It’s New Year’s Eve and time for my annual review post. This is the sixth time I’ve posted this questionnaire. See? 2012201320142015, and 2016. For the past couple of years, I’ve tweaked this form a bit by adding or removing questions so I doubt this edition is even close to the original.

Overall, 2017 has been pretty amazing. The first half of the year, professionally, was spent solidifying my role as Director of Discipleship and Outreach Ministries and increasing the church’s presence in the community and on Facebook. I can confidently say, now, I’ve found a rhythm to my daily tasks and have a clear vision for the future. We have a lot of work to do but I’m fortunate to have a front-row seat.

My role as wife and mother is becoming easier (and more difficult) each day. Kamden is growing and developing so quickly, but he is, without a doubt, the joy in our lives. While we have to address the tongue tie in 2018, his speech and vocabulary has improved drastically. Husband and I celebrated ten years of wedded bliss on March 31, 2017. Some things get better with time and marriage is definitely at the top of the list!

I made a list of 2017 Resolutions and completed exactly half. I ended with 23 wins and 23 fails.

It’s time to reminisce on twenty-seventeen, sit back and stay a while!

What activities made you lose track of time?
Texting, Facebook, Amazon, and the Kindle app!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. I’m especially fond of Levi (even though we’ve not met … yet) and Annabelle.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. When Kamden is asked where “Uncle Brandon” is now, he proudly says, “in heaven, with Jesus!”

For what do you deserve a pat on the back?
I killed a copperhead snake … in Kamden’s bedroom. Let’s not talk about this ever again. Please and thank you. In lieu of a formal baby shower, I collaborated with several women at church to write personal notes on motherhood and surprised Mandie with them at a dinner. Speaking of surprises, the one I’m most proud of is my trip to North Dakota to attend Jenny’s baby shower. I will never, ever forget her reaction. You can watch the video here. I kept my cool when someone made defamatory remarks about me personally and the church after we bent over backwards to help her. I redesigned the worship guide (bulletin) without prompt or permission.

In which area(s) did you thrive?
I absolutely LOVE my job. I am doing exactly what I enjoy with amazing people around me and the Holy Spirit fueling our fire for Kingdom work.

In which areas did you struggle?
I have gained so much weight yet I’ve done absolutely nothing to lose it. I have zero motivation. I prioritize everyone except myself.

What song(s) will remind you of 2017?
I had the absolute pleasure of coordinating pre-screening watch parties at a local AMC Theater for two faith-based movies, The Shack and Same Kind of Different As Me, and the soundtracks do not disappoint. My absolute favorite song from The Shack is “When I Pray For You” by Dan + Shay. As a mom, it pulls ALL my heart strings. In worship, we’ve been singing “Old Church Choir” by Zach Williams and it’s one of those you can’t help but clap your hands and stomp your feet when you find that Gospel beat … the lyrics even tell you to do so!

Where and how did God work in your life this past year?
He has surrounded me with incredible people whose faith is just as important to them as it is to me. They make me laugh and keep me accountable too. God’s sense of humor never failed me in 2017. Just when I doubted something or someone would follow through, God exceeded my expectations. And He is constantly – CONSTANTLY – teaching me to trust Him and abide in His power, not my own.

Who are the best new persons you met this year?
The incredibly talented and fun folks in Virginia Beach who are connected with Lisa and 1701. I had the absolute best time eating, laughing, playing Bunko, bike riding, and sunset cruising with them. After spending a long weekend in North Dakota, I feel like I’ve been adopted by the Rohrich and Dewey families. True to my roots, I picked sweet corn with Mark and we rode the ATV to check some of the sunflower fields. Mark’s parents invited us to dinner the night before my departure and his mother, Mary, prepared the most delicious and traditional meal and I’m still thinking about her homemade strudels, a Germans from Russia tradition of thinly rolled dough served with cream chicken gravy. Basically, they are heaven on a plate and one of the reasons I want to return to North Dakota so soon!

What single thing did you do this year that will matter most in ten years? In eternity?
Kamden has been in his small group and attended church nearly every Sunday. And he absolutely LOVES all Bible stories. Well, except for the creation story with Adam and Eve and the snake because, well, he hates snakes.

What was your favorite place you visited in 2017?
Tie between Virginia Beach, Virginia and Ashley, North Dakota.

Who encouraged you the most this year?
Courtney F. I’m supposed to be her mentor but she motivates me!

How were you a blessing to your church and pastor this year?
I bring a deep understanding of social media and public relations to the table along with a passion for faith and community. I’m also a perfectionist, which is a blessing and a curse. Dale and I jokingly rib each other because we have a lot of respect for one another. He’s a visionary while I’m the detailed organizer. He likes to make spur-of-the-moment decisions and I prefer to have an itinerary planned well in advance. He and his family mean a lot to me and we have fun together. I am reminded every single day that I am surrounded by the most amazing team of ministry leaders and disciples. We work hard and play hard, as evidenced by our ugly Christmas sweater photo!!!

What’s the most important/useful skill you learned this year?
Delegation and collaboration were paramount, as well as being vulnerable and listen to constructive feedback.

What did you do that was meaningful for others?
I am NOT a therapist but I think I’m a pretty good listener. And I like to love on people with food – preparing and delivering a meal to their home or going to a restaurant together. I also said yes to keeping Annabelle when her nanny was unavailable, drove to San Antonio to get Kirsten when she wanted to come home, and answered 3am texts from Jenny when breastfeeding and pumping threatened her sanity. I love encouraging and being a cheerleader for other moms – Lord knows there are enough critics out there!

What was your biggest financial accomplishment this year?
I tithed to the church once a month, every month, for an entire year. I don’t think I’ve ever been that consistent … online, automatic withdrawals help!

What was your biggest financial failure this year?
I did not save much. Like, at all.

What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
I’ve learned a lot about paid advertising and promotions on Facebook. The church has seen MASSIVE success with this form of media for community service projects, Vacation Bible School, summer music camp, and other special events and services.

What was your favorite compliment that you received this year?
“You’re an incredible wife and mother.” – Husband

How did you celebrate your birthday, and how old were you?
I celebrated my 34th birthday with dinner at Cast Iron and Varekai (a Cirque Du Soleil show) on Saturday, December 16 in Fort Worth with Julie, Sue, Heather, and Mandie. Celeste was supposed to join us but she was ill.

What do you want to remember about 2017?
Find your tribe, love them hard … even if they are 1,100 miles away. When you’re Mom Radar is buzzing, trust your gut. It’s okay to mourn the loss of a friend, but keep smiling and cherish the memories. When you have the opportunity to do the right thing, do it.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
Personally, I’m looking forward to spending time as a family of three as often as possible, hopefully a few trips away from home are included. I want to get Kamden’s tongue tie clipped and find him a new pediatric dentist as quickly as possible. I want to get the walls in my office decorated with my college diploma and pictures. Professionally, I’d like to see the church redesign its website and implement a management software/database that connects all of our staff and ministry teams.

Before you go, leave a comment about your favorite memory from 2017. Or, if you posted a “year in review” on your blog, give me the link so I can read it!