2016: Year in Review

This year has been a full one.  Lot of ups. Lot of downs. Lots of simple. And a few big moments. This is certainly not everything that happened, but a few highlights from the year…. 
I kicked off a year of friends turning 40 with a trip to Nashville to celebrate one of my besties. 
The rest of January was consumed with packing, moving, unpacking and settling in my new place. 
02.02.16 – forever etched on my heart, I had to put my sweet Barney down that day. Giant piece of my heart and definitely a low of this year.  
Right on the heels of losing Barney I took off to San Antonio where I presented a breakout session for the first time in 2016 at a State CTE conference.  
I also went back to Nashville for a flying trip to see the African Children’s Choir with a dear friend. They preformed at the Ryman Auditorium with cast of Nashville TV show, Dierks Bentley and a few others.  
February was definitely a month with all the feelings. The rest of the month was finishing up decorating my new place. 
Most of March was consumed with my 12th year of serving on Rodeo Houston committees. One of my very favorite events to volunteer for is the Lil Rustlers Rodeo alongside the Special Children’s Committee. 
 My other committee put on 20 contests during the show and they make early mornings and long days fun!  This was my second year as Vice Chairman on JCC. 
Mom and I took a trip to Waco (her Christmas present from me) in March for Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live and we of course made a trip to the famous Magnoila Silos and Harp Design Co where we happened to meet Clint Harp. 
I also spent a weekend at one of my favorite places, Texas Antiques Week, with dear friends working in the famous Zapp Hall Cafe in Warrenton. 

The biggest news in Houston for April was the Tax Day Flood. Also the day I got super nervous about the decision to live by a Bayou and fled town for the day. That’s probably over 50′ of water in what looks like a river behind my house, but is really just a bayou. An adventure after the flood was a snake in my garage, and thank goodness for a neighbor who took care of that for me. (click here for the snake story)
Also in April as I was looking back, I had 15 days that included time with my besties and a couple of dates….coffee, breakfast, lunch, cocktails, walks, dinner and parties.  Every month this year included days like this, but April seemed to have the most. Quality time is my language.
3 weekends in May included road trips which is another favorite for me. One of which was for another 40th celebration for friend I grew up with to Paris {Texas}. 
I also attended the Business Boutique, where I met several influential women entrepreneurs and was challenged in thinking about and starting my own business. 
June started 40 in 4 work weeks for me which meant Friday’s off!  #Amen 
I started working on my website in June, a project still in design phase because I can’t quite wrap my head around how I want it to look and the content to manage. But, it will be live and going in 2017!  
I went to Austin twice in June for work trips and got to see a couple of besties, see live music and of course good food while I was there. 
The highlight of July was a road trip to Dallas with my Mom to pick up this little guy….
Auggie has definitely brought healing to me and is a great little companion. 
I also spent some time at the lake with one of my college besties and her family as an extra set of hands to help out with her 3 littles. Her husband has ALS, which is a constant prayer in my heart. 
(I’ve written about them a couple of times, click here and here.)
I also spent a lot of days at the 4G during the summer with the littles, and several other trips throughout the year. They are growing so fast, and being an Aunt is still one of the greatest gifts to my life. 
The most significant event was turning 40!  I never have hesitation about birthdays and certainly didn’t this one. I’m thankful for the years. I had a full weekend of celebrating and a sweet surprise of the littles at the 4G for my party there. 
I also interviewed for and got a promotion at work, which meant moving cubes and a window on the world now.  
And, the last big event of August was starting my MBA at University of Houston Downtown. 
If you’re like me, you spent some time watching the Olympics in August, and this is one of my favorite pictures from the this year’s Olympics. Keep your eyes ahead and in your own lane. 
I spent part of a weekend and a full weekend at Texas Antiques Week Fall Show, again working in the Zapp Hall Cafe.  This was such a fun 3 days, full of friends, great music and the open fields. 
I also got a MacBook Pro. I realize this isn’t that significant in the grand scheme. But, learning something new is a lesson that never gets old and a good reminder you’re never too old to learn something new. I spent a lot of time with this Mac in September reading and writing for school, which consumed the majority of September for me.
The Junk Gypsies released a book in October. I’ve been a long time customer of theirs and there’s a pic of me and one of my besties in the book and I was part of the launch team. I love seeing friends succeed in their dreams and if you haven’t read this book, you should. 
The rest of October was spent again on my Mac, with school and writing for the #write31days challenge in which I blogged every day. 
I did get away one weekend with Mom for the Abundance conference in Dallas, which was a really great treat in the midst of a busy season. I also met one of my favorite teachers, Lisa Harper. 
In November I saw an answer to a big prayer, a ministry opportunity, coming to fruition. I was first approached about Polished in August, began praying, and am so excited for the launch in 2017. If you know young, working women who are disconnected from faith or the church I would love for you to connect them with Polished. Lots more to come in the new year! If you have a heart to serve those women, you’re invited to an informational meeting.
Perhaps the biggest world event of 2016 was the election. I won’t comment further on it, but did write a few thoughts about the election. (click here)
I was an early bird this year with decorations and have had my home decorated for Christmas since Friday after Thanksgiving. I wasn’t sure where everything would fit in my new place, but have loved it. I also had all of my pumpkins out this year for fall.  
I started December in Las Vegas, the BEST work hard and play hard trip. I had a presentation submitted and accepted as a breakout at the National ACTE conference which I presented on Friday, December 2nd. 
AND, the National Finals Rodeo was going on while I was there (my version of the Super Bowl) and I got to go a couple of nights, which was a treat. Of course I wrote lots this year about “what I wore” and NFR in Vegas is one of my very favorite events to dress up for and I was snapped one night for a fun fashion blog I follow. 
I finished my first semester in Grad School and got a 4.0 – I do believe that is my first ever, not sure that ever happened in Undergrad, and also a 100 on my final! I’ll take it and celebrate it now, it might not happen again.  I told myself at the start of my MBA I have so many other things going on that I will still live my life and stay involved in most activities, so a 4.0 wasn’t my goal, a MBA is.
There were of course so many other moments that made this year memorable. 
I have seen so many prayers answered and so many others answered with a no.  
I have been scared about my own health and have seen so many close to me fight major health struggles. 
I have cried hard and laughed hard. 
I have had some of the meanest words spoken to me this year and have fought for truth to speak louder.  
I have gained new friends that seem like they have been around forever and have friends who faded to distance. 
I have logged miles of memories.
Above all, I am grateful for this year, and every day it brought.
Thank you for being a blog reader, this is one of of my favorite things.
Here’s to 2017!
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