What an exciting year it has been! We did so much traveling, had so many fun experiences, and made so many lasting memories. Despite the fact that it was one of the best years of my life, I think that it was also one of the most difficult. I attended more funerals this year than I have in my entire life combined. It was a year of loss and sadness, but also a year of excitement and change and hope. Now it's just up to me to focus on the great things that happened, learn from the difficult experiences, and look forward with eagerness and anticipation to the next year!
We traveled to Mexico the first week of January with Kenny and Nicole
I turned 24 on our trip. It was the first birthday I have ever celebrated in a bathing suit.
Our community mourned the loss of a soldier and a friend. Lucas Beachnaw, a classmate of mine, paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country in Afghanistan.
I took the biggest hair risk of my life and got bangs!
We made a blanket fort...
Traveled to Indianapolis to see our great friends and go indoor rock climbing with them
I started writing about Our Love Story
We adopted a new mascot for youth group- yeah Chewy!
My younger brother succeeded at the most hilarious prank I have ever seen. Oh gosh, please go read the story. It is so, so, SO funny!
We took the teens in Epoch up North for a "Chase the Lion" retreat.
Josh and I started caring more about our clothes and where they come from. We bought Toms shoes. (When you buy a pair, you're also buying a pair of shoes for a child in need)
I also checked out the WAR International store and bought this lovely scarf. It was made by a woman who was rescued out of the sex trafficking industry and the money that I spent to buy it went directly to her and the programs that are still rescuing women out of the tragedy that is trafficking.
I miraculously fit into my Prom dress from my senior year of high school for the first time since, oh, I'd say the actual day of the dance. Now that was worth taking a picture of!
(Not Pictured in the month of March: We got out of debt!!)
I did something I always said I would never do, and took a group of girls from youth group TPing.
(Brief justification: it was of another youth leaders house AND they retaliated big time a couple of days later!)
Joshua turned 27 and we celebrated at Buffalo Wild Wings
On the very same day, my beautiful little sister turned 14!
We celebrated Easter with friends by having our very own passover meal.
The neighborhood stray cat gave birth to kittens that we helped her raise until they were ready to go to new homes! Oh the cuteness!
We bought our very own tandem bicycle and rode all over our little town.
My best friend from high school got married!
Josh's sister Julie graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University
Josh officiated his very first wedding for our friends James and Becky
I started learning how to play the violin
I got kissed by a gorilla (aka Josh) in church (Explanation here)
We made the best purchase of our lives and got ourselves a puppy! His name is Buddy and he is the cutest, best dog in the whole world. (I'm sure some of you are thinking... "False! I have the best dog in the world!" buuuuut you're wrong...) :-)
I started leaving notes in bathroom stalls as a part of Operation Beautiful
Twenty-seven people from Impact were baptized in a lake in town. This picture is Josh baptizing Keith, who has an awesome story of life transformation after accepting Christ into his life!
Josh and I went on a lovely date through Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids followed by swing dancing the night away downtown. It was one of my favorite days of the year!
We both learned how to wakeboard.
...and discovered that our cute little dog isn't nearly as cute when he's wet!
We took a road trip with Kenny and Nicole to Pittsburgh to visit our friends Aaron and Stephanie! We went down to Gettysburg to tour the battlefields and camp.
Josh lead a team down to the Dominican Republic to finish the school that we started last year and teach a vacation Bible school to children.
My sister Lindsay and I went on a trip down memory lane and risked our lives riding The Zipper at the local fair.
Shannon and I stuck silly faces to inanimate objects just for the fun of it!
Josh and I dressed up as characters from our favorite movie, "Up", and had a lovely photo shoot!
When the pictures were all finished, we went downtown Grand Rapids to check out ArtPrize and pass out all 20 of our balloons to children along the way!
My mom and I drove out to Grand Haven to take pictures of the beautiful waves!
Youth group was in full swing along with the many fun games we get to play with the teens!
We celebrated our second anniversary! Yay for being married to the man of my dreams for two whole years!
My little sister and I dressed up like scarecrows in a fun protest of the scarecrows that hang zombie-like through Lowell during the month of October.
I decorated our bedroom with balloons from the ceiling. Each one has something that I love about Josh written on it :-)
We spent the first half of November overseas. We took the trip of a lifetime to check out the possibility of living in another country next year!
We started out in Paris, France... kissing on top of the Eiffel Tower
Then flew down to Istanbul, Turkey...
and ended in Central Asia!
Dancing after dinner with a local family was one of the best experiences of my life
It was beautiful downtown.
When we got back, we helped my parents in the final push to open the Main Street Inn.
We started getting really excited for Christmas! We became one of "those" people who dresses up their dog haha. Buddy's early Christmas gift was an Elf costume. Get it? Buddy the Elf? We thought it was hilarious!
We actually decorated our house and bought a beautiful tree!
We dressed up as elderly folks for the Christmas Musical at our church.
We celebrated Christmas with both of our families
and lastly, we said goodbye to my Great Grandmother. She passed away December 28 at the age of 96. She was a beautiful woman who lived a beautiful life!
Overall, 2010 was a great year, but I'm ready and excited to see what 2011 will bring!