25 Things.

It's become a tradition to write this post each year and I love it. It gives me a chance to think about the last year and what all has happened...specifically 25 things that have happened in my 25th year of life. This year was a pretty big one.  So...here are 25 things that have happened in year 25.

1. I bought a house. This is kinda a big one so I thought it could go first. Technically it's more like a town home than a "house", but I bought it and I love it. It worked out with perfect timing and it is becoming home.

My new home!

2. I started grad school. Also kinda a big one so figured it should be #2. I began the Masters of Urban Studies program at Eastern University and I have loved it! It has been really hard to learn how to balance working full time, having a life and doing school, but I'm working on it. The whole having a life part needs some work, but I love to learn and working towards my masters degree has been really empowering for me.
3. I started running. Never in my life would I think I would write those words, but they're true! I ran two 5K's and I think I've had my fill of those. Hear more about that here.
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4. I realized how much I love hospitality and learned it's not always comfortable and can remove you from your comfort zone but that's kinda the point and it's great. I love having people in my home and making them feel at home!
5. Got a tatto. I absolutely love my tattoo and the daily reminder that it is to me each and every day.
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6. Read some great books. One of my favorites was Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey.
7. I lost some really great people. We lost my Aunt Pam this year unexpectedly. Nothing can quite prepare you for that, but her life was celebrated and I am lucky to have been loved by such a great lady! One of our older neighbors, Miss Hattie passed away this year too. She lived a full life and I'm happy I was able to know her.
8. I discovered and realized some new things that are life giving to me and I'm excited to explore them more this next year.
9. I gained confidence in ways I never thought would happen.
10. I continued to experience deep and full friendships. I am so thankful for the friends that I have in my life and how they walk with me through life. I also have met new friends through my program at Eastern and they are just some of the best people.

Some of the wonderful people in my life!

11. I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at Trevecca which made me realize I love talking about things that matter and that could move people more towards joining in on kingdom work and tearing down ignorance and unawareness.
12. I took the longest solo road trip of my life from Nashville to Michigan to Philly and back to Nashville. It wasn't the worst thing I've ever done, but I wouldn't really want to do it again.
13. I figured out that eliminating decision making when possible is life giving to me so I'm making some habits and practices that help with that.
14. Bought a new TV and a new hutch and coffee table that I love!
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15. Realized I need to let my life be ruled by reality and not by my expectations.
16. Quit drinking real milk. Almond milk is the best.
17. I have been able to experience some of life's great moments with friends. Weddings, babies growing into toddlers, graduations, grad school beginnings, etc...
18. Realized life goes in seasons, relationships change, circumstances change and it's okay. I just need to take them as they come.
19. Another year of good travels! I visited new places like Philly, Washington DC and New Orleans. I like Philly, I absolutely loved DC, but New Orleans wasn't my favorite. I also got to visit Denver, go back to Michigan and Knoxville for some weddings and visit Florida with some of my family!
20. I have four TV shows that I absolutely love...New Girl, The Mindy Project, Scandal and Grey's Anatomy.
21. Realized how much I love reading random articles and learning about anything and everything. Following Huffington Post on Twitter has increased my daily article intake, maybe too much.
22. I rediscovered what I'm passionate about. It's changed  some over the last few years, but it's an exciting time! It's this feeling like I discovered a song in my soul and beliefs that reach deep into who I am.
23. I created a new chili recipe and it's actually pretty good.
24. Trying to find pleasure in the little things and when an experience may not be the greatest, making it better. On New Year's Eve Becca and I got stranded in Indiana because of snow and it could have been a terrible situation, but it ended up being a great time consisting of matching PJ's, Ben and Jerry and the movies.
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25. I set new goals for myself and realized some long term ideas for my life. It's a balance living in the here and now and the not yet but I'm excited about both the right now and the what is to come. Living within this tension has become my way of life and I'm enjoying the ride.
Year 25 was pretty great. I experienced a lot, took some big and some little steps, learned a lot more about myself and have enjoyed life even with all of its ups and downs. Here is to a great year 26!