The fact that I am sitting down to write a “Looking back on 2015” post blows my mind. I still want to write ’14 when I’m asked to sign and date something and now it’s about time to write 2016- what? That is just nuts. Although this year feels like it has flown by, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around how much the Lord has done in my life this year. It's as if somehow a few years happened in the time of 2015. Before it rolls over to 2016, I am thankful for this opportunity to sit down and look back on highlights from this past year. There is so much to be thankful for.
After hearing about how great it was, I finally took the dive into yoga. It has been a crazy blessing for this hypermobile, somewhat difficult body of mine. By helping me work on flexibility and encouraging me to strengthen and stretch my muscles it has had an enormous impact on the goal I set back at the beginning of 2015 to build a stronger healthier body. Having to decrease the regularity of my yoga practice lately as I am still dealing with arm issues, I am really looking forward to getting back into it once I'm healed.
Sister trip to Puerto Rico
This was a huge highlight in 2015. My sister is my best friend, so the fact that we had yet to take a trip just the two of us was pretty crazy. Feeling like this year was the year, we bit the bullet and took a sisters’ spring break trip to my go-to destination Puerto Rico – and we had a blast. Having that one-on-one hang time, not to mention soaking up the beautiful hot sun and swimming in the ocean made this a memory I will cherish forever. Coco locos, surfing, a meat buzz, Medallas in the waves and super awkward sunburns are just a few of the fun memories that I am so glad to have shared with my beautiful sister. #letsgoback
Writing milestones _ Thryve and Influence Network
Thinking about how much God has poured into my writing career (whoa, am I really using that word? hah), I am overwhelmed. Giving Him my dreams and letting go of control, was exactly what needed to happen for me to move forward in my pursuit of writing. Writing more regularly, blogging more consistently, and submitting my first article to a magazine were important baby steps. And then the Lord surprised me with His goodness and faithfulness in providing me with my first magazine article published in Thryve Magazine and a devotional published in the member content for the Influence Network. The awesome part is that these opportunities were put in front of me by the Lord – no question. I did not dig around to find places to submit; one popped up on Instagram and another I was asked to write. I could not be more thankful for the way God has surprised, loved, and blessed me through these opportunities. I cannot wait to see what God has for me and my writing in 2016.
Lots of time spent up north this summer
Although summer was a bit late to appear, it was a great year on the lake at our family cabin in Waupaca. Being able to spend random days, weekends and a whole week (or was it two? I can’t remember) soaking up the sun, skiing, sipping margarita’s at the Harbor Bar, and eating Scooper’s ice cream it was a summer to remember. One week that was especially fun was filling up the cabin, every bed filled by the fan and a clan of my sister’s friends. Having a strong friendship with my sister, it has been a lifetime blessing to be invited to hang even when she is hanging with her friends. It felt like being a kid in highschool all over again. Music playing on the dock, dance parties, girls giggling, screaming the lyrics on the boat, and there was even an epic moment where my sis and I were double skiing and I snuck a football in my life jacket and threw it to my her mid-lap (and she caught it!). It was seriously SO much fun.
New logo and website
Dreaming about a logo for lovemin since it’s birth, finally landing on a design that I loved was really a dream come true. Working with Jenny Highsmith, she seemed to read my mind as she created a logo I love looking at and cannot wait to brand for years to come. With a new logo in hand, the time seemed fitting to make the switch to a new blog host. Taking the leap with Squarespace and pouring hours and hours and hours (seriously my eye doc had to give me rules to protect my eyes from all the close work- oops), I am incredibly happy and satisfied with how it turned out. Feeling more “legit” and professional, it takes my focus away from design and onto writing, which is the very purpose of lovemin. With that said, I'd like to stop and say thank you to my husband Chris. He not only supports and encourages me in where the Lord has called me, but lets me use our resources for logos, websites and other ways to push my writing forward. Chris, you mean the world to me and I am so so thankful.
Attending the Influence Conference
I was first introduced to the Influence Network – an online community all about supporting and encouraging each other as we make Jesus’ name known wherever we are in life – by my dear friend Audra years ago. I am so thankful because the network, and attending my first Conference in 2013 played a gigantic role in my confidence and my ownership of writing for the Lord. Meeting incredible women who have encouraged me on this journey and being challenged to dig deeper, both in faith and writing, the network is irreplaceable. But the most amazing thing is, this year I got to go to the Influence Conference with the sweet friend who told me about the network to begin with. Having been roomies who went different directions after college, we are unable to spend as much time together as we like. So the opportunity to have girly sleepovers for 3 nights was priceless. But what was even more valuable was the time spent learning together, and having conversations about the Lord that we have never shared in our friendship. Having this special time with her I was completely reminded of how awesome God’s perfect timing and orchestration is. Aud, I love you, I’m praying for you, and will cherish this memory of going to the conference together forever!
Closing this year in the next few days, I’m a little sad to say goodbye to 2015 because really, it has been so good to me. Of course, there have been struggles and challenges laced throughout but through it all He has been faithful. I know that God is good and his mercies are new each and every morning, so I look forward to 2016 with hope and anticipation of what He has in store. I'm praying for you as you close your 2015 and I encourage you to take a few minutes to think back over the blessings (and bumps in the road) and praise the One who loved you and encouraged you through it all. He wholly deserves it.
Happy New years dear ones! Xo
-- image of by top 9 instagram pics from 2015 - thanks to 2015bestnine.com --