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2017 in Review

One of my favorite posts from last year was a year-end review of 2016. Back then, it was a much needed moment to count the gold in a very difficult 2016, and I'm pleased to say it was so much easier to trek bask through 2017 to find the glittering moments. In fact, it was hard to narrow them down!

I also thought it would be fun to give a glimpse into the past 5 months I've been offline. Now you can know what I've been up to :)

January 2017
In the first month of the year I...

  • kicked off the year with my word of the year and 2017 goals!
  • wrote the Goals with Grace devotional for Illustrated Faith (it's sold out, but find the reveal HERE).
  • rang in the New Year with Rachel, Dana, and Annie at a Fixer Upper in Waco.
  • started my second semester of my first year of teaching. Phew
  • interviewed at a local junior college in order to teach dual credit classes.
  • visited the birthplace of Baylor University: Independence, Texas!
  • attended TheatreFest in Galveston with hundreds of fellow theatre teachers.
  • watched TWO incredible films: La La Land and Hidden Figures. SO good.
  • started watching The Crown, This is Us, and Victoria. If you haven't watched yet, go now!

February 2017
In the second month of the year I...

  • started Bible journaling through the Psalms (didn't finish, but the start was fun!).
  • attended Beth Moore's LIT conference with Annie!
  • Bible journaled with some of my students after school. What a gift!
  • directed my first UIL One Act Play: Proof by David Auburn.
  • launched an online workshop with Illustrated Faith: Celebrate Your Season!
  • attended two play clinics with my students (and we all made it back in one piece)!
  • finally purchased a Letterfolk board! It's gorgeous and so fun.

March 2017
In the third month of the year I...

  • visited a local drive-through safari (yes, we have those in Texas...) and fed a giraffe!
  • competed with my first One Act Play! We didn't advance, but we got two acting awards.
  • had my sister visit for a few days of spring break to rest and relax around BCS.
  • retreated to Waco as a chaperone for another theatre group, visiting college friends and mentors.
  • took my first class at YogaPod!
  • watched and fell in love with The Amish Project at Baylor University.
  • got a little brave and started sharing more about theatre/my classroom online.

April 2017
In the fourth month of the year I...

  • joined in on an Illustrated Faith retreat with Shanna and the gang!
  • watched one of my best friends kick BUTT in a show called Bruises in Dallas.
  • went on a few dates with a great guy (adventuring around a bookstore included).
  • saw Once the Musical and was blown away multiple times!
  • found a house to rent with a new roommate for the fall! Living with Jess has been a blast ever since!
  • wrote a script and did the lights for Jess's spring dance show. 
  • took a weekend trip home for Easter and to celebrate family birthdays. 
  • took and PASSED my teaching certification test. Praise the Lord!

May 2017
In the fifth month of the year I...

  • finished my first year of teaching! Yes and amen!
  • BOUGHT A CAR! Goodbye, 2006 VW Beetle. Hello, 2017 Honda HR-V!
  • went to a recording of two sessions of Beth Moore's videos for The Quest study. Girl can preach!
  • took 12 students on a field trip to New York City. What a blast!
  • saw three shows on Broadway: School of Rock, A Bronx Tale, and WICKED!
  • got stuck at the JFK airport for 12 hours on the way back.... and got 3 hours of sleep before the first day of finals... sheesh.
  • flew to Seattle for the Illustrated Faith Creative Team Retreat!
  • collaborated with DaySpring on two gift guides: Mother's Day and Graduation.

June 2017
In the sixth month of the year I...

  • visited old friends and roommates from Seattle, including watching the sunset at 10:00pm.
  • road-tripped with Emily to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  • saw several amazing shows including Shakespeare in Love and Henry IV, Part I.
  • met Jenna, an Instagram friend, in real life!
  • took a couple weeks off between trips to pack my apartment.
  • saw Something Rotten in Houston with 4 of my students.
  • went to California with Carissa to adventure and visit family!
  • spent 18 hours in Disneyland with Carissa (the 30,000+ steps and 13 miles were worth it!)
  • completely nerded out in the Harry Potter section of Universal Studios.
  • saw Allan Leech (Tom from Downton Abbey) and Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow from Once Upon a Time) in Constellations in LA. Dream team!

July 2017
In the seventh month of the year I...

