what a year.

i think 2011 is my favorite year to date.
now, of course, it wasn't always unicorns, cupcakes, and roses, but the good definitely outweighed the bad.
and looking back i feel incredibly blessed and thankful.

in january, i got my first new year's kiss (it's totally normal to have your first new year's kiss at 25, right?), rescued sir winston from the shelter (his underbite won me over), and became the proudest momma you've ever seen.
in february i lost my wisdom teeth with the biggest tub of greek yogurt you've ever seen by my side and thoroughly enjoyed a couple days off of school due to the frigid temps. we lounged, crafted, played with sir winston, and refined our pallets at village inn. did you know they have free pie on wednesdays? 
changed. my. life. 
in march, i extreme snow shoe-d for the first time with only a few expletives on my tongue, celebrated mr. lesley's and my first anniversary, and spring breaked it up in costa rica. in costa rica we learned to rappel from water falls, use our limited spanish to order delicioso meals, and most importantly, that it's NEVER a good idea to drive a rental car in that country unless you like your blood pressure to rise to unimaginable heights. 
in april, sir winston graduated from doggie training classes with flying colors (or something like that), i decided to finally get up the nerve to sign up and start training for my first marathon, and mr. lesley and i started our relational discipleship groups at church, which really helped us connect and find a community we absolutely LOVE.
in may, i finished my second year of teaching middle school (that is quite an accomplishment in and of itself if you ask me), celebrated my 26th birthday and mr. lesley's 30th, and went to the greatest concert of my life, ADELE, with my big sis.
in june, heather and i dominated the steamboat half marathon (well, heather definitely dominated. i finished without passing out), mr. lesley summited mt. kilimanjaro (he is my hero), my step-sis lele came to visit us in denver (we pretty much had the best time ever), and my big sis got engaged, which is definitely one of the year's top highlights. 

in july, mr. lesley and i spent a great week with my family in illinois. then we took the train to michigan, where i had an amazing tour of the state and met his extended family for the first time. we even took a trip up to the UP, and it was beautiful. never underestimate michigan. it's pretty awesome.
after we returned to denver from pure michigan, mr. lesley's cousin came to visit. i met one of my favorite bands and rode in the moonlight classic through the streets of downtown denver. and, to top it all off, i went to my very first rodeo, cheyenne frontier days, with my favorite new friend of the summer, new friend kim:).
in august, mr. lesley and i had such a great time on our church camping trip, my dad came out to denver to help move my brother back to illinois, and we went rafting with mr. lesley's family and only lost one person on the way (sorry again kristin). we finished off the month by completing the warrior dash with poynter-lauschs. we just like jumped over fire, no bigs.

in september, i had the privledge of being in my friend bethany's wedding in oregon.i partied it up at her bachelorette party, reunited with my favorite college girlies (and got to introduce them to mr. lesley), and celebrated the couple while dancing to our hearts' content at the reception.
it. was. epic.
in october, well, we got ENGAGED (hands down, the best event of the year...possibly the decade!), celebrated with all of our favorite denver peeps, and ran a marathon (my step-sis even flew in for the day to cheer me on!) all in the same weekend (probably the greatest weekend of my life thus far). at the end of the month we ran the gorilla run with mr. lesley's family in honor of his cousin emma, and i went to my first football game as a lion's fan (or something like that:).
in november, mr. lesley and i spent a fabulous weekend in the mountains with our friends nancy and justin and krista and luke where they taught me to shoot a gun for the first time, and nancy and justin even let me do a wedding photo shoot for them! we were also able to spend thanksgiving with mr. lesley's family, and i was honored to help with my sister's engagement photo shoot (and got some good shots of my own).

and last but certainly not least, in december, we bid a found adieu to sir winston as he left for his prison training program  (yes, he is at the real, actual prison), celebrated my first christmas with mr. lesley and his fam, and just rang in the new year with my family and friends in illinois. 

even though 2011 was pretty incredible, i know the best is yet to come.
and i am so, so thankful.


  1. I'm 26 and have never had a new year's kiss... I'm so proud that I beat your record. I'm very competitive, after all.

  2. I'm so thankful for your blog! I would be so depressed if I missed out on these moments completely. at least through your blog I get a little glimpse :). I hope I get to see you in 2012!!

  3. You have had a HUGE, beautiful year. Congrats!