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Here’s to 2011

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It feels like yesterday that we were ringing in 2011. And now it’s time to welcome a brand new year filled with sparkling opportunities, fresh resolve, more room for grace & the promise of renewed hope. Hello, 2012.

While my mind has already started fast-forwarding into what I want 2012 to look like, I’m reminding myself to slow down and savor the last few moments of a year that I can never get back.
So here’s to 2011…a year filled with some incredible memories, seasons of growth, new friendships, surgeries, graduations, and a whole lot of living in-between.

Passion 2011. The jump-start to this year. Incredible. Really, is there any other way I could describe it? Standing in a room worshipping the God who put the stars in the sky with over 20,000 of my peers. Four days of teaching, growing, dreaming, planning and hard-core worshipping. I am STOKED to kick off 2012 the same way.

And let’s hear it for NEW YORK. Such a fun family trip to NYC. From cupcake shops to the bright lights of Times Square, New York was definitely one of my favorite trips.

Miss CF 2011. I distinctly remember sitting in the audience during the 2010 Mr. & Miss CFCC Scholarship Program and leaning over to my Dad to whisper, “I’m going to win this next year.” And I did. I am honored to have been able to represent the College of Central Florida this year and look forward to crowning Miss CF 2012 in February!

WICKED and New Gators. To celebrate my sister & I being accepted to the University of Florida, we saw Wicked on Broadway–and let me tell you, KT and I are still jamming out to the soundtrack…and counting down the days ’til we can see it again!

Halfway there! In May, I graduated from the College of Central Florida with my Associate in Arts degree. I transferred to UF to finish my Undergrad in Advertising!

Sweet, sweet Sanibel. I literally can’t get enough of this place. The sand between my toes, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the sun shining on my face, cherry limeade in my hand…yeah, life is good. Realllllly good.
KT graduated from FHS. I LOVED celebrating my sister’s high school graduation with her–from Baccalaureate to graduation day and tons of parties, we had a blast celebrating beginning a brand new chapter together.

iGO. What happens when you take over 20 middle schoolers to Tampa for a week? A TON OF FUN. Let’s just say that my car was definitely the BEST. I had a blast taking our 14forty students to iGo to serve on-mission this summer. We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and my love for each of them grew a LOT.

Hello, mountains. A week of fresh air, good books, flannel shirts, black coffee, lots of movies, and hiking was an amazing and relaxing time that I definitely savored.

Good Morning, world! I remember one day this past summer, I went to the beach with my parents. We literally left before the break of dawn. Way before…so we could get to the beach at the break of dawn! But it was so worth it. Watching the sun rise, warming the sky was breath-taking. And on the plus side, I had a great day filled with long naps to catch up on my sleep!

Alberta is my BFF. I finished my first semester as a Gator this year and absolutely LOVED going to not only the football games, but also some of the Women’s Volleyball and Basketball games as well. From long study session in Library West to endless amounts of coffee at Starbucks, new friends & old friends, thousands of pages of reading material, and the beginning of many on-campus runs, I am really thankful for this semester.

AND. I was able to go to the AND Conference at Granger Community Church and meet one of my favorite authors & communicators–Kem Meyer. Trust me, I took lots of notes!

Telling stories. This year was the beginning of a new adventure in helping people tell their stories. I had the privilege of photographing my first wedding, maternity photos, Christmas cards, the beauty of nature, and graduation photos. Capturing a story. One picture at a time.

Just write. I think one of the things I truly cherish about 2011 was the
writing I did. I wrote, and I grew. A lot. Reading through past journals, I know that I struggled this year, but I wrote through those struggles. My saying has always been that writing is my therapy. And I think writing has really helped me discover a lot of who I am–and who I’m becoming. I wrote through the really exciting times as well. I put my hand to different types of writing and even began to dream big towards projects I’ve always wanted to do. Writing has helped me connect with God on a whole new level, sort through my thoughts, weigh the pros & cons of situations and gain perspective. Keep calm and write something. Yes.

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