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2017, let’s do this!

I love the excitement and hope that a new year always seems to bring. We are very much looking forward to this 2017 year and all of the possibilities it brings. Like a lot of people, I always try to start out my new year with a set of goals rather than resolutions. Oftentimes, these goals build off of previous goals I’ve had, because I truly believe that we should never stop seeking to become better people. I read this the other day and thought it was a good mantra for me this year: “The proper response to the grace you experienced in the past is thankfulness, and the proper response to grace promised to you in the future is faith. We are thankful for the past grace of the last year, and we are confident in the future grace for the new year.” (Full quote can be found here.)

Annual New Year's hike had to be moved to New Year's Eve. We got snow flurries, mini hail and rain on our hike! So exciting!

Love the Sawnee Mountain hike! It never gets old. Last year’s New Year’s hike photos here.

I like to pick a variety of goals to encompass my spirituality, marriage, home, personal life, exercise and travel. Always make sure your goals are attainable and realistic. I really do believe God intended us to be intentional with our lives and not just float around aimlessly, and this is one of the best ways I know how to do just that. :)

Ps. Enjoy a few photos of our new years celebration with friends!

2017 Goals

1. Spiritual: Trust that God’s plan is better and I don’t have to control every area of my life. I wasn’t meant to carry any of this on my own and I was made to trust in his plan over mine. I’m the first to admit that I often struggle with trusting God’s plan and I often worry about things I shouldn’t. This year, I want to do what I can by reading his Word, praying more intentionally and continuing to confess my worries or struggles to others who can hold me accountable. I’m very grateful God placed several close friends in my life who are often so wonderful at speaking truth into my life when I fall into worry or anxiety about things out of my control. On that same note, I’d like to stop seeing things that go wrong in a cynical light. I used to be a lot more positive, but a lot of annoying things happened in the last year that seemed to make me a bit more cynical and I’d like to kick that habit.

We love these two so much and love that we got married within just 3 weeks of each other!

We have a tradition of doing New Years with these two and literally always have the best time together regardless of what we’re doing. This time, we went on a hike and we actually got snow flurries. See last year’s hiking video here.

2. Marriage: As they say, good relationships don’t just grow on their own, they require hard work. During a counseling session, our counselor suggested weekly date nights out of the house. These have worked so well for us and it’s my goal this year to be consistent with these. This way no one is distracted by the gigantic to-do list at home or many screens in our house. Plus, it’s just nice to have designated time where we just talk about life, dream together and be with each other. Life gets so busy and it has a tendency to get in the way of what really matters unless you are intentional. Also, I’d like to continue making it a habit to pray together and start journaling a little each day. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that life moves pretty quickly and I think it’s worth trying to remember even the little moments.

My favorite person.

My favorite person.

3. Home: Finish our living room (curtains and furniture), make a farmhouse table, paint my kitchen island and build a desk for Matt. I realize this is a lofty list, but I think it can be done. We got SO much done in the first 6 months of living here and I really think that’s because I essentially had to become a “project manager” of this house project. If you don’t set out a timeline, goal list and literally schedule these projects into your calendar, they won’t get done. Also, for financial purposes, I think it’s important to pace yourself and look at what necessary or unplanned expenses might come up (like our A/C unit or another water issue…please NO.)

A few days before New Year's, we (Matt, myself and our friend Stephanie) got to host a party for two sweet friends who got engaged. The couple met on our Hungary mission trip! We also celebrated by having a coffee date with a few girls at Mugs.

A few days before New Year’s, we (Matt, myself and our friend Stephanie) got to host a party for two sweet friends who got engaged. Stephanie and I also got to have some girl time with Krisztina who flew all the way from Hungary to spend time here and then Ben proposed to her. The coolest thing about their relationship was that they met on our mission trip in Hungary so our team got to witness their relationship from the start. :)

4. Personal life: Make more time for girl dates and fun activities with friends. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s really hard to feel fully invested back home with our families and also feel invested here in our new community. We are so thankful for great friends in both places, but I often feel like we don’t spend enough time with either. As they say, grow where you’re planted. So, this year, I’d like to see us dive in further with our church, friends here and neighborhood activities. On that same note, I’d also like to make sure I’m taking time to actually relax and recover from the busy school week. I realize I’m so much better off when I have designated down time and then I feel more productive afterwards.

We had a New Year's Eve party with lots of sweet friends, champagne and laughter.

We had a New Year’s Eve party with lots of sweet friends, champagne and laughter.

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5. Exercise: Get back on track with attending weekly ballet classes. Last year, I got sick two different times that had me out of dance for a while. But, I want to get back in the swing of things because I feel all around better when I’m going to dance classes. I also want to continue biweekly exercise at home and frequent hikes or walks. Honestly, for me, I feel like I need exercise for my mental health more than anything else. I’m so much nicer and calmer when I’m consistent with exercise. 😉

Thankful for small worlds and that these two are in our life!

Thankful for small worlds and that these two are in our lives!

Pretty much the best snack you can serve at any party :)

Pretty much the best snack you can serve at any party :)

6. Travel: Our goals this year are to visit Ireland, Iceland and Utah. We hope to also take a potential road trip to either Nashville or Charleston for a weekend in hopes of finishing off our road trip bucket list. Obviously, I’m beyond excited about all of these places and already researching each of them to death. Haha. 😉 Oh, and we never know what weddings could spring up and where we might have to travel for those. (I’ve realized wedding season might just be longer than a season for us.)

Ashley and I ordered the world's most expensive hot chocolate but it was sooo delicious. Worth it? Maybe so.

Ashley and I went New Year’s shopping and ordered the world’s most expensive hot chocolate. But it was sooo delicious. Worth it? Maybe so.

I’d say that this year is off to a pretty good start so far. Now, I better get to work on all of my home projects. 😉 Cheers to 2017 and the hope we have in Jesus.

xx

Aubrey

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