Today marks the last weekend of the month, and 2015 overall, and as I do every year, I’m taking time to reflect on the past twelve months and share my review of these previous 365 days with all of you! I invite you to get cozy and dive in with me!
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The year was certainly full of road-trips and flights to various places, including: California (twice), Colorado (three times), Illinois (twice), Indiana (four times), Nevada (twice), Wisconsin (once), and of course all around my home state of Pure Michigan, for both business and pleasure.
I enjoyed day-trips with my best girlfriends, week-long and weekend getaways with my hubby, as well as the opportunity to experience for the first time in my life the Final Four Men’s Basketball Tournament and B1G Ten Football Championship games, both held in Indianapolis.
Overall, it was AWESOME year of travel and getting to see and do new things! So thankful for these adventures!
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I definitely experienced a deeper level of faith and spirituality over this past year as I delved more into creativity, devotion, prayer, study, and worship with my God. My faith also increased as I bravely took the steps I had been too afraid to take before (i.e. counseling for my anxiety / depression). And by the grace of God, I had an incredible breakthrough to the other side of this leading me to now choose freedom and walk in victory on an every day basis.
I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am to God for the courage, love, and support He gave to me, in various forms, throughout this past year in order to more fully become the woman He desires me to be. I still have a long way to go, but this year I got much closer, and I am so so so so very joyful and grateful for this blessing!
Family + Friends
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Both at home and away, I had the opportunity to connect with family and friends throughout the course of the year. It has been so great to be intentional with my time, ensuring that I carve out space and time for those I love and cherish most in my life on a regular basis.
My husband and I are incredibly thankful for the relationships with our family and friends that have grown over the past twelve months and for all the support we have received from each of them, both individually and as a couple. If you’re one of those people, and you know if you are, THANK YOU! We love you all!
Health + Wellness
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I am happy to report that I made my way back to the running circuit this past year, even going so far as to put myself back out there in races – just 5Ks for now. It’s been amazing to get back to the sport I so love and appreciate after a long process of recovery from injury. This journey has taught me a great deal about the human body and the need for balance and letting go, when needed. I’ve learned to give myself grace and love who I am and how I look more than I ever have before, and for that, I am grateful!
Also, as mentioned above, I took the steps needed to work on my struggles with anxiety / depression and control / perfectionism. I’m still a work in progress, but the growth and freedom I’ve experienced through all of this, has transformed me for the better and I would not be who or where I am today without having gone through this. I’ve learned that nothing is for nothing – that it all serves a purpose – and today, I am thankful that God can take our broken and messy and ugly parts and turn them into something more beautiful and lovely and whole than we could ever imagine. He is so GOOD.
One of the best things I made sure to be more intentional about as well has been making time to do the things I love to do, including: working out, writing, reading, blogging, traveling, getting a manicure, among other things. Making room for these things that feed my soul and make me feel good has been a wonderful blessing to me. Self-care is so very important, and I am definitely going to continue to be intentional about this in the year to come.
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The hubby and I continued to make some improvements to our home, although we didn’t focus on this as much as we had intended to at the beginning of the year. However, the small things we did do, in addition to the break we took from the larger items on our list, has fired us up to get back to work on things after the start of the new year.
One of the things the hubby and his best friend did was stain our back deck, something that needed to be done for a while, and although there’s some work that still needs to be done where this is concerned, we are already dreaming about how we want to use this outdoor space in the spring / summer months and all the things we can do to make it a fabulous space for entertaining and relaxing after the workday. I’m excited to get back to making our home everything it has the potential of being, not only for us, but for all those who come over!
Lastly, because my new job allows me to work from home, I have been able to enjoy home (as well as our up north abode) to the utmost extent over the past several months. I no longer feel like all I do is eat, sleep, and clean these two places, but actually LIVE and make the MOST of these two places. And it’s a great feeling to finally feel “at home” and settled in these spaces.
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This year the hubby and I celebrated 8 years of marriage (11 total years together). As with any relationship, we had our highs and lows throughout the past twelve months, but overall, our marriage has only grown stronger as we’ve been intentional in making time for one another and been committed to bettering ourselves individually and as a couple.
I so appreciate the time we’ve taken every year to get away together for our anniversary and enjoy each others company outside of the home and the demands of daily life. It’s also been great to spend time with our other “couple friends” and have encouragement and support in our relationships. All of us need that in our lives.
Our marriage is so incredibly important to both Kenny and I, and one of the things we’ve learned this year is that marriage has to be cared for and protected. It’s important to date one another, to have the hard conversations, to spend time with other couples, and to pray for each other and over the relationship. It’s also important to put aside pride and selfishness and be willing to step into the other persons’ shoes and serve them, even when it’s really hard to do.
I can honestly say that Kenny is the man of my dreams, my knight in shining armor, a true prince charming. I am SO blessed, honored, and lucky that we crossed paths and became each others’ forever. I look forward to this new year and continuing on this journey of love and commitment with one another.
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2015 brought with it a promotion I did not expect when the year began as I moved from being a Director at the city level to a Consultant at the divisional level of my organization. This advancement was such a needed change for me – more than I even realized as I’ve spent over six months in the role now – and the opportunities and freedom I have within this new position have been great for me, both personally and professionally. The people I get to work with, the places I get to visit, and the things I get to do are awesome and I am thankful for the chance to grow in my strengths, skills, education, and knowledge each and every day.
Right at the time I transitioned into my new position for work, I also completed all the required processes to finally receive my full license in social work through the State of Michigan. To have this accomplished has been such a huge relief and a major weight off of my shoulders, and the doors it has and will open for me moving forward will only continue to grow me into the leader and helping professional I have been called to be.
I also got more serious about my future goals and dreams and with the expertise and help of my cousin/friend, developed my own brand and website so that I can serve others beyond the scope of my paid job and begin to put myself out there as an independent encourager, speaker, and writer. Again, there is still work to be done here, but the platform has been set and now it’s a matter of building upon what is in place to bring my vision to fruition! I’m excited for the future possibilities that exist and where God will lead me in this work!
And Other Things of Note
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- I held a surprise 45th birthday party for the hubby, inviting our closest family and friends, and he certainly was surprised! Great time of celebrating my favorite man!
- I hosted the third annual ‘My Favorite Things / Girls’ Day Out’ party – every year it just gets better and better!
- Our best friends got engaged and are set to be married in just six months! The hubby and I are beyond blessed to be in the wedding and a part of all the fabulous festivities leading up to the big day!
- I attended the Influence Conference for the second time and had an incredible time of fellowship, learning, and worship with some dear ladies in my life.
- My hubby sold my car one day and the next day surprised me with an SUV – a GMC Terrain – which I have been wanting for a while! LOVE it!
- I started using Young Living Essential Oils in the spring, and although skeptical and unsure of their effectiveness at first, they have now become a permanent part of my every day life and routine. They have kept me healthy and made a huge difference, for both my husband and I.
- I managed to read over 30 books this year! Woah.
- I ran / biked over 850 miles this year. Since 2010, I’ve put over 4,600 miles on these legs of mine. God is GOOD!
Overall, 2015 was a FANTASTIC year, definitely one for the books! I am so thankful for this year and all the things I had the chance to experience and enjoy! I will be keeping the lessons I learned close to my heart and be moving into the new year with faith, joy, and anticipation for more wonderful things to come!
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