January 5: Three-Thing Thursday

I've been reading old blog posts (wow did I have my diet and workout routine down at one point!), and I was reminded that for a bit, I did three-thing Thursdays where I shared about 3 things of note.  I decided that should definitely make a return in the new year!  So, here is our first edition of 2017:

Three Things that I LOVED about 2016.

I've been fairly upfront that I would happily forget about 2016, but there were some amazing standout moments that should not be ignored.

1.  Medellin, Colombia

I am in love with this beautiful city and its beautiful people.  Medellin has a difficult history which makes who it is today all the more amazing.  We spent a week there falling in love with the culture, cites, and malls.  What can I say?  I'm a mall fan.  I believe LaGrange, Georgia, to be the center of Southern hospitality, but it would struggle to compare with the gracious people of Medellin.  I never finished my updates about our trip.  The short version is that we would return in a heartbeat.  (I actually mentioned to Tony's boss that Cat should open operations in Medellin.  He laughed.  I think that means no.)

This might be my favorite picture from the trip.  On the left is our driver, Fernando.  On the right is a very displeased Coralynn Mae.  She was adamant that she wanted to go meet the Octopus (see the blue guy in the background?), but once she got to the Octopus, she bolted.  Fernando was determined that she was going to meet Octopus.  Coralynn was convinced she was not.  He lovingly coaxed her in Spanish, and she argued back in English.  When all was said and done, she didn't meet the Octopus.  But, by the end of the day, they were back together.  

Coralynn with her Colombian abuelo, Fernando.

2.  Kansas City, Missouri

This summer I went to Kansas City not once, but twice.  Originally, I was supposed to go for a week while Carson was at camp.  Also, originally, Tony and I were supposed to go to Dallas while all the kids were at camp in southern Missouri.  The morning we were to leave to for Dallas was the morning of the tragic shooting of Dallas police officers.  Because of the location of our hotel in relation to the shooting and because of the increased police presence in Dallas, we decided it was not a great location for a getaway.  (I still really, really want to visit!)  After looking at a map, we decided that Kansas City would have to do. Little did we know that KCMO was going to steal our hearts.

I've been to Kansas City dozens of times.  My grandparents lived there when I was growing up, and we went a few times a year.  I liked it as a kid, but I don't remember much beyond a park and ski ball.  So, I was pleasantly surprised by my first real trip back to Kansas City as a grown up.  There was SO much to do!  We're history lovers so we visited the World War I history museum (AMAZING) and President Truman's library (AMAZING).  We ate more BBQ than I knew I ever wanted (Jack Stack for the hand's down win!).  We discovered a passion for Ethiopian food and Yogurtini.  We were also able to spend some time with my Uncle Steve- who is as awesome an uncle to Tim and me as Tim is to my kids!  It was a truly relaxing, refreshing getaway!

3.  People.

I guess I'm more of a pessimist than I realize.  As I've been working on this blog post for the past couple of hours, I've come to the realization that 2016 was actually pretty good.  The lows were lower than I've had in a nice, long time, but those lows certainly didn't overwhelm the highlights. And I think people are the reason for why.  As I scanned through social media looking for one last picture to post, I realized that 2016 was a year of loving on people.  And of being loved on.

I started teaching in January and fell in love with 96 new people.  I am convinced that our little school that looks like a lot of nothing from the side of the road actually houses a lot of something. I've laughed with my students.  (really, Tequilla Mockingbird is no longer funny.)  I've cried with them.  They've seen me at my best and worst.  I'm seen them in some of theirs.  They've made every day of note.   And those are just the students.  It doesn't count my coworkers who are now part of my family.  They love us well, and I'd like to believe they would say the same about us.

In March, I flew to Georgia to love on my friend.  I went for the sole purpose of having her back.  It was the most loved I've ever felt.  We ended up laughing a whole lot more than we did hurting.  I got to see my friends' victories.  I got to praise God with them for faithfulness in big things like marriages and heart surgeries and lesser things like swim meets and new houses.  I got to have a last minute change in crazy plan girlfriend getaway.  The best part- we were so busy being together that no one thought to take a selfie of it.  I love that.

I got to go to Illinois in March and celebrate Easter with my family.  It's been a decade (?) since that happened.  Yes, we were mourning the loss of my grandmother, but there is something sweet in even that.  The sweetness of togetherness.

In June and July, I got to see almost everyone I'm related to.  My family's tiny, but we are a force. Loved watching my babies play with my cousins' babies.  Loved watching my Illinois family get to really spend time with my children.  Chloe was 5 when we moved from Peoria.  Coralynn wasn't even considered.  They only see the cousin cousins once a year, and they are always some of my favorite moments.  I got to watch Chloe and Camilla dance with my cousin on her wedding day.  Even better, I got to watch Chloe teach my dad to club dance.  July also brought our best friends from Georgia to St. Louis to spend the weekend with us. Another highlight of the year!

In August, I got to meet a new set of teachers and a new combination of students.  October brought whale watching and Captain Carlos with First Mate Charlie- an awesome opportunity to really see a bit of this country we've called home for almost 6 years .  Throughout the fall, I made deeper relationships with people I've known in Panama since day one.  I also said goodbye to lots of people, but that just means there are more places I can go and know that I am loved.


This post definitely went longer than I imagined it would.  But, I'm thankful.  I needed a little perspective today.    Call it a BEYOND day!

Until later,


Brenda said…
Lisa! Great to see you. What a busy year you've had. It was a busy year full of firsts and lasts in our home, too. I like Three-Things-Thursday. :) Thanks for sharing, and thanks for linking up at the #ChasingCommunity launch! So good to have you along for the ride. Happy New Year! ((hug))

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