2016: a year in review

I’m going to tire of saying it, because I’m sure most people’s lives seem to be filled with more & more as the years go by, but 2016 was a full year. And a good year! We loved our time in Duluth with a fantastic community of people (my favorite Diocese!), we got to take trips to see friends & family for special occasions, and we made the move to St. Paul just like we had hoped for. Praise God! #gearns2016

I’ve started making a binder of our years in review (beginning with 2012, the year we met) and I was struggling for how to go about doing it. Do I go the Project Life route? I pondered it and said I’d only do like 2-3 pages per year, but then that became unrealistic because really how do you choose?! I thought of many ways to document our lives (I even made multiple trips to Michael’s – browsing, buying, returning), and in the end settled on what I had initially envisioned. I know people send out years in review for their Christmas cards – and I really like that idea – so I decided to begin our family binder of our years together. It may evolve and grow, but for now it consists of a one page summary (style and content varies each year) and a page of prominent photos (basically my instagram pics…because they’re already square). And we love it! Below is our 2016 (some content may seem a bit odd & personal as I wasn’t making it strictly for other people).

May you be blessed in 2017!

Goodbye, 2015.

Another year. ANOTHER YEAR. It always amazes me how time flies. But at the same time…this year has been a full one and I feel ready to move on. In a good way.

It seems as if every year, for the past several years, I’ve not known what to expect looking ahead to the new year. We couldn’t have known God would lead us back to Kevin’s hometown, let alone his childhood house (we were actually both hoping New Hampshire would work out!). We suspected, but couldn’t have foreseen the great difficulty we’d have in conceiving a child, requiring medical guidance, and then not being able to sustain the pregnancy when we did achieve. We didn’t know we’d be welcoming two wonderfully adorable & perfect neices. We never would have guessed our married life in Duluth could be so good, or that we’d connect with such amazing people.

There is so much we didn’t know, and I’m glad of it. Everything happened on God’s time, and in His way. And here we are. Not free of struggle, but trying to be liberated of all fear. I look forward to the surprises this year next year will bring.

In the meantime, some of my favorite highlights of 2015:

  • Our marriage bible study in Boston with two couples who are so close to our hearts. This monthly gathering bore incredible fruit for everyone; it was an immense gift that we miss dearly. (Skype bib stud?!?!)
  • YOLMO – “You only Livingston Manor Once” – our annual YO_O trip with my best friends from college (spouses & babies invited this time) – this time in upstate New York. Lots of snow, laughter, tears, good food, and plenty of hugs. And twas the time we all met Joey – now our dear Elise’s fiance! May 6, 2016!
  • Doing my WHOLE 30! And since then learning to live, cook, and bake paleo(ish). It has transformed my life (while also increasing grocery bills).
  • Our multiple trips to Quebec! These trips are so good for our marriage, and we’re simply in love with Quebec and everything french.
  • The Brotherhood of Hope Alumni Retreat – Boston Edition. For many months, I worked part-time doing development & alumni relations with the Brotherhood of Hope at Northeastern University’s Catholic Center, and while commuting downtown in the winter two nights a week wasn’t always easy, it was a privilege and a joy to serve in this way. One of our great efforts was putting together the first alumni retreat, and it was all I hoped it would be and more.
  • Ladies day out in Boston in my last month there!
  • Our vacation in Plymouth with my family! A relaxing time with the whole gang just before departing the Northeast.
  • Our cross-country trip and seeing family & friends along the way! And Wisconsin. Gosh it was so dang pretty there.
  • And being here in Minnesota. I don’t have much to say right now, but it’s good. It is good we are here.

And my favorite posts of the year?

I hope 2015 treated you well and that this next year will be even better. 🙂

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