#NeverDull2016 Year in Review

At the beginning of the year I was asked by several people, and challenged by several more to come up with a word or theme for 2016. I am not really a goal setter. I do not have enough organization as a personality to plan things out well…Nor do I enjoy it. I more often than not fake being organized, and typically use all of my organizational capacity for my job.

However, this year I decided to try to pick a word or theme. So, I picked “Never Dull”. It felt like a way of focusing on all the big and little things, noticing how interesting and worth while life can be. After having a few hard years, I needed a year not focused on healing or regrowing, but instead a year focused on the life I have, the good, bad, interesting, growing, and adventures that can be found every day!

Thus, #neverdull2016 became my social media hashtag.

You can read my 2015 year in review posts here.

So, what a year 2016 was!

January

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We had a record-breaking snowstorm in DC, with over 30 inches of snow in 24 hours.
My sister came to visit, and I surprised her with a whirlwind trip to NYC.

February

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Uganda team meetings started! #Ugandaexcited
I studied Romans with a group of other leaders.
I got to tour the Capitol building for the first time.

March

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Threw a bachelorette weekend for one of my best friends.
We continued our Easter tradition and several college best friends came and stayed. – We failed again at going to the top of the Washington Monument lol
I started my big side tattoo!

April

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One of my girls from MI came to visit for her Spring Break.
I went to Philly and got to hang out with some of my favorites.
Threw a super fun fundraising house party for clean water wells in Uganda.
I also started having much more regular meetings with other churches to talk about First Impressions things.

May

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One of my best friends got married! #Howboutthemappels
Our Uganda meetings started happening twice a month!
People continued to join us at the gym haha

June

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We had the 2nd Annual Race for H2Ope Run/Walk fundraising event for our Uganda mission.
I went to Nashville, did a whirlwind visit, and helped her drive back to DC for the summer.
I continued my tattoo process.
I got to help teach dance classes throughout the summer with a super fun group of ladies!

July

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I finished my tattoo just in time for it to heal before going to Uganda!
Our team went to Uganda and dug 2 clean water wells! You can read more about it here.
Our house shifted as one roommate left and a new one began living with us.

August

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I spent the first 8 days of the month in Uganda.
I went on my first date in a year – Had a great time, but it didn’t go anywhere.
We did a presentation at the Fairfax JDC about our work in Uganda.

September

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I went to Disney World for the first time! – With a ton of my family! It was awesome!
Family Dinner Mondays started up again for the fall. – It has been such an amazing weekly time!
College friends had a free weekend, so they came to visit and we all headed to the beach!
A group of us undertook project get Amy’s iron up.. which meant a more strict diet than normal; it sucked and was great all at the same time.
I put all of my roommates on a traveling ban because we travel SO much…. it failed miserably. lol

October

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I went to visit 6 churches to learn from them and deemed it my #tourdechurches – It was amazing!
Our church celebrated its 20th anniversary.
My little brother’s wife had their first baby! – She’s so cute!

November

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I was able to go to Puerto Rico for free cause I have lucky friends haha
I had to say goodbye to friends who followed a God-given dream across the country.
My roommates and I are now fluent in food as a love language.
I finally finished my “corner office” for my consulting work!

December

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This is always one of my favorite months in DC. There’s so much happening, fun parties and sweet time with friends.
I got to spend a lot of time with my family for Christmas, it was amazing.
I got to snuggle my new niece.

Overall

I feel like this year was full of adventures, big, small, and everything in between.

How did this year compare to what I thought it would be? – You can see some of my goals and predictions here.

In some ways I feel like it was pretty spot on… In others it was close, and obviously in some ways it was totally different.

In general, my sentiments are: What a beautiful year it has been.

I find myself grateful. Incredibly grateful that I was able to experience such amazing things this year with so many wonderful and amazing people. I feel rich with friendships and people I love. I am grateful for the adventures and the laughter. What an incredible year full of ups and downs and everything in between.

#Neverdull2016

31 Birthday Loves

I turned 31 last week.

I love birthdays, and this one was no different… Only it was so different in many ways.

I wanted to celebrate with a brunch!… So we did. While we were dumped on with 30 inches of snow! (Winter and I have a long history of hatred for one another)

My sister came to visit, and we had a blast. – She will never know how much I love her and cherish her. It amazes me that she is truly 12 1/2 years younger than me because our relationship is so sweet and fun and funny!

My sister, a friend and I went on a whirlwind trip to NYC, and it was one of the best days! Exhausting, but so much fun!

I had to work long hours on my birthday and the day after (thankfully I very much like my job), but we still found time to do so much celebrating with breakfast with the roomies, dinner and an amazing and intense movie (13 Hours), another surprise dinner the day after with SO many of my favorite peoples, and then yet another surprise of going shooting at a gun range… Which means I can now cross off Revolver from the guns I want to shoot list!

So much love, but what made it truly amazing was the hundreds (and I truly mean hundreds without exaggeration) hugs, happy birthday songs, phone calls, e-mails, text messages, pictures, and social media posts wishing me a happy birthday.. Sweet notes, full of love, encouragement, and prayers… Not to mention the cupcakes, edible arrangements, flowers, gifts, and cards.

Overwhelming in the absolute best way possible.

Never in my life have I felt such a consistent outpouring of love and excitement.

So, while I think I was able to respond to everyone and thank them, I want to be sure and let you all know how grateful I am…

Thank you for loving me, speaking into my life, seeing the best in me, celebrating me, praying for me, and for all of the big and small ways that you choose to do life with me!
Thank you for laughing with and at me, encouraging me, helping to make me better each day, and for caring so much about me!

What an amazing birthday completely overflowing with love, 31 is going to be an amazing year!

Thank you for loving me on my 31st birthday week!

#NeverDull2016