Thursday, December 31, 2015

Closing out 2015.

I am totally a reminiscer (that isn't a real word). It is part of why I love blogging/journaling/photo taking.

I always love looking back on each year as we enter a new one.
I look back through photos and I see fun moments with people, beautiful adventures, accomplishments, new learnings and simple joys.
You know what I don't really see? The hard stuff. But there is plenty of it. I am pretty good at residing in the crud. I call it realism. My husband often calls it pessimism. So I think it is good to look back and see the fun, good, joy filled moments. They are reminders of the overall good despite the times that seemed hard, unknown and simply crappy.

Please hear me when I say there is much more to this year than the fun, adventures and joys displayed below. If you've read anything here you probably know I lean towards the honest and raw. I really don't want people to see anything here and think any part of my journey is epic, flawless or anything it is not. And I know social media can do that easily. So, remember, that is not the case. But this post is about reflecting on the great that 2015 held. Despite the load of tough, unknown and painful, there is so much good. And I am thankful for that!

I usually do these post by month, but I think this time I will do them more by category.

 We adventured this year - Camping trips, a Grand Canyon/Zion Roadtrip, Portland, Vegas, Hume and more.

I got to visit one of my best friends in her new homeland!

I was able to dive into ministry with my husband more fully and journey with some great people/young women in Ethos and our community. I am so thankful for this season, hard parts and all. It really is such an honor and some of my favorite moments to share a coffee or meal with these women and navigate the hard, unknown, joyful and broken parts of life.


This all kicked off with a great story and getting to attend Rescue Lab. This opportunity came together in such a beautiful way and at such a great time. I met some absolutely fabulous people as we spent two days diving deep into our own journey and how to come alongside others in a simple and yet foundation way. This was such great fuel for this season of ministry and presence with those around me.

We got to go to Kenya again this year. It was incredible to build on last years trip, increase the photo project and see how much God can do in one year.


2015 was a big year for pursuing creativity, too. My husband has been beyond supportive. I started Cultivate Create as a place to foster my creativity/blogging. I got to capture so many special people and moments. And I took up learning calligraphy/hand lettering and creating some fun things along the way.

There were plenty of coffee adventures had

Beauty found

We fully settled in and made the most of our home. We live in a pretty small space (technically a tiny house). But we love it. And this year we've really maximized it. We got an outdoor picnic table so we could eat/host, we made a custom small desk so I could have a work space, we made a smaller & more well fit coffee table, and more. You gotta make the most with what you've got! And it feels great to really do that.

I got to (alongside Taylor) host a display for the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk at Share & Do Good. This was such a cool opportunity as I've worked hard to foster my creativity this year. We shared images and stories from Kenya and sell some custom art prints as well.

We also gathered some a great team and hosted a free local portrait event (Help Portrait). It was great to come alongside others and simply love our community.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how much I love Fullerton.
This might seem normal but if you know me you put up with me complaining about SoCal a lot. I love weather, seasons, nature and a slower pace.. none of which we have. But this year I've really realized how grateful I am for where I live. I love our short walk downtown. I love our neighborhood. I love our home and neighbors. I love the small business and their owners who are intentionally bringing good (Share & Do Good, Oh Hello Friend that's you!), I love our favorite restaurants and having relationships with the staff, I love the cute homes and most of all the people that make Fullerton so fond. I still want to live somewhere else but I am so glad to love so many things about this place.

We celebrated an anniversary, simple joys and more. We've navigated new hardships and grown closer. We've been intentional on creating new rhythms. We've had fun.

There are so many great people who have brought such rich joy, blessing, support, fun and love to our year. I am so thankful for that. I am sure many of you don't know all the ways you have been significant to me, but I will give you a hug and tell you when I see you. 

See you later 2015. I am ready to see what 2016 holds. 

Thanks for journeying with me, friends!


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