Saturday, January 3, 2015

AM~Erica is Journeying Into the New Year

So anyway...

The first blog post of a new year! TA-DA!

Like many, I took New Year's Eve to reflect on 2014. There were big things that happened, good & bad, that actually shaped a year I never would have expected.

Let's start with the craziest of all the things. Shall we?

A year ago, I was making fun of the typical resolution. If you remember, I even came up with the WORKOUT REGIMEN I thought I'd follow.
Go ahead. Read it! Why? Because, a year later, it's now hilarious! I mean, it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek to begin with, but I was still pretty serious about it at the same time. But check out one of the things I said doesn't fit with me...then giggle with me...

I mean, look at me now!! We can all get a good giggle together as I took up something I never, Never, NEVER imagined doing for fun. FOR FUN, people. Who they heck did I become?

Yep, I TOOK UP RUNNING. Even after I had pretty much made fun of those who are runners &/or work out in any form. It's amazing what can stir within you that changes you. All it took, for me, was seeing friends having fun with it! Not a scary trainer in your face or someone talking down to you because you aren't doing what they are doing. Those are major personality turnoffs!! Who would even want to socialize with anyone who is super fit & angry because of it? Ugh.

My year took a major turn the end of March 2014. Nothing I'd planned on or expected. I am! And, I do it for the fun I can have with it. Isn't that what it should be about? Love what you do? It's hard work, yes, and choices around keeping it up are important...but if you're happy because of it, you haven't sacrificed anything! Well...maybe an awful attitude. I would hope anyway...

Plus, I HAD A KIDDO GRADUATE! How the heck did that happen?? I am not old enough to have a kid headed to college!! *SOBS*

The family went back to Colorado for vacation. We love Colorado. Not for recent legislation, either. It's purely for the sights, I think. And the adventures we can have there. It's pretty awesome. Running around the Dillon Lake Dam at sunrise over the mountains was totally worth it!! And? We spent Independence Day catching the Breckenridge parade, too. It was glorious! The fireworks over Lake Dillon, from our viewpoint, wasn't as awesome as hoped...but it still didn't fully diminish the overall vacay...
We love Colorado...

Shortly after that is WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER PASSED AWAY. Gosh that was hard. Still is. But we all try to keep up her memory in someway as often as we can. We still grieve her. She was so loved. And there are STILL SIGNS OF HER checking up on us. I love that.

I GOT TO SPEAK to a wonderful group of peers at the Missouri United Methodist Annual Conference pastor's spouse luncheon. God called on me to do this...and I had to really rely on God's guidance to get me thru it. But what a fantastic & supportive group. And what a fulfilling experience it was. I was probably more touched by the connections I made.

I was also blessed to be a part of God's plan to bring our friend, Rob, on board at church. After he lost his wife, just short of a year ago, I'm so glad we could be there to help him thru, be there during his grieving, cheering him on with his running (after I actually made fun of him before I started running),  and so glad he is closely working with us! What great ministry is being done at our church between my hubby & Rob!

It was also because of our co-shenanigator, Rob, that I have made so many connections in the world of running. I have found other runners to be able to cheer each other on with & to be inspired by to keep motivated. Crazy what a seemingly tiny decision can actually turn into...

It also got me reconnected with my lil-sister-from-another-mister, Beqi! It's been great being running buddies, either with or encouraging from afar, with her!!

Oh...and I've been able to incorporate tutus, into what I call "COSTUTUMES", for races. I have discovered that tutus contain superpowers, even!! Just another motivation to keep going!

I've gotten medals for running, too!! Sometimes a girl just really loves her bling!

It's also been discovered how many people I already knew were actually runners already. It gave another level of conversation...or a better connection. Awesome.

I was even given the title of "Runner" on TV! BOOM! Must be official!

Also...running has actually helped me meet & talk to some of the neighbors in the 'hood. Go figure!

We even got to see my brother-in-law get married to a wonderful gal!! So glad she's in our family & that they are happy. They both needed that!

Then I got to take part in something so special. I was blessed to be able to walk in the Kansas City Out of the Darkness memory walk. Whoa...that was actually life-changing. You can read about MY WALK EXPERIENCE, and I hope it helps to open eyes. MY OWN STRUGGLES made it difficult and beautiful to be a part of such an event. I also made some awesome connections & met amazing people thanks to my high school friend, Jenn. And because of that American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walk, I have made a move to become a field advocate for AFSP. This goes beyond my own advocacy, but also into the realm of guiding legislation to include suicide prevention that will hopefully lead to a world without suicide at all. It is something I have been quite passionate about once I stepped forward.

Oh...and who can forget the amazing story of our hometown KC Royals doing their thing & even getting to the World Series?? So good to witness that excitement & go thru so many emotions thru the whole thing. The Royals truly gave baseball a great season.

When HALLOWEEN ROLLED AROUND, we had a record number of trick-or-treaters! Believe it or not, in the year of "Frozen," we didn't have a single Elsa, Anna or Olaf show up to our door. Whether it happened or not, it was a glorious night!

We hosted all of Thanksgiving! Brunch with one side, and dinner with the other. We didn't have to go ANYWHERE! It was glorious...

Also, we changed a few things up at Christmastime. We had a forest of Christmas trees! One of the trees was MY GRANDMA'S MEMORY TREE. I also channeled my grandma making some cookies & candies for the season, too.

And, to top off the whole year, my hubby & I celebrated 20 years of knowing each other. We met 20 years ago...and it is even more apparent today that we were meant for each other! Even taking in A TOTALLY DUMB DATE NIGHT! Perfect time for a sequel to come out for the movie we saw on our first date.

It was quite a year!


As I reflected on this at the close of the year, realizing what a different person I'd become, I was wondering about the new year. It's now 2015! A time we feel the need to push a restart button. Turn the calendar, turn a page on your whole new life. Right? Resolutions on how everything is gonna change at the snap of a finger, the stroke of midnight, and a numeral exchange on the year.

But...I wasn't looking for any big goal in the upcoming year. It was weird...

With a wedding, a killer vacation, a graduation-to-college-start, there was a lot set for last year. But we don't have any of the really big stuff coming in 2015...

Well...the family is finally-Finally-FINALLY GOING TO PLANET COMIC-CON (last year's plea), and I have a kiddo who will be starting their senior year, come fall. Other than that, I am just looking forward to continuing the run journey, continuing my advocacy, carrying on my grandmother's memory, loving my family, and just looking for some adventures & things to celebrate...LIKE I DO. I'm even a team captain for a racing team for The Color Run: Shine Tour in KC this March.

We started A NEW TRADITION last year, and was glad to be able to do it again this year. It even had me find SOME NEW RECIPES to try, too.

There were so many unexpected happenings in 2014... Yet no big event, per se, planned for the coming year. No graduations. No weddings. No moves. It makes me wonder what the continued journey into 2015. No big resolutions...just taking things as they come.

That's not so bad...

May you have a wonderful 2015. May it be what YOU make of it!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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