It’s that time of year again! I know you guys have been looking forward to this since last year’s post (or, like me, you completely forgot about it)! This year it’s going to look a little bit different because, well, I moved to El Salvador and I just don’t watch as much TV, see as many movies, buy as much new music, or really do much of anything that I used to do.
Favorite Movie: The Croods- Like I said, I haven’t seen too many movies, but this one just really cracked me up! So far I’ve only seen it in Spanish, but I bet it’s even funnier in English.
Favorite Album: John Mayer- Paradise Valley- I love it. It’s smooth, it’s soft, the lyrics are great as always. It’s great driving music. It’s great napping music. It’s just great music.
Best Thing I Did To Prepare Myself To Move To El Salvador: Language Acquisition School- I went out to MTI (I forget what that stands for) in Colorado Springs for two weeks in January and loved every minute of it. It was two weeks spent in linguistics and preparing to learn a language. It was all so helpful. Not to mention I spent two weeks with about 40 other people who were also about to head out on the mission field. It was a great time of fellowship and hearing incredible stories of God’s faithfulness and calling. Plus it was two weeks in an incredibly beautiful setting where I did lots of exploring.
Best Novel I Read This Year: Divergent- I love teen fiction. I just love it. I can’t wait for the movie to hit the theaters in March!
Best History Book I Read This Year: The Life of Andrew Jackson- All I knew about this guy was that he was the only president ever to pay off the national debt (earning him his place on the twenty dollar bill), but he is actually a pretty fascinating character. A close second place in this category would be Killer Angels. It’s about the battle of Gettysburg and was good stuff.
Best Habit That I Started This Year: Starbucks Time- My missionary coach (a requirement by North Point that I am extremely grateful for) recommended to me that I take a couple of hours out of the work week to do something just for me. Something that I really enjoy doing that will charge me back up. So every Friday, after staff devotions, I head over to Starbucks for a couple of hours before the kids get out of school and just sit and read. It took me a little while to get over my guilt complex of sitting at Starbucks and not “doing something productive,” but after a few weeks of going, I realized that it was probably the most productive thing I did all week because it completely recharged me and allows me to enter into the weekend charged up and ready to invest in the girls.
Favorite Thing To Do: Spend Time With The Kids At La Casa- I just love those kids. They have totally and completely captured my heart and I look forward to when they get out of school each day. And in those rare moments when one of the girls shares her heart or her struggles, or her tears, it is my greatest privilege to sit and listen.
Favorite Trip: I can never answer this one. I love traveling and each trip has something special about it. This year’s traveling was limited now that I am in El Salvador, but I was able to fit a couple in before I left. Colorado Springs, as I already mentioned, was a real game changer. California with Hannah to go to Disneyland- epic. We spent 48 hours cramming in as much as possible including- Santa Monica pier, Fish tacos at Rubios, Slurpees from 7-11, Disneyland, getting as close to the Hollywood sign as possible, dinner on Sunset Blvd, a quick trip down Hollywood Blvd, breakfast at the beach in Santa Monica, a beautiful drive up the PCH, Starbucks in Malibu, a quick tour of Pepperdine, and Rodeo Dr. Yep, all in 48 hours (including two 5 hour flights!). My trip home in September was also fantastic. I loved just being home, eating familiar food, meeting my nephew, and catching up with everyone. Family vacation was the best part of my trip home. We went down to Rosemary Beach for a week and it was a great time to spend exclusive time with my family.
Favorite Game: Rummikub- I have spent literally hours playing this game with the girls. I had never heard of it before this past fall really and I love it. So addicting.