One of my favorite parts of the year is looking back over all that has happened and all that has been accomplished. I love remembering the good times that brought such joy, the relationships that were formed and deepened, and the hard times that brought tears but also new perspective and strength.
This past year has been one of surprises and challenges and honestly not many things have gone as I planned them. But God has constantly reminded me through these things that I am not ultimately in control of my future, and His plan for me is much grander than anything I have planned for myself. I struggle everyday with trusting Him and with pressing forward even in the midst of so much uncertainty. Even in the thick of disappointment, confusion and happiness I strive to give my trust to Him.
Now that 2010 has drawn to a close and we’re already one day into 2011, I’m finally sitting down to walk through the year and remember all that He has brought me through.
It all started in January, when I began my second semester as a high school English teacher. I vowed that I would not let work take over my life to the extent that it had the semester before, and I held true to that commitment. I cut down as much as I could on outside work time. It made for less interesting lesson plans, but a more sane Candice…and it was totally worth it.
Then on the 14th, as a product of that commitment, I wrote my first post on ChiaSeedMe. I had a long way to come, and honestly I think that post probably scared more people away from spaghetti squash than it encouraged. haha. January also marked the beginning of my journey as a vegan – I’ll be talking in a later post about how I’m feeling about my vegan journey and what my plans are for the future.
Also in January, Oklahoma got hit with a major snow storm and I was out of school for several days! Jon was even off one of the days and we got to spend the day at home together which was such a nice break from commuting an hour every day.
We ended up spending some of that time organizing the house and making curtains for our bedroom.
Despite the days home from school, I was still consumed with work as I tried to slowly dwindle the pile of research papers that needed grading. I did however take a break from grading to make one of my favorite breakfast recipes of the year.
A couple of weeks later, Jon and I headed to Tulsa to celebrate Valentine’s Day by making not one but two stops at Whole Foods. A boy after my own heart. And February ended with a celebration of the husband’s birthday as well as the successful launch of the campaign he had been working on for months on end.
In March we experienced the difficult loss of my grandmother. That same week we spent Spring Break visiting my sister in Dallas for not one, not two but three days. And on day two we made the best purchase of our entire year!
Our last day in Dallas ended with a drive back to Oklahoma to attend my grandmother’s funeral.
Later that week we celebrated the first day of spring with a huge blizzard and a visit from mom and dad McCoy.
Then, March 25th marked an exciting first for ChiaSeedMe with my very first chia seed giveaway!
The month of April started off a little bit heavy as I was beginning the 3 month long process of deciding whether or not to leave my teaching job to pursue other things. I talked about the idea of letting go of fear and taking risks to realize your potential and make the most of your dreams. Also at the beginning of April we celebrated Easter with my family, met my littlest cousin – Caroline – for the very first time, and celebrated my Grandpa’s birthday. I also made one of my favorite grain salads that has now become the best go-to salad for all special occasions.
We had a huge scare around mid April when my Grandpa fell off the roof of our lake cabin, but the Lord protected him and he came out with just a few broken ribs and a lot of pain. While it took months for him to heal and it was a difficult time, we were thankful that he was not hurt even worse.
Things turned a lot brighter though when we had our friends – John and Meredith and Jason and Emily stay the night with us one weekend. We had a fun green smoothie party the next morning and all went out for Thai food later that day! That same weekend we also got to watch my little cousin run the OKC Memorial marathon!
April wrapped up beautifully with a most exciting announcement! The McCoys are going to Europe!
In May the husband took me to a Train concert where we sang and danced the night away before crashing at a hotel for the night. The next morning we met mom and dad McCoy in OKC and my father-in-law and I had a little juggling contest.
I also secretly made the decision to leave my teaching job, and I ordered my materials to become a certified personal trainer. Unfortunately a couple weeks later the pendulum swung back the other way when I decided that I would not leave my teaching job after all and I sent all the materials back!
We went to my hometown to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom and ended up getting to spend some time with the whole family as well!
And at the end of May we spent 3 hours underground and almost got swept away by a tornado, and I was too busy to blog because of the end of school, testing and getting ready for our trip to Europe!
the line of cars trying to get into our student union basement
I did find time to pay tribute to the people who helped me survive my first year of teaching and sum up my feelings about the the second craziest year of my life (the first being our year in Thailand). And we topped off the month by spending some serious time packing and preparing for our trip!
June began with our trip to Barcelona and Paris! Before leaving we spent a day in Dallas with my sister and then we were off! Despite forgetting one of our camera batteries and not being able to find an adapter for our laptop charger the first couple of days, I was able to recap days one, two and three in Barcelona where we explored the city, visiting La Sagrada Familia and days one and two in Paris where we ate a lot of French food, walked about a million miles, rode bikes by the Eiffel Tower and bought our Mini Diana camera.
After living it up in Europe, Jon and I took on a one week no eating out challenge and were (mostly:) successful! We also celebrated my little cousin’s 15th birthday, our friends welcomed their new baby boy into the world, we spent Father’s Day with dad McCoy in Oklahoma City at his second favorite restaurant, I began to fall in love with yoga, I spent time with my mom and step-dad in the city with shopping and eating mexican food and then they came to visit us in Stillwater, bringing fresh veggies from their garden!
The beginning of July proved to be difficult as I struggled with doubts over quitting my job and I received tons of great wisdom from my amazing readers. I also celebrated my 100th post on ChiaSeedMe by doing another chia seed giveaway!
The husband and I joined my family at our lake cabin for a fun fourth of July celebration.
And I talked about what “food with integrity” means and about every one of us throwing out labels and doing the best we can to improve our health and make the world a better place…and not judging each other in the process.
Around the middle of the month I made a spur of the moment trip home to visit my family for the day and see my cute baby cousin and I finally began to feel a peace about having left my job, I lost my new part-time job before it even started, I gave you guys a mini tour of our house , we got a surprise visit from our friends and old college roommates and Jon and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary.
Next in July I entered the Foodbuzz Top 9 Banana Split Challenge and won, which was a huge moment for ChiaSeedMe! That same week I made a last minute decision to drive to Arkansas, and I became a certified PiYo instructor!
August was yet another crazy month, beginning as the husband did his first ever guest post while I was having what turned out to be a crazy and eventful girl’s weekend with my mom and sister at the lake, Olive experienced her first trip to the emergency room, and I talked about finding beauty in our imperfections as part of “Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look” week.
Mid way through August, we made a trip to my hometown to celebrate my 27th birthday, the husband took me to the American Idol concert in Tulsa and I made a list of 27 things I wanted to accomplish during my 27th year.
And I said goodbye to old friends when I visited the school I used to teach at.
Whew! It has definitely been a busy and eventful year…and that’s only the first half! I’m off to work on some Outbox stuff today and then have lunch with a friend. I’ll be back soon with part II of “A Look Back at 2010”! And then later this week I’ll be talking about my goals and expectations for 2011.