26 Moments

I turn 27 tomorrow! Yesterday, I shared some of the “stuff” that made my 26th year what it was–food, places, habits, things. Today, I’m sharing the even more meaningful bits of the past year. These are some of the moments and experiences I don’t want to forget about this year.

Malawi: There are so many moments that make up this trip…learning that Melissa wouldn’t be coming and I would be leading the team, meeting Fotunate for the first time, meeting the group of kids sponsored by Base Camp, talking to Steven about how badly he wanted a sponsor, remembering how much I love to teach, singing and worshipping with the girls who live at Chitipi. I’ll never be done processing these stories.

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Celebrating Ian’s first birthday: family and friends gathered, way more food than we could ever eat, and Ian’s meltdown when everyone sang “Happy Birthday.”

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Writers’ Lunches with Melissa, Lauren, and Melanie

The Writer’s Barn

Watching Ian learn to walk

Taking Ian for his first haircut

Talking and debating about Serial with Evan (and everyone else in the world)

Ian’s excitement when we would pick him up from daycare

Learning that we would be moving to Grand Rapids (and then, of course, moving)

Visiting Grand Rapids for house hunting, and discovering that I was pregnant

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Watching Ian hunt for Easter eggs in the Poppell’s backyard

The going-away party our Orlando friends threw us

My last day of work at Summit

Watching Evan graduate with his PhD

Watching our first Michigan snow with Ian from his bedroom window, as he said, “Oh no! Uh oh!”

Reading with Ian, endlessly, always.

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Tulip Time in Holland, MI

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Ian’s excitement to FaceTime with his grandparents

Visiting Chicago to see Orlando City play the Chicago fire

Celebrating our 5th anniversary in Chicago

How it felt to look at a Jackson Pollack painting in person

Learning that Baby #2 was another boy

Watching the Gators win back-to-back gymnastics championships AND back-to-back softball championships

Watching the Women’s National Team win the World Cup

Feeling baby #2 kick for the first time

The sound of Ian’s voice when he says, “Hi, mama” each morning.

***

Dividing up the year this way (instead of in January) helps me look at it differently. There are so many things (like Malawi) that seem so long ago. This past year was full to the brim of learning and change and new, and I feel very different because of it all. In the best possible way. 27 has a lot to live up to, but I think I’m up for the challenge.

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