I can't believe 2015 has come to an end. It has been an incredible year, so I wanted to spend some time reflecting on my favorite memories, what I'm most thankful for, and some of my favorite snapshots from the past year.
1. My Health: I started out 2015 very sick. I have an autoimmune disease and as you may recall, it was quite debilitating for parts of this year. I am thankful for my disease - it has allowed me to depend on God in ways that I haven't before and allowed me to trust him in new ways. By his grace, I have been able to proclaim his goodness and kindness through very difficult situations. I believe the gospel more because of my disease!! In additon, God has been kind to make my symptoms more manageable. I am thankful for modern medicine, my doctor, and the infinite resources I have access to including organic food, books, blogs, research, etc. God is so good!
2. My Marriage: We went into marriage with the expectation that it would be really hard. We are so thankful for the wise, loving couples in our life who prepared us for the realities of marriage by being honest and vulnerable about their own experiences!! I think having this expectation allowed us to be prepared for the conflict or struggles that come with the first few years of marriage. Because of that, neither us of would categorize marriage as "hard" but rather as sweet. It has been so sweet to be sanctified through this marriage. I learn more about my shortcomings and flaws (sin) every day and also about God's loving kindness. I am made more like Jesus through my marriage and that is such a gift. Some advice I give to my single friends is to marry a man who longs to become more like Jesus and someone who you know spending time with will result in a more godly you!
I am so thankful for many other things this year including my family and the times we've been able to spend with them (both my side and Sam's). I'm thankful for our church which has become family to us and for all of our amazing friends, new and old. I'm especially grateful that we've remained such good friends with my college friends - they've been a sweet and constant gift to us over the years and I hope we stay friends for life!! I'm thankful for our jobs, our travels, our new home, and so many other things.
In summary, God has been so kind and faithful to us this year. HE is what I am most thankful for.
We welcomed 2015 in sunny Naples, Florida, just as we will this year. We took many trips including a few to Chicago and Norfolk to visit our parents, another sweet week in Naples in the spring time, Kentucky for 4th of July and took a summer beach vacation in North Carolina with my family. We spent a whirlwind weekend in Chicago and South Bend, IN seeing USC play Notre Dame. We spent Thanksgiving in Switzerland and Christmas in Norfolk. In between all of our travels, we hosted many beloved visitors in DC, savored amazing meals, explored new places in the city. We fell in love with the charm of Alexandria. We moved from our first apartment as a couple to another until finally settling in our lovely new home in Alexandria. We deepened relationships with old friends and gained so many amazing new ones. We've watched friends get engaged, others married, and seen many newborns. It has been SUCH a joyful year.
Now I'm going to share way too many of our favorite moments, meals, and places from 2015!
Xoxo and Happy New Year,
Amber & Sam