This last year has been a roller coaster to say the least. I started the year jobless and facing losing my apartment. I ended the year in a beautiful and healthy living situation where I’m finally flourishing. If there was one word to sum up how I feel about this last year It would be grateful. I am grateful for the amazing opportunities that I have had this year. The amazing summer I spent working for the most fantastic bosses I’ve ever had and learning how to do so much more than I ever thought I could. I loved that job and look forward to another season of ketchup in my socks, stair sprints and mason jars with my team V. I am also thankful for the ability to finally achieve my dream of culinary school. Its been a long time coming and its finally here. This last year I have been blessed by being friends with some of the most amazing people on earth. First and foremost my best friends. Christina Fae Underwood. My fats, I am so glad that we had English together in 11th grade because my life has been profoundly impacted by yours. You have taught me so much about what it means to live and love and laugh. I heart you fats. And then there’s my broooootats aka Valerie Rouse. I wish I knew how to explain how much you and your precious family mean to me. You teach me what it means to be a strong woman and what it means to be a best friend. Thank you for being such an unshakeable rock in my life.
In 2011 I also had the privilege of making some amazing new friends, in particular. Adam and Jess Aleksy. You guys are a few of my favorite people ever. You are both such genuine and giving people. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleaders about OCI and for being fantastic coworkers and friends. I loooove you guys to pieces.
I have also had the privilege of being mentored and disciple by the two greatest youth pastors and friends I could ask for. Dave and Amber Wholers you guys have truly modeled what it means to live discipleship and service. Thank you for tons of coffee and picking me up before I drove and for being so willing to pour into my life. I will always be your Rosa anytime you need me.
Now for the person who has had the greatest impact on my life this year. Polly Howell. You have treated me like one of your own kids, you’ve put up with my drama and my messes and have taught me grace and patience and how to be a person of my word. I am so thankful for your role in my life. I know I probably don’t tell you often enough but you have truly changed my life. I will always get you ice water.
So in retrospect this last year even though it had some really dark moments has been a year of overwhelming victory for me. I have been gifted with amazing relationships and if you aren’t named individually in this that doesn’t mean that you aren’t important in my life. In fact if you are reading this it means you have been a cheerleader, a friend, a mentor or just a shoulder when I needed it. I wouldn’t have made it this year without you. Thank you.