2013 was a year of endings and new beginnings. 

I started the year in Columbia, spending just a couple more days with my husband before traveling back to Kansas for 5 more months of living apart. It was a strange feeling because though I wasn't excited about that part of our journey, I had this overwhelming sense of peace and hope. Somehow I knew this was the Lord's plan for us, whatever it entailed. 

Living in Kansas by myself had its ups and downs. I was undoubtably lonely, but I also had the opportunity to deepen some of the friendships I had developed and spend more time at school functions that I normally might have passed up. I also didn't hate the fact that I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner and not have to worry if Derek would like it. ;) {and I might have gotten hooked on broiled portobellos and ate them multiple times a week :/ } Another perk of living alone was that I realized I had so many clothes I could go a month...s? {shhh!} without doing laundry. Which then prompted me to take a few trips down to Goodwill when it came time to pack said clothes!! ha

Aside from the familiar challenge of a long-distance relationship, and readjusting to life in a new city {which definitely isn't all bad!!}, the only truly horrible thing about 2013 is that I lost my dear Ainslie. I know a lot of people don't understand the bond that can develop between a human and a dog, but our dogs are definitely our family. Especially in this time before having real children of our own. Ainslie was such a perfect dog for me and was with me through many challenges. I still miss her terribly. :( 

Of course there was a lot of good in 2013, as well! Finally getting to move back to Missouri to be with Derek {and being so much closer to family and friends than we were in Kansas}, settling in to our new duplex which is so much more homey than our little apartment in GC, experiencing Columbia life {M-I-Z anyone?}. 

We've even already went to a football and basketball game. 

We also bought our first car, I started a new job, we've been getting plugged in to our new church, and I've even made a friend or two. There's definitely some fun to be had in CoMo!

And let's not forget our newest addition, acquired in July...

Reflecting over the past year, I think the biggest lesson I've learned in 2013 is that life isn't perfect {duh, right?!}. We can hope and dream for what's "bigger and better" {in our eyes at least}, but life is still life. 

The Lord gave me exactly what I had been asking for this year... Derek and I have the same schedule {finally}, we live in a "bigger and better" city... in Missouri, I have a job at a larger school {about the size that I've always considered "ideal"}, we found a church that we love, and I feel like I'm developing some solid adult friendships... but guess what?! Life still isn't perfect. And it never will be {until the day we meet out Savior, at least}. 

Though the Lord taught me contentment while living in Garden City, I think I kind of kept it in a box and didn't realize I would keep needing it. The past few weeks I've realized that the sin of comparison and complaining is one that I struggle with and will probably continue to struggle with. I'm challenging myself this year to continue to apply that little lesson on contentment in all areas and situations in my life. 

A few other ways I'm hoping to challenge and better myself this year:

I'm challenging myself to do something with a friend(s) at least once a month. As an adult I haven't been intentional about friendships and that needs to change!! 

I'm also challenging myself to blog at least twice a month. I've come to the realization that regular blogging probably isn't for me, at least right now, but it made me sad that I had recorded so few memories in 2013. I love being able to read back over the past and remember even some of the tiny details I might have forgotten, or to just remember where I've come from and how I've grown. I don't plan on getting super involved with the blogosphere, but I do want to make time for memory-keeping. 

We made a couple financial goals that I'll keep between the hubs and I. They probably wouldn't sound very significant to most people, but they are to us. :)

-Physical Health-
It's so cliche to make health goals, isn't it? I honestly have maintained a decent weight into my adulthood {though sometimes it fluctuates a little higher than I'd like}, but as I've gotten older I realize that exercise isn't just about losing weight, it's about living a healthy lifestyle {yeah, yeah, I realize that's exactly what they tell you all through school, but sometimes it takes awhile to click}. My fitness goal is pretty simple... I just want to find something that works for me. Something that I enjoy and that I'll stick with. And honestly something that doesn't cost a fortune, because quite frankly, I won't pay it! ha All suggestions welcome and appreciated. :)

-Spiritual Health-
I think my biggest goal in this area for 2014 is to serve others more. I need to think outside myself and look for the needs of others. I strongly believe that a big part of worshiping the Lord is serving His people and I definitely don't do that enough. Whether it's opportunities through our church or simple, everyday things, I plan to be more intentional in meeting the needs of others around me. 

I also want to spend more time reading my Bible. The morning devotion time that Derek and I started last year is a great way to start the day, but it often ends up feeling rushed and lacking depth. I want to read more for purpose and knowledge in addition to my morning routine. 

I started thinking about the new year as I was driving home from Marshfield on New Years Eve and got this overwhelming sense that change was coming. It was a surreal feeling and I couldn't help but pray that the Lord prepare me for whatever He had in store. As I continued to think about the changes that will inevitably come this year, I realized that this is the first year in many that brings about a complete "unknown." I'm not expecting to get engaged or plan a wedding, I'm not planning to graduate or get a new job, there's not a big move in my future, and for those of you wondering, I'm not planning to get pregnant {for now at least ;)}. 

This year is a blank slate all around, which is maybe why I was so taken aback by the stirring I felt driving home. Nevertheless, I love surprises, so 2014 is bound to be exciting!!  I hope you're optimistic about your new year too! 


  1. I totally had that same feeling of not working toward something anymore a while ago. It was working on getting married, working on finishing school, working on getting a job, working on having a baby, so now I have met all those milestones what am I working toward now? Weird feeling... I enjoy your blog and enjoy reading the thoughts of someone with such a sweet heart and mind. I'm sorry about the pain of losing your dog, hope the pain is more muted now. Your new pup is super cute! Hope I can see you sometime soon if you're living closer now! Let me know when you're on a trip home and we will meet up.

    1. It is a weird feeling!! There's so many expectations of what to do and when to do it, and then all of a sudden you've done it all... then what?! We will definitely need to hang out this summer sometime! This distance is weird... its so much closer, but yet not close enough. We're able to take weekend trips every couple months or so, but then they always seem to have a full agenda. :( I'm planning some extended trips this summer though, so I can get some good friend time in! You're at the top of my list. :)

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