Jan 7, 2018

2017 in Review

2017 was a busy and adventurous year, brimming with joy but also marked by some heavy, heartbreaking moments.  I thank God for His comfort, peace, strength, & assurance of His unfailing love throughout the mountain tops and valleys of this past year. Not once did He leave us or forsake us.  Here are  the highlights of our 2017 for Greg and I:

✈️ Traveling

We spent two weeks in October exploring France & Italy, celebrating our two-year anniversary🎉! We visited my beloved Paris (and took day trips to Normandy to see the D-Day Beaches as well as Giverny to visit Claude Monet's home and garden, a dream of mine!), soaked in the sun's warm rays in the Amalfi Coast, walked the cobblestoned streets full of history in Rome, and relaxed in Florence and Tuscany. It was a dream! Such a gift to travel with Greg, who had never been out of America! I'll need to post more about this trip, but HERE is the first travel post, highlighting quality time opportunities in Paris

At the end of April, we celebrated a friend’s wedding in Sacramento and then explored San Francisco.  We hiked in the John Muir Woods (HERE), "did time" on Alcatraz (HERE), cycled along the waterfront, and explored the Napa Valley (HERE).

We also visited family in Oregon and all over Texas in 2017. Uncle Greg and Auntie Elena joyfully welcomed two nephews this year!
Several of my siblings visited Texas at the beginning and end of summer, so I enjoyed showing off favorite spots in San Antonio and the nearby Hill Country. They are adventure-seekers so we made it to both Shiliterbahn and Fiesta Texas Six Flags. And one of my close friends got married in San Antonio this past July, so a big group of our Oregon friends flew down to Texas for the wedding. I enjoyed catching up with them and playing tour guide.


📚READING: I read 103 books in 2017. Favorites include: Jane Eyre, God’s Smuggler, Echo, Daring to Hope, Suite Francaise, News of the World, The Housekeeper and the Professor, Adorned, Hannah Coulter, and Steadfast Love. I also enjoyed talking books at our monthly ladies book club, named Beauty & the Books Club. [ My monthly book review posts HERE  and my complete 2017 favorites list HERE and my Goodreads infographic of 2017 books w/ some fun details HERE ]

🎨PAINTING: Greg bought me a ticket to a floral watercolor class for my birthday last June,  which was a blast. Since then, I have been enjoying a new hobby of watercolor, painting bookmarks (naturally🤓) as well as greeting cards to send to friends. I have also been painting in my adult coloring book.

🏃🏻‍♀️JOGGING: I ran my first 10K in February, a long-time goal. I enjoy the close proximity of a beautiful and peaceful greenway, where I jog weekly. It's been a great way to improve my physical health, lose a bit of weight, and enjoy nature.

⛪️ Church and Volunteering 

We love our church family, particularly our “Young Marrieds” Sunday school class & Thursday small group, which we have been attending all year. We have deepened friendships with these married couples and have been blessed by this community. I love nerding out as a volunteer librarian in the church library and helping people find books in our pretty expansive collection.

 I have been volunteering for two years as an ESL teacher for two Burmese refugee women, meeting them in their homes. Their determination to learn the English language and culture astound me. We worked our way through the book of John as we studied the life of Jesus, learned some American history, worked through English grammar using a GED prep book, and studied for the U.S. citizenship test. 

Greg and I continue to serve together in our second year as leaders with Young Life Capernaum, which is an outreach ministry focusing on teens with intellectual and physical disabilities. In the fun and safe environment of our bi-monthly Club, we play games, eat pizza, sing and dance, and then leaders give a Bible talk, followed by discussion and prayer. Greg was able to go to camp in Florida in June with several of the leaders and five Capernaum kids! It was some of the teens’ first time on a plane and away from their parents, so it was a big deal! I love serving alongside my husband and seeing his heart for these teens.


We celebrated two years of marriage this past October and are loving living life together as husband and wife. In 2017, I wanted to love Greg through increased quality time together, which is one of his love languages. This includes uninterrupted, focused time together where we are usually discussing things we are passionate about. I was more intentional in planning date nights instead of just leaving it to the last minute as we had in 2016 (which turned out to be repetitive movie nights) and we did a variety of fun things together this year. Quality time and fun dates in 2017 included (from top left) attending the symphony's Jurassic Park in Concert after Greg won free tickets at work, experiencing my first rodeo back in February, weekends away at the family lake house, chatting while walking through beautiful neighborhoods (like King William District), going to a museum together to see an exhibit on impressionism (my favorite art), "introvert dates" where we go to our favorite coffee shop to catch up on our personal reading and journaling and then share what's on our hearts and minds, mini golf and bowling, a quick stop at Magnolia Market before visiting family in Waco, and watching Moana at a park while eating a delicious picnic dinner I prepared.

🎉 Celebrations

My grad school loans were paid off, which means, we are now debt-free!! In 2018, we hope to start toking into becoming home-buyers, but it has been great to not have any debt for most of 2017!

I got another job right at the end of the year. I will be working two jobs, each PRN (as needed) basis. My current job is as a pediatric nurse practitioner in a children's ER and my new job will be as a PNP in a pediatric primary care clinic, where I will be working in a small town near San Antonio with both healthy and sick kids whenever the primary provider needs extra help or is out of the office. I am excited to have the balance of the ER and a outpatient clinic.


What have been YOUR favorite memories of 2017?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice