This year is not over, no, but truthfully it won’t be long until we’re ringing in 2017. Not that I’m rushing it – I have loved 2016 for so many reasons (more on all of that in a few months). Today’s #blogtoberchallenge asked us to pick the top five pictures that illustrate our 2016 so far and I thought I’d do a version of that but with a series of pictures per three of my top picks. Of course, I went back through my Instagram to pick my photos; pretty cool how Instagram has become a bit of a journal of my life. While I often times have to remind myself to put the camera away and live in the moment, I’m also really glad I snapped so many of those moments – it’s awesome to look back at all the pictures and remember all of the little things that were in fact the really big things 🙂
Late last year, Christian and I bought our first house and so this year we have worked on making it a home. It’s been a slow process due to busy schedules and traveling – we still don’t have much on the walls, haha – but it’s been so much fun to take our time and add things here and there. Mostly though, it’s been such a blessing to have a place that we share together… a place we know we can always rest in when the outside world gets just a bit too crazy.
I found my greatest creative passion this year: writing my first novel. I’d had this idea for a story to be written since I was young, that just kind of seemed to grow over time and the more I thought about it. I’d started actually jotting down ideas for the characters and story line the last few years but this was the year I really officially started it, worked really hard at it, and realized so many things about so many things. For one, I learned that everyone has their own creative process… like, within THE general creative process; I found mine and it was one of the most empowering, insanely awesome things to ever happen to me. It gave me freedom and confidence and the space to allow myself to take my time with this story, and I have. I also learned that when you’re really, truly passionate about something – it pretty much makes you crazy 😉 haha. I could spend literally all day writing parts and pieces for the story, only to trash ALL of what I’d written that day… to then wake up in the middle of the night and start at it again because I just can’t stop. Writing this story is the first time in my life I’ve ever felt 100% me, and I’m not sure I’m even able to completely explain what that means, but that’s the best way I know to describe it. I’ve found inspiration for my characters and overall story in so many things (quotes and music and characters from movies being just a few), but learned this year that most of my inspiration comes from the fog and the trees – which might sound totally funny but it’s true. I wrote so many parts to my story while walking the path around our house, or taking drives through the trees (here and here and here). While writing for this book may be paused for the moment (because HELLO, baby!), I think about it every day and have plans to begin taking one day a week to head to a coffee shop and begin working on it again. One day, this book will be finished… exactly when it’s meant to be 🙂
Best. gift. EVER. Like, this year yes but also of my entire life. My son is definitely my favorite thing to happen this year 🙂 Crew gave literal meaning to my word for 2016, Bigger. (More on that later this year too.) Getting to him was so hard, such a tough and long road, and every day I celebrate the fact that this year is the year the rough road came to an end, and an amazing NEW road began. I have always referred to our adoption journey as “the road to love” because I knew – regardless of how much pain we felt on certain days, or how many failed matches or disappointments we experienced – love is what would be waiting for us at the end of it all… and that love’s name was Crew Xavier, a gift not just for us but for the world. I can’t wait to see all the ways he shines his light in this world, a light that began in this year.
What has your 2016 been like? What have been your favorite parts?