A Blast from the Past (Year)

I honestly thought at the beginning of 2012 that the year 2011 could not be topped. Think about it, I graduated from college, married my best friend, went on our honeymoon to California, got to explore the mountains of Montana, and welcomed a new niece into the world. How could it get any better than that? Well, I’ll tell you…

2012 was an incredible year! I learned a lot about myself, about my husband, and about what the Lord is teaching me. I learned what true patience is and how amazing God’s grace really is. I learned perserverence and teamwork. I have had many good moments, but also some bad. This past year has been so wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

In April I ran my first half marathon. That’s 13.1 miles of running. Am I crazy or what? It is something I’ve wanted to accomplish my entire life. It was time-consuming, hard and intense training, but it paid off in the end. Now I get to look back and say, “I did that!” And feel good about it. Can a girl get an “Amen”?!

In June and August I got to be a part of two of my best friend’s weddings. I was so honored to get to stand by their sides and watch such beautiful representations of Christ and his Church. They were both such wonderful ceremonies and so much fun to be a part of. In addition to that, getting to be a part of the showers and bachelorette parties made for a fun year as well. Great memories to look back on.

weddings

I have pretty friends.

In June, my husband and I took a vacation to New York to see Niagara Falls and NYC. We had an incredible time and loved every minute of it. We got to see our first broadway musical (Wicked!) and sat in the (front row!) audience of David Letterman. We were blessed to get the opportunity to travel and explore a new place.

newyork

niagara, times square, lady lib

In August, we brought home our adorable kitten, Pepe le Pew. She has been such a joy to have. It sounds silly, but she has really been entertaining and we love her.

the cutest kitten ever.

I wish she was still that little.

This year we found out my older sister is having her third child. In October we found out it’s their first BOY! We are all so excited. I love being an aunt and spoiling my nieces, so I just know it won’t be any different with this little guy. He is due in March, so we are in much anticipation for that.

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my brother-in-law is just a little excited that it’s a boy.

In August, my husband turned 26 and I got him two tickets to a Notre Dame Football game. The game was in November and it was the first one we had ever been to. The campus is gorgeous and it turned out to be an amazing game and nice weather (a little chilly!). Notre Dame is currently number 1 in the nation in football and is playing in the Championship bowl game in January. They had an undefeated, awesome season this year. I’m so glad this was the year we went to see them play! He has wanted to go to a game since he was a kid.

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game time, golden dome.

After the game, we spent the next day in Chicago, IL. He had never been so it was neat to explore another big city with him. We’re real city slickers now.

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el beano, skyline

Lord willing I would like to accomplish these things in the next 365 days:

Spiritual:

  1. Read the Bible entirely through
  2. Spend more time in quite time with the Lord

Physical:

  1. Complete my first triathlon
  2. Run a 5k race in every state that touches Kentucky (where I live) -which would include SEVEN states…Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee (whew, that’s a lot of races in a year! This girl ain’t messin’ around)
  3. Play in a local tennis tournament with my husband

Adventure:

  1. Travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a retreat with some of the students from the youth group we help with
  2. Sky Dive (I asked for it for my birthday)

Well 2012, it’s been real, but it’s time to move on. Hello, 2013!! What do you have in store?

christmas with the leachmans.

After this past weekend, I am certain that I am blessed far beyond what I deserve. I take for granted how blessed I am to get to spend Christmas with my husband, my family, and my friends. I get to do so in a warm home, full of love and laughter. I get to open presents and eat tons of (very unhealthy) food. I get to be off of work and travel to see my family and in-laws.

I say this, because I know that not everyone has the luxery of these things. There are many homeless, starving, unemployed, broken families out there and I am so thankful that I don’t have to deal with those issues. I pray that those families that do have to go without food, shelter, family, jobs, and love can find peace in the Lord and find comfort in Him. My life isn’t anywhere near perfect (that is for sure!), but I am very fortunate to have what I do.

So, here is a recap of our Christmas vacation:

We spent Fri-Sun at my parent’s house. My sister wasn’t able to come home this year with her husband and sweet kids, but thank God for technology, because we were able to skype with them and see their beautiful faces! On Sunday evening we headed to my husband’s hometown to be with his family until Tuesday. It was great getting to be with both sides of our families and we had a lot of fun.

A few photos from the weekend:

christmas eve eve

christmas eve eve

christmas kitty

pepe loved the bows more than her gift.

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before christmas church service

Happy Blogiversary!

It has officially been a YEAR since I started this blog. I really didn’t think I’d keep it going this long. I thought it’d be like anything else in my life where I start it, get bored with it, and forget about it. But not this time! Happy 1 year, blog world! It’s been real.

celebrate!

Thanks to my followers and those who stop by my blog and leave sweet comments! You all are great and encouraging. Have a very, merry Christmas!

day ten – something you made.

decor

This is currently the centerpiece on our kitchen table. I thought it was a simple way to decorate for Christmas. I just spray painted pinecones red and white and stuck them in a hurricane jar. It’s so easy a cavewoman could do it.

So today brings me to the end of my photo blog challenge. I can’t say I’m completely heartbroken over it. It’s fun to do these challenges every so often, but it’s almost stressful trying to keep up with them so it will be awhile before I  do another one. I know you’re deeply saddened.

Here’s something else I made that I wanted to share…

frosty the fridge

frosty the fridge

If that doesn’t bring you Christmas cheer, I don’t know what will.

day nine – a sunset.

sunsetOne of my favorite things in life are sunsets. I’m very thankful I got to capture this sunset and all it’s beautiful colors. I know I could have gotten a better picture from this particular sunset, but I knew I didn’t have much time before it was gone so I took it from where I was at the time. At least I attempted to be artistic and get the porch in the picture. I need to work on lighting when it comes to taking pictures in the evening, but it is was it is. So here’s to one more day of this challenge!

day eight – before and after.

I like to refer to this moment as “cat got your tree”. Yes, we have a 6 month-old kitten who loves to destroy anything and everything I work hard to make look nice in our home. She means well, but she’s destructive. At first she did great with our Christmas tree. She didn’t touch it for the first week. All of a sudden I come home from work one day and I find our tree just like you see in the right photo. Star hanging by a thread, ornaments all over the place, branches spread apart, tree skirt on the floor, and the one gift I had under the tree knock over. Really, cat? Let’s just say she had one heyday on our tree. Nonetheless, I guess it made for the perfect before and after picture for my blog photo challenge. Here is day eight…

cat got your treeIt’s hard to stay mad at her, because she’s so darn cute. I’m just hoping this isn’t a sign of every Christmas to come.

day seven – something bright.

Nothing screams bright quite like unfocused Christmas lights. Am I right?! I thought this was a cool picture, so this is day seven of my photo challenge.

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And just for a little extra enjoyment today. It’s tacky sweater season again. Here’s to sequins, ribbons, and frills!

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Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!

day six – water.

I love today’s photo challenge, because ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to know how photographers got waterfalls to look so misty. I used to think, “That has to be fake. You can’t make a waterfall look that good.” Of course, I was wrong (gasp!). Now that I have the proper camera though, I get to mess with the shutter speed and a few other settings that are necessary to make water look a certain way. So without further ado, here is day six…

water

Waterfalls are probably one of my favorite things to photograph. After visiting Niagara Falls this past summer, every other waterfall seems like a dribble, but they are all still beautiful nonetheless. I’m not a huge fan of the lighting in this picture. The purplish tent kind of bothers me, but it does add a neat effect at least. See? Doesn’t the misty water look cool? Told ya.

day four – a guilty pleasure.

It’s no secret that women love chocolate and if you know me there’s no secret that I love hot chocolate. During the winter months, I make hot chocolate almost everyday. Sometimes I even buy the little Christmas combo packs that come with a bunch of different flavored hot chocolates (like mint, dark chocolate, caramel and more). I mean, I’m getting a craving for it just talking about it. Here’s my picture for day four’s challenge…my guilty pleasure.

hot cocoa

You know the saying…hot chocolate is a girl’s best friend. Or something like that…