When I think back on 2014 the first thing I notice is that I started and ended the year with my dear friends from college. We're all a bit scattered across the country now, so getting together at New Years when we're all back in the St. Louis/Edwardsville/Greenville area has been the best time for a reunion. I've seen various friends from our tight-knit college group at different times throughout the year, but being (almost) all together like this is a special treat. In the first few days of 2015, I find myself thinking a lot about relationships and feeling incredibly grateful for the friends and family who are invested in my life.
2014 wasn't the most exciting year of my life by any means. (Two years ago I graduated from college, got married, and moved to Norway!) Nevertheless, it was a good year with lots of learning, laughing, crying, new friends, old friends, painting, singing, weed-pulling, and pottery-making.
Here are some monthly highlights from 2014:
January: We visited my family for a bit after Christmas and on the day of our planned depature a snowpocalypse hit Greenville. We couldn't drive home to Wichita on that day so we got to spend some extra time with family, which was really special for me. I remember playing a lot of NERTS and having an inpromtu dance party. That was fun.
February: Josh and I took a short, but sweet visit to Seattle to participate in SPS discernment weekend and hang out with the Cranstons.
March: We went on a spring break trip to Kansas City with some friends from church. There was lots of relaxing, some kite flying (and watching), and some art viewing.
April: For me, the most notable events in April were Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. This year I felt more able to fully realize the significance of Jesus’s death and resurrection. I remember singing and waving my palm branch on Palm Sunday feeling like Jesus was right there amoung us. Also in April, Josh and I dug up a little plot of land and planted onions, tomatoes, beets, and peppers, which we planned to can.
May: Josh turned 24 and finished writing his Master's thesis! Elise and Tyler came to Wichita to live and work for the summer, which was awesome. The three of us, along with a group of 15 or so, started work with Legacy Art Corps to prepare for the Legacy summer camps. We kept our garden growing.
June: June was possibly our busiest month. In the beginning of June I started an Ignatius prayer study with a group from church, which focuses on the inner life and connecting with God. In mid-June, Josh, Mikey and I traveled to the East Coast to visit Michael, Kelly, Niqui, and Jordan. While there Josh successfully defended his master's thesis and graduated from the University of Oslo with a Master's of Philosophy in Culture, Environment, and Sustainability. Woohoo! Go Josh! After our trip out East we stopped in Greenville for a while to hang out with my family. One evening we had a dinner on the back deck to celebrate Josh and sent Chinese lanterns off into the sky.
July: Layla came to stay with us in Wichita for a week, which was super fun. I turned 24. Josh and I celebrated our 2nd year of marriage. We harvested lots of onions, which we cured in the green house, and lots of beets, which we canned. It was a good month!
August: Josh and I went to the PNW where we hung out with Josh's family on Whidbey Island for a Kline family reunion and spent a few days in Seattle. After the reunion I started working at Woodman Elementary again and Josh went on tour with his band, The Radio Soul. In late August our friend Benny came to visit us. We met him in Norway and he’s German, so it’s extremely special to get to see him! In August we had SO many tomatoes. We canned some, but we were still up to our knees in tomatoes. We were all so tired of eating them until discovering this recipe:
Preheat oven to 325 F, cut tomatoes in half and set them on a greased baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic over top and bake for a couple hours. Enjoy fresh out of the oven!
September: We got a cat! Amelie was the cat of Josh’s cousin April, but due to cat conflict in her home she gave Amelie to us. In September I started doing yoga regularly, which was wonderful.
October: I flew to Chicago to hang out with Layla and my parents at Trinity for a long weekend. I got to see Layla play soccer and we went on several walks near Lake Michigan. Over the summer I partnered up with my friend Kelly to create The Winsome Press. In October we sold our art and handmade goodies at a couple handmade markets and we opened an etsy shop.
November: My parents met us at Lake of the Ozarks State Park for a wonderfully relaxing cabin weekend. We celebrated Thanksgiving with our family and friends here in Wichita. Josh's parents came for the long weekend, which was extra special.
December: Josh started making an electric guitar (out of wood) with his cousin Dan. This is a new and exciting venture for Josh. This semester we joined a choir; we prepared songs to sing at a candlelight Christmas worship service at our church. My favorite song was Ave Marie by Biebl. This month, of course, we celebrated Jesus. Josh and I drove to Greenville to be with my dad’s side of the family for Christmas. We had a great time playing games (NERTS, ping pong, soccer), talking, opening gifts, and just general hanging out.
2014 was a pretty great year! I'm enjoying the fresh start with 2015 and look forward to all this year holds for me.