Sunday, December 28, 2014


I'm going to sound a bit cliche for a moment and say that it feels like I just recapped 2013. My parents did always tell me that time flies by faster the older you get, and I've realized they were right.

(But aren't they always? hi mom and dad. ; ) )

In typical fashion, here's a recap of some of the highlights, complete with pictures:

Jon and I had just started dating when the year began, and I cannot believe we've already been together for over a year now! He blesses my life daily with his servant heart, humor, humility, and handsome good looks. ; )

Lots of fun girls' nights and birthday celebrations for sweet, sweet friends throughout the year

Traveled to Washington, D.C., for a successful work event- my first visit there!

4th annual Kentucky Derby Party for the Think Ahead Group (TAG), the young professionals group I coordinate- every year this event is so much fun (and a whole lot of work), and I appreciate all of the volunteers and my super supportive friends and boyfriend who make it happen!

My little Sooner Sister graduated from OU! Even though I feel like she should still be about 4 years old wanting to steal my Lip Smackers, I'm so very proud of the young lady she has become.

And, my (former but forever) roomie graduated from seminary! After watching the amount of hours she spent studying and writing papers, I knew it was a HUGE accomplishment.

Two members of the Pink! family (from my sorority at TCU) got married! So happy for Meridith & Grant and Callie & Scott and enjoyed our reunions.

Family vacation to St. Thomas.  Absolutely beautiful and relaxing.  I would elaborate, but pictures do it way more justice and I already wrote a whole post on this trip!

Went on a wine tour in Fredericksburg with Jon and a fun group of friends from church. A blast!

Spent Labor Day weekend at Launch. a young adults retreat through my church, and had a great time being stretched a little outside my comfort zone, growing in my relationship with the Lord and creating new friendships.

TCU/OU game with my family- I now look forward to this annual rivalry, and my parents got to wear the house divided shirts Kristen and I gave them for Christmas last year.  And it helped that TCU was the victor : )

I had the honor of being in the house party for my dear friend Kimmy's wedding.  We've been friends for eight (!!) years now after meeting on the first day of TCU band camp where we were both in the colorguard.  Leading up to her fun-filled and beautiful big day we had a fun weekend in Austin for her bachelorette party.


My friend from high school, Kayla, also got married in October, which meant we had a miniature reunion of our high school group.  Loved watching my Kayla Bayla say I do, and realizing that some things never change... #photobombs

Weekend getaway with Jon to gorgeous Colorado- my first time there, and our first big trip together! We had a wonderful time and I won't ever forget what it felt like to be looking out on top of a mountain with him.

Adelphe X retreat- a great time together to just recharge.  Apparently I was really big on visiting Austin this year!

Double wedding weekend with my handsome date- congratulations to sweet Kate & Ben and Nellie & David! 

Started age 27 off in a big way- with brunch with my girls and a surprise party orchestrated by sweet Jon!

A Christmas wedding, spending the holiday with my family, and concluding the year on a two week break from work.  I love my job for many reasons, but this long break at the end of the year is an added bonus!

This was a wonderful year- the best, in fact.  I focused on releasing worry and a need to be in control, and while I fell short many times, the Lord is gracious in giving me many more opportunities to trust Him and be thankful and joyful in all things.  Over and over this year I realized it's okay to not have everything figured out all the time and that I need to trust God, need the people that He's surrounded me with, and need to love others and give them the same grace I've been given through Jesus, even when there's frustration and life presents us all with stressful circumstances and situations we don't understand. It's been a sweet year of growth, new adventures, and happy memories!

Love to you all,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Those who know me well know I love surprises.  I get very into them for other people and usually can barely contain my excitement while waiting for the person being surprised to show up.

Jon, with some help from my sister and friends Jennifer and Valerie, managed to completely surprise me for my 27th birthday.  I had no clue, and I consider myself to be pretty perceptive- and usually am the one planning things given the nature of my job!

I had already been surprised by my sweet work team (they hid in my office and jumped out when I walked in on Friday-- good one, ladies!) and spent Saturday morning at brunch with girlfriends.  The weekend was going great, complete with sunny weather that was drastically different from how I spent my birthday last year.

Jon told me he had a little something planned for my birthday, and all morning at brunch, my friends (knowing about the surprise to come that evening) kept asking me with feigned sincerity what I thought Jon had planned, where we were going for dinner, what I would wear.  So sneaky, all of them!

As he picked me up, Jon told me he was taking me to Patrizio's, the location of our first dinner date and one of my favorite restaurants.  I was excited! As we headed towards Highland Park Village, Jon said we had a little time to kill before our reservation and asked if I'd like to look at some Christmas lights.  One of my favorite memories early on in dating Jon was the time we got hot chocolate and looked at Christmas lights, so I happily agreed-- completely oblivious to the fact that Jon was stalling because our table wasn't ready!

We walked into the packed restaurant, and right as I wondered why Jon was pulling me past the hostess stand without saying anything to them, we rounded the corner to find a huge table of our families and close friends, with party hats and purple balloons, yelling "SURPRISE!"

I was completely shocked and took a good 20 minutes to stop shaking! It was overwhelming in the best way to look down a huge table and see people that I love the most, and to hear from others throughout the night who had wanted to be there too.  The evening was filled with good food, prosecco (my favorite), conversation, and celebration.  I kept looking at Jon in disbelief that he had planned this for me. And I must say, I'm pretty impressed with his event planning skills!
: )

To my wonderful family and friends, thank you for making me feel so loved on my 27th birthday! I am so very grateful to the Lord for each of you and praise Him for another year of life!