I do this every year. Here’s last year’s‘s, if you’re interested!

Initial Summary:

Where were you when 2019 began?
Gabe and Rachel’s house playing cards against humanity.

Who were you with?
Justin, Rachel, Gabe, the kids, and some random neighbors.

Was 2019 a good year for you?
2019 was a year with a lot of growth.

What countries/states did you visit?
Huntsville, Alabama, Washington DC, and although it’s not a different state, we finally made it to Big Bend in south Texas! We also made two trips to Tennessee.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions? 
My resolutions for 2019 were hefty… see below:

  • Get to my goal weight (155) and maybe surpass it
  • be strong enough to do 10 pushups without much issue,
  • I’d like to be able to do a pull up but I just don’t know if it’s possible.
  • Re-read the bible.
  • Travel.
  • Tour Washington DC.
  • Save money to fix the house up.

I got to my goal weight (currently sitting pretty at 152.4) after struggling with it for decades, literally. I can do 10 “modified” pushups, but only 3 “”real” ones, so that’s underlined instead of crossed out.  I had a wrist injury halfway through the year that made me decide a pull up is not necessary. I re-read the bible, traveled, and got to tour Washington DC. The saving money thing soooo did not happen, but we did spend money fixing the house, so I guess that counts? Sort of?

Did anyone close to you give birth? 
Alexis had baby Lucas! He is ADORABLE!

Did anyone close to you die? 
Yes. We said goodbye to Lucky, my dog of 15 years, in June. It broke my heart…but he was ready. Additionally, we lost my Uncle Rick in November AND Justin’s Grandma Linda. November was a tough month for us.

What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 4, 2019, the date we were CALEA accredited at my police agency I work at!!

Experiences:

What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
I represented my police department in a committee hearing before a group of people way more fancy than I am, and did so pretty well. It was public speaking, which I’d done before, but there was a lot on the line so I’m glad it went well.

I also cut my hair super short (pixie cut) and I LOVE IT!

Did you have fun in 2019?
Yes, a lot, although the end of the year really kicked my rear end.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish we’d spent more time camping. We got to, some, just wasn’t enough for what I wanted.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Smoked.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 35 years old. I attended the last day of an Ethics Train the Trainer class, then drove 3.5 hours to be home with my babies. Had some wine with dinner.

What did you want and get?
To teach in Washington DC at a national conference. To become a dual accredited agency at my police department. A fitbit, although I stopped wearing it after a few months because it hurt my wrist.

Here’s something I got that I didn’t know I wanted: for Christmas, Justin got me a “Justin Bear” that looks like him and tells me goodnight. I can take it with me when I travel and it’s THE BEST.

What did you want and not get?
Out of debt.

Others:

Whose behavior merited celebration? 
My mother-in-law, Sherry. She left us as soon as her Mom was diagnosed with cancer and stayed in Tennessee until a few weeks after she passed away. She worked so hard serving her parents and set a stellar example for the kids. She is an AMAZING woman. It really took a lot out of her, a lot of stress, and she handled it pretty gracefully all things considered.

Whose behavior made you appalled, depressed, or sad?
We had some internal drama with elected officials in the city I live in, and it made me sad on all fronts that so many people screamed at the top of their lungs… and forgot to listen with empathy and compassion.

Did somebody treat you badly in 2019?
I’m pretty sure someone stole some money from me. I don’t have proof, but I’m pretty sure. And it makes me sad because I won’t stop them from coming around, but I hate that those visits will be tainted with the stress of wondering if they’re going to steal from me again.

Who were some new people you met?
My community group members!! I started leading a Women’s group in the fall and it has been a great opportunity for growth! They are all so different than I am, and there’s so much wisdom and life experiences to learn from. I’m really enjoying it.

Favorites/Least Favorites:

What was your favorite month of 2019? 
April and May. April I went to Galveston for the annual Police Chief’s conference, which was fun, and then the next week I flew to DC with Justin.  The first part of May was the CALEA conference where we were accredited.

What was your favorite moment of the year?
Watching Benjamin process his Christmas ornament from Santa. While the tree was being put up, he shattered his 2012 Christmas ornament (a really cool rocket ship). He was heartbroken. Santa put a picture of the ornament on a wooden ornament (that won’t break) and Benjamin cried when he got it. It was magic at it’s most pure.

What was your least favorite moment of the year? 
Saying goodbye to Lucky.

What was your favorite TV program? 
Stargate SG-1, Flash.

