Merry -two days after- Christmas!
For the last five years, I have included with my Christmas card/newsletter/blog a brief look at the previous twelve months. This year, I didn’t do Christmas cards and I didn’t write a newsletter. I didn’t even blog before Christmas came and went. But I did reflect on the last year and I’m filled with thankfulness.
2016 was good to me. God once more proved his faithfulness and his kindness. The theme of my life this year was NEW. I did a lot of new things. I asked myself often, “When was the last time I did something for the first time?” That question defined my year and gave me a year of adventure, accomplishment, and fun! Here is the annual sneak peak:
JANUARY: I started training for a half-marathon!
FEBRUARY: I went on an ambiguous non-date with a charming and handsome man from my church. By the end of the month, that man was my boyfriend.
MARCH: I ran my first half-marathon…something I never thought I could do!
APRIL: My favorite memory from April was a 90s Dance Party at a local bar for my friend Lacey’s birthday. Barbie Girl, The Macarena, Semi-charmed kinda life…all the good stuff.
MAY: I drove out to San Diego to see my friend Rachel. Her brother taught us how to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time.
JUNE: I took two weeks of PTO and checked PNW off the bucket list. I traveled to Redding, CA -> Eugene, OR -> Portland, OR -> Seattle, WA -> Vancouver BC. It was epic. I connected with old friends, worshipped at Bethel, floated rivers, went to vineyards and wineries, saw the coast, ate clam chowder, visited my 30th country and had so much fun!
JULY: Charles (that charming man from back in Feb.) and I spent 4th of July on a lake in Arizona. We also went to our first concert together…Fitz & the Tantrums.
AUGUST: My cousin Brianna got married so my family flew out to Kentucky and celebrated her big day!
SEPTEMBER: I quit my job at Nordstrom and started nannying for a family that lives in my neighborhood…talk about convenient! Charles and I also traveled to Georgia for a WorldRace Alumni conference and more importantly for him to meet my best friends.
OCTOBER: This was a low month for me emotionally. I almost broke up with Charles because of my own fears. Thankfully he constantly endures my ups and downs. We dressed up for Halloween as a cowboy/cowgirl one day and baseball players another day.
NOVEMBER: Charles and I spent Thanksgiving in Tucson with my family and then we drove north with some friends to spend the day at Woods Canyon Lake for my birthday…even though it wasn’t for another week.
DECEMBER: I turned 30 years old on December 5th and had the most memorable birthday. After dinner at Pho King Kitchen (yep, say it faster), Charles took me to the bell tower at our church that overlooks the valley. I was blindfolded and as soon as we stepped into the tower I heard someone playing the guitar. I immediately recognized the song because it was the first song the Charles sang to me (and I didn’t find it cheesy or lame). I asked him if he was going to make me cry and he said “probably”. He proposed at the top of the bell tower and I couldn’t stop crying/smiling/laughing/all the emotions! THEN, he pointed out the window and 50 people started cheering! We ate cake and drank sparkling cider with our closest friends and family to celebrate our engagement. It was absolutely magical.
Now we are heading into 2017 and although I am excited for the many many NEW things I will experience, I feel warm gratitude in my heart for 2016. Sometimes it can be tempting to focus on all of the devastating things that happened this year…our world and our country has suffered greatly. But this year has shown me God’s passion, his closeness, and his care for humankind. The small things we dismiss, he values greatly and finds places of honor for them.
So thank you 2016. I hope to take all of the goodness that I gained and distribute it generously in the coming year.