"Deep in the Heart of Texas"

I have been gradually laying out clothes here and there to pack for an upcoming trip. I'm going somewhere I've never been- Texas. I must say, I'm usually always up for a good adventure. 

(Pictured above: Texas Border)

Yes, I know it's the "Lone Star State." I hear things are "bigger there" (what does that even mean)? And my grandma used to sing a song from time to time called, "All My Ex's Live In Texas." That's despite the fact she probably never met anyone from the state.  

Moving on, while packing, I MUST NOT forget my dress and my shoes. I'm a bridesmaid and let me telllllll you, this ain't my first rodeo, shug.  I've got my dance flip flops, travel makeup bag, Kleenex (lots of Kleenex- those ceremonies get me every time... EVERY TIME!), a small snack, hand sanitizer. Okay, enough on the contents of my pocket book.  I think you understand. Basically, at this point, I think I'm a professional.  HA!  What was that movie, "27 dresses?"

(Pictured above: Family and friends from our most recent family wedding (Slaton-McGrath Wedding), July 2013 in Detroit. I love you, Goomadi Ayla)

Let's get to the point. Soon, I will hop on a plane and fly to El Paso, where one of my best, dearest, loveliest friends from college, Adrienne Minjarez and her fiance, Jim Walsh, are set to be married.

(Pictured above:  Adrienne Minjarez and Jim Walsh, Chicago, St. Patty's Day 2013)

As a woman in her late 20s, I've noticed a trend: EVERYONE GETS MARRIED OR IS MARRIED OR WANTS TO BE MARRIED. Most women are on the hunt for their custom-built Prince Charming. And BY GOLLY, WE WANT THAT DARN FAIRY TALE TO COME TRUE, right?  Well, here's the deal, ladies and gentleman- it DOES exist. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't. Did you hear that, Les?  

I know it exists, because I see it in Jim and Adrienne. It's tasteful. It's classic. It's romantic. It's just like the movies. How about I put it this way, it's how it should be. Jim is such a gentleman. He does things women these days call "perks." He opens doors, goes the extra mile, he treats Adrienne like a queen.  Adrienne is a lady. She's classy. She makes him smile. She protects and cherishes his heart. It's clear their love has set the world on fire.

(Pictured above: Adrienne and Jim dancing the night away)

The best part?  They're from two different worlds.  Jim is actually from North Carolina.  He's a UNC grad from Lewisville, N.C. He works as a publication editor for the RedEye Chicago. So hip, right?

Adrienne is a St. Bonaventure University grad, (GO BONNIES) originally from El Paso. She works with the administration at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. It's a Catholic organization that runs a group home for at-risk kids. Mercy Home provides them with education and stability. I admire her more than she knows. She's just kind, patient and good. She is soulful and always grateful.  Plus, she's an October baby too (wink).   

(Pictured above: Meghan Monahan, Adrienne and me, "Bona Bachelorette Weekend", Ellicottville, N.Y. 2013)

Going full-circle, I have loved all the weddings I've been a part of, especially the weddings with an open bar (just kidding).

But there is something extra magical this time. If anything, for me, it's hope that true-everlasting love exists. Yes,  I'm confirming I'm a sap.  No, I'm not soliciting marriage proposals.  

So from here, I pack my bags, jump on a plane, head to El Paso, and prepare to be right by Adrienne's side as she prepares to open the first chapter of her happily ever after.

(Pictured above: Adrienne & Jim)

Who knows?  Maybe I'll bump into one of my "Ex's in Texas?"  *That was for you grandma.

Until next time- Anna.

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