It’s been a year…
One full of many great memories, and a few unexpected events. I’m not good at meandering through the memories to summarize my year, but a nifty little app is helping me out this year. 🙂 I’m using the “2015 Best Nine” app for Instragram to share the top nine photos that garnered the most likes during the last year.
To be honest, these aren’t the nine photos I’d pick. They don’t represent all of my top memories from the year. But since it’s really hard to pick out just a few of the 528 memories I’ve shared on Instagram this year, I’ll start with the top nine, chosen by you…my people.
This is definitely an eclectic blend of photos, representing some new hobbies, great places, and…of course…coffee. While I’m fairly confident a few of these only made the list due to some efficient hashtagging, it makes me smile because they are memories that have fallen to the background throughout the year. And each of these memories brings a smile to my face.
This was my most liked photo this year, of the first snowfall of the 2015-2016 winter. Little more than a dusting in mid-November, it quickly melted and brought a month of crazy-warm temperatures. I was out at my parents’ house as the sun set when I took this photo. Simply a reminder that beauty can be found everywhere, if we only take a moment to look.
This is an Origami Owl necklace I crafted early in the year, and it has three parts that are very significant to me. The first a the obvious one, the “Blessed” tag that reminds me how truly blessed I am. The second is the elephant, entitled “remember” in the catalog. It’s a reminder of my time spent living in Africa, and also as a reminder of where I’ve been and what God has brought me through. And finally, there is a small ring with the engraving “I will serve” to remind me that I am here not to build towers and pedestals, but to serve.
Bees! This is a new hobby, one which I did not expect to fall into, but love nonetheless. I offered beekeeping classes last January, and from there began helping my Dad when his bees arrived. I love beekeeping so much that I plan to put two hives in my yard in 2016, and officially become a beekeeper. There’s nothing like watching tens of thousands of honeybees flying around to remind you of how intricately God made our world.
I had a couple of friends who reintroduced me to geocaching this year, and I’m grateful for it. This is a micro cache I found while camping, the smallest cache I’ve ever found. I can’t wait to do more geocaching in the coming year.
So, I bought a house. It’s a tiny, 484 square foot home that’s 100 years old. I spent 4 months completely gutting and renovating it with my Dad, and have loved living in it since October. I would be hesitant to get into another major home renovation, but I learned a lot through it, and now have a home that I love. Small, yes, but mine.
The first snowfall of the season covering the steps and sidewalk of my very own house. While shoveling isn’t fun, being a homeowner has been a huge blessing. And seeing snow gently cover my small bit of yard is a double blessing.
This is probably my most favorite food photos ever. It’s one of those “did I really take that?” moments when everything surprisingly lines up to make an unexpectedly great picture. Not tooting my own horn here, because this was just simply luck. I took this on the only camping trip I was able to go on this year, and Mom and I were sitting outside eating pancakes and drinking coffee as the sun rose over the campground. Bliss.
Because, coffee. If you know me, you know coffee plays a happy role in my life. And so of course it should make an appearance in my top photos. This was taken during some quiet writing time on a Friday afternoon, likely while I was writing my #write31days series.
This last one makes me laugh. It’s a bourbon barrel at a distillery near Louisville, Kentucky. It was taken on the road trip with my best friend this summer, a road trip 10 years in the making. And while the bourbon experience wasn’t the reason for the trip, it was super fun seeing how it was made. And since bourbon is integral to the Kentucky culture, it was just something we had to do.
That’s my top nine photos of 2015. And while it doesn’t include any photos of my nephew, Cambodia, the tiny house transformation, the #FMFRetreat, my new dog, and many other memories….it’s a glimpse into what has been a great year overall.
Of course, it wasn’t a perfect year. I struggled a lot with God calling me to stay, when I really just wanted to go. I’ve questioned what my role is and where God is leading me. Renovating my house nearly pushed me over the edge. But overall, it’s been a great year. Full of memories, good people, and great cups of coffee.
But 2016 is looking even better.