We’re a little behind the eight ball this year, but 2015 is off to a great start. Christmas was with my family this year and included all the usual crazy along with a Brewster sized photo and all of us holding our breath that the latest family addition (my nephew would arrive before everyone returned to their allocated coasts. Alas, James is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday when Brian and I will hopefully greet him through some form of video streaming.
January started out with its traditional resolutions made over brunch at Murphy’s and the adventure of barn sitting for a friend. Brian began a temporary job working with a local church while I slugged my way to my morning news show at 4am. February was a little easier since my birthday always makes me forget the tough stuff. My brother Max came to visit which meant we could cheer the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory together (despite protests from a few doubters). This was followed quickly by CPAC and a rather unexpected trip to the circus.
To be honest, March held more for Brian than it did for me. After CPAC wrapped up, Brian was offered an opportunity to spend three months in Florida organizing the annual “Walk in My Shoes
” for an organizations called Lauren’s Kids. Being apart for so long was tough, but we soldiered through. I spent a few days riding horses in West Virginia and helped plan a wedding shower for my dear friend, Mary.
By May, Brian and I were more than ready for our little getaway to Key West where we spent a week doing all the beach things. A local tourist group taught us to snorkel (I swear I saw a shark but Brian doesn’t believe me). We made a point of stopping at each of Hemingway’s “favorite” bars and even toured a rum distillery we discovered quite by accident. The real highlight though was Blue Heaven, a local outdoor eatery with some of the most amazing pancakes I’ve ever tasted. We added a few extra miles to the Honda and drove all the way back to DC over the weekend. I’m telling you, this is something that everyone should add to the bucket list.
Not long after we unpacked our suitcases, we packed them up again and drove to a glorious little cabin in the woods to celebrate Mark and Mary’s wedding. Having never been a bridesmaid before, I really enjoyed every second of this three day party. Mark and Mary thought everything through and really made the rustic setting special. I will admit that getting up the next morning to run my first 5K was slightly difficult but totally worth it.
My mom, two sisters and little niece, Lucy, all joined me in their white t-shirts for our first ever color run. None of us knew what to expect, but by the time we finished, we knew we’d do it again. I’m definitely not a runner, but doing something like this was just us girls was a laugh riot, followed by a well-deserved brunch at Ted’s Bulletin (homemade pop tarts included).
Things really picked up in July when we headed out west for a Dalke family reunion. A week in Seattle is always a blast, but when you get EVERYONE from my side of the family together, it’s a madhouse. And even though the pool, the giant trampoline, and the tractor games were all super fun, the best part was getting to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen in years. We just had a great time climbing Mt. Rainer, eating junk, and telling great stories.
Shortly after this trip, three crazy things all happened at once: my radio station folded and closed its doors, I was offered a new position with a company in Princeton, and I was accepted into a German journalism fellowship. It was a lot to swallow in a few shorts days, but after hours of prayer, Brian and I made the decision move forward and see what God had in store. We were given a grace period of about three weeks to pack up and enjoy some time together before the big move, so Brian booked a last minute cruise to the Caribbean and off we went. For the first time in months, we felt like we could really relax and focus on one another. On such a big boat with so much free time, we talked and listened and enjoyed everything. By the time we got home, we felt refreshed and ready to pick up the next big adventure.
We drove into Princeton a few days early to set up shop and scope out our new town. The Monday after Labor Day, I started work with a sense of calling a purpose that was a little different from my previous jobs. A few weeks later, my grandparents stopped by to help us unpack our new little house and a month later, I was off to Germany for four solid weeks of cultural immersion that left me both exhausted and impressed with God’s creative abilities. We started in Berlin with about a week of breakfast talks, tours and high security meetings that would have been impossible to get without the program’s assistance. We then moved on to Cologne, Leipzig, Bruges and Brussels. Every day of that trip gave me something new to consider or some piece of information on Germany’s story of which I used to be incredibly ignorant.
Brian was able to join me for the last week of the program in Munich where ate more pretzels and drank more beer than is generally considered healthy. We took a day trip to Salzburg, Austria (narrowly escaping the Sound Of Music tour) and took a million pictures of mountain ranges that can only be described as majestic.
Thankfully, November passed without too much effort and Christmas arrived as a blessed completion to the year’s traveling. After four years on the East Coast, we were able to spend the holidays in Seattle with my family, being way too loud, eating way too much and exploring the city’s many, many Christmas offerings.
On New Year’s Day, Brian and I sat down and made our resolutions for 2015. This was little different; we feel calmer than we did a year ago and more prepared to listen. We’ve been praying for many of the people we’ve met this last year, and we hope you find 2015 a happy new year, surrounded by God’s blessings.