- Dan, my amazing husband
- Madison, Frieda, and Harriet, our wonderful pets
- My fantastic family, my parents, siblings, in-laws, and extended relatives – they’re all extraordinary
- My excellent friends
- A challenging and rewarding job
- Buying our incredible house!! : )
- Getting to travel for through my job – to places I’ve never been, like San Francisco, and to places I’ve been to but got to discover new parts of, like Washington, D.C., and New York City
- Books (I met my reading challenge of reading 30 books this year! I’m setting the same goal for next year)
- Lots of coffee
- Rehabbing my knee
- Trips to Columbus, Madison, OH, and Bowling Green
- Hosting family and friends on trips to Cleveland
- Indians, Cavs, and Columbus Crew games
- Being diagnosed with celiac disease and starting to feel better
- Fun nights playing Mario 3D World and Mario Kart
- Meeting Matthew Dellavedova
- Easter dinner at my grandma’s house
- Many walks in the park
- Trips to the movies with Dan and my dad
- Getting new glasses and a new haircut
- Attending showers for friends’ babies and weddings, and celebrating those terrific life changes with them
- Learning to like running
- Sitting on our deck
- Visiting the Cleveland Zoo
- Board game parties at my sister-in-law Cate’s apartment
- Suppers at my parents’ house
- Biking all over
- Finally getting to visit the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, with Dan
- Cooking in our new kitchen
- Watching football games and English soccer games
- Decorating our house for the holidays
- Back to the Future themed Halloween costumes with Back to the Future movie marathon leading up to it
- Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our families in our new home
- A wonderful Christmas weekend with our families and time together approaching the new year : )
And of course, hundreds of little moments that bring a smile to your face every day – blaring Adele in the car and singing at the top of my lungs, naps under the electric blanket with my cat laying on my side, laughing with my husband over something silly, brunch after church, playing with my dog. My main focus in 2016 is to flourish – to focus on becoming healthier, growing in my faith, spending time with my family, and just plain enjoying and celebrating life.
What were your favorite moments of 2015? Any goals or hopes for 2016?
A walk with Madison in the park.
Dan and I at our first Indians game of the season this weekend!
- Reflections on five years of marriage. Love it : )
- Dan was the one who first showed me this video. Hilarious.
- Outfits I adore: 1, 2, 3.
- This poem. Lovely.
- Relieved to know other people Google this fact a lot as well!
- This post about rescuing dogs left me in tears – a must read.
- Weddings I love: 1, 2, 3.
- How to find the best lipstick for you.
- Mackenzie’s spring to-do list sounds pretty darn fun.
- Daffodils, yes please.
- I sorta love this pink bathroom.
- How to make your own patterned photo mats.
- Enjoyed Jessica’s post about making moments special…and the decadent milkshake recipe that accompanies it ; )
- Recipes I want to try: skinny Meyer lemon mousse, seared shrimp salad with jicama, strawberries, and avocado, raspberry creme brulee, mango salsa, raspberry banana smoothie, ham and pineapple fried cauliflower rice, almond banana dragon fruit smoothie bowl, no bake oatmeal raspberry cookie sandwiches, and spicy shrimp tacos with garlic cilantro lime slaw.
Glad the weather is getting nice again for long walks with Madison!
- How to eat seasonally in April.
- Add these Irish sites to your travel bucket list.
- 5 ways to make your mani last.
- What do you think of nutritional yeast?
- 10 healthier swaps for Easter candy.
- Anyone else interested in this sleek arms challenge?
- 14 things to do when you’re having a bad day.
- Adore these outfits: 1, 2, 3.
- How to get high-quality, uninterrupted sleep.
- If you’re sick of potholes, this is good news.
- I loved this post on friendship.
- Have you read your April horoscope yet?
- 10 habits of highly organized people.
- Weddings I love: 1, 2, 3.
- In case you need it, here’s yet another reason to love John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
- Quotes about friendship.
- Recipes I want to try: 30-minute sesame roasted sweet potatoes, sambal chicken skewers, taco spiced deviled eggs, pistachio crusted asparagus with feta, no-bake double chocolate oatmeal cookies, chipotle shrimp tacos, paleo lemon macaroons, spicy shrimp and asparagus over zucchini noodle pasta, coconut sorbet with strawberry rhubarb sauce, enchilada stuffed sweet potatoes, and asparagus soup.
Cuddles on Saturday morning
- I think these pineapple night lights are adorable.
- 6 tips for navigating a farmers’ market.
- I adore these outfits: 1, 2, 3.
- My wallet is in danger…the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection.
- Tips for posting Instagram photos of food, via Chrissy Teigen.
- Some things to keep in mind when reading reviews.
- The secrets to Kate Middleton’s ponytail.
- Just discovered these champagne gummy bears…want!
- How to navigate a farmers’ market.
- This version of Cinderella is my favorite, too.
- Weddings I love: 1, 2, 3.
- How to care for your bed linens.
- Recipes I want to try: lemon pepper chicken with artichoke salsa and roasted salsa, carrot cake smoothie, cauliflower enchilada casserole, warm bacon and greens potato salad, pineapple guacamole, gluten free fudgy brownies, chocolate covered strawberry smoothie, and easy lemon dill salmon.
