Another year is coming to a close & it is important for me to take a moment to reflect, to slow down and observe the experiences of the year. This year was packed with adventure! Here are the highlights:
I started grad school through Iowa State University, pursuing a masters degree in community development. It has made for long weekends on the couch & countless hours of paper writing.
A lovely lady came to my house to do a major closet clean out and it basically changed my life. I blogged about it.
In March, I launched this thing called POP UP YOGA DSM and it kind of exploded. I learned a lot about the inner workings of the yoga community & even more about event coordination.
Part of April was spent in Scotland visiting Tay with two of my favorite dudes.
I got a tattoo of a bike on my arm (aka my bikecep). It is basically my forever trophy of biking across the country & around Lake Michigan.
May is always the big event month. I hosted the Hiatt Service Day for over 600 students, another large summer kickoff community event, The Water Ride (which has raised over $22,000 for clean water projects & community development in Ghana) and our first POP UP YOGA class downtown.
Summer is always full of the following: sangria, IPAs, live music, fun weekend trips and being outside! This particular summer, I added a sig other to all of the fun & apparently he decided to stick around. 😉
I went to my first yoga festival out in Aspen. This experience was one of my all-time 2015 favorites. Being in the mountains, hiking, simply having great company, listening to all of Yes, Please and Serial, and Colorado beers (yessss) made for a phenom vacation!
In August, we hosted our annual Viva East Bank! gathering, sharing that over $9 million has been invested into three east-side neighborhoods. We have now purchased five homes to rehab and resell and are continuing to do things to comprehensively impact neighborhood change. It’s very exciting!
This fall, my grandpa passed away. Although he lived a very long & meaningful life, it is still hard to lose someone.
My cats also turned three & are getting both calmer and more obnoxious depending on the day.
In October, I moved down the hall to another apartment to avoid living on a six lane street & get some small upgrades. My favorite = West Elm mid-century modern couch that the cats haven’t totally destroyed yet!
This month also brought Taylor Swift to our lovely city & ended the beer brewing process. To honor T-Swift, my friend made a label for the beers, which turned out okay I’d say!
Year 26 came quickly in November, and I made my motto: “I just wanna see what I can get away with.” Embracing that in its fullness, I wrote a scary blog post about addressing the lack of women-owned businesses in Iowa, proposing an idea that got a lot of immediate interest.
Our annual holiday party at Hiatt Middle School was another success! Ending the year by opening up the doors to the middle school to see Santa & Mrs. Claus, serve a warm meal, collect winter clothing items, and enjoy one another’s company during music & activities fills my heart & so many of the people’s who come!
This year has been fairly magical.
The people I get to surround myself at work and beyond get better & better. I feel like even though my time is super limited with grad school, I’m investing it in people and things that make me feel full (in both senses).
I sense that 2016 will be fairly challenging. With a new leadership role within Urban Ambassadors, a promotion to Community Development Director, & the potential of a business to grow, time management will be so important. I do hope it’s filled with lots and lots of people, food, traveling and other unforgettable moments.
So far so good, friends. Happy Holidays!