I have failed once again at keeping up! I said in the beginning of 2015 that I knew it was going to be a crazy year. I had no idea how I knew that, but I just knew. In fact I remember standing in my kitchen on my birthday in January telling a sweet sweet friend of mine that I was confident that it was going to be crazy. So, as I come to the close of 2015, once again apologizing for the lack of recipes, I thought I would write a summary of what’s been going on in the last few months with a promise (one I fully intend on keeping this time) to provide at least one more new recipe before the year ends.
- It feels like fall. Everyone who lives in Chicago knows this to be true. And while I absolutely LOVE that I can still run outside regularly and haven’t had to wear my down comforter of a coat yet, I am having the hardest time accepting that it is December and that Christmas in just a few days. I have been challenging myself to focus on what is true and important this time of year instead of being distracted by the thousand other things that are going on in the world. Essentially.. I am loving that it is unseasonably warm, and need to see the beauty of Christmas time without depending on cold weather and snow.
- In September I started to fall for this guy, Alex. Four months later and I am head over heels. He is patient, joyful, passionate, attentive, has a heart for the global church, and loves serving others. I have never felt more comfortable and been more myself with any guy and I am completely smitten. We cook together, laugh together, challenge each other, and constantly point each other back to Jesus. He’s a good one.
- I moved! Crazy. If you had asked me 5 months ago if I would ever dream of moving from my place in Uptown, I would have laughed. I loved my apartment, loved my location and it was home for over two years. That’s long in Chicago! I had been praying a lot about my current living situation, and God made it very clear to me that it was time for me to move on. So, I decided to pack up my incredible apartment in Uptown and move about a mile and a half away to a new place in Ravenswood with my amazing best friend, Natalie. We have had so much fun together these past few months and I am so grateful for the opportunity that we have had so far with each other.
- New job travel! Traveling for a start up sure is different than traveling for a well-established consulting firm. We’re constantly looking for the best deal, cheapest hotel, or closest airbnb. I’m also not used to booking travel myself, a luxury I definitely miss. And the trips are pretty sporadic. I am typically going to different cities each time, and sometimes I pack for three or four days, and sometimes for just a day trip back and forth. It sure breaks up the week, but I lose track quick! Since August, I have visited 14 different cities for Edovo in the last 5 months. Whoa! I do enjoy it though – being able to visit places that I have never been too. And yes, I still think Chicago is one of the best cities in the U.S.!
- Family! Since starting to date Alex, I get to see my parents a lot more often which has been very sweet. Alex lives about 15 minutes from them in the suburbs so when I go out to see him, I stay with my parents over night before commuting back to the city in the morning. It’s so convenient and allows me to spend morning time with them which is typically my favorite part of the day. I have loved getting to see them and spend more time with them. Especially after a hard summer season, getting to celebrate a joyful fall with them has been a huge gift.
- Israel and Jordan. This past summer, my parents and I decided to sign up for my church’s upcoming trip to Israel and Jordan over Thanksgiving. In ten days, we got to see some of the most incredible sites in the world. We were give a world wind tour of the Holy Land as well as two days in Jordan seeing Amman and hiking through Petra. I’d go back to Israel in a heartbeat and recommend the trip to anyone. Especially Christians – I have never been more excited to jump into the word, being able to visualize where the disciples were, where Jesus was. The words are coming alive to me like never before. It’s beautiful.
Things are pretty great. This year, while crazy, has been one of the most meaningful years of my life. So much happened, there’s been a ton of growth, and really important people joined my journey. It started off really hard, and my heart was hardening more and more each day. It took me months to trust that God really did know what he was doing and was orchestrating this perfect plan; sending sweet friends like Natalie, my now roommate to walk with me through my eating disorder and growing depression and anxiety during the really low times. Then sending Alex when I was at the very edge of the hard season to remind me of why I had my faith in the first place. To remind me to open my eyes to see all that He was doing and ways He was working in my life. With Christmas coming so soon, it’s a great time to reflect back on all that this year has brought, being thankful for the growth and refreshing moments. Thanks to everyone that’s been a part of the journey with me – I can’t express how much you each mean to me.