2015 Year In Review

This year is almost over, can you believe it?! I can’t. Things I did in January seem like a million years ago, but at the same time this year feels like it flew by. How does that work?

Probably witchcraft.

One thing I can tell you is that I probably didn’t blog enough. But WordPress does this super great thing where they give you your stats for the year.

Some of them were interesting…

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To think that anything I wrote was viewed that many times, even if it’s by the same small group of people, is crazy to me.

Others were obvious…

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I have 3 words for you: Simple Little Sunday. It’s pretty much what kept this blog alive this year.

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The US and Cyprus? Big shocker there! wink wink The 46 countries in all was pretty crazy though.

I’d like to say I’m going to set goals for these stats next year, but one of two things will happen: I’ll either get sucked into that and not rest until I have 60 countries or a streak longer than 2 days; or I’ll completely forget about it until I read this wrap-up in a year.

My money is on the latter.

All that said, let’s take a look back at the last 12 months of my life. They’ve been pretty crazy!

January

Aside from my birthday, the biggest thing that I did in January was go to my friend’s graduation from Navy Boot Camp. In Great Lakes, IL. In January. Guys, it was COLD! But also 110% worth it.

Patrick is one of our closest friends (he was instrumental in getting Dave and I together whether he knows it or not, and was one of the groomsmen in our wedding. But I’m getting ahead of myself). To be there for such a huge moment in his (and his wife’s) life is one I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

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Well done, Sailor!

February

Other than snow (bleh), February brought the first valentines day I’ve ever fully enjoyed. Probably because I was with someone who loves me so well without even trying. He’s the best!

I also contemplated life…

March

In March I did a BeachBody challenge group competition thing with my friend Lynda. We both started the 21 day fix at the end of February but committed to do this team challenge thing for all of March, which proved to be a bad idea for me and my knees. BUT I had some decent results:

Before: Weight: 140; Waist: 32; Thigh: 23; Arm: 11.5

After: Weight: 136; Waist: 29.75; thigh: 20.5; Arm: 11

And we had the best team name: DIE LARD WITH A VENGEANCE

Half way through the month we treated ourselves to a huge Italian meal with wine and martinis. We didn’t care. We earned it for finishing the first round of the 21 day fix! Plus we needed an excuse to go have dinner just the two of us haha.

April

Ok, April was HUGE.

I went to California for the first time in my life with my boyfriend and came back with a fiance! This started a whirlwind of events and emotions. My life was beautiful, but insane.

May

I found my wedding dress! Thank the Lord for favor and grace!dress

This thing is beautiful and I want to put it back on!

We also went to check out a wedding venue that I’m so glad we didn’t go with! It was a nice enough place, but we would’ve compromised entirely too much.

I also went to Isle of Palms, SC for a DIVE Alumni Retreat where I met even more amazing women and solidified friendships. It’s amazing what Rita Springer can deposit in moments. If you’re a worshipper of God in any form (photography, paint, dance, singing) I highly recommend checking out her week-long school in Texas. You won’t be the same after it.

We also had our engagement shoot with the wonderful Daphne and Dean!

June

I rode more of that emotional-wedding-planning-roller-coaster and can honestly say my prediction was right: Thank the Lord that was only 5 months!

We also nailed down our caterer – Impressive Catering – and were NOT disappointed! I’ve written reviews for Dave (the owner/chef) and we go to his restaurant (The Tea Kettle in Old Saybrook) all the time. We didn’t just get a caterer, we were blessed with a team member and new friend. He bent over backwards to make sure our wedding had everything we wanted, even down to the gluten free chicken parm for me. He’s amazing and we honestly can’t say enough good things about him.

July

July brought Dave and my’s 1 year anniversary (July 9th) and we started Premarital Counseling with our pastors. Which we totally rocked, btw. And chose our Cake Lady, where we still go for cupcakes.

I also brought these crazies to Six Flags for our annual trip.

