A New Year, A New You

January 6, 2014 in The Dreamer by Amanda

Happy 2014!

Here is to new dreams, new growth, new friends, new opportunities, and a new year with a new you. I’m not a big fan of new years resolutions because there’s too much pressure on the stereotypical concept of them that they’re almost made to be broken. Self-improvement should be a constant and consistent effort we make. I could offer a list of some great resolutions for you, but we all know our downfalls and where improvement is needed in our life: whether it’s a healthier lifestyle or trying to strengthen your relationship with God. Instead, I’d like to offer a universal bucket list for this year – and for every year – of several things you can do to improve yourself that aren’t habits you have to develop, but instead just small one time steps that you can choose to repeat.

Cross something off your bucket list

Go to some place you’ve never been to before

Try a new food

Make a new friend

Learn something new

Treat or pamper yourself in some way

Give to a charity or foundation of your choice (time can be just as good as money)

Read a book based solely on the title or cover art

Embrace a fear

Share your thoughts, opinions, and feelings in someway other than Twitter or Facebook

Reminiscing on 2013…

In looking at the future, I believe it’s important to reflect on and remember the past for its memories and lessons. 2013 was a year I never imagined I’d experience. This is mostly because the plan for my life after graduating high school was a hazy vision full of dreams and ambitions that didn’t make up a real game plan. It was one of those years that has been just utterly surreal in every way. Mostly it was a year of personal and spiritual growth and because of drawing closer to God, He’s revealed life changing truths and blessed me in some incredible ways because of them.

This year has taught me that despite hardships, when we put out our trust in Jesus Christ and pour ourselves into Him, He will give us hope, peace, and joy beyond all measure.

I crossed off two of my goals on my bucket list this year.

1. Get my nose pierced

2. Go to a drive in movie

On top of that, I got to meet all of the members of the band We the Kings including the bassist Charles Trippy and his wife Alli, a married couple who vlog their life on YouTube. I started watching their videos in April and met them in August.

From top to bottom: Me with Travis, Alli, Charles, Danny, Hunter, and Coley

I’ve grown apart from friends, strengthened friendships, gained new friends, and lost some altogether…

My beloved Lacy who passed away in July.

My beloved Lacy who passed away in July.

I’ve also been blessed to have been able to have the opportunity to experience other title roles.

I became a mom…

My little baby, Isabel, born on June 6, 2013.

My little baby, Isabel, born on June 6, 2013.

She's 7 weeks old and it was the last visit before I got to take her home.

She’s 7 weeks old and it was the last visit before I got to take her home.

First day officially home!

First day officially home!

First photo shoot! See more pictures from shoot here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreamersshutter/sets/72157635422563485/

First photo shoot! Click to see more pictures from shoot :)

First Christmas <3

First Christmas <3

… and also a girlfriend …

… to this amazing man, Jonathan. He lives up to his name and is truly a gift from God and such a blessing to me.

 Maybe someday I will tell you our story. ;)

My time ended at Olan Mills because they were bought out by a new company who ended up closing a large percentage of their studios down, including mine, leaving hundreds of employees without jobs.

I focused on school and worked on numerous projects ….

Click to see more from Six Impossible Things

Click to see more from the Six Impossible Things series

Click to see more from Portraits of Wonderland series

Click to see more from the Portraits of Wonderland series

Click to see more from the Once Upon a Headline series.

Click to see more from the Once Upon a Headline series.

Click to see more from Season Being series.

Click to see more from Season Being series.

Click to see more from Monsters series.

Click to see more from Monsters series.

It’s been a year full of great photo ops that I’ve documented and posted on my Flickr. God has blessed Michigan with such beauty from gorgeous scenery at Cranbrook to details in the ice from 2013′s winter storm.

Click to see more from Cranbrook

Click to see more from the 2013 ice storm.

Click to see more from the 2013 ice storm.

I also had the rewarding experience of putting together a little documentary video for a local piercer who had done my nose piercing.

…and then finally I started working at Michaels, one of my favorite stores. I practically spend my pay check there. I love the people and find such joy working there. I’ve been top in bringing in emails and have already received employee of the month. I’m so happy I can honor God and bring Him glory in all that I do.

So here’s to 2014, ¬†another great year full of change and growth toward a better direction! May you lead a life pleasing to God and may you find strength and encouragement in being consistent in your self-improvement. Hope you had a blessed Christmas and New Years!