24 Things.

So I guess this is a tradition...I only have about an hour left of my 24th year so I thought it was a good time to make my list. I love any reason to be reflective so here is my list of 24 things that I've learned, experienced or let's be honest...just some random things that have happened over the last year.

1. I decided to do something I said I would never do...go back to school! I officially begin grad school at Eastern University on Monday. Eastern is in Philadelphia, but it's an online program that I'll do part time while working full time and I'll be traveling to Philly once a semester for a week long "residency". I'm actually excited about this...so strange, but true.

2. I have been blessed with some great and beautiful friendships. I feel like this is always on my list, but I'm really just amazed every year with God's faithfulness in providing me with the people I need in my life. I have the greatest friends ever.

3. I started meeting with a new lunch buddy twice a month. She's in 3rd grade and I spend about 30 minutes with her each time I'm there. She is fabulous and sweet.

4. I prayed for something exciting to happen in my life. That next week my house had a roof leak that led us to breaking our lease and I had to find a place to live in my neighborhood with new roommates within 48 hours or so...probably one of the most stressful weeks of the year. It all worked out better than I could have imagined and I live in a beautiful house with great roommates and neighbors!

5. It was another year of fun travels and trips. I took lots of trips with the "wolf pack", three beautiful ladies I'm blessed to call friends, our trips took us to Gatlinburg, Chattanooga, Ohio and Florida. I also went to Minneapolis, Kentucky, Memphis, Florida again and a couple trips to Michigan.

6. The Olympics happened. I love the Olympics and watched so much TV when it was on, it probably wasn't healthy.

7. I joined the Y and I love it. The cinema room is my favorite...watching movies while you work out just makes it more enjoyable. It's also fun to belong to something.

8. I got to hang out with and get to know even better two awesome teenage girls. They've had their ups and downs over the year and I love walking through life with them. Our year consisted of sleep overs, long conversations, some tears, and lots of laughs. I'm blessed that part of my job is hanging out with them.

9. I realized I totally lack self-control when it comes to buying music...Amazon is my weakness. It's just too easy to turn down a good deal and you can buy it with one click...I mean it's so easy...

10. I have come to know myself even better. I know I'm an extroverted introvert. I love being with people, but I need my space every now and then. I love deeply. It's so life giving to me to form and develop deep relationships. I struggle with anxiety and feeling weighed down by my own and others burdens...every day I have a conversation around this with God. I am a work in progress.

11. I saw my first Lions game. They played the Titans and were behind by two touchdowns so we left...and then they came back to tie the game. I wasn't happy.

12. I became lactose intolerant. It sucks.

13. I began to realize even more the importance of being present. I've spent so much of my life looking to the next best thing and wondering what would happen next.

14. I read the entire Harry Potter series and I loved it. I don't know what took me so long to read them.

15. I went to lots of good concerts. I saw Ingrid Michaelson a couple times, Maroon 5 a couple times, Explosions in the Sky and The Civil Wars. I got to go to the Grammy Nomination concert and it was so great! Okay...refer to #9.

16. There's two places I feel completely at peace...Lake Michigan and my backyard in Michigan...I'm so thankful I was able to spend time at both those places a couple times.

17. I went to a movie by myself for the first time. I was a little self-conscious at first, but I actually really enjoyed it and now it's happened more than once.

18. There's been multiple examples of how important communication is. Such a simple thing that maybe sounds cliche, but I've had hard conversations and been more honest with people this year than I ever have before. It's amazing what happens when you actually talk to someone about what you're thinking and feeling.

19. I read the book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, by Rachel Held Evans. It's so good. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me happy, but most importantly it made me realize God did not make a mistake with me and it's a beautiful thing being a woman. Women are important and valuable and should be leaders too.

20. I fully embraced the fact that I just like to stay up to date on pop culture and some of my guilty pleasures in life include dance movies and pop music.

21. I'm getting better at creating boundaries in my life. They really are important.

22. I didn't blog nearly as much as I wanted to.

23. I never really knew it, but I just love babies. There are some kiddos in my life that I just fiercely love. The number of friends I have that have kids is gradually increasing and I'm always thankful for another precious soul to love and I'm thankful for friends that allow me to love their kids.

24. It was a year full of ups and downs, but I was continually blessed with the community in my life and the support I have around me. God showed up in so many incredible ways and I'm thankful for the way he's worked in my 24th year of life.