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2016: The Year of the Dog

Personal, Updates

August 8, 2017

I love New Year’s. I think it’s highly underrated and might even call it my favorite holiday. It’s 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 and light things on fire, especially if those things explode (but not the friends).

My favorite aspect of New Year’s is that it’s one of the few holidays that encourages you to both reflect on the past and look forward to the future, which is great because I think everyone can be excited about what’s to come. 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. And you can decide whether to smile or 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 the year we’re leaving behind.

Now, we all know everybody on social media has been hating pretty hard on 2016, which is understandable––but for Jenna and I, this year offered a lot of new growth for which we are greatly thankful. The stand-out blessings of this year for us have been:

1. New City Church
Probably the most difficult thing during our first few months of marriage was the lack of community we found due to living in a new town. We spent 6 months looking for a church that we connected with and really longed to join, and God eventually led us to New City Church, a little baby church in Lawrenceville that was planted out of Perimeter Church. We have been able to jump in and help sing, run sound, and do media work, but more importantly the church has blessed us immensely with a solid community that quickly became our own.

2. Growth of We Two Photo Video
One of the things at which we are continually in awe is how much God has blessed our wedding business this year.  We booked and shot way more weddings than we ever expected to in our first year.  We are even more thankful for the wonderful relationships that We Two has brought to us and the fun we have had shooting all those happy days.

3. Sirius!
We also got the cutest puppy in the world.

Here are our highlights of 2016!


  1. Writing and throwing a “Mutinous Murder Mystery” Pirate-themed halloween party
  2. Running 2 Spartan Races (the Sprint was fun… Super not so much)
  3. Meeting the MTW missionary families in Honduras. We’re half tempted to move there just to hang out with them.
  4. The Holiday Armadillo––or as Jenna and Darrell call it, “The One that Got Away…”
  5. Going to Charleston for our anniversary and sleeping the whole time


The One Where the Photographer Almost Left

The One With the Spanish Moss

The One With the Midnight Pizza

The One With the Immaculate Conception

The One With 5 Videographers

The One With All the Smiles

The One at Salem Camp Meeting

The One With All the Sweat

The One With the Fireworks

The One With the Downpour, or The One That Went Viral

The One on National Dance Day

The One Where They Tied the Knot

The One With the Lap Dance

The One in the Tiny Venue

The One With all the Mojo

The One With the Money Dance

The One With All the Cotton

The One With All the Pumpkins

The One With the Jingle Bells


Seven Wonders
Our current favorite, a detailed strategy game similar to Settlers of Catan. Our favorite aspect is that everyone gets to play their turn at the same time, so there’s not as much time spent waiting on each other to make decisions. I also love that it has so many different strategies to choose from, letting me experiment every time we play (even though Marcus always wins).

Pandemic is the first collaborative board game we’ve played, in which you all work together to save the world from rapidly spreading diseases. An instant favorite––and we haven’t even tried the months-long Legacy versions yet…

I always get tired after 2 or 3 rounds of this game, but only because my face literally hurts from laughing so hard. Wink is a fantastic party game for up to 10 people, and trying to catch each other secretly winking at other players makes for some paranoid, eye-straining good times.

Our friend Peter introduced us to Fibbage, another great party game for up to 8 people. You receive a trivia question on a TV, and everyone uses their phones to enter a fake answer. Then, the TV shows all the fake answers along with the real one and players have to guess which answer is correct. You rack up points for fooling more people. Fast-paced and hilarious!

Codenames is a great communication game, in which you have to try to get your partner to guess a series of words from a board based on only one-word clues. This one’s perfect for double dates.


Captain America: Civil War
I’m definitely a sucker for Marvel movies, but this one has been the most fun so far. Seeing so many characters come together on screen was cool in itself, but I loved that each character believed they were doing the right thing enough to come to blows about it, and yet still did so in a way that showed they truly did not want to hurt each other (eh, mostly). It was refreshing to not have a standard major villain but to really let this be about the heroes’ individual relationships. I was able to watch them all fight each other and think “this is so cool” without grimacing at the violence with which they bludgeoned each other, like some other movies this summer…

A bunny cop movie about talking animals that’s filled with a twistful mystery, sly humor, and a surprising amount of social commentary, Zootopia is definitely one to watch!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
It’s always fun to re-enter the world of Harry Potter, and this movie did a fine job of making that come alive again! It’s a nice change of pace to see a movie about fully-grown wizards who can already do all the stuff Harry struggled to learn, and I’m excited to see where this story takes us (dragons and young Dumbledore, please?). And that niffler was adorable.

Finding Dory
A touching follow-up to a classic Pixar tale.


Batman v. Superman: DAWN OF JUSTICE
I used to like “dark” superhero movies (The Dark Knight), but in my opinion DC is taking that to too much of an extreme. Like this movie if you want, but I didn’t enjoy watching Batman set out to murder Superman just in case something happens one day, watching the two beat each other to a pulp, seeing the ridiculous way that fight ended, or the feeling that the whole thing was really just to set up for long-overdue Justice League movies.


(to listen to while working)

  1. Gilmore Girls
  2. Greys Anatomy
  3. Hart of Dixie
  4. Friends


  1. Stranger Things
  2. Sherlock
  3. Arrow
  4. This Is Us


  1. Franklin, North Carolina
  2. Virgin Islands Disney Cruise
  3. Harry Potter World (and the rest of Universal I guess)
  4. La Ceiba, Honduras
  5. Charleston, SC
  6. New Orleans, LA
  7. New York City, NY

Looking forward, our goals together for 2017 are to tackle our student debt, rest more, and work less.
Jenna’s New Year’s resolution is to spend time in prayer every day, and mine is to journal every day. We also suggested resolutions for each other this year; Jenna suggested that I run a mile each day, and I suggested that she make intentional efforts to stay in touch with friends each week.

Here’s to a new year!

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