I have been SO bad about updating my blog over the past few months. Since my last post, things have happened at a whirlwind pace: I traveled back home to the USA, I celebrated a birthday (24 — does this mean I’m mid-twenties now?), I performed the soprano solo in Mozart Requiem (a bucket list piece!!!) at my Alma Mater, I subbed for a week in the Fine Arts department of this really amazing private high school (that I wish I could rewind and attend as a teenager), I was visited for a week by my sweet Jacco and by my best friend who lives too many states away, and I started the advanced classes in the yoga app on my phone (shamelessly adding this as a “hashtag humble brag” moment — I’m just pretty proud of this accomplishment).

One of my most exciting updates is that I’ve been hired to sing Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro (auf Deutsch!!! yayyy Germlish!) in Vienna, Austria, this coming year, and to make things even more miraculously wonderful, Jacco has been hired to play in the orchestra, which means we get to be together — and really be TOGETHER — for at least nine months this year. We’ve said a lot of prayers last year that we wouldn’t continue to be kept apart in 2015 due to life’s many obligations and necessities, and we’re very thankful for this opportunity. Things have seemed to fall into place beautifully — and not to sound pessimistic (I like to think of it as realistic, thank you), but I’ve had this persistent thought in the back of my head that something is bound to go wrong at some point, since things have seemed so right.

Sadly, my grandmother was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer last week, which makes the prospect of leaving soon seem very bleak and uninviting. I’m constantly amazed at how much willpower this woman has — she is still as sassy, funny, and sweet as ever, and she is determined to fight this thing out as long as she possibly can. I’m so inspired by her, and always have been, but these past few days have made me realize that, as someone who is carrying her genes, I have an obligation to my family to remain strong, positive, and thankful for God’s blessings as long as I live. I recently gave her a hard-carved Christmas decoration from Dresden, which she thankfully loved, and she told me with a wink to bring her another one from Austria next year. She’s never flown in a plane, let alone been to Europe — but she has arguably been the most supportive person about my travel experiences over the past few years. She told me she would live vicariously through me this year as I explore Austria, so I intend to have the fullest adventure I possibly can, if only to tell my grandmother the stories when I get back.

So, here’s to 2015! I look forward to the adventures you bring.