Category Archives: Life

Cheers, 2016!

What a year 2016 has been!

I think in the future I will remember this year as the year that I really transitioned into the next phase of my life. My life now is pretty different from how it was at the beginning of the year, so it’s been an exciting year!

We started off the spring by vacationing for a week in Colorado. We visited Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as Denver, and Colorado Springs. We had a blast and it’s definitely one of my favorite places that I’ve been to. The mountains were absolutely breathtaking and I’d love to go back again sometime in the future!

I finished my up my internship in downtown Kansas City. This was such a great learning experience for me and it was a lot of fun being able to work downtown. It was the first time that I worked for a large company, so it was great to be able to experience how a larger organization runs. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this job and felt that I did myself proud. It was a great opportunity for me and I really made the most of it. It was a bit bittersweet to leave, but bigger and better things awaited me in the year.

I graduated college with my Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. I graduated summa cum laude with a 3.9 GPA, which I am extremely proud of. It might just be an extra medal that I get to wear and an extra thing they announced with my name, but I’m immensely proud of how hard I worked in school.

I got to watch Andrew graduate with two degrees: his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and his Bachelor of Nursing. He later passed his nursing boards and is now a certified Registered Nurse (RN). I was so proud to watch him walk to the stage – not once, but twice! – and to see all of his hard work come to fruition. Super proud wife right here!

We moved from Kansas City to St. Louis. This was a really bittersweet time for us. It truly signified us closing the chapter on our college days and coming on home. Sometimes I wonder if we made the right decision in moving back to St. Louis. There are a lot of things I miss about Kansas City and I shared my sentiments on what home really means. Kansas City will always hold a dear place in my heart and we visit friends often!

We spent a lot of time making the house in St. Louis our home. We were given a wonderful opportunity from Andrew’s mother to live in their childhood home for very little rent. We are using this time to pay off our loans and to save up some money for a future home.

This summer was a tough one for me. While I planned to take a couple months off before looking for a job, I really suffered with depression. I was trying to find my identity and worth in other things, such as my employment, when really my identity is rooted in Christ. I learned a lot and I grew a lot, but it wasn’t easy. You may have noticed I wasn’t very active on the blog during this time.

In late July, I had to put my nine-year-old dog to sleep. I’d had Tabor since he was a little pup at ten weeks old. He was my Christmas present in the 8th grade and my best friend. He had just moved into the house with us when we moved back to St. Louis. While I still miss him dearly, I have a lot of great memories with him and he was the best dog!

After losing Tabor, Andrew and I adopted a female puppy from Stray Rescue and named her Chloe. She is a black lab terrier mix that we love to pieces. She is very energetic, and though she’s not so small anymore, she is very smart and loves to cuddle.

Look at that face!

I ran my first 5K in September for a girl named Kali. It was a hard run but I ran through the pain and took every step for victims that have suffered from sex trafficking. The race was organized by The Covering House, an organization that provides physical and emotional relief from sexual abuse and exploitation. I couldn’t have been happier to spend my first 5K running for such a great cause.

Also in September, I was offered a contract position through a staffing agency and I jumped at the opportunity. I ended up really liking the people that I work with and the position, so when they offered me the full-time position at the end of November, I accepted.

Things seem to have settled down near the end of the year as I put my head down and got to work at my new job. I’ve really enjoyed making friends with my new coworkers and learning new things. And it’s good to see how God has answered my prayers throughout the year. I had a lot of anxiety and fears – about moving home, about finding a job, about all of these big life changes and God provided throughout all of them.

I’m just incredibly thankful to see how far I’ve come in just one year and to see how far He has brought me, and it makes me even more excited for all that 2017 will hold!

Cheers, 2016! You were a great one!

