Year in Review — 2013

Time for a look back on the year that was, folks. 2013 was a year of firsts for me. I was blessed with a lot of new experiences, travel and deep friendships. It was also a really hard year for me emotionally and spiritually, especially the last six months since I’ve been back from Africa. I grew a lot this year. I cried a lot. I laughed a lot. I have no idea what 2014 is going to bring, but two separate people wrote this verse to me in Christmas cards, and I’m holding onto it as I head into the new year.

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
—Luke 1:45

For Auld Lang Syne’s sake here are the posts from 2010, 2011 and 2012.

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

  • travelled overseas
  • ate goat meat and Ugali
  • slept on the deck of a boat
  • peed (etc) in the woods
  • went on safari (saw: lions, elephants, hippos, vultures, giraffes and a water buffalo)
  • rode through the African plains on the top of a jeep
  • ripped my toenail in half
  • went to Oregon
  • camped in the middle of nowhere
  • met a dog that I liked (sort of)
  • slept on the beach (in the rain)
  • attended an African wedding
  • went to Bard on the beach
  • drank a London fog, in London
  • planned and hosted a fundraising concert and party (never again)
  • made Yorkshire pudding
  • started liking beer
  • scaled a riverbank in the dark
  • made my own pizza dough
  • knitted an infinity scarf



IMG_9264 - Version 2





me and tams

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My resolutions from last year were to grow in my prayer life and to make my lunch more often instead of buying it. I definitely knocked it out of the park with the lunches. I barely ever buy my lunch anymore and it has saved me so much money.

My prayer life and relationship with Jesus have grown this year. Looking ahead to next year, I want to know more of the goodness of God. My prayer is that I would really know and believe it in the depths of my heart. I want to have a fuller understanding of the gospel and God’s grace in my life. I want to love Jesus more deeply and spend more time being still before Him. That’s not a resolution in the traditional sense, but I hope I can look back at the end of next year and say those things are true.

Also, I would like to be a little more active. To all my outdoorsy friends reading this – that doesn’t mean hiking ok? Hiking is the worst.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Ben and Michelle had baby Ezra. He is tiny and perfect and looks just like his brothers but with more hair.

Did anyone close to you die?
A few friends lost loved ones and it was heartbreaking.

What countries did you visit?
Tanzania (including airport time in Kenya and the UK) and the US.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A job that I like. A relationship. Hopefully a vacation. (The answer to this question has been the same for the past three years. Maybe in 2014 it will change?)

What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 21st (the day we left for Africa)

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Going on a mission trip halfway around the world. Secondary achievements included adjusting to a totally different culture, and living without showers or comfortable beds or clean clothes for an extended period of time (without being a princess about it). Also scary bugs and snakes. I’m tougher than I thought!

What was your biggest failure?
There hasn’t been one huge failure that I can single out. There have been a lot of little ones along the way. Lots of mistakes, lots of failed job applications and lots of things I wish I hadn’t said. But I have managed to learn in the process of failure this year, and I think that’s the point, isn’t it?

Did you suffer illness or injury?
No. I didn’t even get sick when I was in Africa. Thank you Dukarol!

What was the best thing you bought?
This wasn’t a year of big purchases. The most useful thing I bought was my spork! Ok not really. I upgraded my iPhone a few days ago and so far I love it, especially the camera.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
There are so many people I could list here. I am blessed with an amazing crew of friends who are like family to me. They have been there for me through some hard days this year. And I have seen God do really amazing things in their lives too.


Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The entire Oilers organization. With the exception of Andrew Ference because he’s new and all this is not his fault. Yearly trend: the answer to this question is always hockey related.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent, car payments, paying off debt, bills, borrrrrring.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Africa! Camping! Portland! Christmas!

What songs will always remind you of 2013?
Death is Dead
Thrift Shop
Nothing but the Blood (in Swahili)

Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or Sadder?
    About the same
  • Thinner or Fatter?
  • Richer or Poorer?
    About the same, maybe a little bit poorer.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading, Writing and Resting.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Applying for jobs, worrying.

How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas in Edmonton. It was very quiet this year as both my brothers were off with their ladies on Christmas Day. We opened presents on Christmas Eve and I spent Christmas Day with my parents alternating between couches and reading my book. We still got to have our annual Band of Brothers marathon. I also went snowshoeing with Douze! Sort of.

photo (3)

photo (2)

Did you fall in love in 2013?
No. One day! I hope. Maybe 2014 will be the year.

What was your favourite TV program?
New Girl, Modern Family, Downton Abbey and Hart of Dixie.

What was the best book you read?
A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller (no relation, but read it. You’ll thank me later) and The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I spent a significant amount of time working to memorize charts this year. I’m still not good at it, but there has been improvement. Also I figured out how to change the polarity on the Korg keyboard pedal at Westside. There are only about four people in the world who understand what a major victory that was.


What did you want and get?
A mission trip to Africa. An awesome new roommate.

What did you want and not get?
A Communications/Writing job. A relationship. A vacation. A pony.

What was your favourite film of this year?
About Time and Catching Fire. Supposedly this was a banner year for movies, but there are so many I haven’t seen yet.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 this year. For my birthday Raurie planned a Taco dinner and then we went to Twelfth Night at Bard on the Beach. On my actual birthday I had to work stupid early in the morning but Jenn and Tiff and Raurie took me out for ice cream after to make up for it.


What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I find this question tough to answer every year because I think being satisfied is a matter of perspective. This year had its share of highs and lows just like any other. I would have loved to be working in a job where I could use my education and write. But God is good to me, and there were so many blessings in my life this year beyond work.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

What kept you sane?
Jesus. And some good friends.


Which celebrity or public figure did you fancy the most?
Jimmy Fallon

What political issue stirred you the most?
I had a hard time choosing who to vote for this year, because I didn’t like either of the candidates in my riding. Other than that politics don’t stir me.

Who did you miss?
My family and Douze.

Who was the best new person you met?
Jenn! Technically we met in 2012, but we became friends this year. We bonded in the summer when we were the only two girls who went on the hot springs camping trip. Jenn is the most encouraging and loyal friend. Plus she is so kind and hilarious—both when she means to be and when she doesn’t. She is also the only one of my friends who has seen my butt, so I guess we’re pretty close.


Honorable mentions in this category to Krystle, Meggie and everyone I met in Africa.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013?
There have been so many life lessons this year, that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Overall I have learned to be more open to trying new things, and I am way better at going with the flow than I used to be. A lot of the things that God has been teaching me over the past year are “to be continued” lessons that I haven’t fully learned yet. Keep reading, I’ll keep you posted.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
In Christ Alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song

One Reply to “Year in Review — 2013”

  1. I’m so happy that both those books you liked were on my recommendation.

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