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2016 Favorites

And here we are. The last days of 2016. It doesn’t seem like it can possibly be time to reflect on another year gone by, but the pages of the 2017 calendars are fresh and ready for us to begin so before we go on forward here’s some of the favorites this year brought.


Favorite Moments:

  • Starting out the New Year in Costa Rica with my 30+ family members. We could do this a hundred times and still be glad to get to the beach in the winter and connect with dozens of relatives.
  • Welcoming home the sweet new baby to the family I nanny for. He may as well be mine with the amount of love I have for him.
  • Watching our high schoolers bring a magical presentation of Cinderella to life – and attempting to accompany and costume a show at the same time. (Ok, part of this goes in most stressful moments. But the end product was delightful.)
  • Tanner’s first ski experiences. (Once we established that parallel to the mountain meant two different things to us.)
  • Running in the Colfax Marathon relay with my brother and sister-in-law. (Because you get the sticker and the t-shirt that say you ran a marathon but you only actually ran 6 miles.)
  • Summer break which included a million trips down the river on Tanner’s part and countless hours of baby wearing and park trips with the kids on my part.
  • Spur of the moment day trip to Disneyland with my sister to celebrate her 20th birthday. (They did cancel the firework show that night because of wind, that goes among the lowest moments of the year. But we recovered.)
  • 3 dear friends’ weddings, and the festivities that followed. Marriage is a great thing.
  • Running a half-marathon with my dad. Until mile one when I started to experience shooting pain in my knee that lasted for months after the race. But I finished, with a better time than last, and a sweet memory shared with my dad.
  • 3 days in the wilderness on a backpacking trip with Tanner. This was my first experience pooping in the woods. It was a big deal to me, sorry if you’d rather not hear about it.
  • The Diary of Anne Frank play performed by our students. I didn’t particularly love being brought to tears every rehearsal and performance, but those kids brought a potent message to our community that needs to be heard.
  • Belated Honeymoon trip to Disneyland. We did the whole thing – a nice hotel close to the park, 3 day park hopper tickets, 16 hour days. It was magical and beautiful and glorious and I am STILL struggling with post-Disney blues.


  • Best Nine on Instagram (@greeroharah)

Netflix Recommends:

-Once Upon a Time (Because I love Fairy Tales and I love when they’re retold and all fit together. Looking forward to season 6.)

-The Office (I’ve always loved this show. But after watching every single episode this year, and crying all the way through the finale, I’m officially attached. I follow Michael Scott on twitter for a few extra laughs throughout my day.)

-Call the Midwife (This is my go to when Tanner is gone. I’m in the second season and cry over every birth.) (Crying is a normal thing for me, I guess.)

Favorite reads in 2016 (in no particular order):


  1. The Help by Kathryn Stocket
  2. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 
  3. The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
  4. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  5. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery 
  6. Fifteen by Beverly Cleary


  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
  3. Scary Close by Donald Miller
  4. When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman
  5. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
  6. Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner 


Top Blog Posts:

  • January-ing [and hope for the freedom we are craving in 2016] I want to embrace the freedom to do what I love, to pursue that which makes my heart come alive. I want to live the full and abundant life God has promised.
  • Ordinary Love And when the morning comes again and we get up to another morning we’ll do it all over again. All of this day-to-day loving, that really has nothing to do with roses and poetry and chocolates and sleek black dresses, and everything to do with learning to love on the most ordinary days in the most ordinary of ways.
  • Why Chaos Doesn’t Have to Be the Final Word We have confidence that we are not alone, that the good works that God started are carried out to completion, that we will not be left isolated in this disorder, that out of this place of chaos – beauty will rise.
  • 26 Things I like About Myself Fearfully and wonderfully made. That is how scripture describes the way God crafted us. Why, then, do we stutter and skirt around celebrating ourselves? Let’s live in radical acceptance of the people we are and the good that our creator calls us.
  • Choosing to Stay Investing in your life right now – exactly as it is – isn’t easy. You look at the flaws, you look at the problems, you know the issues that can be covered up by superficial layers. You look at it all and you say this is worth my time. There is still more for me to do here.
  • Today You Are Here: Present I am home. I pull into my driveway and carry my bags up to my house. There are many things ahead, good and beautiful in their time. But today I am here.


And there it is. 2016 in a nutshell. And now we move forward. Onward and upward. See you in 2017, friends!

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  • Reply
    Grace @ Cultural Life
    December 31, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I found your blog this year and it has become one of my favourites, thanks to your beautiful photography and posts. Happy New Year! 🎉

  • Reply
    January 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Love this idea of wrapping up 2016. Your writing is beautiful and you always have something worth saying. Keep it up. Enjoying your messages…Happy New Year!

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