thoughtfulness - My brother gave me this watch for Christmas last year, and throughout 2016 I always found myself reaching for this with before serious events: hard student teaching days, my first day of my real teacher job, my first game as a coach, etc. I just love that he was able to give me such a practical gift that I appreciate so much. Thoughtful gifts are the best gift, and this year brought many of them.
caffeine - My circle knows that coffee is the key to my heart, and I'm so thankful for the comfort that a warm cup brings. Especially when that cup is a surprise brought to you by good friends.
the opportunity to travel (and the cutest tour guide ever) - 2015 was technically the year we went to Hawaii for the first time and Ry got to show me around his home, but we were lucky enough to go back in 2016 (and are currently planning for 2017). I just love being able to get away and I'm so so blessed with amazing parents who after a long long time have finally recognized they need a break from their stressful days and have graciously brought my brother and I along.
strength - I talked a little bit about sharing my testimony this year, but I didn't get into how big of a day it was. I'd been asked to share my testimony at my college group every year for my four years of college, and each year I turned down the opportunity because I felt I "didn't have a testimony". It was finally in my senior year of college (2016, woop woop!) that I agreed to share. It was terrifying and nerve-wracking, but I discussed God's protection and provision in my life and shared that my biggest concerns were always regarding giving up control and trusting, but that's where I see my greatest blessings. Anyway, after sharing this testimony God answered my biggest prayer request at the time and I was offered my current job (that I love)
great friends - I have many amazing people in my life, but this girl has been a huge part of my year. We've worked/lived together for the past three years and she's probably the closest person who understands the daily teacher struggle. J is my 6:30am commute buddy, occasionally my wake-up call when I sleep through my alarm (twice), my Dutch Bros co-pilot, teacher buddy, and Target aisle-roaming gal. I don't know what I'd do without her support and encouragement. And Dutch Bros enabling.
Ry - Obviously I have to be thankful for one of the most important people in my life, but I have an incredible boyfriend. Being from Hawaii, obviously Ry has never bucked hay. On 4th of July weekend we got to my parents house about 11pm and my dad was out in the field in the dark bucking hay by himself. Ryan offered to go out and help and quickly learned the job. They stayed out there until well past 2am and he woke up early the next day to go out and help finish the fields. It's a job that would've taken my dad multiple days to finish by himself, but thanks to Ry's help we were able to put up the hay in under 24 hours and went to the coast for the rest of the day. I'm so thankful for his helpful spirit.
this cute dog - no explanation needed, obviously.
dreams come true - It's an amazing thing when your childhood dreams just come true. I am so so blessed with this job and I couldn't imagine myself being anywhere else. I've never worked a job that I am happy and excited to put in 12+ hour days for. It's a good life.
Last, but not least - Christmas coming up! ONE MONTH TO GO!