  • spent the 4th of July at a family reunion in Texas.
  • hopped back on a plane to fly to Detroit to begin the blogging road trip of my dreams!
  • visited Mt. Vernon, Ft. McHenry, Fords Theatre, and more on the drive to Washington, D.C.!
  • adventured around the city with Dana, Annie, and Sarah, with art museums, monuments, and cupcakes included.
  • stopped in Richmond, VA to add Rachel D. to our adventures and bough way too many books ;)
  • popped over to Staunton to see Loves Labours Lost at the American Shakespeare Center. Amazing!
  • made a quick stop in Tennessee to get breakfast with Taylor S. at Tupelo Honey!
  • bounced around Nashville picking up a few new friends, plenty of sweets, and all the Instagram worthy pictures.
  • took ANOTHER plane to New York City for a week of workshops and shows!
  • saw eight Broadway shows in 6 days. AGAIN! The Play that Goes Wrong, Anastasia, Bandstand, Waitress, Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dear Evan Hansen, and Come From Away.
  • had brunch with the incredible Jordan, another blogging friend!
  • went on a retreat to the lake with my Lifegroup and it was SO life giving!
  • had quite possibly (well, without a doubt actually) the best month of 2017!

August 2017
In the eighth month of the year I...
  • quit the internet. A hard but good decision, you can read the BEFORE and AFTER if you haven't already.
  • moved from an apartment to a house! It has been one of the best decisions of the year.
  • started my second year of teaching with a BANG! What a difference one year makes!
Now here's where it gets tricky. I took THOUSANDS of pictures over the years and documented my days on the regular, but I quit the internet and suddenly I have little record, besides my journals, of what's gone on. Seriously, I took like... 10 pictures from August to December. Okay, back to it...

  • auditioned and cast our fall show, Enchanted April! Nothing says back to school like starting rehearsals one week later.
  • got a balayage/balayaged(?) my hair for the first time. I love it!
  • started the Antioch Discipleship School through my church.
  • had days of school cancelled due to the rain from Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston.

September 2017
In the ninth month of the year I...
  • got free tickets to a Baylor football game and attended with Addison! We lost, but it was still fun!
  • went to my 2nd ever Texas A&M football game and bought my first maroon Aggie shirt... 
  • went to Houston with my church to serve families who were affected by the hurricane. We completely gutted two houses in one day.
  • dressed up for twin day with my roommate Jessica (she's the dance teacher at my school) and confused a lot of students and teachers!
  • went to the CRAZIEST costume shop in North Texas to rent our costumes for the fall play (and had lunch with my sister and brother-in-law). 

October 2017
In the tenth month of the year I...
  • opened and closed our fall play, Enchanted April! I was a little worried it might not happen, but we made it!
  • celebrated after the show at Freddy's with around 25-30 church friends who came to support me!
  • went to Silobration for the second year in a row with Rachel! Cupcakes, cute decor, and Johnnyswim for the win!
  • hosted a pumpkin painting potluck for our Lifegroup (pictured above). Mischief Managed ;)
  • went to Baylor on a field trip with the business students and caught up with some professors.
  • saw JohnnySwim AGAIN as a birthday present from Carissa. AH-mazing!
  • had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory with my family for my mom and sister's birthdays.

November 2017
In the eleventh month of the year I...
  • spent barely 24 in Indianapolis for a reunion with Dana, Annie, and Rachel! Oh so worth it.
  • helped throw an outdoor dinner party for Addison's birthday. The wind and rain wouldn't keep us away!
  • celebrated my roommate's engagement at the final football game of the year! Congrats Jess and Chuck!
  • went on a few more dates, including another bookstore adventure and ice skating. I didn't fall!
  • headed home for the Thanksgiving holidays for another family reunion and plenty of Christmas decorating.
  • wrote another script for and helped prep Jess's Christmas dance show.

December 2017
In the twelfth month of the year I...
  • decorated our house for Christmas with Jessica. It's so festive!
  • made it through the rain in the local Christmas parade with my students.
  • had an almost-snow day! It snowed in DROVES one night and was so powdery!
  • celebrated said snow by going sledding and having a snowball fight at 11pm on a school night.
  • hosted our 1st Annual Christmas Dinner Theatre Spectacular!
  • had a Young Adult Section Christmas party of epic proportions with my church group.
  • adventured around town to see ALL the musical Christmas lights at least twice.
  • went with Sam to pick up her GORGEOUS wedding gown!
  • cast and cut our spring One Act Play: Silent Sky!
  • finished the first semester of teaching and relaxed, writing this post on the first day of break.
  • headed home for the Christmas holidays.
  • went to Kansas City for the One Thing Conference by IHOP!
  • simplified my 2018 goals LIKE CRAZY (more on this to come).

And there you have it! What a year, friends! It's absolutely crazy to me that it has already come and gone, but I am full of hope and expectancy for the New Year! Hope you enjoyed the highlights :) I sure enjoyed writing them!

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