in 2013, i learned...

::you have to be brave. 
bravery this year looked a whole lot like jumping in with both feet into photography. it started with an online class and then morphed into taking more photos for people and even creating a facebook page (which felt very silly and very terrifying). 
i'm definitely still an ameteur and need to learn so much more, 
but it felt good to try. to put myself out there. to be brave.
::sir winston may be more of a car camping dog than a backpacking dog. 
we learned this the hard way, as he faked his own death, only to be perfectly fine after a comfortable night in a stranger's b&b. 
maybe he's got a little bit of diva in him, but 2013 showed me that i will always love him just the same.

::c.s. lewis was really onto something when he said, "there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." 
we said goodbye to our basement apartment this year and moved into a pretty awesome space.
it's really perfect for us, and we love it.

::there is great power in contentment
2013 felt a lot like finally getting into a groove. 
feeling more at peace. identifying areas where i needed to adjust my expectations and choosing thankfulness.
::beer is more than coors light and college frat games.
 there is an art to it, and, if you're lucky, it can create a pretty great community.

::a gift can mean the world. 
this year, i received the most thoughtful gift, and it is a daily reminder of friendship and love.
friendships morph and change over the years, but if you're lucky, the good ones will stay deep and constant, despite it all.

::marriage is hard and yet so beautiful.
it is hard because it takes us out of our own worlds and forces us to love another person with a selfless heart. 
but it is beautiful because we see the world through another's eyes and find more wonder and goodness than we ever could on our own.
go explore it and prepare to be amazed.

::running is good for my soul.
i spent a lot of my summer and fall running with two great friends.
we trained for a half marathon and dominated those 13.1 miles in october.
many days i don't want to lace up my shoes and get out there, but i know something inside of me is both brought alive and put at ease when i run.

::it's ok to be disappointed with God
while still knowing there is hope in the midst of this crazy life.

::summers are better with a bucket list
especially when you get to play volleyball at the park every week, make a cherry pie, and eat hot dogs at the ballpark. 
because if you're anything like me, people will like to run into you. 
in 2013 i became an expert at calling my insurance company, and driving rental cars, and become best friends with the woman who manages the body shop. 

::just because something is hard, it doesn't make it bad.
teaching last year was hard (fortunately, some of my students still liked me at the end of it), and i struggled a lot. but i think i have turned a corner this year and am truly enjoying my job once again.
i know that last year gave me endurance and a little more grit to add to my resume.
::service makes life rich.
this year i helped organize a blogger event to collect a whole bunch of turkeys and canned goods for the denver rescue mission and also had the privilege of taking some of my students to serve there as well. 
they were two of the most meaningful things i did all year.

and last, but certainly not least...

::when you take something out of the oven, use a hot pad for the love of God.


these end of the year recaps just might be my favorite posts of all.
it's good to look back and remember.
to look through photos and recount memories and identify all the blessings that surround me every single day.

this life is such a gift. 

i hope i always leave space to remember and choose gratefulness. 

2013, you were good to us.
and i can't way to see all the lessons i will learn in the year to come.



  1. What a fun-filled year for you! Would love to have you link up to my 2013 year in review party! Cheers to 2014!

  2. Love this and so thankful to be a part of your life! Remember when it all started over the love of the Bachelor?? In 2014, we have Juan-uary to look forward to... and more volleyball in the park!

  3. You learned some wonderful lessons this past year! I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for you. I hope it's your best year yet! :-)