2017: A Leap of Faith

Ice cream cakeI’d be lying if I told you that 2017 didn’t scare me.  To say that it was an intimidating year would be an understatement.  January was just about as sweet as the ice cream cake I enjoyed with my parents for my birthday.  I celebrated with friends and cocktails from Tom’s Town, one of my favorite bars in Kansas City.

February brought a Valentine’s party with my girls, my first KU game and (drumroll, please) interviews.  I can’t tell you how many restless nights I spent trying to figure out what I wanted to do, or more importantly, what I was meant to be doing with my life.  I was offered a job that I did not think I would get.  It was a job that would’ve challenged me and put me in charge of my own team.  I turned it down.  If you’ve never turned down a job before, let me tell you that it is slightly terrifying.

Next thing ya know, all of the conversations with family, friends, and God kept me sane until I was offered a position for a completely different kind of role. I didn’t see this one coming when I started my job search.  After a few tears and a lot of trust in God, I accepted and started packing up my belongings.  In March I moved away from a city I had come to love, where there is always something fun to do, where happy hours with my friends would happen at any moment and where, at the end of the day, I returned to a beautiful apartment that I had come to call my home.

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident, just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” — Carrie Fisher

F. Scott Fitzgerald Quote

Starting a new job is like getting on a roller coaster.  This one had a slow start, with sweet welcomes from old friends and a steady stream of new information to learn.  I am happy to report that I still love my job.  I love my team, I love the travel, I love the challenge.  Some days I find myself sitting at the top of a peak, looking out at the scary path ahead but much like a roller coaster, once I get to the bottom I find that I am smiling.  I learn something every day.  It scares me but it is so satisfying.  Sometimes I look back and laugh at myself for ever doubting God’s plan.

Before I knew it, it was mid-April and the day I had been waiting for finally arrived.  I was going to see JOHN MAYER live in concert.  And you know what?  It was absolutely amazing.  This concert was better than I ever could have imagined.  Put it on your bucket list.

John Mayer at the Sprint Center in Kansas CIty
John Mayer at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
Fort Lauderdale beach
Fort Lauderdale, FL.

A few short weeks later, I found myself laying on a beach.  I was in Fort Lauderdale for a conference and after being forced to sit in a dark room all day there was a short span of time when we were free to go outside and take in the view.  If you want to read more about my trip to Ft. Lauderdale, I’ll have a blog with more about the places I visited posted soon.  Warm weather was exactly what I needed.  The trip flew by and I was dreading heading home.  I didn’t want to admit it, but I hated my new place.  I tried to like it, I really did, but I think I knew all along that it wasn’t right for me.  By the end of April it was actually starting to impact my physical health.

May brought weddings, graduations and more concerts.  I think I saw more concerts in 2017 than I have in any other year.  Garth put on a great show.  Another set of sold out concerts at the Sprint Center in KC.  Trisha even came out for a couple of songs and they were as adorable as ever during their duet.

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Garth Brooks at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.

June brought another wedding and another beautiful beach view but this one was a different kind of beach.  I made a trip with a few friends to Northwest Arkansas for a float trip.  I love to kayak.  It had been storming a few days before so the weather was absolutely perfect for a trip down the river.  I’d highly recommend a day on the water without any devices.  I think I’ll add this one to my list of resolutions for 2018.

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I mentioned earlier, my new place just wasn’t working out for me.  After coughing my brains out, a few trips to the doctor and a whirlwind of an apartment hunt, in July I moved again. This time into a house that I love.  I had to pack my bags for other reasons in July as well.

The Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, MO.
The Gateway to the Midwest

I spent some time in the Saint Louis area. I had only been to Saint Louis once before but I didn’t have a chance to sight-see while I was there.  This time I got to see a few cool spots around town.  I loved seeing the Arch!  It seems silly to say, but I really didn’t expect it to be so tall.  Despite all our attempts, I couldn’t get a picture with the entire thing.  If you want to read more about my trip to Saint Louis, check out my my favorite STL finds.

August started out with a bang!  A new month with new experiences and new states.  After 9 months of waiting, my mother and I would finally get to enjoy my Christmas present to her.  She loves Bruno Mars so as soon as I heard he was coming to KC I bought tickets.  The concert was AWESOME.  We sang along and danced the ENTIRE time.  I felt like Bruno was singing just to me (and mom).  He has so much energy and raw talent.  His voice is amazing, he has an awesome sense of humor and his team of dancers were so much fun to watch perform.

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I was absolutely exhausted afterward, but I was up bright and early for a road trip to Detroit.  48 hours later I spent a day in Lake Saint Clair at what has to be one of the biggest lake parties in the country: Raft Off.  I can only describe it by saying that it was like being in a movie. Put it on your bucket list and pack lots of sunscreen.

What happened in September… stays in Las Vegas.

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Fabulous Las Vegas!

I was blessed with more views of palm trees in September.  I took my second and third trip to Las Vegas this year, once for a bachelorette party and once for a conference.  If you want to read more about my favorite spots in Vegas, I’ll have a new post up about them soon.

One of my favorite events of the year is in October.  For the second year in a row, my gal pals and I joined the Walk To End Alzheimers. The walk in Overland Park is one of the biggest walks in the country and I am proud to say I was part of it.  As cooler weather swept in, I was swept away to North Carolina.  I got to see some old friends in new places.  Charlotte was beautiful and kind of reminded me of Kansas City.  I’ll have a post out with a recap of my trip Queen City sometime soon.

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina

Our Lady of Lourdes churchNovember.  The holiday season had finally arrived. My FAVORITE time of the year!  I wasn’t home a lot that month which made the Thanksgiving holiday even better.  I spent some more time in Saint Louis.  This time I had a chance to take a short tour of the Anheuser-Busch factory.  I’m not much of a beer drinker but the tour was pretty cool (you can read more about my brewery tour thoughts here). We celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends over a wonderful meal.

After a very busy year, I was happy that things slowed down a bit in December.  I took some time to reflect and express my appreciation for those who were present in 2017.  I spent some time as a volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army which is one of my favorite holiday traditions.  I think I’ll make a better effort to volunteer more as part of my resolutions for this year.  I hosted my very first holiday party.  I sang Christmas carols and looked at beautiful light displays.  It truly was a wonderful holiday.

2017 was a big year for me.  This was my year to take chances and step out of my comfort zone.  It was a year packed with adventure and opportunity.  I learned a lot this year and I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes me.

Cheers!

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