body polish massage, you ask? Good question. It's a relaxation muscle massage with exfoliation and a full body scrub. WOW! I walked out like a silky smooth wet noodle! Why don't I do this more often?! This was definitely a treat! Topping off the beauty treatments, I had a pedicure and fiberglass nails, compliments of the fabulous Taylor'd Nails (check her out on Facebook) and spent 4 luxurious hours getting pampered and feeling like a new woman by my favorite stylist, Dorothy (Check out Fusion Salon!).

In the middle of all this, a new companion entered my life. He's black and white, furry all over, and his name is Bentley. A 2 year old Shih tzu who needed a new home and found his way into mine! He's perfectly trained, super low maintenance, but a great companion. He's not the labradoodle E keeps asking for (only so he can ride him) but Bentley is now a part of the family.

I spent an evening with some girlfriends wining and dining to celebrate several of us who had February birthdays. We started the night by painting pottery, which can be fun and stressful for someone with OCD tendencies. But I ended up with a purple speckled mug inscribed with my name and something I can enjoy my morning coffee in while remembering a day with friends. We ate at Isabella's and I'd never been there so it was a welcomed experience to try new cuisine and get to know friends better. Lots of laughs and a whole lot of good girlfriend fun and it was a wonderful evening!

Another ladies night out included a concert with Mandisa and Laura Story. Seriously, what a blessing! You can see the other blog about this. But part of the fun was also getting to know new people and hear their stories of God's faithfulness in their lives and share Godly girl time of worship. This is so refreshing for the soul!

We got our first snow of the winter on my actual birthday. Snowed in with 7" by the time it was over and a snowday the next day. It changed my birthday plans but taking E out in the snow and hearing his squeals of delight were well worth it!

It's leap year which means 29 days in February so 29 days of celebrating. I ended the month with an office lunch and a heartfelt and thoughtful gift from one of my closest friends (since we'd gotten snowed in and she couldn't give it to me until then). And, to hear about other noteable notes for the month of February, you can check out today's earlier blog. Truly a time of testing and learning. And as I've now turned another year older, I'm reflecting on all God's blessings in my life and striving to give Him all that I am for all of His glory.


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