The Best of 2015

After having read this post by a blogger I follow, I thought it fitting to follow suit and reflect on the top 15 things/moments/experiences of 2015. Some of these were huge things, others more mundane, but altogether these made my year.

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Our first visit to the Tett and the Isabel. These were actually two separate occasions, but they’re in the same complex and together make up Kingston’s newest creativity hub. We went to watch the KSO play at the Isabel in February, then attended the Tett grand opening this May. I still can’t believe we have such amazing spaces in our city.

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Andy’s birth this March. Hands down the biggest event of the year. This little guy has changed our life forever, and we could not be more thankful for him.

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Having my poem featured on GOODJust for fun, I participated in a little poetry challenge online. I wrote an acrostic poem on parenthood.

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Winning a ticket to the 21CLI conference in Hong Kong via #whatisschool. For the last year or so I’ve been really into twitter chats as part of my own professional development. I’m really excited to attend this conference in February 2016.

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Watching the Jays vs. the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Kelvin had a work meeting down in Houston this May, so we made it a family affair. How we came to actually attend this game was pretty random, but it was definitely one of the most memorable, electric experiences of the year.

The Live Sent sermon series. We are blessed with an amazing pastoral team at our church, and this sermon series really challenged us to think about the vision of our church and how we are to go about our daily lives missionally as people of faith.

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Witnessing the marriages of some of our good friends. It is a joy to share life with those around us, and it was an absolute honour for us to have had the opportunity this year to see so many of our friends commit to serving and loving each other for the rest of their lives. These weddings took us far and wide, from within Canada, to the States, and even to Spain.

Joining the KFPL board. I talk about our local library system a lot. I absolutely love what they’re doing. I’ve always enjoyed taking on new roles, and this is one that I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s only been a few months and already I’m learning so much about governance and about the shifting role of libraries today.

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Moving into our new house. This August, we ventured to the edge of suburbia for a little more breathing room. It’s been an adjustment, but we are settling in nicely and really loving making the space our own.

Planning my very first Edcamp here in Kingston. Ever since attending my first edcamp in 2011, I’ve been wanting to host one here in town. With the time off from work, I was finally able to get it done! Hoping this will become a yearly event.

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Our trip to Europe. I could probably fill a top 15 list from this trip alone, but hands down this was one of our favourite vacations yet. There’s something other-worldly about Europe that is so hard to replicate here in North America. We spent time in Spain and in England, and though they couldn’t have been more different, we enjoyed them both.

Discovering podcasts. I know podcasts have been around for a long time, but I just started listening to them this fall. Now I can’t stop. I listen to them all the time. Here are some faves.

Reading Tim Keller’s Every Good Endeavour. This book has really broadened my understanding of what it means to integrate faith and work. I’ve loved the discussions that have come out of this, and I cannot wait to finish it with our small group.

Finally subscribing to Darling. This was one of my treats to myself on Black Friday. I fully support the mandate of Darling and I am so happy that  it now comes to my mailbox every 3 months. Pages and pages of goodness that truly feed my soul.

Netflix with Kelvin after Andy goes to sleep. One of my favourite times of day (other then going to sleep) is when Kelvin and I get to hang out, cook dinner, eat, and watch a show together. We’ve worked our way through lots, including Selling New York and Worst Cooks of America.

And there you have it – the Top 15 of 2015. Here’s to reflecting on an amazing year, and looking forward to the next one!

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Podcasts I love

I had never been one for podcasts or audiobooks, or AM radio. Perhaps it had something to do with my affinity for visual stimulation over auditory input. Friends kept raving about Serial and This American Life, but nothing really compelled me to give it podcasts a try.

However, that all changed when I stumbled upon Limetown earlier this year. I listened to the first episode and I was hooked.

From there, my love for podcasts has ballooned into something ridiculous. I share what I’ve been listening to constantly (probably to the dismay of many of my friends…) and every spare moment I get, I listen. The tedium of household chores – of folding laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, and washing dishes – becomes that much more bearable when I’ve got something interesting that I’m focusing on instead. I have podcasts playing whenever I’m in the car, and Andy and I have been going on some longer drives so that we can both enjoy more of the activities that we love (podcasts for me and nap time for him).

I’m still exploring the podcast world, but here are a few that I’ve been listening to regularly:

Limetown
The podcast that started it all. Something mysterious happened in Tennessee that involved the disappearance of a few hundred people. This podcast follows Lia Haddock as she uncovers the story of what happened.

The Lively Show
My favourite podcast. Jess Lively hosts this show which is all about “adding a little extra intention to your everyday”. She brings guests on to talk about values, life, business, and pretty much everything I love. I actually didn’t enjoy this show when I first started, but Jess has won me over! Plus I emailed her a little while ago and she is such a sweet person to correspond with.

On Being
For the intellectually and spiritually curious. I’ve had On Being on my RSS feed for a while but never listened to their podcasts until recently. Hosted by Krista Tippett, this is a podcast that looks at Big Picture topics and makes me think a little more about what life does and should look like.

TEDTalks (audio)
Ideas worth sharing. Because who doesn’t love TEDTalks? I like these shorter segments that range wildly in topic and that keep me current.

Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast
Continually challenging me to live a more gospel-centered life. We have had nothing but good experiences reading Tim Keller’s books and we make it a point to attend service at Redeemer whenever our visits to NYC fall on a Sunday.

The Simple Show
A glimpse into what life is like for some really awesome people. Most of these people are people I’ve never heard of, but I love the content and the spirit behind what it is Tsh is doing in her show.

Stuff Mom Never Told You
For women navigating the world. This is a hilarious but also informative podcast that dives into a plethora of things to do with living, loving, and learning as a woman. They touch on so many topics that resonate with me, with (not so) occasional tangents.

I also haven’t finished Serial yet, so I’m in the process of doing that.

I’m always looking for new podcasts that might be interesting, and I’m trying to broaden my horizons and learn about fields that I normally wouldn’t engage with much, so would love some recommendations!