The sun was still high and puffy clouds punctuated the bright blue sky. Cortney and I were eastbound on a winding road that dipped and rolled through a breathtaking rural landscape. We chatted about the space between 18 and 28, our favorite music, our common major (creative writing) and how everything was getting more and more beautiful the closer we got to our destination. Driving to Galena always reminds me that God is the greatest architect. Downtown Galena fits right in, a town built onto giant steps, each parallel road even higher than the last. You can drive right up to the top and see everything. It was the perfect setting for Cortney’s senior pictures, and all the plans we had for props and themes gave way to what the town already offered: beautifully painted storefronts, stone & brick walls, and the sun dipping below the horizon on the edge of town. Everything about it was lovely, but especially Cortney. She is wise and beautiful and spirited: everything an 18-year-old girl on the brink of the rest of her life should be.