As I look back on 2017 in light of recent events each of these memories seems even more precious to me. This is not what I had planned for this post, but the start of this year is not what we expected.
I spent New Year's day with Lauren. Planning, talking, writing this post (which isn't what I am sharing now), and cooking a beautiful meal. Devin joined us in the evening and Lauren, Emma, Devin, and I celebrated a new year. While we finished up Devin got a phone call informing us that a friend of ours had been missing since the night before. Within minutes, he was on his way to the swamps to search for him with our Pastor and some friends. The search continued and the search party grew to an awesome and inspiring size. We remained so hopeful. We believed.
Thursday morning the body of our sweet friend was found. His family, our community, and our church were devastated. A week later we celebrated the life, love, and impact of Peter and put his body in a grave. Still so surreal. Still not fully believing. But fully knowing that the celebration in heaven Peter is experiencing is far greater than the grief that we feel here. (If you want to read about him and how he is going to continue to impact this world, you can visit this website here: http://lovelikepeter.com/)
It was hard. We asked God hard questions. We asked each other questions that neither of us had answers to. We held each other. We sat and cried long and hard with our Pastors, and that was honestly one of the most healing moments we have had through this.
Honestly, over the past two weeks, it has been hard to stay motivated, and to stay on task. But God is moving in our hearts. I am so excited and hopeful for this year and all that is to come. We are chasing after some big dreams, dreams that will only be possible with God. We wouldn't dream of anything less! So finally, here is our review of 2017. Some photos & traditions from the past three years included.
And finally, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have supported me. Who view my photos. Who read my words. Who let me experience this beautiful, grand life with you. It is you who makes what I do my dream job.
Really and truly.
Fully and deeply.
I love you.