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PJ

2012 was crazy. This year stretched and grew my understanding of the world and myself. The Lord used this year to teach me lessons I cannot place a value on. I made connections and had new experiences that have been unparalleled in prior years of my life. I have received many surprises and faced many challenges and been rewarded in ways I do not deserve. 2012 was my favorite year of life thus far.

Seattle

I started the first day of 2012 in Seattle. My very first day in the city and the beginning of a new
adventure. My time in Seattle was not long but it was an invaluable experience. In the course of my three-and-a-half months there, I learned more about myself than I had ever before. I faced loneliness, but through that was able to make new friends. It was during this time, that for the first time in my life, I was forced to fully rely on the Lord to provide for me financially, which grew my trust in His provision. While in Seattle, I worked with a company that I often miss very much and grew close to girls from an awesome church, of whom I also miss very much. It remains in my mind a beautiful memory, but when April rolled around, I was ready to go home.

Part of the reason I was ready to go home was the excitement I was experiencing from the eagerness of new love. In February, I met PJ Szabo via a mutual friend. The introduction occurred accidentally, through music, and on the internet. While in Seattle, we quickly moved from Facebook messages to text messages to three-hour phone calls. The phone calls grew consistent and contact became nearly constant. On April 10, the very day I moved home from Seattle, was the first day I met PJ in real life (and the first day he met my parents! Eek!) He is the reason this year has been my favorite. PJ is fun in ways that encourage me to be spontaneous and silly. He is compassionate and kind. He is selfless and humble. He is the best listener I know and immensely patient. PJ encourages me to be a better person and to love more like Christ simply by the example of his life.

Pj and I

On Dec. 21, after a night of fun and Christmas festivities with my dad’s extended family, PJ was driving me home. Pulling into the driveway, the clock was just about to read 12:00 a.m., we would officially survive the supposed Mayan Apocalypse. We both exited the car, arms full of gifts and goodies and the greatest white elephant gift. PJ was walking behind me and as I reached the door of my house, I heard him set his things down. “There’s one more thing…” he said to me. As I turned around to see what he needed, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a ring. The most beautiful ring. And down on one knee he asked if I would be his wife. I didn’t believe him at first. I swore this could only be a dream. He assured me it was not and I responded an enthusiastic “YES!” Of course I woke everyone in my house up to tell them the news, though he had already told them prior to the event anyway. In the course of this year, I met the man of my dreams, we grew to be best friends, and then, on midnight of Dec. 22, we became engaged.

engaged

This year could not have ended any sweeter, I thought. But the good news just kept coming. This past Saturday, I was offered a job as a producer for Morning Edition on KJZZ, NPR’s Phoenix member station. I still feel so grateful and amazed I was offered this opportunity and cannot wait to join the KJZZ team.

Some other amazing things have happened this year for which I often thank the Lord. My grandmother’s cancer is gone! We prayed and prayed. The doctors worked and she endured many months of chemo, and now, there is no cancer. God is good!

The autumn months brought about a new internship as I started a working relationship with Atlas Quarterly that is set to solidify in this new year. In mid-December, the tobacco pipes I began making for a hobby are now being sold in a specialty store in downtown Phoenix called Hard Goods. How these events even occurred still blows me away. I feel so honored to be involved with these great companies.

Like I said, 2012 has been my favorite year thus far. However, I’m certain 2013 will be my forever favorite as i begin new career endeavors and more importantly as I will pledge my life to the most amazing man I know and my very best friend.

Welcome, 2013. I’m glad you’re here.

Sincerely,
Kendra Leigh

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