December 31, 2015
I love New Year’s. I think it’s highly underrated and might even say it’s my favorite holiday, if I weren’t afraid the Christmas-lovers would accuse me of being a heathen and a Grinch. As holidays go, New Year’s is just big enough to get people time off of work, but not so big that people usually have important or traditional plans with family, which makes it a great time to pull your friends together. Also, having parents in small-town Georgia, we can make gigantic bonfires and set off the biggest fireworks we can afford.
My favorite thing about New Year’s is the excitement of what’s to come, which I think everyone can be excited about. If your year has been amazing and joyful, you can smile at the hope of more to come. If your year has felt like the world has been falling apart around you, you can smile at the chance to restart, at the hope of a whole new year that may be nothing like the last one or at least a little bit better. If you happen to be young and transitioning between life stages like college and career, you can both smile and frown at the thought that you have absolutely no idea where you will be a year from now.
But before we look ahead at the new year, it’s always nice to spend some time reflecting on all the year we’re leaving behind has held. For Jenna and I, 2015 has been an incredible journey and will forever be a joyful year to remember. We went to a ton of weddings, had one of our own, baked a lot of cookies, played a lot of games, and somehow managed to visit more countries than states… if airport layovers count, of course.
Here are our highlights of 2015!
TOP 5 TIMES WE’LL REMEMBER:
- That time we almost got robbed, and then did get robbed, but it ended up sort of working out in our favor (I’ll explain later!)
WEDDINGS ATTENDED, SHOT, AND STARRED IN:
(if we were at your wedding this year, let us know which one you think is yours!)
The one in Kenya
The one where they forgot the vendor meals
The one with all the Disney music
The one with the couch at the Cove
The one with all the cookies
The half one
The one with all the Uptown Funk
The one with the psychic minister
The one with the best mother-son dance
The one by the river
The one with the best father-daughter dance
The one at 10:30 AM
The one with all the peaches
The one where the groom was almost late
The one where Jenna forgot to write a vow
The one in the middle of nowhere
The one at the Ritz
The one where Kendrick was a girl
The one with Christmas spirit
United Arab Emirates
COOKIES BAKED AND DECORATED:
200 States of Georgia
25 Mickeys and Minnies (and Mini Mickeys [and many Minnies])
50 Bachelorette lingerie cookies
50 mittens, candy canes, Christmas trees, stockings, and snowmen
25 ducks, “I love you” sign language signs/Spider-man hands, and birthday cakes
25 travel-themed wedding shower
25 mountain-man baby shower
50 UGA jerseys, Bulldogs, and helmets
DECENT POEMS WRITTEN:
GAMES OF THE YEAR:
Rivals of Catan – The perfect version of Catan for 2 players only! It won’t get old for at least a year, because it will take you that long to learn it.
Ticket to Ride – Evan’s current favorite board game, with just the right mixture of simple strategy and a bit of luck.
Spades – The classic of the list. Because partner games are fun, and we’re not entirely hopeless Millenials.
Family Business – For the friends who express their love through treachery, back-stabbing, and horrible Mafia accents.
Monopoly Deal – A much, MUCH quicker version of Monopoly played via card game.
Catch Phrase – We’ve decided this game is the best ice breaker for new friends to really get to know each other and cause some unstoppable laughter!
Bananagrams – Now that Jenna knows you have to connect all your words, we love this crazy Scrabble race. Our favorite addition: everyone has to make a story out of all the words they end up with at the end of each round.
Wink – A newcomer and instant favorite, this game had my entire family laughing for hours trying to secretly signal to each other and catch other people’s winks. Jenna’s uncommonly good at this one…
MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
Jurassic World – Our stand-out favorite movie of the year is Jurassic World, the most unashamed, go-big-or-go-home money-grabbing sequel/reboot about a man-eating version of Disney World that we found a wildly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Because Hawkeye was charming and admitted he’s way out of his league, Ultron was the most likable bad guy yet, and this entire Marvel series has been excellent throughout.
Inside Out – It’s Pixar. It’s beautiful. I cried.
The Scorch Trials – The second movie of the Maze Runner series, a Young Adult book trilogy I found more enjoyable than the Hunger Games, unexpectedly turned into a zombie movie so full of looking-over-your-shoulder-while-running it gave us neck strain. But it made Jenna scream in the theater, and we loved it.
The Martian – Jenna missed this one, but I found the space-Castaway story funnier than expected and really well-paced for a movie that’s mostly about a man alone by himself.
LEAST FAVORITE MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – I try not to be negatively critical of movies, I really do. But this two-hour-long melodramatic conversation of a movie left Jenna and I both so bored we distracted ourselves by examining the film’s use of the rule of thirds. To be fair, it’s well made and quite accurate to the book (from what I remember). But it is also one of the most depressing, hopeless, and least interesting stories I’ve ever seen. Go watch the first two instead. Or Schindler’s List.
I’ve never been one for making New Year’s resolutions, since I’ve never heard anyone talk about them on any other day of the year. If I’ve ever made one before, I don’t remember it.
So here’s to the first, and starting small: I want to make 2016 a year in which I don’t go one day without reading my Bible and spending some time with God. After all, that is the most fundamental step in having a relationship with Christ. Yet most of the time, I find myself aspiring to run some spiritual marathon without ever bothering to eat breakfast.
But that’s just us. We’d love to hear about your year too! We are available via email, snail mail, Instagram, Facebook, or WordPress comments; or you can find us around a bonfire tonight. Stop on by, and we might even let you light a bottle rocket.
Happy New Year’s!