2011 was... quite an interesting year, to say the least.
We had our first wedding anniversary.
Met 18 different states.
Wrapped up our first real jobs.
Made new relationships.
And ended some.
Moved across the country.
Bought some actual furniture.
Gave up our laundry machines (we have shared laundry now).
Learned about a new culture.
Took part in Tom and Charissa's wedding.
Celebrated new births.
And the list goes on.
But when I think back over the year and I ask myself what the substance was that brought together all the events and feelings and circumstances of the last year, it's not really the "big" things that defined most of this last year. Relationships weren't built just upon us moving to California. They happened when I prayed with my small group. And when Dave studied German with another Talbot student. Heart changes didn't happen solely because we came to Biola. Those came from God's work in our lives, through continued fellowship with believers, and by meaningful conversations.
It was in those seemingly insignificant times when life happened. It's funny, though, how rarely we remember all those small moments of life.
Until the day comes that I actually get our thousands of pictures printed, the internet will serve as our memory board. I'm hoping the internet won't phase out before I get my scrapbooks together...
For now, I'd like to share some of the happy moments of that were snapped from this last year.
Apples, and lots of them, were used this last year as we endeavored to juice our way healthy(er). We drank a lot of fresh carrot and apple juice with meals, and also occasionally mixed fresh juice with our green drink powder. (We've recently switched to this, but both are great!)
For Thanksgiving, my dad visited us for a few days. On Black Friday, rather than braving the shopping malls (and being faced with possible gun wounds...?!), we instead went to the Santa Monica Pier and took a ride of the ferris wheel just as the sun was setting over the ocean. When darkness was nearly upon us, the ferris wheel and all other amusement activities lit up brightly. Such a great experience.
One of my favorite highlights from Fall was going shopping at a super swanky mall in Costa Mesa. I thought the "nice malls" were just the ones that had Macy's and Nordstrom. Um, no. Nice malls out here include retailers like Tiffany & Co., Armani, Channel, Barney's, etc. And they're not even just the small hand bag/shoe stores. They're seriously the real deal. Way cool.
Anyways... this picture was taken while shopping there with some good friends. They were amazing help in finding a bridesmaid dress, shoes, and jewelry for Tom and Charissa's wedding.
Let me tell you about Millions of Milkshakes. This cute little shop in West Hollywood has celebrities create their own versions of milkshakes, and then they sell me there! On our first to MoM, Dave and I both got the "Miley Cyrus". It was Reese's and Cookie Dough blended into ice cream. Major good. The shop is super bright inside and I just had to snap a picture of the hot pink floor that's covered in gold sparkles.
California has turned us into even bigger health nuts. We do weird stuff now, like grow our own lettuce, herbs, garlic, and onions with the 2 feet of outdoor space that we can call our own. And we won't drink store-bought juice anymore. Nope, not after this article. But some things we do are less weird, like making our own pesto.
Every year for Christmas, Biola hosts a huge tree lighting celebration on a Friday evening. They serve oodles and oodles of hot drinks and have awesomely modernized Christmas carol worship time.
I remember this particular night, though, for other reasons. Dave had surprised me after work with a change of clothes (he did so well matching everything!). He then took me to Fullerton for a lovely meal at The Roman Cucina, followed by the tree lighting ceremony and some impromptu Christmas decorating at home.
The year wrapped up for us by spending Christmas evening at Huntington Beach. It was a balmy night and the sunset made a perfect glow over the ocean.
Since we headed back east the day after Christmas, we unfortunately did not take any pictures during our vacation. However, we brought the new year in with Dave's family and headed back to Cali on the 1st.
2012 has begun well. We've started new habits, like waking up early and exercising before work. And we're desperately trying to break our eating-out habit (and my intense chocolate addiction).
Dave's birthday was on the 13th of January, so we celebrated with some neighbor friends with an extended and somewhat inappropriate game of Quelf (we took the category "Body parts you can live without" way. too. far.).
During our game, Matt Dee even got to show off his makeup skills on Matt Soule!
Dave blew out his 23 candles and we celebrated the newness of the year and all that it will bring.
Cheers to a great 2012!