What was the best book you read? 
“In the Dream House” by Carmen Maria Machado. It’s an artistic autobiography of a gay woman who escaped an abusive girlfriend and it’s powerful and moving.

What was the worst book you read?
“How to Lead When You’re not in Charge” by Clay Scroggins. It was ok, but lots of stuff that had been stated in other books, and a lot of his advice felt very cookie cutter in a world that often is not.  I read it through the lens of the wife of a bipolar person, and it made it difficult for me to get past the positive “just try harder” portion of the book.

What were your favorite films of this year? 
John Wick 3 and Godzilla King of the Monsters. I did not really care for any of the Marvel movies this year.

What was your favorite video game you played this year?
Marvel Puzzle Quest

What was your favorite new technology/application?
Nothing really

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’ve been working on my playlists when I work out, and I’ve really grown to love heavier rock music when I’m weight lifting. My happy upbeat stuff I usually listen to is great for warming up and getting me pumped…but when I am lifting heavy stuff, I need rock music.

What was the best thing you bought? 
A new door for our house! Coincidentally, also the most expensive!

Self-reflection:

What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Losing weight and maintaining it.

What was your biggest failure? 
Smoking.

Did you suffer illness or injury? 
Yeah, that wrist injury really messed up several months out of the year. Here at the end of the year though, I’m doing pretty good by taking it very, very slow.

Where did most of your money go?
Travel!

What kept you sane?
Prayer.

Who did you miss?
Sherry!! I really miss her when she isn’t home ❤

What did you get really, really, really excited about? 
Work related stuff, the travel I was able to do early in the year, finally reaching my goal weight, MAINTAINING my goal weight, Christmas presents.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Sadder, I think. It’s been a rough few weeks. But hopeful!
ii. thinner or fatter?  Thinner
iii. richer or poorer?  Definitely poorer! 😦

Did you fall in love in 2019? 
Over and over and over again. I have the BEST husband!

Did you lose anything important this year?
Dog, Uncle Rick, Grandma Linda.

What was your proudest moment of 2019?
Definitely after my committee hearing!

What was your most embarrassing moment of 2019?
I had a moment where I was like “yep, this is it!” but I forgot it.

Gauge your:
(On a scale of: Very Good, Good, Fairly Good, Fairly Bad, Bad, Very Bad)
• Relational Health – Fairly good
• Emotional Health – Fairly good
• Physical Health – Very good (FOR THE FIRST YEAR EVER!)
• Social Health – Fairly good
• Spiritual Health – Good
• Intellectual Health – Very good
• Financial Health – Bad

In the future:

How will you be spending Christmas? 
It already happened, as it usually does. We had a lovely quiet day with lots of Monopoly playing, Clue playing, present opening, and general magic.

How will you be spending New Years? 
Celebrating Eli during the day, staying up late with the Zambranos, and the next day we’ll SMASH A GINGERBREAD HOUSE! J

What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019? 
A year of no death. More financial stability.

What are your plans for 2020?
Read the bible with a little more depth – moving to a plan that goes through the NT twice instead of just once.
Write more thank you cards.
Quit smoking for freaking good.
Kon-Mari the entire house.

Will you make any new year’s resolutions for 2020?
Yes!

  • Quit smoking
  • 10 “real” pushups
  • Clean something every day
  • Limit my screen time using app timers (because I have to learn moderation)
  • One thank you card a month
  • Journal more (aiming for 3x/week)

What will be your verse of the year for 2020?
Psalms 143:6 “I spread out my hands to You; I am like parched land before you. Selah.”

What will be your word of the year for 2020?
Gratitude.

In Conclusion:

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019: 
Gratitude really is an active activity that has to be practiced and practically applied. It’s truly more than a feeling, or an emotion, or an attitude. Taking some time to really think about what others do FOR you is very powerful, and definitely something I’ve lacked in years past.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: 

I’m healed, made strong, oh, I’ve found where I belong
Forever I’m alive now in Your love
I’ve been changed, unchained, by Your amazing grace
Forever I’m alive now in Your love

On the other side of everything I’m afraid of
You are standing with Your arms wide open, wide open
Even in my deepest doubts and wonder
You are standing with your arms wide open, wide open
Yes, wide open

If I make my bed in darkness, if I try my best to hide
You know the farthest ocean, You give the morning its light
I can’t run from Your presence, there’s no place that far
So I run to you my Savior, there’s safety in Your arms

IMG_20191230_112129December 2018 vs. December 2019!