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August

On August 9th, my bridal party pulled off the best bridal shower ever. It was in my friend’s backyard, very laid back and FRIENDS themed. Perfection. Except for when Dave knew too much about me for the bubble gum game and I had a wad the size of Texas in my mouth.

Dave and I also went to see Waitress up at ART in Cambridge! It was amazing. We laughed, we cried, I peed a lot – everything you want in a musical! Plus the music and lyrics were done by my female crush: Sara Bareilles. So it was a giant win. And now we have the opportunity to go see it on Broadway! Guys, it was that good.

August also brought another huge event for one of my friends that I got to be present for! Christine was pinned! She’s officially an RN! I’m so ridiculously proud of her for this accomplishment!

September

WE GOT FLIPPIN MARRIED!!! You want to talk about a roller coaster? Read this post. The day before our OUTDOOR wedding was a flippin MONSOON but our day was perfect. As you can see.

We got to spend some time with Dave’s family from California as well, which was great. Distance is for the birds. Literally. Because they can fly for free!

And we went to my happy place for our honeymoon!

October

The first Saturday of October, I joined some amazing women for what would have me walking like a freak for a week – Mudderella.

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Basically, I woke up one morning and decided to run a 5 mile obstacle course. With zero training. BAD idea! But these women kept me going and encouraged me like no other. I definitely would have given up were it not for them.

I also got to witness one of my little cousins get married!

November

November was filled with parties, Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and entirely too much food. Not to be outdone by…

December

Which brought even MORE food! More parties. More quality time with friends and family. And yes, more food.

We got to celebrate our first Christmas as a family with the boys and it was a total success, if I do say so myself. My mom came over and we brought our Christmas Eve traditions (fried dough and homemade pizza).

The highlight of Christmas Eve was probably the nerf guns I got for Dave and the boys. Total war instantly broke out in our home and I almost cried from laughing so hard.

Christmas day was the BIG family Christmas, and it was beautiful so we played outside with the kids in between courses.

And tomorrow we celebrate the end of a phenomenal year with some of our close friends (that can make it).

 

Cheers 2015. You’ve been amazing.

2016? You’ve got some big shoes to fill.

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Special Simple Little Sunday

Wow, so it’s been a while since I’ve written one of these, huh. I actually haven’t been doing SLS with the youth for the past few months for a lot of reasons, the biggest being that with the size we’ve grown to there just isn’t enough time to do everything.

SLS isn’t dead though, I’ve had adults (one of whom being my husband) tell me about how they’ve begun noticing the little things, and on a seemingly boring or even awful day, they begin to smile.

SLS is important, guys, even when I’m not posting about it.

This week we did a special version where we talked about the best thing that happened to us all year. Big or small. I’m not sure when the next one of these will be, so please enjoy our final Simple Little Sunday of 2015!

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  • Livia got to spend a lot of time with her family this year.
  • Ben got a Volvo s40. She’s got heated leather seats, and she doesn’t have a name yet, but she’s definitely a girl.
  • Caleb moved back to America!
  • Tim got to be a part of his brother’s wedding.
  • Julia started a YouTube channel and has 40 subscribers.
  • Gracie got a notebook for Christmas with scriptures on the pages. She has a friend that she wanted to witness to and decided that these pages will be a great way to do that. She crosses out the part where it says where the scripture is found in the Bible so her friend just thinks they’re nice sayings. Eventually she’ll tell her that they’re from the Bible and use that as a conversation starter. We call it “Sneaky Jesus”
  • Wendy went to Colorado in the summer for her brother’s wedding. She doesn’t get to see him very often.
  • Leila’s art teacher wants to sell all of her art pieces at their museum. One of them sold for $80! 30% goes to the museum and 70% goes to her. Yeah, she’s that good.
  • Christos became good friends with Ben.
  • Max did a lot of singing this year.
  • Grace went to Maine and went kayaking with Ben.
  • Josh went to a ton of lacrosse games.
  • I got married!

 

So there it is! What’s the best way God showed you He loved you this year?