Even though we’ve been in the new year for a while now, it’s always a good feeling to look back through the previous year to be able to count up the many blessings and opportunities for gratitude. Last year was tough – I experienced a lot of changes, a spiritually dry season, and I spent a lot of time uncomfortable due to food sensitivity issues I was experiencing. That being said, I look back at my blog posts, photos, and met goals and feel overwhelmingly positive about the year as a whole. Here are some of the highlights:

January by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

January

  • I kicked off the year with Thrive and my goals to focus on self care, work toward financial freedom, create boundaries for phone time, grow my faith and community, and focus on mental and physical health in 2017.
  • We celebrated Chloe’s 3rd birthday by giving her a huge treat with “Happy Birthday” written in icing.
  • Dad and I made STL Kolache “a thing” when I was in St. Louis after his knee surgery.
  • We played lots of games – some of the favorites were Joking Hazard, Pandemic, and QuipLash.
  • Kevin and I started watching This is Us and The Young Pope.
  • Brittany, Taylor and I had a girl’s weekend in Columbia – I’m so glad we are making this a yearly thing.
  • Books Read: The Magnolia Story, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us, That Hideous Strength, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity

February by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

February

  • I learned all about the surprise lilies that were growing in my backyard – they come up in February and then again later in the season.
  • I started my second journaling bible for journaling through the Psalms, even though I only made it through the first couple weeks.
  • I did my first ever no spend month – and loved it!
  • Books Read: The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life, Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love, and Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of CS Lewis

March by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

March

  • Denise and Scott got married and they asked me to photograph their wedding
  • Kevin and I celebrated our 2nd Anniversary at (what we found out was) the worst restaurant in town but I wrote a post about 50 reasons I’m thankful for him.
  • I went social media free for lent and it led to a lot of changes in the way I interact online.
  • Books Read: The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful, The Silkworm, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Career of Evil

Untitled by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

April

  • We met Tricia and Kyle at Les Bourgeois and then hiked around town – I loved catching up with them.
  • Kevin and I paid off one of my student loans and I did a happy dance.
  • Sarah and I planted our first garden in their backyard. I started a gardening journal to commemorate the whole experience.
  • The first rose bloom opened at the #highridgeranch.
  • Book Read: Under our Skin: Getting Real about Race – And Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us

May by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

May

  • I got a new camera – the Pentax KP!
  • After a lot of debate, I tried (and loved) essential oils for the first time.
  • The fam took a road trip to Omaha for some quality time and it was a blast.
  • Books Read: All the Words are Yours: Haiku on Love, Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose.

June by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

June

  • We celebrated the wedding of Adam and Kaylin’s in Southeast Missouri
  • After a couple months of feeling terrible, I visited a doctor and started using the Low FODMAP diet which significantly improved how I was feeling.
  • Books Read: Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

July by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

July

  • I went to my first Royals game and had absolutely zero blue things to wear.
  • Kevin and I did some damage on an IKEA shopping trip and we ended up with a new desk for Kevin’s office, a new rug and an end table. Good thing we only go once a year.
  • I started watching the first season of The Great British Bakeoff.
  • Book Read: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

August by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

August

  • I TURNED 26 YEARS OLD!
  • Now that we each have a camera, Kevin and I went on one of my favorite dates ever – a photowalk
  • I finally finished the garden journal I had been working on all summer.
  • Danielle and I formed a Bible Study that focused on digging into the book of Matthew.
  • Book Read: The Artist’s Way

September by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

September

  • I took photographs at our annual family golf tournament during Labor Day Weekend.
  • We went to lots and lots of Mizzou football games
  • Kevin and I celebrated eight years together.
  • We joined a couples small group at church and we made lots of newly married friends.
  • Books Read: Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, How to Win Friends and Influence People

October by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

October

  • Mom and I surprised my Grandma and our family by hopping on a plane to visit them in California.
  • Kevin and I dressed up as Peanut Butter and Jelly for Halloween and it was my favorite costume to date.
  • Books Read: Scarlett, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

November by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

November

  • I made a long, yet non-comprehensive list of some things I’m thankful for.
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving in Columbia for the first time – our friend Claire made these beautiful pies
  • Our Black Friday traditions of shopping late into the night on Thursday was upheld, even if I did have to work the next day.

December by Jacqueline and Kevin Reape on 500px.com

December

  • I documented the entire month by completing a December Daily album.
  • Kevin got a promotion at work and we celebrated the best way we know how – yummy food!
  • My family spent Christmas Eve shredding at the outdoor ice skating rink.
  • I started watching Friends for the first time – don’t judge me!
  • Books Read: Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

And there you have it! A full year wrapped up into 12 photos and a couple words. It’s hard to believe we’re already well into another year, but I’m full of anticipation for what is to come in 2018.