Here's to You, 2017

I spent the last few weeks trying to tie 2017 up with a bow. I wanted to make sense of the year - of its highs and lows and joys and sorrows. I wanted to define it by a word or give it an overall theme. I wanted to take control, bottle it up and make it digestible. 

But, even with all my reflecting, 2017 can't be simplified to a word. There was too much packed into it. There was our trip to Kenya, which was full of shockingly high highs and low lows. While we were there, we decided to move to Virginia, start a family and buy a house. These were beautiful, incredible decisions that also required us to say goodbye to dear friends and a city we loved. 


The second half of the year - the pregnant half - was marked by resting more, reducing my exercise and caring for my body in a new and focused way. It created a stark contrast to the first half of the year, when were were sweating bullets farming in Kenya and preparing for a Spartan Race in July. 

And for all of the excitement in our personal lives, there was so much heartache in the world. There were tragedies and frustrations that made it feel odd, on certain days, to celebrate the progress of our own little family. 

What I realized, though, as I attempted to define 2017, is that adult life is often so much more complex than I was allowing it to be.

The deepest, truest, most beautiful seasons of life can't be boiled down to a single word.

Anyone have a source?

Anyone have a source?

They are abundant seasons of growth that stretch us, define us and give us life. They teach us to lean on those we love harder and stand a little stronger when they ask the same in return. They teach us we are brave and worthy and bold. They show us, without a doubt, that this world is vast and beautiful and we need, daily, to give the best we can to it. 

So, here's to you, 2017. In all your crazy beauty. I am thankful for you. As for you, 2018? I approach you with a grateful heart. Our hopes are high and our prayers are big. We believe in all you have to offer. 

Happy New Year, to you and yours. 

a new year // a new sled

Last year over Christmas break we got heaps of snow. And although we didn't have sleds, we made a quick trip to Target and cleaned out the last few they had left. They all broke within an hour, at which point we were going down the hills on just pieces of sleds, but it didn't matter. It's one of my favorite memories with my siblings.

So this year? My dad kindly planned ahead. He bought to fastest (manliest) sleds he could find. He knew how much fun we had last year and wanted us to be prepared.

But, for the first time in as long as I can remember, we didn't get snow on Christmas in Indiana this year. Nothing but a few flurries!

Isn't it funny how life works? We can plan until the cows come home but, in the end, we can't control a thing. There wasn't a sled in the world that could bring us enough snow. And, as it turns out, there wasn't a thing in the world I could do to predict how 2013 would unfold for me, either.

But on the days when things didn't seem so perfect - say when the rats came back, after a few bad dates or when watching one of my very best friends get married meant watching her leave not just our roommateship, but Atlanta, too? On those days, I was wishing for a sled. I was wishing I was in control - that I could just be in charge and make things happen how I'd intended them to.

But that's not life, and as I look back, I couldn't be more grateful for the way life unfolded in 2013. The good, the bad and the beautiful. Because, the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know much at all. This world is big and has so much to teach me. All I can do is do my best and go along for the ride. Sled or no sled.

Happy New Year!