1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?I attended a weeklong mission trip outside of the country, quit my day job to pursue my dream of becoming a professional blogger (and quickly realized I liked blogging better as a hobby), and wore the title of Matron of Honor in my best friend's winter wedding.
A few other firsts: Eating a warm Krispy Kreme donut right off the conveyor belt, and sending a lit paper lantern up into the sky with thousands of others at the Lights Festival in Baytown.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?I can't remember making any resolutions last year, which probably means I didn't keep them. For 2017, my main resolution is to focus on what's important to me. Sounds easy enough, but half the battle is figuring out exactly what that is.
I'd also like to cook more, and take more photos. I used to be so good about carrying my camera everywhere! Now I barely touch it. This needs to change. (I considered doing a Photo A Day Challenge, but... I feel like that's just setting myself up for photography fatigue.)
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?One of my closest friends from college did, but sadly (since we live about 3-4 hours apart) I have yet to meet her sweet bundle of joy. Most of my friends are still in the engaged/newly married tribe, so it probably will be a long while before babies show up.
4. Did anyone close to you die?No, and I'm so thankful for that.
5. What countries did you visit?Beautiful Haiti.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?A solid routine would be nice, and a job that I enjoy. I felt like I was just kind of floating along for most of 2016, and I think I'd quite like to find myself a bit more settled by the end of this year. However, with the recent move to Plano—and the ongoing house hunt—it might be a few months before the settling in can happen.
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?January 2, the day my best friend got married. March 18, the day I put in my two weeks at my semi-new job and almost suffered a heart attack because of it. July 15-23, the week Scott and I took our families to Lake Tahoe. August 11-17, the week I spent with the coolest kids in Haiti. October 19, the day we found out we'd be moving to Plano. December 18, the day my other best friend got married.
8. What was your biggest failure?There were so many days in 2016 that I felt like I was failing at something, whether it was managing my time wisely, being a good wife/daughter/friend, working hard enough on Her Story Goes, reaching my health goals, making enough (or any) money... Honestly, it was kind of a cluster of a year. One where I took big risks, made life-changing decisions, learned A LOT about myself, and constantly worried about where I was going to end up. All that said, I made it out alive and well—albeit a bit all over the place—and I'm thankful for the year I had. Everything happened like it needed to, I'm convinced, and yet I'm looking forward to starting over with a clean slate in 2017.
But while we're on the subject of failure, I failed pretty hard at the Whole30—not once but twice.
9. Did you suffer illness or injury?I caught myself a gnarly cold the week I returned from Haiti, but that's the only memorable bout of sickness I had this year. #blessed
10. What was the best thing you bought?My Olympus OM-D E-M10 (that I've sadly abandoned recently), this FloLiving course on natural hormone-correcting (Alisa Vitti is BRILLIANT), and my new Nourished Planner (that I bought in the final days of December and has already made me feel so much more productive).
11. Whose behavior merited celebration?Pope Francis—for his love, compassion, and humility.
12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?Donald Trump's. Need I elaborate?
13. Where did most of your money go?Rent. Ugh. But no more!
14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?Traveling (as always). My best friends' weddings. Starting a lifestyle blog with my best friend. Moving to Dallas with a fresh start.
15. Did you make any new friendships?A few, like my lovely coworkers at Mad Meg Creative Services and the girls in Marissa's bridal party. But for the most part, I strengthened the relationships I already had. Which is just as fun.
16. Did you go on vacation?Yes! My family traveled to Panama City Beach in April, where we did shots with the Brothers Osborne in their tour bus(!)... and then off we went to Lake Tahoe with both of our families in July.
We also visited a dear friend in Charlotte, home of the world's best bagels and the prettiest fall-colored leaves.
17. What do you wish you had done more or less of?I wish I would have volunteered more and worried less.
18. How did you spend the holidays?We spent Thanksgiving in Plano with Scott's family, Christmas in Rayne with my crazy family, and New Year's Eve in Dallas with old friends. Scott dressed up as Buddy the Elf for my parents' Christmas party, and I fell in love with him all over again. It was one of the best holiday seasons I've had in years!
19. What new food did you discover?Acai bowls! The beginning of 2016 saw me addicted to superfood smoothies topped with granola and shredded coconut. (Forget Smoothie King, I'm talking $10 cardboard cups of blended bliss from hippie-esque places like this.)
Oh, and Houston's Biskit Junkie. The place where arteries happily go to die.
20. What was your favorite TV program?Felicity. Followed by Pretty Little Liars and This Is Us. I'm all about the feels, obvs.
21. What was one of your favorite experiences of the year?I know I keep bringing this up, but the mission trip in Haiti has got to be at the top of my list for 2016. It kind of saved me, in more ways than one, and I'm incredibly grateful that I had the chance to be a part of something so eye-opening.
On top of that, getting to experience the first year of marriage with my best friend was an amazing thing. I'll never forget our coffee-inspired (for me, at least) Saturday morning walks through the city coupled with marathon-long discussions about our goals, fears, passions, and dreams for the future. Those were the moments that held me together in 2016.
22. What was the best book you read?It's a tie between The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
23. What was your greatest musical or artist discovery?Uh, I'm still rocking out to Taylor Swift over here...
24. What did you want and get?Guidance and clarity regarding Scott's career. We prayed long and hard for a push in the right direction, and we breathed a sigh of relief (and thanks) when he was hired on at NTT Data in October.
25. What did you want and not get?A house that we put an offer on a few weeks ago. It just wasn't the right one!
26. What was your favorite film of this year?Collateral Beauty or The Intern (which technically came out in 2015, but I saw it this year).
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?I turned 25 in October, during a weekend trip to Louisiana to celebrate my cousin's nuptials. Naturally, there was lots of food, family, and fun. And even though we couldn't get Hocus Pocus to play on my parents' DVD player for my annual viewing party, we still had a good time.
28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?Having it all figured out, maybe. But then again, knowing everything would probably take the fun out of life.
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?Comfy chic? Keeping it real with yoga pants and high ponytails.
30. What kept you sane?Wine nights and good conversation with the besties.
31. What political issue stirred you the most?The U.S. presidential campaign/election stirred everyone, I think. The division and animosity between friends and families in the aftermath of it all has been the hardest part for me.
32. Who did you miss?My Oxford buddies, who I will finally be reunited with next month!
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Your life is what you make it, good or bad, and no one's life—no matter how sparkly it may appear—is perfect.
Happy 2017, friends!
// survey via Jolie from Becoming Jolie //