Dec 29, 2013

ten favorite moments of 2013 {part one}

2013 was an amazing year full of beautiful memories. 
God has been so faithful in taking care of my every need and bringing beauty
into my days. He has calmed my anxious heart + taught me over and over that 
He takes care of me because He loves me as a Father to His daughter.
When I look back at the last year, this beautiful hymn bubbles up in my spirit:
*  *  * 
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
*  *  *
Here are the first six of my favorite moments of 2013:

1. Europe trip {Aug/Sept}. Wow. There were so many beautiful moments during my three weeks in Europe this past summer [see the posts here] that it would take up the whole list, so I will combine them all together in this #1 spot. I loved exploring London, Paris, and Nice with family (and a friend in London!). Climbing up the Arc du Triomphe, exploring the village-like Montmartre, walking to the Jane Austen world of Bath, swimming in the Mediterranean, floating across the Seine with family in the Batobus boat tour, biking on the Nice's boardwalk [Promenade des Anglais], stepping on royal footsteps in Windsor Castle, climbing up steps to the hillside village of Eze, and walking back in time to Mary Antoinette's Hameiu de Riene. I cannot believe that I saw so much beauty.

2. NYC {May}. Five days in the Big Apple with three friends. What a blessing! So many greats sights! [check them out]. Flatiron Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Top of the Rock, watching Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, biking through Central Park, sunset cruise around lower Manhatten [and getting thisclose to the Statue of Liberty!], all the amazing food [!!], Times Square at midnight, church at Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

3. Family trips. As we grow older, it is so much harder to coordinate extended time together, but I am so grateful that I was able to plan a few trips this year with the family. We weren't able to get the whole family [9 kids!] for a trip, but 1/3 of the clan is a good ratio! We went to my favorite Oregon beaches in June for Father's Day, Leavenworth [a quant German-like town decked out in Christmas cheer in December], and the Europe trip.
Leavenworth, WA
Seaside, OR
4. Reading inspiring books. It's been so hard to find time for leisure reading because I am so exhausted after 12+ hour days at work, but I managed to read a few books that I was pleasantly blown away with. I try to read books that challenge me, inspire me in my daily walk with Jesus, and teach me. I love a good novel but I try to stick with books that will leave me a little wiser than when I started.
My favorite book of 2013: Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis [check out my review].
Other great books of 2013: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, biographies of missionaries Lottie Moon and Mary Slessor by Janet & Geoff Benge, The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken by Naomi Zacharias, Who Do You Think You Are by Mark Driscoll, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius [review coming soon!]
Books I started in 2013 and hope to finish in 2014: The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin, Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, Fanny Crosby: The Hymn Writer by Bernard Ruffin, and Desiring God by John Piper.
Books I plan on reading in 2014: Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore, The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, autobiography of Hudson Taylor, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

{ see some of my favorite books here}

5. Holding babies. Is it just me, or was this the year of babies? I became an auntie for the second time in October to a beautiful niece and was able to hang out with several great friends who became new mommies in 2013! It's so fun to see the joy of new moms!

6. Weddings, weddings, weddings! Several friends got married in 2013 and it was such a joy to witness these lovebirds exchange vows and celebrate their love!


  1. Your photos are beautiful! What camera do you use (on the hunt to buy a new one since our DSLR was stolen)?

    1. Hi Pristine! I use a Nikon J1. I LOVE it. It's the size of a snap-and-shoot, but the quality of a DSLR. It has attatchable lens that can be bought separately as well, but I only use the lens that came with the camera. I am so sorry yours got stolen! What a nightmare :(

  2. What a fun year! I hope your 2014 brings just as much joy!


    1. Thank you so much, Samantha! It really was a fun year! Same to you, dear!!

  3. Sounds like you had an amazing year!!!

  4. So many trips this year, you lucky girl! :) there are so many babies around me this year too I love it!

    1. Yea, its so great to look back and see all the fun trips. What a blessing, really!!! And heck yes, babies are adorable!

  5. All of those pictures are great, but that one of the Brooklyn Bridge is my most favorite! (I love bridges.)

    Also, I have Desiring God and started it long ago (embarrassingly long ago) and I still haven't finished it. Not that it isn't good or anything, but that whenever I read John Piper, I have to take my time and then take breaks. He is deep. haha I'm definitely hoping to finish that one this year. My book list is getting incredibly long. :)

  6. Wow you have taken some awesome trips this year! I love your Europe pictures!! And I just started Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore and LOVE it so far! It's amazing! Happy 2014 friend!

  7. Oh my! You had an amazing year! Your photos from Paris and London make me miss that part of the world. So beautiful! I'm loving the dress your wearing in your NYC photo. Where is it from?

    Happy new year!


I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice