Yesterday I turned 28. Which means I’m officially in my late twenties and which means I’ll be 30 in two years. Yikes!
Here are 27 images of the best things from this past year, in no particular order:
1 and 2. Visiting Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi on a long weekend. The afternoon we spent horseback riding was my favorite. The Hotel El Real was gorgeous and I went to “El Cafe Azul” (around the corner from our hotel) 3 days in a row after I discovered their speciality drink: coffee, milk, ice and chocolate, blended.
3 and 4. The kids at CRF. I’m thankful for the way my relationships with them grew over this past year, and because of them, I wonder if I would ever be able to move away from Saltillo!
5. Seeing Hilary. There’s something so comforting about a life-long friendship. I’m thankful that no matter where life has taken us, we always seem to reconnect and pick up right where we left off.
6. My family. For various reasons, I got to see all of them pretty often this year. They’re just the best.
7 and 8. A long (wedding) weekend in Riviera Maya. After our honeymoon there last August, Carlos and I thought it might be years before we’d be back. But thankfully, two of our friends got married and we had a great excuse to go back in June. I hope I can live near the beach again someday.
9. Time with Fitz. I went from not wanting a dog to having Fitz sleep in our bed practically every night. He’s asleep next to me on the couch as I write this, because why not take daily naps an hour after you get up? Love him.
10. Tigres game with my parents. When my parents decided to come in April, Carlos and I knew we wanted to try to take them to a game in Monterrey! This was their first professional soccer game in Mexico and they really enjoyed it.
11. English classes. At Berlitz, I learned that I loved teaching adults, but teaching teenagers twice a week at CRF has been equally rewarding. They are so fun-loving!
12 and 13. Time with Carlos. We’re not perfect, but we’ve made a lot of progress this past year! I’m glad he’s committed to walk through the good and the bad with me.
14. Seeing Deda. She invited Carlos and I out for Chinese food when we were home over Christmas. The older I get, the more I appreciate the time she invests in me whenever I’m in town. Her birthday, Christmas, and Valentine’s cards are incredibly thoughtful and seeing what kind of candy she picks out for me every Christmas still gets me excited.
15. My in-laws and sister-in-law. I’ve come to enjoy their company a lot more in the last few months, maybe because the initial pressure of being married to their son and trying to impress has worn off. Now I feel like a real part of their family and am constantly amazed by their generosity and how they care for me. Oh, and they love Fitz, too.
16. Visiting Chipinque. This place is only an hour from our house, so I don’t know why it took us so long to go. The picture speaks for itself, really. It was such a relaxing and beautiful day and I need to go back ASAP.
17. My 27th birthday. It was one of my favorite days of the year and I felt so loved by my family, co-workers, and the families at CRF. And really, how could a day that includes a Cinderella piñata not make the list?
18. Multiple visits to Parras. Parras is a town about 1.5 hours from Saltillo that we visit occasionally on the weekends with Carlos’ cousin and his girlfriend. It’s small and cute and has a delicious ice cream place, but beyond that, there’s really not much to do. And that’s the beauty of it!
19. Giselly. Her loyalty, initiative, and care amaze me. She’s the best friend I could ask for here and spending time with her always helps cure my homesickness. Her brother recently got married and her mom told me at the wedding that they consider me part of their family. Thanks to Giselly for never thinking twice about accepting me.
20 and 21. Winnie dying was one of the hardest parts of the year. I went home last week and I kept wanting to call her or stop by her house for a visit. It felt weird to not be able to do that anymore. However, the time I got to spend with her in the months leading up to her death was really special.
22. The gallery wall. Between choosing and printing the pictures and waiting till I went to Texas so I could buy the frames, this project took months. But I love how it turned out and love looking at it every day in our living room.
23. My acceptance mass. “Converting” to Catholicism was definitely one of the most notable moments of being 27. I was thrilled when my dad gave me a Catholic prayer book a few months ago. It had belonged to Winnie’s dad and was a gift from his mother, my great-great-grandmother. She was a devout Catholic and raised her family that way. I use the prayer book a few times a week and it helps to know I’m not the only Catholic in the history of my family.
24. Emily. I don’t get to see this friend as often as I’d like, but I’m so glad I got to spend a few hours with her over Christmas (and a few months before her baby was born!). We met when we were barely 18 and the memories I have of her at Biola are some I’ll always cherish.
25. Baked treats. Ovens are weirdly unpopular in Mexico, but I’ve made a conscious effort to use ours more the past few months and have been reminded just how much I love baking. Banana muffins are my favorite thing to make but these Oreo cupcakes turned out delicious!
26 and 27. Laura’s wedding. My sister married Cliff on Christmas Day in a simple but meaningful ceremony. Perhaps the most special part of the week was realizing that our family is now complete. Only God could have brought together people from 3 different countries and made us all family!
28 will bring some exciting changes, which I’ll write about soon! I’m excited and hopeful.