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1. Saw Annie F. Downs Speak

My friend Bethany and I took off very early in the morning to go to Bourbonnais, Illinois to see Annie F. Downs speak at a women’s conference at Olivet Nazarene University. In high school Bethany and I had a youth leader named Kathy. I kinda thought everyone just had a Kathy to vent to and then get really good advice on how to pray in situations, understanding your purpose and what does God have to say about it all. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 20’s that I realized not everyone had a Kathy growing up and that I was so blessed to have her lead and guide me the way she did. Now being an adult and discovering Annie’s podcast and books makes me feel like she’s my new “youth leader”. Instead of Wednesday night at youth group Annie’s playing a couple of times a week on my podcast player sharing life with me and having others teach me what the love of God can look like. Being able to see her speak was like catching up with an old friend, just like I was hoping it would be.

2. Watched My Parents Build A Cabin

My parents are some of the most creative people I know, and I’ve been to art school! My Dad can make anything with wood, brick, metal ect., and my Mom can create decor, solve problems with gadgets made by her and bring beauty out of nothing. With parents like that I thought nothing was off limits on what you could create. They probably didn’t realize that’s what they were teaching me as I glued things together from Dad’s junk can in the garage and making my own creations out of Mom’s sewing scraps. 2019 has been a full year that my Dad has been retired and he didn’t waste no time jumping into it dreaming of what he could do. Build a cabin. Mom got him several books at the library and he made a plan. Cut down dead trees on their property, scraped the bark off, let them dry out and built a cabin. Mom was there doing any supporting, sanding, staining and tying it together by decorating it. I could go on and on with this topic!

3. All of the Amazing Weddings & Events I Got to Shoot.

I’ve really adopted the wording of what I “get” to do. I love my job so much. God really knew what my heart needed to do and the situations and positions I’ve got to be in because of taking pictures. I can’t even wait for what 2020 will bring!!

4.   5 years of marriage

Five years feels like a life time and such a short amount of time all at once. Marriage is nothing like I imagined it to be! When I hear that people have been married 20 or 30 years I can’t help but instantly think, “Wow ya’ll been through some stuff for sure!” This road hasn’t been what I thought I would walk down but as I’m getting over a hill I’m sure glad that this is the path that I’m on because I’ve gotten to to see what forgiveness looks like on a different level, I’ve learned to think of others and how to take care of someone else and have a heart that I couldn’t have ever had for other married couples unless I had walked down some of this road.

5. Started Camping & Kayaking For The First Time & Loved It!

One day this summer on a Thursday I said to Mark, “We should go camping tomorrow. We always talk about it but never do it.” He agreed and we made it work. We had such a blast hanging out as friends and couldn’t wait to share this with Addy for the next time. Which came very shortly after that trip followed by a couple more times! What can we say, we’re hooked!

6. Got a new puppy

I’ve wanted a small dog I could snatch up and give cuddles to for quite a long time. Late this fall things fell into place for our family to get a new puppy. She is a Jack Russel/Chihuahua mix named, Millie. Seeing our other dog Bo play with her is the sweetest thing and seeing them being friends makes me so happy. She’s fearless of him and jumps on his head and bites his ankles which is hilarious since she’s so little and he’s so big. I’ve been lucky with all of the dogs I’ve ever had to help potty train and didn’t realize this till Millie came. Phew! She’s keepin her momma busy that’s for sure! But those puppy cuddles (only when she’s tired) are worth it!

7. Saw The Beach

No secret that the beach is my favorite place to be! Just like I brought up camping Mark brought up a spontaneous trip to our favorite place and shortly we were off. It wasn’t the warmest when we were there but as the sign says at Sliders (one of our favorite restaurants/tiki bars) “If your lucky enough to be at the beach your lucky enough.”

8. I Got A New Car

At the beginning of this year I got a new car. I’ve never really been able to say what I wanted in a car before. Basically I had a small budget each time and beggars can’t be choosers, however this time…. I saved my money and got what I thought would be the perfect car to run the wheels off of. I will have this car for quite a long time. It has everything I’ve ever wanted in a car and it’s red so everyone can see me coming! I’m such a nerd, I know.

That poor truck beside me 🙁

9. Started Taking Videos of Everything I’m Doing In Life

In high school I had a flip camera. Shout out to you if you know what that is! I’m so sad that I don’t know where any of those videos are now. I some how have all of the photos I took through out junior high and high school but no videos. I had an experience a couple of years ago that really taught me something is better than nothing. So here and there I would take some video clips and do nothing with them but have them on hard drives. (so grateful I did this now!) Then I started doing one second of the days. (Super fun app you should get it, it’s free) Whenever I would show it to Mark he would want to see more of certain clips and that got me thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing taking lots of videos of things all the time just like I do with pictures. I challenged myself for 2018 to take videos or lots of things to show Mark I should get a new camera for video. Then it just became a habit to take videos and pictures of what we were doing. By the time 2019 came I now have tons of videos each month. I now had real plans of getting a video camera however the new iPhone came out and for what I do and care about right now this couldn’t have been a better thing! With all of this video clips I’m able to make “home movies” now for our family to enjoy.

10. Scanned In All of My Childhood Photos Making Digital Copies

I had taken out all of the photos in my parents old albums that you pull back the plastic and stick them on the sticky page because I learned this type of storage actually damages your photos over time. Mind you this was like two years ago. I had been meaning to scan them all in after taking them out but only 4-5 images could fit on the scanner bed and that was discouraging. So I kept putting it off because who has that kind of time! Then I was told about a new scanner our public library has that was like a feeder. As fast as you could feed it they would be scanned for you. So I gathered up the bags and Addy helped me scan in over 3,000 images! Now I can rest knowing that they are now all digital but you know I can’t just stop there. My next step to this project is putting together a big book of all of the stories that could be told of our families lives growing up. I would love to say in 2020 this will be done but it will probably be a work in progress, but like I said before, something is better than nothing.


January 1, 2020

Top 10 Memories From 2019

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