Looking Back on 2015: Looking Forward to 2016!

2015, in a lot of ways, felt like one big goodbye.  Goodbye to Texas, and the friends I made there.  Goodbye to DTS, and the nerdy pleasure of reading textbooks and writing essays.  Goodbye to Peoria, and the friends who helped me accomplish my goal of moving to Athens.

It was a year of goodbyes, and I’m definitely still sad about many of them.  But the goodbyes are all in anticipation of one massive HELLO – to Athens, Greece, and the life that awaits me there.

As I look forward to my life in Athens, here are some of the things I’m most excited about:

  • GREEK FOOD
  • riding public transportation (more time to read!)
  • helping organize, plan, and implement a new business
  • working with my HD teammates
  • meeting the women who will come to HD
  • traveling around Greece (and hopefully more of Europe)
  • learning a new city and calling it my own
  • stretching myself beyond what I think I can do

2015 was amazing.  I cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store!

What is coming up for you in 2016 that you’re most excited about?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Looking Back on 2015: Travel!

The highlight of 2015 was definitely all the traveling I did.

  • I went to Athens, Greece in March
  • I explored New Orleans and kayaked through a swamp in May
  • I went to Disney World with my family and danced with the Beast in July
  • I spent the entire month of October roadtripping around the United States, staying with friends and seeing new sights in my self-named #32DaysInMyCar
  •  I took a three-day-long train to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with my brother
  • I bonded with my mom in New York City (and saw Hamilton!) in December

You can read more about each of those trips in my Recent Trips page.

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The states I visited in 2015.

All told, I went to 26 states in 2015.  Half the country!  Just this year!

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to beat that number again.

Hmmm…challenge accepted.

Did you go anywhere awesome this year?  Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite trip of 2015!

Looking Back on 2015: Books!

In the midst of the stress of moving and fundraising, I fell back on my comfort standby:  books!

I read and reviewed 85 books this year (I read a few more than that, but I decided they were a bit more academic and too boring for a review).  You can check them out on my review page called Title Archive.

I also updated my Recommended page with better lists of books and some new categories!

Favorite Books of 2015
(I read them in 2015, they were not necessarily published in 2015)  Continue reading

Looking Back on 2015: Overview!

2015 was a big year, though it was largely one of transition.

I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Biblical Counseling, bringing to conclusion three awesome years in Texas. Moving from Dallas meant saying goodbye to my friends at DTS, at Trinity Fellow Church, and at the Saranac House.  I never felt more fully myself than when I lived in Dallas, and I will miss the security of having so many amazing friends.

I moved back to my hometown of Peoria in July, where I reconnected with family and my home church. I had a bit of an existential crisis, which always happens when I return home.  It’s hard to leave and change and bring that change back to somewhere familiar.  But in the midst of my own confusion, I reconnected with friends from my old church and my old high school.  And I got to relive old jobs, first as a church secretary, and later as a public librarian.   Continue reading