2016 was one of the best, most memorable years yet. Definitely one for the books. Often times it felt nonstop busy throughout the year, but I am thankful and content to have been busy with all really good things – closest family and friends getting married, serving at church and growing in love and faithfulness to the Lord, my sixth year of teaching, traveling to Sydney, New York, SoCal, Hong Kong, and China, multiple family reunions, and enjoying life amidst the busyness.
My thanksgivings for 2016 are…
1. My brother got married and I gained a sister-in-lawTopping the list is my brother getting married and gaining a sister-in-law! The wedding was absolutely beautiful from the Christ-centeredness of the whole day to the Gospel-rich worship songs to the lantern decorations and gorgeous flowers to the immense project they took on only two weeks before the wedding to film a personalized thank you video for each guest, all 400 family and friends! I have been to more weddings than I can count since my early twenties, but there’s really nothing like seeing my one and only brother get married. The day was both joyful and emotional. Just two days before my dad’s 6th year passing anniversary, my brother made sure to honor my dad in his sentimental ways during the thanking of parents in the ceremony and the wedding video at the reception. It was the biggest family occasion to have happened since my dad’s passing, and his absence was magnified. Highly recommend you to read my brother’s blog post: K & L BTS – Photographs & Years, which includes the wedding video and the behind-the-scenes making of it, which can bring me to tears again. In Katie, I have the sister that I never had, and I am so thankful for her addition to our family as well as her family’s warm, loving welcome as my brother’s family-in-law. I am thankful that Lawrence and Katie came home for their first Thanksgiving, just days after they returned home from their honeymoon in Hawaii. They ran my first 10K with me (See my post: 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day), and Katie got to join us for our tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with our dearest family friends.
2. Deaconship at Pillar Baptist ChurchAnother thing that was unique to 2016 was the process of deaconship, which helped to grow my love and faithfulness to God this year. For more on my thoughts through deaconship, you can catch up on an earlier post: Becoming a Deaconess at Pillar Baptist Church.
3. Summer travels to Hong Kong and SoCalI had the summer of my life with an amazing 5.5 weeks in Hong Kong and 2.5 weeks in SoCal, spending time with my 88-year-old grandma, reuniting with relatives in Hong Kong and China, exploring Hong Kong on my own for once, and having once-in-a-lifetime experiences in SoCal like Comic-Con and the pre-Olympics Team USA vs. China basketball game. My summer was unforgettable, and it was blogged about in my post: The Summer of My Life.
4. Multiple family reunionsMost number of times reuniting with my relatives happened this year – Sydney in December/January, New York for Jess & George’s wedding in March/April, Hong Kong in June/July, and San Diego for Lawrence & Katie’s wedding in October/November.
5. Being Maid of Honor for one of my best friendsBeing Maid of Honor for my best friend Liz was another unforgettable wedding among many other fun ones this year! See my post: Liz & Travis #simpLEEinlove.
6. My sixth year of teachingNow in my sixth year of teaching, and my second year teaching first grade at this school in Willow Glen, I am thankful for both my class last year and my class this year. The students have been sweet to me and eager to learn, the parents have been supportive and involved with volunteering in the classroom, and my coworkers are a joy to work with. I am thankful to be settled down at a school where I can see myself for a while with a great community and staff.
7. My small groupThrough the busyness of this year, I am thankful for my small group girls who hit it off right away in January, and it has truly been a blessing to live life together with sweet fellowship and accountability week in and week out this year through our joys and trials. I love my small group!
Have a safe NYE, and Happy New Year!!!