Sunday, December 31, 2017

7 Reasons Why 2017 Was An Awesome Year

  Feel free to join me in the existential crisis that is December 31st, 2017 as we together wonder WHERE IN THE HECK HAS THE WHOLE YEAR JUST GONE????

  People all over social media are convinced that 2016/17 were like, the worst two years in the history of ever, which may be true on some fronts (I feel like they aren't really, but I haven't experienced every year of ever), but for me they both rocked - particularly this year. And though some of the big changes and events that have taken place in the last 12 months are more than a little hard in many ways, I wouldn't trade this year for anything. It has been truly awesome and full of truly awesome things. What things you ask?? Well, I'm sure you can guess at a few, but if you are interested in seeing just what big things have happened for me in 2017, read on, my friend!


1. I GOT MARRIED


  Tbh, this one is still a little weird for me to think about. I've mostly come to terms with sharing a home with a boy, but thinking about the fact that we're like, married, and had a wedding, and all that good stuff is still a tad strange. However, we did have the most awesome wedding on the planet so there's that. ;) Yes, I may be a little biased, but it was a fabulous time and a beautiful day and I loved being surrounded by family and friends for such an important milestone. We just got our wedding photos back a couple weeks ago as well, so I've been enjoying going through them and re-living the day - also, they are absolutely gorgeous. Joanna (who I featured here a couple months back) did an amazing amazing job.
Jonathan and I also celebrated our third year together this October, that was pretty crazy.

Photo by Joanna Vandervalk, Lifesong Photography


2. I PUBLISHED MY FIRST BOOK


  This one is also pretty trippy, occasionally I forget that it actually happened because it's been something I've been dreaming of so long! In case you didn't hear earlier this year, I self-published my first novel "The Sorceress and the Squid" through Amazon in June. The experience, though convoluted in many ways and a tad stressful, was really cool and I got to interact with readers and share and have people both that I know and don't know reading my work on a wide scale. Some people have even read it multiple times and that's insane to me. Like, people actually enjoy something I created THAT much?? Wow...
I did not finish any other first drafts this year due to the volume of editing, but I am looking to publish again in the New Year if possible, so stay tuned for news of that!


3. I WENT ON COOL TRIPS


  Three cool trips to be exact. First, an in-law family roadtrip to Quadra Island off the coast of Vancouver Island in May, then our honeymoon roadtrip (spanning Waterton AB, Idaho, Washington, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and Kelowna), and finally our holiday to Mexico just this month. All three were really cool, I took hundreds of photos, saw new things, met great new people, had a couple revelations on future things I wanted to do with my life, and overall just had a really enjoyable time. Though I am ultimately a homebody I love to travel and see new things as well, a good balance of both is what I like, and this year certainly delivered.

L-R: Quadra Island, Coeur d'Alene, Puerto Vallarta

4. I GOT MY CREATIVE WRITING CERTIFICATE


  Along with getting published, I completed my U of C Creative Writing certificate and had it delivered in the mail to me. It was an intense 2 years of courses but I really learned a lot and am so thankful for the opportunity to take the courses.

5. I GOT BAPTIZED


  I took a step this year to get baptized during my summer camp's staff training week, which was pretty cool. Sharing my testimony with so many and being able to share about the things that I've struggled with and having that open doors to connect with other girls with similar struggles was really wonderful. Also, it was the right time for me to commit to God before committing to marriage. It was really great to get baptized in the river by our camp director and have family and friends there to witness.


6. I DID MY 6TH SUMMER AT CAMP


  Yep, this was the 6th summer I spent working at Camp Little Red as a counselor/wrangler. I love this camp, the people I've met, the things I've learned, the person I've become. So much of my life is tied up in this place, especially my teenage years. Why, we even opted to get married out there! So yeah, even though it was very busy with a wedding to plan and moving out to be done and I couldn't quite do the entire summer (I missed about 4 days of 33), I was very thankful to be able to be there, sharing and growing and learning again.


7. I STARTED A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE AND AN INTERNSHIP AT BOLD EQUINE


  When fall came around this year and I started to settle into my new, weird, city, married life, I started up an online photography course which I am planning to continue into the new year. Though it was challenging I'm hoping it will really help me to take my photos to the next level and learn a lot more about quality photography - something I'm very interested in. I also began an internship at my riding barn with my trainer, which has proved to be a really excellent learning experience with lots of horsey opportunities. I've gotten on dozens of horses this year, some that I hated and some I adored, worked with stallions, ponies, ex-wildies, horses with traumatic pasts, kids in lessons, and more! I got to do more jumping this year, getting more comfortable with higher fences and learning better how to put a horse together for a fence. I got to work more with my mare, addressing her wiggling issue, helping her to relax at a canter and develop a nicer transition, and even rode her bareback and bridleless which was new to me. All in all, it's been a very horsey year.


  As we come to the end of yet another year, I'm slightly blown away by everything that has transpired in what seems to be such a short time. The last three years especially have been so full of change I can hardly wrap my mind around all that has taken place. 2015-17 have been transitioning years, a period of newness, opportunity, and challenge. In a way, I consider them almost a prologue or first chapter of my adult life, and the epilogue of my childhood/teenage years. There is bittersweetness in that observation, but also excitement as I open on Chapter One of my 20's and see just what kind of road I am headed down. I'm sure it will be crazy and wonderful and terrible and beautiful like every piece of my life so far.

  So this New Year's Eve finds me a little nostalgic, looking back on a large piece of my life that I have left behind and wondering what on earth could possibly be better? I am very keen to find out.

  Happy New Year to you! I hope 2017 was completely awesome in your corner of the universe. What were some of the year's highlights for you? Let me know in the comments below and see you next year! :DD

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Merry Christmas + Hiatus Announcement

  Hello everybody! It's December (CHRISTMAS TIME) and everything is super busy around here and I'm sure around your home as well. I honestly love this season, the nostalgia and spirit of Christmas and the hope it gives, the time spent with family and friends, the looking forward to a new year and looking back on the old, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

  That being said, it is also terrifically full, for some with shopping and preparations, with get-togethers, trips, and parties. For me this year, I am going on a holiday to Mexico next week, followed by tons and tons of Christmas celebration with friends and family which I am greatly looking forward to. As such I won't be around on the blog much throughout December, but I will be back in full force in the New Year, and maybe a little before, so I look forward to catching up then!

  As a side note, can you believe that it's already the end of 2017?? What a crazy, whirlwind of a year, it will definitely go down as one of the best ever for me. How about you? How was your 2017? And what kind of awesome Christmassy plans do you have coming up? Do you have any weird or cool family holiday traditions? Let me know about them in the comments below and I'll see you all in 2018!!

  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me to you!


  "The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God." - CS Lewis