My cousin is gorgeous. Meet Mrs. Smith.

After six long months of planning and preparation, the time had finally come... my dear cousin was getting married.

Nearly three years ago we had each finished our thesis and were ready to embark on four week European adventure. It's what we thought would be our last adventure before we joined the working world. We had a blast and created memories that will last a lifetime. Upon our return to the states, I settled in to my new job and she continued to search for hers. Only three months of searching led her to the opportunity of a lifetime--a year long internship at a toy company in shanghai (she's a product designer). She was to leave that very next January. I was heartbroken that my cousin was leaving. After four years of being apart during college, I had hoped we could be together to have more adventures.

With tears in my eyes I said good-bye, with the hope of her return in a year. I continued with my job and was laid off seven months later, just as my cousin began to speak of this guy she was "getting to know". By the time I went to visit her in November, I could tell marriage was on their mind. I knew they'd be engaged in the next couple of months. I was halfway wrong--they got engaged in July of the following year.

These past months have been bittersweet for me. Filled with the stress of wedding planning and responsibilities as a bridesmaid, I became overwhelmed that my cousin would be soon moving away (almost indefinitely) halfway across the world to be with her future husband. It's been hard to be happy for her new marriage, knowing she was leaving.  I have been so happy for these blessings in her life, but still dreading the day she'd leave.

Her wedding day came and went, and I did my best to enjoy myself and celebrate her marriage, but thoughts of us being apart made me want to cry, making me feel like a silly school girl.  She is one of my closest friends, and I had to say good-bye to her tonight.  She is the one I want to go exploring with, the person who I'd do crafty things with, the best model for my pictures, the one who encourages me spiritually and the one I can really giggle my butt off with.

I'll miss you, Kristina.  le sigh.

Here are some random pictures I snapped of her on her wedding day.... (click on the images for a larger view)

I'll say it just one more time....

I'll miss you, Dear Cousin.  :********(