Wow. I honestly cannot believe that 2015 has come and gone. 2016 is here and I am so excited for what it holds for my life. But before I get out my laundry list of goals for the new year, I really want to take a moment to reflect on the crazy, incredible, ridiculous, humbling, #blessed year that 2015 was. I traveled, ate, laughed, and loved more than I ever have in my entire life. Here’s a list of the top 15 things that made 2015 so great. This is a lengthy one so grab your snacks!
1.The first major thing that I did in 2015 was visit one of my dream cities-Paris! I went with one of my dearest friends and we had the absolute best time of our lives! Talk about the most perfect girls trip ever! Dreams came true, macarons were eaten, and tears were shed upon seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. It was truly the best start to the year I could have asked for.
2. The next stop is Dublin, Ireland with my honey. Just two weeks after Paris my husband came home from a month of training and we traveled to the land of Guiness and Shephard’s Pie. We ate, we talked, and we totally didn’t understand anything the Irish said. Man, those accents are intense. I was pretty convinced their english was a completely different version than the one I’m used to.
3. Right after Dublin, I embarked on my fitness journey. I started with a round of the Whole 30. Phew, was that one a butt kicker. After 30 days of eating nothing but meat, veggies, and fruit, I decided that even though it helped me lose my first 12 pounds, that way of eating (or even paleo) wasn’t for me. I soon discovered the amazing world of IIFYM and flexible dieting and OMG did it light my world on fire! If you don’t know what IIFYM is and you absolutely love food and want to get to your dream body at the same time, I highly recommend doing your research! Around May I started weight training, and then in September I started to get pretty serious about lifting and discovered one of my passions. Lifting has given me (the start of) my dream body and a major confidence boost. With the help of IIFYM and weight lifting, I was able to shed another 15-20lbs. Getting healthy/in shape was one of my 2015 goals, and I am happy to say that I am in the best shape/health I’ve ever been in! Goals=crushed!
4. Towards the end of 2015, I finally found my confidence. Between working out and really finding my identity in Christ, I grew to love and appreciate myself more than I ever have in my entire life. My confidence comes from knowing that I was made in His likeness. I am exactly how He wants me to be. Beauty is in the heart, not in the flesh.
5. In May, I was able to go on the trip of my dreams and visit the colorful, vibrant city of Marrakech, Morocco. It was everything that I had envisioned and more! I wrote about my trip here so I won’t go in to too much detail. If you ever have the chance to go here, GO GO GO! This has been by far the most mesmerizing place I’ve been and I would go back in a heart beat. I left a huge chunk of my heart in that bustling city.
6. A few weeks after Morocco, my husband left for work and I found myself on another girls trip, this time to the land of the Danes. For three days we rode bikes until our butts couldn’t take it and marveled at Danish design. I quickly came to the conclusion that Danes were the chicest, most sophisticated people in the world. The Danes have this confidence about them that just radiates. If someone can find a way to bottle up and sell it, put me down for 10.
7. This year my husband and I made our first big grown up purchase together and bought our first car! We are both in love with Jeep’s so being able to buy our own was a total blessing! It’s really the perfect dog mom mobile. Maybe in 2016 I’ll be filling it with a little human. Or maybe another dog. Either way, I’d be happy!
8. In 2015 my photography business bloomed in to something I never imagined. I was able to really hone in on my art and what sets me apart. I was constantly amazed by the support I had and the talent I’ve been given. I had over FIFTY clients this year! I seriously cannot believe that!
9. Probably the best and most monumental thing that happened to me this year was becoming a follower of Christ. Becoming a Christian truly helped me to find the woman I am meant to be. It’s given me confidence, joy, grace, and strength just to name a few. I finally feel at peace with who I am and where my life is going thanks to the love of God.
10. 2015 was a year of friendships for me. I gained new friends, lost a few, and met two of the greatest women I now have the pleasure of calling my friends forever. I thought that after high school I probably wouldn’t meet too many people that I would have that “make yourself at home, tell everything to” type of friendship with, but 2015 proved me wrong. I’ve traveled with the ladies, worked out with these ladies, laughed, cried, and spent precious holidays with these ladies. Basically, everything that’s important to me, I’ve done with them. It breaks my heart that I have to leave them in a couple of months, but that’s the beauty of our husbands job. More than likely, we will cross paths again eventually and I am so grateful for that. And until then, there’s always Facebook. 😉
11. Speaking of friends and traveling, I had the pleasure of going to Belgium for the second time. I went for a girls trip in September and it was such a blast! I probably gained 7lbs in less than 48 hours thanks to the ridiculous amount of waffles we ate, but it was so worth it! Brussels is one of my favorite European cities.
12. In September I began a new business venture with a company called KEEP Collective. This company has given me a new found love for accessories and what they mean to me and a community full of successful, creative, driven women that I’m so glad to be a part of! KEEP was able to foot the bill for some of our Christmas expenses and I am so thankful for that!
13. After a short deployment, my husband came home and we ventured to the island of Sardinia. OMG THEIR BEACHES!!! Seriously, the Sardinian beaches are stunning. Beaches in the states just can’t compare. Imagine golden sand and bright turquoise water for days. It was truly breath taking. My favorite part of the trip was this view:
14. At the beginning of September my husband and I celebrated our 3rd year wedding anniversary. I know, 3 years isn’t that remarkable. But throw in two headstrong, self centered barely twenty-somethings, a move across the world, no family, an incredibly stressful job, and basically being separated for an entire year, making it to year three was quite the accomplishment. Fortunately for us, year three was filled with more ups than downs than the previous two. I’m giving all that credit to God. Year three also brings us to number 15:
15. This might be a strange thing to be thankful for, but I believe it’s something you can only truly understand if you’re in the same position as my husband and I. 2015 was our last year living in Italy. It has been the biggest blessing of my life but we are both so ready to move back to the US and really start planting roots. Being away from family and the familiarness of home for three years really starts to get old after a while. I have loved this once in a lifetime experience that we’ve been blessed to have, but I am so happy that it’s almost over! It’s really bittersweet, actually. I know once we leave I will miss it tremendously, but it’s time to go home. I need to hug my family that I haven’t seen in well over a year, go on a Target shopping spree, and bathe in Starbucks iced white mochas. Oh, and finally get to move in to a beautiful, American built home and finally make my Pinterest home decor boards come to life! America, I am SO ready for you.
And that my friends was my list of favorite things from 2015. It was filled with the best people, traveling, food, and life changing experiences and I know I’ll be remembering this year for the rest of my life. But the new year is here and I know that 2016 is going to bring about a world of opportunity and blessings and I can’t wait to watch it unfold.
To those of you that made this year incredible, thank you thank you thank you. <3