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What I Learned in 2023

Updated: Mar 16

This yearly tradition allows me to reflect, look forward, see growth, be thankful, and know what I need to continue learning. 2023 was a year of waiting again, and in that waiting, a considerable change followed a lot of uncertainty in our adoption plans. We found out that our previous agency's liaison is under investigation and is being convicted of trafficking children. We were incredibly disappointed, mad, and sad not just for what that would mean for our family but the other families and, most importantly, the children and their families that are being taken advantage of. We listened to the Holy Spirit and followed his lead regarding the next steps for our adoption. We are now with a different agency in our same country, and there is a lot of new hope.

  • You can't trust everyone, even if they are a professing believer. Sadly, this happens all too often, and we ended up experiencing it this year.

  • In the waiting, God is there. In the waiting, he's leading me forward. His patience doesn't run out in the waiting, even if mine does. In the waiting, his grace is sufficient for me.

  • I still love going on long walks. This winter hasn't been horrible yet (snow is coming), but I have walked outside even if it's freezing because it feels so good.

  • When I borrow trouble, I don't live freely. When I borrow trouble, I expend my energy for today on things that may never happen. When I borrow trouble, my focus is out, not up.

  • Sipping champagne out of fancy glasses makes it taste better. Is this scientifically proven?

  • Box breathing is AWESOME.

  • Leading a horse with Quinn riding in a parade was a new experience.

Little cowgirl riding a horse in a parade

  • Cold showers are invigorating. I turn my shower to cold after I have finished my regular shower, and it is teaching me to BREATHE and relax even with the crazy cold water hitting me.

  • I still love going to therapy for reflection, accountability, wisdom, tools, and someone who always points me back to Jesus.

  • Subbing is not my favorite thing, but when I am picky with what jobs I take, I enjoy it more.

  • Yoga is a healthy addiction that teaches me to be present and focus on what is going on in the here and now, not what is coming after or what came before. A well-made mat is a game-changer.

  • The "Comfy" is a great gift.

Family wearing Comfy’s

  • High tea is so fun. Jordan learned what kind of tea he likes; now, we all drink tea together. It's a great time as a family. We all have our teapots, strainers, and tea cups from my grandma.

  • I still like wearing jammies to bed. I've tried sleeping naked, and I can't get on board. Thankfully, I have found cute jammies that aren't just from the Christmas before. You are welcome, Jordan.

  • Ten years of marriage is fun, challenging, and worth sticking out.

  • In the pouring rain, doing all four parks at Disney World gets you right on the rides with minimal waiting, creates memories, makes you walk 17 miles, and soaks you to the bone. We would never do it again, but the memories are some of the best. This is the last picture we took...its the "WE DID IT" photo.


  • Having boundaries is good. It's hard, but it's good.

  • I bought a Kindle this year. I now read way more than I ever did because I do not have to buy books all the time (besides the ones I want to write in). Libby is such a great app to be able to read to my heart's desire. My favorite book this year was The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

  • Striving keeps anxiety going around and around. It's a sneaky little aspect of the anxiety cycle. I don't need to add to my plate in trying to get rid of anxiety. I need to rest in the grace and peace God provides me, consistently spending intentional time with Jesus.

  • The mini-series of All the Light You Cannot See powerfully depicted the book. We binged it in two nights.

  • Horses are funny.

Funny horse face, laughing horse

  • A new favorite word: nimrod.

  • At the beginning of the year, I got an iPad to keep all my notes in one place. It has been so helpful.

  • Drawing in Procreate has become a new hobby.

  • Switching churches was such a gift. Although scary, we have seen the Lord's goodness through it.

  • Leading worship at our church has stretched me, and it's been the sweetest growth.

  • I challenged myself to make crocheted mittens for all the girls in my family. They turned out so cute!!

Crocheted mittens Christmas Gift

  • Taking voice lessons has been fun and challenging. I wanted to hone my gift and feel confident in my voice. That confidence is growing, and it's great that I get to put it into practice on the worship team.

  • Gerty Goose was money well spent. We love her. The jury is still out if she loves us.

Holding a Buff Goose

  • Skinny Dipping is still fun, especially at a women's retreat, and it turns out to be a cold plunge.

  • Holland Lops are still my favorite animal we have on our backyard farm. They are so sweet and cuddly. Seeing families get excited about their new pet is the best.

  • Our chickens have never been healthier. They are fluffy and full, which is my favorite type of chicken.

  • Quinn has lost a lot of teeth this year, and I can't have her pull her teeth around me. I believe I will throw up if I see her pull it out.

6 year old looses a tooth

  • Marans and Orpingtons are my favorite chicken breeds.

  • I'm learning to give myself more and more grace. I am so inherently hard on myself.

  • I heard this on a podcast, which has stuck with me: "Love is being considerate consistently."

  • We planted a dahlia garden this year, and it was my favorite thing about summer and fall. I made so many beautiful bouquets. It was so much fun.

A bouquet of dahlias

  • When I function in my anxiety, I shell in. When I operate despite my fear, my gaze is outwards.

  • Gratitude is never wasted.

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