Best Life: A Decade of Laughs

blonde girl standing in a field of sunflowers looking back at the camera.

As a decade ends, another begins. So many people look back on the last 10 years and try and pinpoint what they accomplished, where they grew as a person, and how life has changed.

I am not going to do that.

Because guess what, half the decade I was in school and then I got sick. And that’s not really the kind of thing I want to celebrate.

So instead, I’ll play the game of Best Life, like I did last year (Best Life 2018).

Best life, this last decade to me, is a culmination of moments where I’m actually smiling. Where for that brief moment I’m actually having a great time. So I hope y’all enjoy this curated photo based blog post of the moments that made this decade truly great.

very dark photo collage of three friends, one in a white shirt at a middle school dance
(40) Digging into the deep trenches of the past, the best of the decade begins at the beginning of the decade, at a very dark middle school dance with my two best friends Josh and Alan.
A blonde and brunette girl both dressed up in nice gowns sitting on a couch having homecoming photos taken.
(39) Just an hour after having a fight with wildberries and pulling twigs out of my hair, my group of friends all decided on a whim to get fancied up, take some quick photos and head to freshmen year homecoming.
Two girls hugging each other on a bridge laughing.
(38) I was momentarily a brunette and on one of my last days in town before moving across the country I was surprised by a group of friends who all wanted to see me and spend time with me before the big move.
Two girls sitting at a table in a restaurant laughing over drinks.
(37) Impromptu late night half priced appetizers.
Two girls in flannel shirts at the back of a concert venue.
(36) Luke Bryan concert with my best friend where we quickly were photobombed by the gentleman who then joined us for more photos.
Three girls in a sunny concert venue with Florida Georgia Line shirts on.
(35) Went to a concert for a friends birthday to hear some band I never heard of – ended up falling in love with FGL a few months later.
Girl in flannel and cowboy boots posing for photo with three staff members on the Duke Baseball team.
(34) In the midst of rebelling about having to tour Clemson, I was blessed by meeting the Duke Baseball team in the lobby of my hotel.
Blonde girl and brunette relaxing in the front of a car socializing with a guy in the back.
(33) Forced my friends to go see Interstellar in theaters, not sure if they hated me or the movie more. I loved the movie and loved them even more for not abandoning me when they dipped before the movie ended.
Blonde girl wearing a packers christmas hat and jersey with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium in the background.
(32) Went to my first ever Packer’s game in Tampa.
Large group of students all wearing black screaming down into a camera during a football game.
(31) All of the football games at home my senior year of high school were incredible – felt like we were all living in our very own Friday Night Lights episode.
A blonde girl and her friend holding on to a broom with a very serious look on their face.
(30) Jared and I were entrusted with the coveted Ashley Ridge Broom, which became famous in our student section.
Two girls in matching flannels hugging at a hockey game.
(29) Went to my first hockey game and twinned with my best friend Ashlynn.
Photo of blonde girl sitting on top of her mother, squishing her before a holiday party.
(28) Ran off to Wisconsin with my mom and got all dressed up to go to a family holiday party.
Two girls posing in front of a log cabin rental.
(27) Ran off to Wilmington with my best friend Caroline and got the cutest little cabin for our trip.
Girl in grey sweatshirt holding a pink glittery Easter egg and a basket with a stuffed pink bunny in it, a very large smile in on her face.
(26) Ran off to a Walgreens in Wilmington to grab some groceries – got way more excited by glittery eggs and a bunny that would shortly be named Daniel – the Damn Daniel Bunny.
Girl in a black top and jeans standing against a brick wall on the set of One Tree Hill.
(25) Visited the set of One Tree Hill’s famous Red Bedroom Records.
Blonde in a black shirt posing in front of a T-rex behind a fence.
(24) Picked out an aquarium that specifically had dinosaurs while in Wilmington…
Large Triceratops standing in front of blonde girl with black top on.
… (23) found more dinosaurs and had to get a picture with them all.
Girl with long braid posing with an Akita breed of dog.
(22) Got a very special visitor at work one night.
Girl in silver prom dress posing with girl in blue prom dress with a palm tree in the background.
(21) Convinced a total stranger (Torie) to be my date to my senior prom.
Girl in silver prom dress posing with two gentlemen in tuxes.
(20) Laughed as to how short I still was in heels compared to the guys in my prom group.
Three girls in prom dresses posing for professional photos.
(19) Had enough fun at my prom that I ended up going to Torie’s prom the very next week.
Three girls in swimsuits relaxing by the side of a pool.
(18) Caught up with old friends poolside just before graduation.
Two girls posing in the back of the car dressed to head out on the lake for the day.
(17) Celebrated the Fourth going out on the lake with Torie.
Blonde girl with rock n roll t-shirt on standing in front of a slowly filling concert venue.
(16) Conned my mom into coming to see Brantley Gilbert in concert with me.
Blonde girl sitting on top of a long neck dinosaur.
(15) Went to a petting zoo, found a dinosaur.
Girl in white pullover and shorts, sitting in a tree with a sketchbook in her lap.
(14) Went to college. Drew in trees. This is architecture. Got in trouble for goofing off.
Two girls posing and laughing in a hallway. One is in a grey shirt, the other a tye-dye t-shirt.
(13) Goofed off at my job in the Dean’s office with my best friend Deedra. Got delicious pancakes later that night.
Blonde girl sticking out her tongue, brunette guy with shaggy haircut throwing up a peace sign.
(12) Actually made friends in college and got invited to celebrate Christmas Eve with Robert and his family.
Girl in a flannel shirt with two gentlemen at a rodeo.
(11) Convinced my friends Heath and Aaron to go to the rodeo with me. Did not successfully convince either to play pinball with a bull.
Girl smiling in a photo with a corner of a VW truck behind her.
(10) Found the coolest old VW van on the way home from a bar, got a photo in the pouring rain and got home to find that Robert so nicely zoomed in far enough to crop the entire car out of the photo.
Girl standing next to a large wall full of architectural drawings on display with models on the floor.
(9) Finished the world’s most frustrating architecture project.
Blonde girl in summery black shirt with lace trim sitting on a mandala printed tapestry on the beach with the sun setting behind her.
(8) My favorite photo of me this decade taken by Torie on a weekend I skipped out on Clemson to go to the beach. We met some of the funniest drunken locals that night and got eaten alive by gnats.
Group of seven of me and my coworkers outside a restaurant.
(7) Enjoyed a lovely lunch with the best coworkers at the Clemson Dean’s office I have ever had a few weeks before my departure across the country to explore a new path.
Two sisters standing in front of a very large sunflower field.
(6) Made a trip to Madison with my sister Shanna to see the sunflower fields.
Two girls bundled up in the cold with a person dressed in a mask at a haunted outdoor event.
(5) Was reunited with my childhood best friend, Mikayla and finally had someone to go explore all the local haunts with.
blonde girl petting a very large black dog on the ground.
(4) Ditched class to meet therapy dogs they brought onto campus for finals week.
Girl sitting on a bed of pillows.
(3) Got to live out my dream as an interior designer laying on a bed of luxurious pillows.
Girl petting a cow.
(2) Pet the most beautiful cows.
Girl in red Mighty shirt surrounded by interior decor.
(1) Made an impact on the Mighty community and got offered a Community Leader position.

And that’s a wrap.

To everyone who has been along for the ride, for the many people who have been my best friends over the years, thank you for making my life just a little more special.

Here’s to the next decade, one full of many more laughs, probably many more dinosaurs, and memories that will last a life time.


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