The Obligatory New Year’s Reflection Post

I’m not the most introspective person in the world, but I felt compelled this year to join those who intentionally look back at the year that has just passed. I am, however, a somewhat lazy person, so I’m going to do this list-y style. Or, as my new favorite writer Mindy Kaling calls it in her book, a pliest, “which is a piece with a list-y quality.”

So, here goes – A Few Things I’ll Remember About 2011

Hiking the Grand Canyon


At the beginning of Day 2, on a bridge over the Colorado River.

This surely deserves its own post, but it’s a daunting thought, to be honest. In November, I hiked the Grand Canyon with 7 gals from church, carrying a giant pack for 3 days and camping 2 nights in the canyon. It was crazy hard. I cried. I cussed. I bled. I fell over about 20 minutes into the hike and had to be pulled up by a nice Swedish man because I was stuck under the weight of my pack. I ate oatmeal for the first time. I sang The Eyes of Texas when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. (Loretta’s response:


“Wow, that is both aggressive and religious.” Welcome to Texas!) The other women literally carried my burden for me when my knees—bad from the fall and just because they are—were giving out at the bottom of the steep climb down and they took gear out of my pack to make the hike easier for me. I made new friends and got closer to the ones I already had. The Grand Canyon really is a magical place and one you have to see in person. You HAVE to see in person. As we reached the top, mentally, emotionally, physically exhausted, I burst into tears like an Olympic marathoner winning the gold. I was overcome by emotion and weakness and disbelief at what we had just accomplished. It’s one of the sweetest and most emotionally charged memories of my life, and I’m utterly grateful to have the experience with me forever. Also, praise Jesus for walking sticks and 500 mg Tylenol.

Living in Philadelphia

Shout-out to Rittenhouse Square! I already wrote about this, so I won’t rehash here. I don’t know if we’ll ever live there again, but we do find ourselves missing our little historic neighborhood, the parks, cafes, tree-lined streets and public transportation. It was a leap of faith that I’m very glad we took.

The Head and the Heart

Maybe my favorite album of the year, this little debut gem from the Seattle band of the same name is meaningful indie pop at its best. It also features a guy-girl lead singer combo, which I always love. Many of the songs are about being young and on the move, separated from friends and family and trying to figure out new roots. Big themes in my life right now. Rivers and Roads, Sounds Like Hallelujah, and Down in the Valley are especially good and are perfect for road trip sing-alongs.

I finally read Harry Potter

My friends were sort of disgusted/ashamed that I wasn’t interested in reading this series. I liked the movies but just didn’t care about the books. Travis even gave me the first one for my birthday one year, to force me to read it, but it didn’t hook me. Then after watching Deathly Hallows Part 1, I wanted to know what happened next, so decided to give in and read the whole thing. I never doubted that they were good, and I’m glad I finally made the plunge. Also, when coming out of the theater in Philly for seeing Deathly Hallows Part 2, we walked by that girl who sings and plays the ukulele on Raising Hope. Celebrity-sighting bonus!

Photo 365

In April of 2010, I decided to start a Photo 365 challenge to force myself to be creative and practice photography. Using my DSLR and iPhone I took a picture pretty much every day, with the exception of a two-month gap in the fall when some life stuff got in the way. I also took an intro digital photography class at Pima Community College in the spring, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I really enjoyed both endeavors, and I definitely feel more comfortable behind the camera now. Some people complain that taking photos takes you out of “the moment” but I’ve found that it helps me pay more attention. I’m still afraid of photographing people though.

Here are a few of my favorite shots:









































































Beautiful things don’t just happen …

… If you want something marvelous, you’ve got to make something marvelous. You know where I got that quote? From Pinterest. I wonder what percentage of my conversations this fall included, “I saw this thing on Pinterest.” A lot. A lot percent. Pinterest is a sort of online visual bookmarking/inspiration board/search engine/social community website thing that I love. I decided awhile ago that, as much as possible, I want everything in my house to be pretty. Even spatulas and staplers. I love beautiful things. They make me happy. I love seeing people’s creativity and care and heart. Pinterest is fun if you want a few minutes to drool at gorgeous kitchens or cute clothes, but the reason it earned a spot on this pliest is because it actually helped spur me to action. I have 19 things on my “I did this!” board on Pinterest—ideas I found there that I actually used or made in real life. From recipes to crafts to hairstyles. I made wedding and Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving and baby shower decorations and relished the creative opportunities I was creating.

It also got me thinking about some bigger things. About how I want to be more intentional and caring in general—as a wife, friend, daughter, employee, community member. In my relationship with God, my diet, exercise and *cough* housekeeping.

Hey, now that I think about it, that sounds an awful lot like some kind of resolution.

No Responses to “The Obligatory New Year’s Reflection Post”

  1. Kristine Says:

    Grand Canyon comment: You are a Rockstar!

Leave a Reply

I write what I know (and love). Mostly higher education, writing and public relations.