2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Some of the most fun times of my life and the darkest days of my life all occurred in 2016. The year started off great ringing in the New Year with my wonderful husband!
It wasn't long until we had our big snow of the year in January, and it was beautiful. I love snow!
We had some amazing times with our friends and our Bible Fellowship class this year. Donny and I are now co-leaders and co-teachers of the class, which has been incredibly challenging but very rewarding.
We FINALLY got a new kitchen faucet, and I was more excited about it than was reasonable. I absolutely hated the old one, and this one is tall and movable and just made me so happy. The fact that it's a highlight of my year on this blog tells you the extent of my feelings about it.
In March, some friends and our moms went to the Abundance conference in Asheville, and it was a great weekend. We heard from Lisa Harper, Lysa TerKeurst, Annie Downs, and more. It was also my first time eating at Biscuit Head (more on that later...).
2016 was the year of the cookie. What started as a random urge to bake during Christmas 2015 became a fun side-business in 2016.
Not long after they came, Donny and I left for a visit to Texas. We saw lots of family and friends, and even went down to Waco and Magnolia for a day!
My Nana had two strokes this year, and although she has recovered well both times, things have definitely changed for her. And therefore, for Dad and for all of us, as we try to help her stay at home.
My other grandmother was diagnosed with a type of myeloma, which was a bit of a scare, but it's being treated very well right now with medication and minimal side effects.
In May, I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks gestation, which was absolutely the most difficult thing I've ever endured, both physically and emotionally. I'm so thankful for the wonderful friends that God had brought into my life in the previous years through our church, several of whom had also experienced miscarriages. There is no doubt that God brought all of us together to support each other. Donny and my parents were also wonderfully supportive, and I'm blessed to have them.
Funnily enough, Donny's college graduation was the very next day after we spent the night in the emergency room. Despite our sadness, I was so happy and proud to watch Donny walk across that stage after he's worked so hard all these years.
2016 was also the year of the Emily weddings. My good friend and former maid of honor Emily got married in Galveston in a beautiful and fun ceremony.
And my current assistant/right hand and wonderful friend Emily got married in July. I did the makeup for both brides and Donny and I photographed both weddings!
We celebrated Donny's birthday in August and saw my favorite tennis player, Richard Gasquet, when the ATP tour came to our town.
In case you can't tell, it was SWELTERING that day.
On Labor Day weekend, Donny took me to the beach that Sunday after church for a last minute visit. There's nothing more healing to me than sitting by the beach with my book and watching the sun rise. I wouldn't have gone, except Donny made me be spontaneous. He's pretty good like that. :)
I also went hiking for the first time this year! Donny has really gotten into hiking and camping, etc., so I decided one weekend that I would go with him. We got up early one Saturday in September and drove to Stone Mountain in NC. It was harder than I thought, but so much fun.
In October, I went with my parents to visit my brother in Los Angeles. The traffic was HORRENDOUS, but otherwise it was a great trip. The beaches were beautiful, the food was amazing, and now I get to say, "I've been there!" during lots of movies/tv scenes. :)
In November, Donny and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary in Asheville. We went to the New Belgium and Sierra Nevada breweries on Friday night then went hiking in the Dupont National Forest the following Saturday. It was beautiful and full of waterfalls!
After hiking, we absolutely deserved lunch at Biscuit Head, aka the best biscuit place in the world. This picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice. If you're in Asheville anytime before 2pm in the day, do yourself a favor and stop here!
Again in December, Donny and I decided to be spontaneous and went to New York City for a whirlwind 36 hours. We'd both been wanting to go and see the city decorated for Christmas. It was absolutely beautiful, and we had a fantastic time.
This was as close as I got to seeing Hamilton...
My brother came home for Christmas this year, and it was great to all be together again for the holiday.
Also this year, I bought season tickets to the broadway series in Charlotte. So far, I've seen Cabaret and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. My dad and I are going to see An American in Paris this coming Friday, and will many more shows to come this spring and summer!
And finally, I read more books this year than ever-- 101! You can read all about my favorite ones of the year here.