Friday, January 6, 2017

A Year at Large

2016 was quite a year. A year full of tears and a year full of heartbreak and struggle. Despite all of the nasty, terrible things that happened, the Lord was sovereign through it all. He brought phenomenal people into my life that I have leaned on every single day. When I thought the days were bad and there was no sight of joy, the Lord blessed me with a new friend. Even as I am facing some of what I hope to be the toughest days of my years, I smile now more than ever. The people in my life make me smile. I am eternally grateful for each and every individual that has crossed my path. I am forever blessed because my heart has been touched by these individuals. There is no words that will ever  quite adequately summarize this year. Instead, I think it will be easiest to reflect back on each month as a moment. 

I went to Arizona for my first Ambassador Leadership Summit. I was able to see the Grand Canyon, taste In-N-Out, and get the perfect cacti picture. I met my soul sister, Sarah Jane, from the University of Georgia.

I went to the National Farm Machinery show as a representative of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Instead of teaching others about our university, I was taught by others the specific details and small things that makes the farming industry so successful.
I danced in my second DanceBlue marathon. I was able to stand united with nearly a thousand students from my university to take a stand against pediatric cancer.


I pretended to be Ron and his chili won the cook-off.... Probably because I convinced everyone it was delicious, even though I never tried it.
I celebrated my 20th birthday.
My sweet, beautiful middle schoolers placed 3rd at championships. They were a fun and silly group.
My ninja turtle, bad guy lovin' stud of a nephew, Preston, turned 3. Love that little boy.
I celebrated Easter in my old church and got to see my beautiful friend, Abby.

Ag Awareness Day 2016 was a smashing success. It brought me sweetly closer to my dear friend, Elizabeth.
I got to speak in front of hundreds of students at Ag Field Day. 
I got really close to my organic chemistry excel class. My beautiful friend Alyssa and I will be roomies in the fall.
My darling nephew, Walton, turned 1.
My gorgeous sister, Hope, went to prom and celebrated her 17th birthday.
I presented my research at the UK Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars.

I attended the Ag Ambassadors banquet. We celebrated a fantastic year of service, said goodbye to our graduating seniors and hello to our new ambassadors.
My sunshine Alaina turned 5. It has been a wonder watching her learn and grow. 
I celebrated the beautiful graduate, Katie. 

I cried at Erica's softball banquet. She has grown and matured into an astounding young lady. I am so proud of her. 
My parents filed for divorce. 
I got to be a camp counselor for the Institute of Future Agricultural Leaders. I will forever cherish the memories made. I can't wait to see the amazing things that these kids do when they graduate this year. I got to meet Super Saver, a Derby winner, and have a baby cow suck on my hand. I scaled a high ropes course and screamed on the free fall down. 
My beautiful Alicia turned 23. 
I went to Maryland. I held a live crab & then ate him. I had an ultimate sleepover part something. 

I got to swim in the bay for the first time. 
I went to Assateague and swam with the ponies.
I celebrated the 4th of July at Mom-mom's and earned my nickname, "Mommy Sarah." 
We got poured on at the carnival. 
We woke up at 5am and went out on the boat with Pop-pop two days in a row. I found my first arrowhead!! The boat trailer broke. We spent a couple hours on the side of the road fixing it. 
I went to Hershey and designed my own candy bar. I got pulled back into a secret taste testing with Erica. Turns out we helped design Hershey's new candy bar. 
Sweet Erica turned 15.
I hung out with my sweet little cousins and spent two weeks at the beach doing nothing but relaxing.  

I attended peer mentor training at Adventure Life Camp. It poured, but we rock climbed and zip-lined anyways. 
My dad tried to take his life. 
I learned the hardships of the psychiatric ward. 
I moved out and into my first apartment. 
I went to ambassador retreat and kept trying to get across the dirt on the rope. I fell down every single time. We laughed so hard. 
I became the greatest of friends with Sara. Sara(h) squared became a thing. 
I went to the Lexington Preview Night. I tried to persuade Hope to SeeBlue. 
I went to the Louisville Preview Night. We got poured on every time we got out of the car. I learned that the feed store is a restaurant with phenomenal barbecue. 

We went to the Pikeville Preview Night and climbed into a fake bear exposure. We snapped a picture with a honey bear. 
I learned that kids think differently at a cooking class. Two halves may make a whole, but they also make a sandwich. 
I showed up to my mom's for dinner. It turns out we were wearing the exact same outfit. 

I went to a pop-up Luke's Diner. My life was complete. 
My parents' divorce became official. 
Ag RoundUp 2016 was a smashing success. We had tons of fun, even though we were hungry and had to wait forever to eat.
I went to National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. I got to see SARAH JANE!!! She introduced me to another one of my dear friends, Jordan. The Sara(h) Squad became a thing. My heart was full and happy as I was surrounded by all of my friends on the most stressful day of the year.
My dad had his first ETC. He didn't remember much, like where the state of Indiana was. 
I went to Wallace Station with my sweet Sara. It was delicious and a much needed girl day. 
I was initiated into Gamma Sigma Delta, the College of Ag honor society. 
I went to a bonfire with the rest of the coordinated program and had a blast. I carved an awful pumpkin and lost the competition. 

I gave my sweet Alaina and Preston their quilts that I worked on all summer. 
I got to meet Colmon Eldridge: what a phenomenally inspiring man.
I went to the scholarship banquet for the college. I didn't get to meet my donor, but met some other phenomenal donors. 
I threw on an apron and mashed some potatoes for Thanksgiving. 

I made some pancakes, FTK. 
I made my first fire.... Then set off the fire alarm. 
Celebrated Sara feelin' 22! 
I attended the ambassador Holiday party with my darling Elizabeth. 
I went to graduation and celebrated darling Elizabeth being the student speaker. I loved seeing her and Madison celebrate a monumental accomplishment. 
I took a couple trips up to Maryland for the holiday season. I got to be "Mommy Sarah" again. 
Big bro Christian turned 26. Wow. 
W celebrated Christmas in style with our matching Christmas pajamas. 
We spent New Years Eve at my Aunt Kelly's house. I got to bathe sweet Annalynne. Finished the year off watching the ball drop surrounded by many parts of my sweet, sweet family. 

Oh what a blessed year. 
Thank the Lord. 
He is good. 

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