All is calm, all is bright

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Andrew and I were pretty busy over the weekend, but it was good to get some time off work and to visit with all of our family. We spent Christmas Eve morning with his dad and his family. We opened presents first and Andrew got some movies and video games, while I got a couple of books and a Zumba game for the Xbox. We haven’t tried it out yet but I’m pretty excited about making Andrew play it with me! :P

We bought Andrew’s little half-brother a huge Nerf shot gun that he absolutely loved. Andrew might have gotten him in trouble a couple times when they were shooting it in the kitchen, but we were glad that he really enjoyed it! I think Andrew was even a bit jealous because we just have little mini Nerf guns at home and this one was huge!

That evening we went to my mom’s house for dinner and to exchange gifts. We kept it pretty simple and just had sandwiches with chips and dip. I made a banana cream pie and my mom had a plethora of Christmas cookies that we all munched on afterwards. My mom bought me a new kitchen knife block set that I am really excited about! She also bought me a couple of small kitchen utensils and the False Prince book series. My brother got me the same book series, which we all laughed a bit about, as well as a new flash drive.

Andrew got some new clothes from my parents which I’m pretty sure I was more excited about than he was because he only gets new clothes at Christmas! The boy does not like shopping. He also got some video games and a couple DVDs.

I was most excited for Christmas morning when Andrew and I had our own little Christmas. I bought him a 3DS which he had been eying for a couple of years now but never got around to buying because of the price. In turn, he bought me an Xbox 360, which I have been eying every since he sold his old one to get the Xbox One. Most of the Xbox games that I enjoy are on the older system and aren’t backwards compatible on the One, so I’m pretty excited to play Lego Lord of the Rings and Lego Harry Potter! He bought me a couple of other 360 games, but I’m most excited about those two in particular.

We both said we wouldn’t get much for each other since we bought such big gifts for each other, but we both ended up getting more things for each other than we planned. Andrew has been wanting a candy dish for our living room and we always seem to have candy laying around (even though we both eat it almost immediately!) so I bought him a red candy dispenser machine which he now has proudly displayed in the living room. I also bought him a new pillow and a couple of DVDs that we haven’t seen yet off of our IMDB 250 list.

Andrew bought me a few 360 games.

My roommate gave me such thoughtful gifts; her grandmother knitted me a towel holder that is shaped like a dress to hang on our stove which I loved. It’s just so cute! She also gave me and Andrew matching over-sized mugs that say ‘his’ and ‘hers’ in gold on them. Even though they weren’t very expensive gifts, those two ended up being some of my favorite gifts this year just because of how thoughtful they were and they were just very me.

Afterwards we headed to Andrew’s mom’s down in Union. It’s only about a forty-five minute drive and traffic was pretty light, surprisingly. Shopping for Andrew’s mom for Christmas is always easier than I think it will be. She loves to read – moreso than even I do – so I always like to get her one of my favorite books that I read that particular year (I chose A Man Called Ove for this year)  and an adult coloring book. Andrew bought her a couple of small things, but I wanted to put something nice together for her and her husband. So I made a little date night basket, using popcorn tubs as the basket, and filled it with popcorn, their favorite candies, a movie seek-and-find book, a bottle of wine for her, his favorite beer, and Casablanca. She really liked it when she opened it so I felt pretty good about that one!

While I got a couple books, I think my favorite present from her was a mandolin slicer! I’ve been wanting to make apple chips and make homemade french fries a lot, so I can’t wait to try out how it works. Everyone has warned me to be careful and not slice off my finger, however. :P

We spent the afternoon at Andrew’s aunt’s, who cooked up a big Christmas meal. There was ham and scalloped potatoes, corn mac, green bean casserole, buttered rolls, barbecued meatballs and little sausages, and I supplied some Christmas cookies. :) We were all stuffed and I unintentionally took a brief nap when we headed back to his mom’s.

Overall, it was a great Christmas! It was pretty busy fitting in four Christmases over the two days, but we were happy that we were able to see everyone and spend time with each of them. All of presents I received were really thoughtful, and I’m really excited to try some of them out.

How was your Christmas?