Monday, December 31, 2012

memories, dreams, reflections: 2012 in review


Wow... what a full year this has been! It has all but burst with adventures, blessings, hardships, struggles, learning, and beauty. In January, I turned eighteen. In February, my beloved Sam asked me to be his girl. In March, my family reunited with a long-lost relative from my dad's childhood. In April, I went on two different road trips--one to Walla Walla with girlfriends from the homeschool group, and one to Ashland with the high school drama club. May saw me finish my college classes, climb Dog Mountain, and spend some great days with Sam. In June, I graduated from high school and visited Florida for the very first time. July was full of Columbia Gorge hikes, vacation at the Lake, and a blissful week visiting Sam in Olympia. In August, I climbed Mt. Adams for the first time and then moved all the way across the country alone. September brought dozens of wonderful new people into my life as I settled into the Florida routine. October was a rough month—my long-distance running peaked and crashed, and along with it, my homesickness. In November I spent a beautiful Thanksgiving with the Smith family in Florida, so thankful to have friends like them to take me in when I couldn't be at home with my family. And finally, in December, I got to come home for my long-anticipated vacation—and it has been all that I hoped for and more. And in between all these things, there were many sweet days of relishing life at home before moving to Florida, long days filled with classes and ministry and group dinners, hard days of loneliness and fear, and exciting days of discovery in God’s Word. What a beautiful year of new experiences, new friends, new knowledge, and new appreciation for life!

two thousand twelve: a photographic review.


Or should I say us?
I love you.
Officially paired up since February 25, 2012. I love him. :)
Still laughing…
… about his outfit. I love it.
Winter wonderland.
You have no idea how incredible it is to come home to a winter wonderland after spending four months in a winterless place!
I’m not very good about documenting birthdays photographically, but Amy’s seventh back in May was exciting, because that’s when she got her much-desired bunny Fluffy. :)
Misc May (more) 048Bunny4
I’ve posted before about Sunday afternoons with the Watsons and Schroeders. These are some of the best moments of my week when I’m in Florida. I’m so blessed to have been befriended by these people!

I was inspired…
… by this. In fact, I’ve been inspired by pretty much all of Hannah Nicole’s photography recently. I love the way she captures real life genuinely, in an almost photojournalist fashion. I’ve been trying to do that more and more lately.
Spring Fever
Spring is always a late arrival in Goldendale, but once the tulips are in full bloom, it’s usually safe to say that it’s here. (Knock on wood!!) I’m told that springtime in Florida is exceptional, so I’m excited to be experiencing that this year as well!
Christmas vacation at home has been so rejuvenating for me. This view of Mt. Adams on December 30 was a wonderful sight for elevation-hungry eyes! Florida, I’m convinced, is way too flat for long-term living…
Summer days.
Days of hot sunshine, cool forest hikes, and icy swims in glacier water.
Eagle Creek13
A Day in my life.
Ever since August, the days of my life have included a lot of this precious Library of truth. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We went to Disneyworld in June, and this is probably my favorite picture from the trip. My sister Hannah and I have been Toy Story fans from a very young age, so it was fun to “meet” the characters!
Autumn Harvest.
Well, I wasn’t in the North for autumn this year… so this is what autumn looks like in Florida. :)
Seems to be all I can post about since I got back for Christmas break!
Nothing like making it to the top of a 12,275-foot mountain to warrant celebration! Not to mention that it was at the top of my bucket list to do so. :)
Mt. Adams Climb (131)
Let’s do it again…
Sam… I really like having tea house lunch dates with you. Hint hint. ;)
I miss you.
I really miss all of these people (and then some) when I’m in the other corner of the country. :(
Last day 081
The Cascade Mountains in my backyard.
Dress up.
Civil War reenactments are a pretty impressive dress-up venue… I need to have hoop skirts in my life! This picture is from the Willamette Mission Reenactment this past June, which I went to with Sam and his family.
I don’t really do that much macro/closeup photography normally, but I’ve found myself turning to it more and more in Florida, where there is frankly quite a bit less landscape variation to work with. I enjoy capturing little details though. :)
This is definitely one of my favorite pictures from the Christmas season this year. Maybe because it was one of the first Christmas festivities that I joined Sam’s family for. And I know it will be among the many fond memories I’ll have of my Christmas vacation at home. :)
My Favorite.
How on earth can I choose a favorite? How do I even decide what kind of favorite to choose? Favorite photo—favorite memory—favorite blog post…? Let’s go with one of each.

Favorite photo.
I’ve wanted to get lightning pictures for so long—and this year it finally happened here!

Favorite memory.
Gah, so many to choose from! But this is definitely one of them: a long ride in the late afternoon sunlight with Sam. :)Us2

Favorite blog post.
this one from October 28, 2012. I was struggling so much with homesickness at that time, and this was a turning point for me. I cried while I wrote it, but it helped me see that wishing for what I couldn’t have was ruining the potential of what I did have.
Don’t Ever Change.
Oh, there is so much I could put in this category. I’m such a sentimentalist. I love traditions and I love things to stay the same—but the longer I live (I’m an ancient almost-19-year-old, you know) the more I realize that nothing on earth is truly changeless, so I’m trying to come to terms with it. It’s actually been a blessing to see things around me shift and evolve, because even though the change can hurt, it drives me closer to the only Changeless One. (2012 wheat harvest photo credit: my mom.)
August Randomness 045
Just because. So there.
Shooting my first wedding was a big achievement for me this year. I didn’t really have anywhere else to post about it, so I’m sticking it in the “just because” category. ;)
Hopes and Dreams.
I have so many… not only for 2013, but for life in general. I want to finish strong in my Bible school program this year… I want to build my running distance back up without getting injured this time… but more than anything, I want to learn to relax in the perpetual control of God’s hand on my life. I want to let go of trying to create an illusion of my own “control” through worry and stress, and let Him place me exactly where He wants me. This is His story, and I’m merely “Passerby Number 10,000,000,000,000” in the end credits. He’ll use me precisely how He wants to!

Linking up with Ashley Sisk. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

home in white



I have to leave this beautiful place and go back to Florida, back to school and work—back to what I committed to over a year ago—in only a week. I can’t believe my vacation has passed so fast. I can’t believe my year at Bible school is halfway over. Time flies.

It’s going to be hard to leave home again. But I’m excited to return to the place that I know God wants me to be—excited to see the remainder of my wide-margin Bible fill up with notes, my mind fill up with knowledge, and my heart fill up with the transforming power of God’s goodness!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

christmas day snowstorm



It’s not very often that we get a good snowstorm on Christmas Day, so awaking to three or four inches of accumulation and flakes falling down fast was thrilling—especially for me, knowing that it’s not long until I return to the Sunshine State and don’t see any more snow for the rest of the winter. Trudging through unbroken expanses in pursuit of pictures, catching snowflakes on my tongue and eyelashes, watching my brothers build two huge snowmen, loping my horse over the snowy gravel roads—I don’t want to forget anything about my short winter in Washington this year.


I am so blessed to have grown up in a beautiful place like this.


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