Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Recap

It's hard to believe 2009 is drawing to a close.  It seems like just yesterday that I was eagerly anticipating 2009 (especially a certain day in June!!).  One of my favorite parts of the end of the year is looking at the "year recaps" that the media puts together.  I love looking at them for real news, sports news, celebrity news and all of my favorite blogs.  To me, it is like listening to James Taylor's Greatest Hits - you get all the realllly good stuff (I mean, let's face it, with James Taylor it's all good) in one succinct album.

I thought I would do the same for myself - walk through some of the big happenings that went on in my life in 2009.  I hope you enjoy!!


Bruce and I rang in 2009 in Pennsylvania at my cousin's wedding.  They were married on New Year's Eve at 6 p.m. and the reception followed.  We actually snuck out about 45 minutes before the countdown to midnight and rung in the New Year with my mom's sister and her family.

We drove back to Georgia on New Year's day and jumped right back into things.  Bruce went back to work and I - having signed up for a January term class - went back to school for a course in NonProfit Leadership.  I was coming off of a very difficult Fall '08 semester, so easing back in with one class was definitely good for me.  Plus - I learned SO much.  I now know how to file the paperwork to become a nonprofit, build a Board of Trustees/Directors and start to grow a staff.  I can run a capitol campaign, develop a fundraising strategy and balance a budget.

(Do I want to do any of those things?  Absolutely not.  But I feel confident knowing that I will be competent if anyone ever asks me to serve on a Board of Trustees/Directors at a nonprofit.)


I turned 24 and - despite being in the middle of midterms - Bruce made it SO special, complete with chocolate cake, balloons, a dinner party with friends and presents.  I am so lucky (and in complete denial that in two short months I will be hitting the quarter-century mark, ha!!).

I kicked off the Lenten season by presiding over my first Ash Wednesday service.  It was such an incredible experience and I was amazed at the connection that I made to my parishioners through the ash that I rubbed on their foreheads.  It was such a cool reminder that - broken down - we are all made up of the same particles.

From dust you came and to dust you will return.


I am pretty sure that I spent half of March in the airport!!  I spent part of my spring break in Connecticut where I had a meeting with the Church & Ministry Committee of the Litchfield North Association (they are the ones who are bringing me through the ordination process) and had a wonderful bridal shower hosted for me by my sister.

After the shower I experienced my first pedicure ... I know, how had I lived into my early twenties and not had a pedicure?  It's a mystery to me.  Thanks Courtney!!

I flew back to Georgia only to essentially turn around and fly back to Connecticut - this time with Bruce - for the All School Musical that my dad directs every year.  The trip started off hysterically because we ran into my aunt - who lives in Florida - IN the airport.  We had no idea she was even in Atlanta and she had no idea we were making a trip north!!  Anyway, the trip was wonderful, the show was fabulous, I cried when the Beast transformed (the musical was Beauty and the Beast) and we found ourselves back in Atlanta again.


You know, it's kind of funny.  I was looking back on my blog posts in April and pretty much all I did was scramble to finish up school work.  You would have thought I would have done something fabulous on Easter morning to celebrate the resurrection, but - alas - Bruce was visiting his parents and I was working on a 25 page final project for my nonprofit class.


I closed the door on Year #2 of seminary (everyone says the second year is the hardest, so I was definitely not sad to close the door on that one).  I gained back some of the confidence that I lost the previous semester (which had, to put it nicely, kicked my butt) and I started to resurrect my GPA.

A week or two after school let out, I had the opportunity to attend the Lillian Carter Award Ceremony at the Carter Center.  Lillian Carter - President Carter's late mother - joined the Peace Corps after her husband died.  She was 68 years old when she applied - 68!!  She served in Mumbai for almost two years.  The Peace Corps established this biennial award to honor Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) who joined the Peace Corps after the age of 50.  The ceremony was awesome.  President Carter presented the award (he got choked up when he started talking about his mom and then - you know me - I started crying as well) and Jason Carter - President Carter's grandson and another RPCV - introduced his grandfather.

Side note - Jason Carter is now running for Georgia State Senate!!  Those of you Georgians out there - keep that in mind.  Also - he published a book about his time in the Peace Corps.  He was serving in post-apartheid South Africa and has some amazing insight into what is going on in that country.  The book is called Power Lines:  Two Years on SOUTH AFRICA'S Borders.  Click here to view it on amazon.

(By the by, I don't know this much about the Peace Corps because I am a RPCV or I am planning on applying any time soon.  I work with an RPCV and she keeps me in the loop.  It's a phenomenal program and if you have an inkling to know more, you should definitely look into it.)


One thing sticks out pretty significantly as happening in June ...

... Bruce and I got married!!  In front of 250 people (in a church built for 200) Bruce and I said "I do."  The day could not have been more perfect.


Bruce and I were back in Atlanta and starting to settle in as newlyweds.  I had lots and lots of cooking disasters and we cheered on the Braves at an afternoon game.


Do you see this?

This is the face of a boy who's wife said they could use the Target gift cards they got for the wedding on a new flat screen TV.  (Do you see the one we replaced in the background?  I think it looks sad.)

At the end of the month we drove up to Huntingdon, PA for my cousin's wedding.  The wedding was outside, on the top of a hill and surrounded by trees and flowers.  It was simply beautiful.


I headed back to school for my third and final year of seminary(!!).  In the midst of it, Atlanta had severe, severe flooding and I had a new appreciation for people who are affected by hurricanes every year.

I also took one more step closer to "adulthood" when my mom wrote over the title to my car and I registered it in Georgia.  It felt weird to no longer have Connecticut license plates - it was like admitting I was really living in Georgia.  But then I realized.  I'm living in Georgia.  With my husband.  With a new last name.  Seriously - life felt amazing.


We were back in Pennsylvania for the weekend of the 175th anniversary of my parent's home church.  This was our 7th trip north of the year!!

Sarah and I spent the day speed shopping.  We literally ran allll over King of Prussia Mall looking for the best deals and the most perfect outfit and accessories.  I hate the fact that Sarah and I live so far from one another.  Although - I suppose my bank account is saved by that fact, ha!!

The anniversary service was incredible and it was great to see all of my family.


Bruce and I attended our first SEC football game!!  We wanted to see what all the fuss was all about.  I had a fantastic time getting all dolled up and we had a fantastic time at the game.  The Dawgs lost, but I'm glad we got to go anyway.

The month ended with a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with some of my friends from seminary.  We are so blessed that - even so far away from our families - we still have amazing people to spend holidays with.


I finished a fantastic semester at school (one more to go!!) and Bruce and I celebrated 6 months of marriage.

We celebrated our third Christmas in Atlanta, our first as a married couple.

All in all, 2009 was a pretty fantastic year!!  Bring it on, 2010!!

Happy New Year!!!!!


  1. Happy New Year to you! I loved your year in review in photos. You and Bruce make an adorable couple.

    Sarah, I'm glad I "stumbled" on your blog. I am enjoying it.


  2. Thanks Debbie!! I have enjoyed browsing around yours as well - I look forward to reading your updates!!

    I was clicking around on your fitness bar. I'm fascinated with the ways different people talk about making healthy lifestyle choices - I know my life gets busy and I do not always do what I should be doing. I am looking so simple changes that I can make that will keep me healthy as I finish up this degree and start my life in the ministry. I'm sure I will have plenty of questions for you!!


Hello and thanks for commenting! Unless I have your email address, I respond to all questions directly in the comment form. Check back if you've asked one! xo, Sarah

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