Monday, December 31, 2012

Memorable Moments {2012}

Seriously, what did we do before instagram?
I've never had so many of my day-to-day moments preserved forever. Except for that period of time between the ages of 0 and 5 where everything you do is worthy of being photographed by your family.

Here's a look at my year!

Not much activity on my instagram in January. I did get my first ever business cards, though! Pretty exciting.


Blake & Caleb came to live with us for a while. They're like brothers to us, so it was great to have them around for a few months. We also did some outreach projects with our church for an event called Love Week that we put on every year as an outreach push. We had a lot of fun planting and renovating with our small group.


Took one of my favorite personal pictures ever. Hooray ominous storms. Also began spending time with my lovely friend Rebecca! Rebecca is such an amazing friend and woman of God. I love her, and have felt so blessed all year to have our friendship grow the way it has.


I just like that picture of Spricket. She's kind of perfect.
In April, I read one of the best books I've ever read. Worship Matters is such a great book, and I learned a ton about what it means to be a worship leader and what it means to have a heart for Jesus.


My little brother graduated for college! This moment was particularly insane because it meant that I had graduated from college over two years ago. Weird.
We flew to Arizona for Rob's cousin's wedding and spent a weekend in warm, sunny Phoenix. It was such a wonderful vacation.
And I dressed like Paddington Bear one day.


I auditioned for American Idol for the first time. It was a fun experience, but I didn't make it. I picked the wrong song. If it came around to Charlotte again, I'd go back.
We flew to Baltimore for some work training classes. Baltimore is so beautiful.
We also deepened our relationship with my Aunt and Uncle this year. They live in Maryland and we were able to stay with them whenever we traveled there. They've been such a blessing to us, giving us a place to stay and food to eat. I'm grateful we have them.


I turned 24, and my mom finally sold our childhood home. Such a sad thing to let go of the place you grew up in. I'm glad I moved away from the town I grew up in, but I definitely miss it.


I finally visited my mom where she lives in Charleston. I got sunburned so badly, like I always do, no matter what. It was a great trip.


In September, our worship team did a songwriting night where we split up into groups and wrote some songs together. It was really excited to work together to come up with something new.


We visited the Biltmore house for the first time. I loved it! So much history. Asheville in general is really great, and I'm hoping we get to visit more often this year. We actually just got season passes there for our anniversary, so I'm sure we'll be back up there way more often.


My friend Rebecca cut and dyed my hair! It's by far the biggest change I've ever gone through with my hair, and I was a little nervous at first. I really love it. It's actually probably time to get it cut again. It's in that awkward stage where it turns into a triangle if I don't style it perfectly.
I visited my friends Lauren and Max. I had such an amazing weekend just relaxing with them and Pixel. I finished three books (read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close cover-to-cover in two days) and just enjoyed myself. I'm so thankful I got to go see them.
In general, I had a lot of relaxing and peaceful moments in November. I discovered Kinfolk and spent some days reading through it, decided to start reading through the Bible every year, and Rob and I started praying together a lot more. Definitely an appropriate month for thanksgiving.


Ahh Christmas. We had such a great Christmas this year because we didn't have to travel at all! We just got to relax and spend time with Rob's family. I got that awesome book of cat poems (yes, it is amazing), some new music, and obviously that great sweater. This last picture was after dinner, and I was so hyper. It probably had something to do with the amazing sweet potato casserole my sister-in-law made. It undoubtedly had a ridiculous amount of sugar in it. So I was really happy.

2012 was such a great year. I feel like I really learned a lot about myself and marriage and God this year. I've grown a lot and have seen some of what the next steps are to keep growing. I'm thankful for all God's done in our lives this year. We have our second year of marriage under our belt, and we're learning more every day about love and sacrifice and being like Jesus. I have good days and bad days. Bad days where I can't manage to put a smile on my face for anything, and I wish the world would just leave me alone. Good days where I feel like I can do anything and conquer any problem. I've learned more and more this year that God is good no matter what and there is always something to be thankful.

I hope everyone has had a great year. I can't wait to dig into my word for the year {identity} and see what happens in 2013.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

:: Life Update ::

Holy moly.

There is so much going on right now! This year has been a season of tremendous growth and stretching for me, and I'm so glad for what God is doing in my life right now. I've had some blog post ideas bouncing around in my head, and I'm still working on them. For now, here's a general update:

:: Robert and I are praying and planning for our next step: a house! We are trying to figure out which direction to move in regarding purchasing or building a home and/or land. We own our own business and for the first two years we had an accountant that was not the best, so our income looks different than what it actually is. So far this has been a problem, and we'll find out in the next week or so if that can be resolved or if we'll have to wait another year to move forward on a home. Honestly, either way, I'm so excited because Robert and I have spent so much time in the last few weeks dreaming and wishing and hoping together for something special. It's brought us closer and sparked a lot of good conversation. I didn't realize until we started going through this process that we can do anything we want! I know that statement is partially obvious, but I truly didn't realize it until recently. I don't have to do the things my parents did and buy the same type of home and live the way everyone else does. We can figure out our own dream and make it happen! It was amazing for me to let that sink in.

::  Last year I participated in OneWord365 (and failed miserably by the standards I was hoping to meet). I didn't write much about my word (love) throughout the year, but it was on my mind quite a bit. I know I've grown in my understanding and practice of love throughout the year. God taught me a ton about love and the importance of loving others throughout the year. I'm not great at loving people, and I get easily annoyed. I'm still not the best at it, but He's definitely been working on me. With all that said, I've chosen my word for 2013: Identity. One thing I've struggled with a lot lately is knowing my own identity and knowing my identity in Christ. I've spent my whole life having labels put on me: sensitive, emotional, smart, funny, tomboy, selfish, incapable. We've all had them, and we still label ourselves and others every single day. These labels are not doing anyone any favors. My goal for 2013 is to remember more often that my identity is in Christ. I so often find myself believing my own labels for myself and not remembering that I am a child of God and that He loves me regardless of anything I do. I am His, and my identity is in Him.

:: For some reason this Christmas season, I'm really wanting to get away from my family traditions. I've been very blessed my whole life, and growing up, my brother and I received so many presents from our family. Every year, I expected more and more from them, and I always treated Christmas as a time to get everything I wanted. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood that I wouldn't trade for anything, but as I grow up and start thinking about the traditions I want to have with my future kids, this tradition of excess and extravagance (in terms of material things) is not the direction I want to go. This year, God has really started speaking to me about getting rid of our stuff, having less, and living with a bigger appreciation for what we do have. I know a lot of people are going through this right now, and I'm excited to see how different people approach it. Rob and I have been talking about what we want to teach our kids and what traditions we want to have, and I'm excited to start some new ones with him.

I feel like there's a lot going on inside of me right now, and it's really awesome. God is so good, and I'm thankful that I've been in the process of truly opening my heart and eyes to all that He's doing around me. When we really dig in and form a relationship with Him, there is never a dull moment!