It feels good to be writing on my blog again! If you’ve noticed that it’s been radio silent for a while, I have a good excuse for you.

I started writing for an amazing website called The Lala, “an online magazine dedicated to empowering 20-something women from across the globe with the authentic, positive and uplifting content.” It’s been a blast to connect with other young women and share stories that I hope will have a positive impact. However, a lot of my personal blog ideas have gone straight to The Lala, where I will be able to reach more readers. But don’t worry – my uber personal ramblings will stay on here!

Although I’ve “announced” our exciting news on all social media platforms, I’ve decided it merits its own blog post. Plus, I’ve gotten a ton of questions/comments about it… so here’s my chance to respond! Jeremy & I (plus Jack and Henry, of course) will be moving from Sacramento to Albuquerque, New Mexico at the end of June! Jeremy got an incredible job offer, and it was an easy decision. Luckily, I can freelance write from anywhere!

Dear 16-year-old Caroline…

It’s me, A.K.A. you, but 11 years older and a whole lot wiser. First off, stop going in tanning beds right this minute and don’t let anyone talk you into getting bangs. Just trust me. With that out of the way, here are a few other things to keep in mind as you navigate the insane world of high school, college, and early adulthood. Seriously, even if you don’t take advice from anyone else, listen to some advice from YOUR DAMN SELF.

A while ago, after I posted my 1,000 Days of Sobriety blog post, a friend made the comment along the lines of, “Thank God you’re an alcoholic so you have something to write about.” I was a little offended – my husband was a lot offended, bless him – but I mostly brushed it off… that person kind of had a point.

It’s planted a little self-doubt in my head, though. Am I beating a dead horse? Yes, Caroline, you’re sober. YAY YOU! Move along. Should I really write about it so much? Why do I feel so called to share?

Alcoholism, or any addiction really, is an insane thing. No matter how chaotic life is or how glaringly bad the problem gets, you can’t see the mess until you’re out of it. You’ll make excuse after excuse, rationalize the most irrational things, and pretend everything is completely fine. Until you finally, finally get the gift to see that it’s not. It’s not fine, it hasn’t been fine, and something needs to change.

When we got engaged in November, a lot of people told me to ~enjoy this special time~ and soak it all in. To be honest, I usually rolled my eyes when I heard that. I was pretty open about wanting a shorter engagement and simply wanting to be married. I don’t like planning things – seriously, I freeze up if I have to pick a restaurant for a girl’s dinner – and to me, “being engaged” just meant “planning a wedding.”

With eleven days to go until the BIG DAY (!!!), I am happy to report that these past ten months were a lot more special than I anticipated, and I learned a lot more than just how to create a wedding seating chart. Here are the top five.