27 for 27

To continue, here is the flip side – 27 things I’m looking forward to and/or am aiming for in the coming year. Here’s a recap:

We’re on to year three of yearly lessons and goals. It’s been a fun practice to reflect on the past year and look forward with anticipation at the coming months.

For those tuning in for the first time, for the last two years I’ve made a list (as long as my age) with simple goals, lessons, facts, and other randomness that I have experienced and am looking forward to. It ranges from serious to ridiculous, while covering everything in between.

Here’s to 2018 and a year of 27:

  1. Continue rooting myself in my community and my reliance on Him. Each and every year.
  2. PISTOL SQUATS. I will be doing them by June. #goals
  3. Trying more local restaurants. I’m a creature of habit and need to step out of the box.
  4. Travel: Northern California, PNW, Utah, Nashville, North Carolina, Texas…the list goes on.
  5. Is it redundant to mention coffee yet again?
  6. Be more consistent with daily habits/routines. I often let life get in the way of things that are truly important.
  7. Go to more sports games. Hockey, football, baseball – all of it.
  8. Complain less. There’s so much beauty within the hard and mundane.
  9. Send more snail mail.
  10. Be more intentional. With words, with actions, with relationships.
  11. Whole30 – at least two rounds. AT LEAST. Round one starts Monday. Bless.
  12. Cook more. Meal prep more. Use that InstantPot. #gamechanger
  13. Somehow I’m not even halfway through this list.
  14. Serve. Serve often. Serve willinging. Serve others. Serve.
  15. Make fewer excuses. About everything.
  16. Find new and challenging workouts. It helps with motivation.
  17. Start playing a sport again. I miss that.
  18. Watch less TV. Read more.
  19. Gather more books. I’m okay with owning a full library.
  20. Go skating more often. You brought those skates all way the way from Canada – USE THEM.
  21. Listen to more podcasts.
  22. Watch new movies (I know, I said to read more. Whatever). Stop watching the same ones over and over again (or at least throw in a new one here and there).
  23. Go to the beach more. Swim in the ocean more often. It’s good for you.
  24. Use your planner. ALL year.
  25. Slow down. Notice the little things. Find something to be thankful for in every circumstance.
  26. Is it too much to list coffee twice? Yes? Oops.
  27. Dream big. Work hard. Kick 2018 in the teeth.

26 from 26

We’re on to year three of yearly lessons and goals. It’s been a fun practice to reflect on the past year and look forward with anticipation at the coming months.

For those tuning in for the first time, for the last two years I’ve made a list (as long as my age) with simple goals, lessons, facts, and other randomness that I have experienced and am looking forward to in the next year. It ranges from serious to ridiculous, while also covering everything in between.

2017 was a year of progress and learning and rooting myself in the community I’ve cultivated here and more importantly in Him. It’s been a wild ride that makes me excited for the year to come.

Here are 26 things I learned/experienced in 2017:

  1. Canada is really cold. San Diego’s sunshine and warm temperatures are taken for granted. Never again.
  2. A lot can change in a year. Wow.
  3. Sometimes distance and boundaries are the necessary solution. And sometimes that leads to more redemption than you ever thought possible.
  4. Coffee is still one of my love languages.
  5. So is sarcasm. Although, it may be worse now than ever.
  6. I still crave travel and discovering new places, but I’m just as content being here in the place that I love.
  7. There’s just something about those Friday night lights above a football field that makes you nostalgic all over again.
  8. Watching people do what they love is the best feeling in the world.
  9. The ocean isn’t as intimidating as I once thought. But let’s be honest, it’s still a little terrifying.
  10. Speaking of, I swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time this year. There’s no going back.
  11. Grounding yourself with a walk in the sand is just about the best medicine for anything and everything.
  12. Friends you can laugh hysterically with (even if you’re laughing at yourself) are the best friends you could dream of having.
  13. You’ll even learn to forgive those friends for introducing you as “the Canadian” before ever sharing your name.
  14. But you’ll still roll your eyes and pop them in the arm. Everytime.
  15. The best conversations still happen in the kitchen or the car.
  16. I never IN MY LIFE thought I would want a dog as much as I do right now.
  17. But Ralphie will work just fine for now. Is it possible to miss him even though I saw him 12 hours ago?
  18. Burgers. I think they’ll always be my favorite food.
  19. Also tequila. Because duh.
  20. A list of 26 things is really long.
  21. Fresh off the vine passionfruit is THE BEST thing ever. I can’t even begin to count how many I ate. Is it passionfruit season yet?
  22. Keeping routines new and exciting is necessary for survival. Boredom = laziness.
  23. The Bachelor/Bachelorette is still just as entertaining 15 years later.
  24. Learning to be content in the moment is an ever-evolving lesson that I’m still trying to conquer.
  25. How many books is too many books? 5 million? Perfect. I’m not there yet.
  26. San Diego is home. And I’m so thankful for that.

steady heart

And just like that, it’s 2015.

One year ago I was celebrating both the new year & my first week back in Uganda. It was an exciting & overwhelming time that started one of the most challenging & exhilarating years of my life.

While many peoples’ end of year statuses expressed relief in the ending of 2014 or described the things they wished to be different in the last year, mine would have looked very different. I won’t even pretend that my year was easy, always pleasant, or struggle free. In fact, I would say that it was just the opposite. My year was one of the most difficult that I have ever experienced. It was filled with many moments drowned in loneliness. It was a year in which I had to fight harder than ever before. Yet, it was beautiful.

A few of the best moments were:

  1. Moving to a different continent and learning how to work within a foreign culture. Something I have not – and probably never will – figured out.
  2. Watching #chocolatedropeli grow and change & rejoicing in the redemption his little life has witnessed already.
  3. Meeting so many unique & beautiful people from all around the world as they travelled through Jinja.
  4. Hosting my sister, mom, & some of my dearest friends and exploring the beautiful country of Uganda with them.
  5. Getting to do life with the beautiful Collie family & witnessing each of their children grow. And watching #sweetstellabella gain a forever family and enter into an environment where she is flourishing.
  6. Learning to be more patient thanks to a slow/non-existent internet connection.
  7. Meeting people who I’m sure will remain dear friends for the rest of my life.
  8. Having a tan all year. I mean, c’mon, that’s the dream.
  9. Spending weekends with littles at the babies home, seeing their beautiful smiles lit up my week.
  10. Learning much more than I ever could have living in the comforts of North America.

2014 was a wonderful year & I wait with great anticipation to see what 2015 will bring. I’ve decided to again pick a praise to live my life by & improve upon this year. Last year at this time I chose “learn” & I could never have imagined how precisely that came to fruition. This year, I chose “be bold”. I want to live my life boldly. I want to make bold decisions. I want to walk out a bold faith. I want to pray bold prayers. I want to walk boldly in the direction that the Lord has for me in the coming months.

Will you journey along with me as we step into 2015 together? I can just feel it – this coming year will be one of the best yet. Filled with both challenges & joys, pain & beauty.

Here’s to 2015.


Follow along on twitter & instagram as I boldly journey these next 12 months by following #BeBoldMMXV.