2015 Reviews

At the end of every year I write a review of that year, they always look different, but, this particular post is one of my favorites to do because it makes me stop and reflect… Which, inevitably leads to gratitude for what God has done in my life… Even during the hard years.

You can see last year’s here, and the 2013 review with links to previous year’s reflections in that post.

So, here I sit reviewing and reflecting on 2015.

This year from beginning to end felt like warp speed, it never slowed down.

I have now completed my first year at my new job and back in DC. This year has been full of stress, frustrations, and confusion as I tried to navigate my new job and rebuilding my life here in DC. Yet, through it all there has always been an overwhelming amount of contentment and certainty that I was and continue to be exactly where I am supposed to be.

Some things took much longer to resolve than I anticipated, like my stress level over money. I had not realized how much being unemployed created an obsessive compulsiveness in me to check my bank account every couple days… I stressed about money constantly. Through work because I manage a budget I was given the opportunity to take Financial Peace University; I love what it has done in my life. While I do not follow it entirely (I’m really bad at using all cash), I certainly have seen it change my stress level, and I have more money in savings, and a greater understanding and comfort (peace) with my finances than I have ever in my entire life. I have a lot of debt to pay off, but I also was able to pay off half of my credit card debt this year.

Blessing #1: Finances settling.

I loved the house I moved into when I first got here. I liked my roommates, and the location was great. Then, we had a curveball thrown at us, and we had to move after only a few months of living there because our military landlords were returning. Insert: Chaos and stress. Figuring out what we were going to do and searching was chaotic and stressful right in the middle of chaos and stress at work. Then we found this amazing row-house that was smaller, but somehow actually better than our last. We lost and gained a roommate in the transition, and yet again, the move seemed to create this pressure valve, and peace, laughter, joy, and community have settled in our home.


Blessing #2: Amazing house and community.

My car. Not much brings me to tears faster than car problems. There were so many car problems this year, as a carry over from my head on collision a couple years ago. It took a lot of money and time to get everything up to inspection and then in August for a routine oil change my mechanic called my car a “rolling death trap”. He more or less instructed me to get rid of it and stop putting money into it, then parked my car until I decided. After lots of back and forth, I let my trusty car go and have been without a car since. My goal is to go a year then reevaluate, and use that extra money to pay off debt faster. I have loved that not having a car forces me to walk, I have access to vehicles of friends if I need it, and I live in a massive public transportation city which makes life much easier.












Blessing #3: Having to walk everyday.

This year has been absolutely stuffed with adventure. Which, as I reflected on the different adventures, I looked up the definition just to see how accurate of a term it was:
“an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.”
Every day was full of adventure this year.

And, just to give a (very) small window into the adventures and people that made life so fun and funny in 2015:

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Blessing #4: Adventures.

A couple years ago I topped out at my heaviest weight of my life, and it was not due to muscle. So, I decided in 2014 to start purposefully eating better. In 2015 I was still not happy with how I looked, but also how I felt, so I got a gym membership and began working towards feeling better. It has been 10 months, and I am happier with my body now than I have ever been in my life. I am not yet where I want or need to be, but it is so encouraging to see pictures of myself this year compared to the last two, and find myself satisfied rather than embarrassed.


Blessing #5: Better health and confidence.

It would get exhaustive to list a paragraph for each of the blessings I see as themes from 2015, so here are a few additional:

Blessing #6: Growing and Re-growing.

Blessing #7: Seeing and experiencing God’s faithfulness new.

You can see the community throughout all of the pictures. The community of people both near and far that fill my life is overwhelming in the best of ways.

Blessing #8: Community.

Just because I always love new music, here, here, here, and here are a links to a few of my endless repeat songs from this year.

Blessing #9: Music.



Blessing #10: Family.

What an incredible year it was. 2015 certainly did not disappoint, so much laughter, crazy challenges, some heartache, and a few curveballs, but I find myself thankful and amazed at how God was with me throughout it all this year.

Health Progress…

As much as it is not fun sharing the portions of your life that you are less than happy with (for numerous reasons), I think it is crucially important for people to see your journey.

A year and a half ago, I was the most I had ever weighed at 190lbs. At the time, lots of people told me it was ok because I am 5’10 I ‘looked fine’ and carried the weight well.

I was super unhappy with these comments, and disliked that they did not reflect good health. I also knew I had put on 15lbs in six months.. Which is not ok for your health, and I was incredibly unhappy with how I looked, felt, and my clothes (didn’t) fit.

I felt weak, I was dislocating joints often, and was pretty aware that it would get worse if I did not return to my attention to my health.

So, I started with eating better (more veggies and meat, less carbs and sugars) and drinking more water. After about a year of just those two changes I had lost almost 20lbs, but I still felt weak, and I was still dislocating often (it’s a thing with me).

Eight months ago I went back to the gym… early… It was (and continues to be miserable) because I am certainly no morning person (just ask my roommates), but I knew that if I did not go before work, I would more often than not find excuses for not going to the gym after work.

(HUGE shout out to the friend who has called me every morning to wake me up since I am a child and cannot get up early on my own! #nightowlproblems)

So, it has now been eight months of before-work gym time, typically ranging anywhere from 1-4 times a week. In that time, I have lost another almost 15lbs of fat, and put back on almost 10lbs of muscle.

Putting me down a little over 30lbs of fat and up about 10lbs of muscle.

Let me just be real for a bit..
It is hard work.
It is sucky emotionally some days.

The sheer number of hours I have spent in the gym, meal prepping well (and sometimes totally failing at everything) is somewhat astounding…

However, I am SO much happier with how I look, how I feel, and how my clothes fit. And, while I am still not where I want to be, I felt like sometimes it is important to share the story and progress, even if it is incremental and not completed yet.

Below are some of my comparison pictures, and because I hate fake progress pictures, tried as much as I could to:

  1. Wear the same outfit,
  2. Have the same(ish) lighting,
  3. Same angle and poses,
  4. Same size/distance from the camera etc…

    Although, the newer image is reversed (able to be seen by my tattoo..Can’t get it all right I suppose haha).
    I also can assure you, I am not purposefully standing differently or sucking in or pushing out my gut.








Hope you are encouraged.