- My amazing husband Daniel. He works so hard every day at his job as a teacher, is fiercely loyal to his family and friends, is ridiculously passionate about sports – both watching and doing, adores animals as much as I do, and watches all the same TV shows as me (unless they are about crime). He is my best friend and the love of my life.
- My awesome family. Not only do they give provide me with role models to admire and be inspired by , but I am especially grateful for all the help and support they’ve given me during this first year teaching at a high school with a new school model AND with my knee injury and surgery. I love spending time with them – they are always on my side, they always make me laugh, and they will always watch crime TV shows with me.
- My kick-ass friends. They put up with all my random, silly, and long text messages, non-stop Snapchats of coffee and pets, my early bedtime, and my weak sarcastic ability. They are hilarious, creative, sweet, caring, fiesty, and fun. I love them to death and can’t imagine how I’d get along without them.
- My wonderful co-workers. I have been blessed to have truly great colleagues and mentors almost every place I have ever worked, but this year having a staff that supports each other as much as this staff does is absolutely essential. I don’t think any of us would have made it this far, trying to implement his new school model and make positive changes in school culture, without each other. No one “pulls rank,” no one refuses feedback, no one is unwilling or too busy to help anyone else. We are truly a team and I am so grateful.
- My pets. I don’t have kids, and no, my pets aren’t like my kids. My pets are my pets – they are animals who love unconditionally, harbor no bitterness or ill will toward anyone, and find happiness in all the small moments. They brighten my day and the day of everyone who interacts with them.
- The “basics” that aren’t really so basic – a place to live with working heat and a sound structure, located in a safe neighborhood. Clean, running water I can get by walking two feet to a faucet. Enough nutritious food to eat and the ability to choose what I want to eat. Shoes, a winter coat, gloves, and hat that are all in good shape. Clothes in general that are in good shape. Safe transportation. Access to the Internet and a computer in my own home. All the things so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
- Health care – including vision and dental. I know this is a sore point for some people in this day and age with Obamacare and all, but I can’t imagine not having it. I have maintenance prescriptions I require for health conditions, I get sinus infections a couple times a year, I hate cavities, and you never know when an emergency or a random accident will occur – like tearing your ACL on a trampoline on a school field trip. I am so grateful I have insurance to help my family and I afford the care we need.
- My college degree and job. My job that is my dream job. It truly feels like every experience I have had, particularly since I was in high school myself, has lead me to this teaching position. A lot of the experiences were challenging, but they all prepared me for where I am right now, which is exactly where I want to be. Not only is my job, despite its intensity, emotionally and intellectually fulfilling, but it is also contributing to my family’s financial security. I am grateful for that because I know how difficult not being in such a positive situation can be.
- And of course, the random, little things that seem silly to be thankful for but really enrich every day life: COFFEE, funny TV shows, interesting podcasts, good books, really good books, an evening spent cooking and baking, a hot bath, that thrill you get when you’ve had an extra productive day or when you get an unexpected compliment, a cold beer after a long week at work, finding a coupon for your favorite grocery item, a sunny day, easy traffic on your morning commute, killing it in your workout, catching your new favorite song on the radio, making someone else laugh without expecting to, beating that level of Angry Birds you’ve been stuck on for weeks, a fantastic night of sleep, no line at the gas station or drugstore when you’re in a rush, a clear night sky so you can see the stars, the existence of HGTV, listening to music while driving by yourself in the rain, seeing someone do something nice for someone else for no reason but to be nice or polite, hugs from small children, kisses from dogs, and so, so much more.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
1. Dan and I got married.
2. We had a great minimoon!
3. And a fantastic picnic reception.
4. We also moved into our first home together.
5. I had a wonderful time getting ready for the wedding with an awesome kick ass bachelorette party planned by my sister and best friends.
6. I had a ton of fun attending others’ weddings, including a best friend’s.
7. I was hired to be a tutor full-time at my alma mater.
8. I survived a difficult season of coaching and got to see four of my swimmers compete at Districts, not to mention watch so many others improve so much.
9. Helped quite a few students keep focused, pass classes, and graduate.
10. Finally attended my first BGSU homecoming weekend as an alumni.
11. Dan and I went to many Indians games.
12. And we did Dinner on the Diamond.
13. We went to a Cavs and a Bluejackets game, too.
14. We hosted Thanksgiving for my family and his family together.
15. So many long walks with Madison in the park.
16. Joining and going to a near-by gym, as well as joining Tone It Up!
17. Buying and using my road bike.
18. Fun parties at my sister-in-law’s apartment…including Halloween when Dan & I were beekeepers and Madison was a bee!
19. I made a new close friend in my co-teacher at work.
20. Hosting friends and family for weekends in Cleveland.
21. Going to An Evening With Scott Hamilton and Friends with my parents and spending Memorial Day weekend with Dan’s family.
22. Celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday.
23. Celebrating the end of the school year with an early summer weekend in BG.
24. And sooooo much more! Reading as much as possible, morning coffee and relaxation, cooking dinners with Dan, hilarious times with my students and swimmers, my parents adopting another dog, visits to Columbus, holiday celebrations, basically any time spent with family and friends!
It’s been a great 24th year, and I can’t wait for what the next year holds! Here’s to 25!