2016 A Year in Rewind

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Can you believe this year is almost over?  I for one am a little surprised at how quickly it has gone by.  It has been a crazy year for me and Shane. If I could sum up the year in one work it would be "growth".  We have had many highs but also some lows. Through everything though we have remained healthy and thankful for the grace that each new day brings.  In the spirit of the New Year approaching, I thought it would be special to highlight some of our major moments in 2016 - as a celebration but also as a time of reflection for us.

January of 2016 started out as difficult as 2015 ended.  I personally wasn't in a good place and it directly affected Shane and our relationship.  Full disclosure, I had been in therapy for two months and continued down that journey until April. Looking back now, I see what a blessing that time was for both me and Shane. So much healing and growth took place within those few months and I will be forever thankful.

On a whim, I tried out for the Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Team in late February and to my surprise, made it.  Shane and I both have remarked on the perfect timing of this in my life.  It was an experience completely out of my comfort zone but it was so healthy for me.  I learned a lot about myself and made friends with 13 of the sweetest girls I know.

One of my best friends married the love of her life in April and I was lucky to be the Maid of Honor and stand by her side.  This was such a special moment for me.

 In May, I was hired for a full-time teaching position at the school I had been working at for two years.  This is where I am currently still employed and I am so thankful for the team I get to be apart of.  My job, though difficult at times, is a highlight of life for me.

Summer brought a lot of baseball and a busy schedule working summer school. We enjoyed a weekend trip to the beach with my parents which was restful and entertaining.  Spending time with them is very precious to me.

It was in June that Shane and I completed the last of our fertility testing and confirmed with our doctor that our only shot at biological parenting would most likely be IVF.  I can still remember sitting in his office listening to him tell us that apart from a miracle, "statistically you have about a 1% chance of conceiving".  This wasn't a surprise to either of us - I think the journey that brought us to that point had in a strange way prepared us for that.  Regardless, it wasn't easy to hear and in some moments is still painful to replay in my mind.

After months of discussion following that appointment we made a decision to not pursue fertility treatments.  There was a turn in that moment and for the first time in a long time our focus was no longer on children and infertility but instead it was on us.

We have enjoyed this fall - it is a new season of life.  It is a season of full of opportunity and choices.  Together, we made a decision to focus on us for the first time in a long time.  It has been so healing for both of us.  We became more involved in our church and met some precious new friends.  They have been an answer to our longtime prayer for a community to do life with.

We celebrated our fifth anniversary camping and hiking with our dogs.  It was freezing - but we had a great time!  Shane completed his first half marathon and has worked hard to find peace in his job.  He has dedicated himself to Rotary and has been involved in various projects with that group.  I am so proud of his hard work and drive to help his community. I feel that at 29, he is truly thriving.

Together we shot three weddings over the course of the year and it was such a great experience to work together and capture such beautiful moments.  These are a few of our favorite photos from those marriages.  You can see more of our favorite photos here.

We have spent the remaining time of 2016 together with friends and family enjoying the special moments of the holidays and attempting to rest in the midst of it all.  It has been a beautiful close to the year.

As for 2017, we have big plans in store.  As Shane describes it, we hope that this is the year to make a difference; ultimately, we want to make an impact on our community. We hope to get plugged in a life group at church.  We want to find some volunteer opportunities that put us in our community where we can love on others.

Personally, I have committed to running my first half-marathon in June. Although 2016 was a year of mental and emotional healing for me, my physical health took a backseat and I plan to improve on that this year.  Shane has decided to continue his training and move on to running a full marathon - I am so proud of his dedication.  We have made plans to make some changes and improvements to our home.  We hope to start on them in the spring.

We are eager for June to go on our big trip we have planned for Portland! We are looking forward to exploring a new area.  We have a few weddings scheduled to shoot in the coming year and I am so grateful for that - there are so many exciting things to look forward to!

More than anything, we are eager to continue our growth and living in love in the new year.  We have so much to be thankful for and we want to embrace each day to it's fullest potential - simply and intentionally.
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