This list hardly scratches the surface, because I could go on and on listing good memories and highlights from 2008. But here are a few people and experiences which made this past year a wonderful one!
*Seeing the Lord change my grandma's heart when she asked Him to be her Savior. After years of prayer, my family rejoiced immensely. (January)
*Photographing my first wedding alone in January.
(Hard to believe it was only11 months ago....I was able to gain more wedding photography experience throughout the summer as I photographed a variety of weddings.)
*One of my absolute favorite memories with my close girl friends was on a beautiful spring day after Spring break. Our friend Brett, a talented photographer, took us out on a photoshoot for several hours as he captured our friendship (the laughter, the shenanigans, the bond between us...)
[see below photo]
*Dressing up in a fancy dress and going to the Jr/Sr banquet with friends
*Sitting proudly in the audience watching Chelsea graduate high school
*Sitting excitedly in Liberty's football stadium during my own college graduation, ready for what the real world has in store for me.
*Buying my 1st car!
*Having the honor of being a bridesmaid in Amy and Zach's wedding :)
*Turned 21 this summer and had a blast with some close friends who were in Lynchburg
*The summer RUF Bible studies at Marc and Amy's house
*Watching So You Think You Can Dance and HSM: Get in the Picture throughout the summer with Anna, Ryan, Chelsey, and AJ
*And of course, I am incredibly thankful for the Lord's faithfulness and grace. He tested me, particularly during the trying summer months, to see if I would rely on him during the period of uncertainty (not knowing where I'd live, what my job would be, etc). He made me wait....and wait...and wait...until the last minute and then provided me with this chance of a lifetime. It was certainly a curveball, because I was planning to soon head off to the missionfield in Africa to spend some time there. But here I am touring the U.S., caring for 13 energetic orphans from Africa and Nepal. My life changed so quickly when I received the phone call that I was hired for this job, and though there are struggles that come with being on-the-road for 10 months I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
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It was a blast to form new friendships throughout the year (Kate, Whitney, Chelsey, Marc/Amy) as well as re-connect with old friends. I appreciate everyone who shared 2008 with me.
I anticipate 2009 will be challenging, adventerous, and memorable.
I truly hope each of you can take a minute and reflect on the joys that the past year has brought you. And let's never forget to tell our friends and family how they have made us the individuals we have become.