14 things I liked in 2014

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My real camera / After months of agonizing over which camera to purchase I finally snagged a used Fuji x100s. I’ve really enjoyed using it. Unfortunately during the winter I spend almost all of my daylight hours at school. Which means I have 350 incredibly willing subjects… whose photos I am not comfortable posting online.

Friday Night Lights / All of my favorite TV shows are really just proclaiming what Lost already taught us: live together, die alone. Friday Night Lights was no exception. It was about football, sure… but you don’t have to love football to love seeing a tiny town pull together every Friday night.

Simple weeknight dinners / David is a college minister now, which means he works late 2-3 nights a week. Combine that with our normal life (tutoring + small group) and that left just one or two nights a week to have dinner together this semester. The first year we were married we made all sorts of awesome dinners… braised meats, homemade pizzas, grilled fish, etc. This year it’s been all about baked potatoes, breakfast for dinner, rotisserie chicken + roasted vegetables, etc. Whatever it takes to get us sitting down together with minimal stress. I’m ok with that.

The library / Some people are on a first name basis with the baristas at their favorite coffee place. This year I got on a last name basis with the ladies at the downtown library. When they see me walk in they go straight to the holds shelf. When I think about the amount of books I’ve read this year it makes the probably 10ish dollars I’ve paid in fines worth it.

Our EatJXN card / We have probably paid for this card (which was a gift–thanks Helen!) in the free pico de gallo at Babablu alone. Totally worth the cost if you live in Jackson and love local food.

Serial / I thought the show lagged a little bit in the middle, but it was overall a really interesting musing on our justice system. And I was hooked, just like the rest of the nation. I’m really interested in the outcome of the possible DNA testing… as well as the subject of season two.

Yoga / This was the first year I’ve done yoga on any sort of semi-regular basis and I’ve really enjoyed it. I just go to classes at the Y, but I’m always really pleased with the experience and, as I tell David, “it makes my whole body feel like Jello!”

Saturday breakfast / One fun thing about this phase of life is that we are growing into “traditions” that are joyful and natural for our family instead of feeling the pressure (or maybe it’s just me) to create family traditions for kids immediately. One tradition that has evolved this year is Saturday breakfast. We sleep in a little bit. If the weather is nice, we walk to Sneaky Beans for biscuits and coffee. Sometimes we make sour cream pancakes in our kitchen. We might play chess while we eat. Regardless, we take time to relax, be slow, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a highlight of our weeks.

Amazon Rewards Visa / We finally got a credit card, because apparently paying every bill on time always and making substantial student loan payments are not the quickest ways to build credit. We only use the card for gas or Amazon purchases, but we love getting those points back for books.

Young adult lit / We have quiet reading time every day at school. During this time, after I finish getting kids settled, checking AR point goals, etc. I read as well. I try to read only children’s or young adult books because a) I want to stay up with what my students are enjoying or might possibly enjoy and b) I’m afraid if I read an adult book I might get too engrossed in it. I’ve read some fantastic kids & young adult books this year… hopefully a list will be coming up soon!

Revlon Color Burst sticks / These are magic. Long long long lasting color but (unlike most long lasting stuff) they don’t make your lips dry! I have a pink red and a red red and I wear them both all the time. (These + blinc mascara are pretty much my only makeup and I couldn’t be happier with it.)

Project Life / I’m about to wrap up an entire year of documenting our lives in this format. I’ve really enjoyed it, both as a memory keeping tool and a creative outlet. Hopefully light & time will cooperate and I’ll share pictures of some spreads soon.

My new job / I have the best job. It’s a hard job and a tiring job, but it really is the best. I get to be creative, I get to work with my sister, I get to spend time with some wonderful kids. As I’m growing into the career thing I’m asking questions like, what is a dream job? will all jobs sometimes suck? what is a balance between a job that uses your natural gifts and challenges you to grow? I don’t know if my current job is my holy grail dream job, but it’s pretty darn close. And to have it at 24 makes me feel incredibly blessed.

Fitbit Flex / The Fitbit has been a great reminder/motivator for me… and it’s just fun. Smiley faces when you meet your goal, dancing lights on your wristband, challenges with friends. I wish the battery lasted a bit longer, but overall I’ve been really happy with it.

Honorable mentions: Maxi skirts, lime La Croix (“it’s like Sprite with no sugar!”), Parks & Recreation, treating my inbox like a to do list, Ebates (hello cash back), and my Minnetonka moccasins (which I wore completely out).

p.s. check out 2013’s list here.

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