Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment and when the nurse took my blood pressure she asked if I was nervous. Normally I get excited when my blood pressure is taken because I’ve been told it’s excellent and, apparently, I think there’s a special place in the world for Blood Pressure Valedictorians. If there was a blood pressure team, I’d be captain. But yesterday? The nurse told me to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.

That’s been a reoccurring theme in my life lately: taking a deep breath.

As I left the doctor’s office, he reminded me to take things easy. I promised him I was different, I wasn’t the girl he took care of in the emergency room a few weeks ago. He asked me what changes I made and as I listed them, he nodded his head with approval. The biggest change, however, was bringing an assistant with me to weddings.

In light of keeping my health a top priority, I invited Kendra to join JD and I at a few recent weddings and I’m incredibly thankful to have her at my side. I used to babysit Kendra and her two sisters (and raid their pantry for fruit snacks and popcorn), but she’s now a college student studying photography.

I invited Kendra to join me and hold my camera gear, but she’s since morphed into my right hand. She’s kind, considerate, and one of the hardest working girls and I’m honored to have her at my side.

When I told the doctor about Kendra, he patted my back and said he was happy for me. As captain of the Blood Pressure Valedictorian team, I was too.