YEAR REVIEW: Reflection of 2015

We figured since we are just getting started then it’s totally okay to wrap up our 2015 year on the last day of January 2015.  We posted our 2015 Christmas Letter here but we wanted to give a more in-depth look into our year.

In 2015, we talked about making goals. Heck, we even made it a part of our budget – $50 a month to spend on ourselves if the goals were accomplished. The problem was that we never actually wrote our goals down! But regardless, just because I like to see what we accomplished, here are a few that I remember:

  • Do the Whole30 again – CHECK
  • Celebrabrate our 1 year of marriage – CHECK (not sure if this can be counted as a goal, but we are pretty happy about it)
  • Finish filling our emergency fund – CHECK
  • Continue giving to the NEXT campaign for our church – CHECK
  • Go to Turkey again in the summer – CHECK
  • Start a saving account to move overseas one day – CHECK
  • It wasn’t on the original list but Catie took 2 grad courses – CHECK (and got two As – DOUBLE CHECK)!

We spent the last evening of 2015 enjoying some awesome sushi from Hoshi Sushi in Des Moines while reflecting on our year through these questions by Tsh Oxenreider (free download via her link!). We answered most of the 20 questions; though we tweaked the questions and skipped over a few… Overall, it was a wonderful year!




Moves: 0 (same town, same house)

Countries Traveled: 5 (Together: Italy, Turkey, U.A.E.; Catie: New Zealand and Australia)

States Traveled: 5 (Illinois, Minneapolis, Kansas, California, Massachusetts; Catie made a quick trip to Louisiana too)

Weddings Attended: 1

Babies Born: 2 new nephews! (But a shout out to Jason’s cousins because every married girl, except Catie, either had a baby or announced a pregnancy!)

Transportation Methods: Car, Airplane, Trains, Metros, and Ferry

Favorite Movies: Hunger Games

Favorite TV Show: Grimm

Favorite Country Visited: Italy


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

  • j – I enjoyed our month of traveling in July.
  • c – I loved our time in Boston, MA.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

  • j & c – maybe this is ridiculous, but we both hated being apart for 2 weeks while Catie was overseas for work
  • j – some of his work projects

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

  • j – our awesome connection group from our church
  • c – my gal friends at the university

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

  • j – one of his clients had chosen to go a different route, but he has also found many others.
  • c – basically questions 1-4 can all be answered with the surprising retirement of her supervisor. it brought good and hard things.

5. Pick three words to describe this past year.

ehhhh – we kinda skipped this one…

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your year—don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you. (If you’re not married, have fun guessing the answers from other friends and family, or just skip this question.)

ehhhh – we kinda skipped this one…

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their year—again, without asking.

  • j for c –
    • successful, leading, globetrotter
  • c for j –
    • stressful, busy, globetrotter(stole that one)

8. What were the best books you read this year?

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

  • j & c- each other (awwww) and God (hands down)

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

  • j- now joined the LOTR books read club (nerdy)
  • c- freedom in her job but also learning how to handle more responsibilities AND she would say that becoming a reader for enjoyment again has been a HUGE blessing.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

  • j- feels like he has been less anxious
  • c- has more of a desire to have children (I hear the hallelujahs from grandmas out there…)

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

  • j- more consistent in his time with God
  • c- felt like she had grown in her prayer life

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

  • j & c- we both started off the year with Whole30 (for the 3rd) time
  • c – she has battles a few more ailments since turning 30… and felt like she ended the year a little more ‘fluffier’ than she would like to be

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

  • j & c- we agreed that we have continued to become better friends!

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

  • j &c – we tend to rearrange the living room like every over week… ok, maybe not that much, but it is over average for a normal person. We really like it though.
  • j- professionally, he has a newer client this year that he enjoys getting projects from. at home, he enjoyed making this super cool wood art piece for his lovely wife.
  • c- professionally and at home, she loved being able to travel… like a lot. at home, she also surprised Jason with an advent calendar with activities for them to do together.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

  • j-  he had a particular project he source out to new partners and it was well… not as great as it could have been.
  • c- the fall semester was very busy and stressful as she took on 2 roles in her office serving as the interim director.

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

  • j & c- TV….. and some social media outlets…

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

  • j & c- date nights, connection groups, reading, snuggling.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

  • didn’t answer, but Catie could tell you know that she is a much happier person on Monday when she has prepared for the week!

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.

  • Can you tell where dinner stopped?


So that was our 2015. There were some hard growing points but most of it was amazing. We have learned more about living together, sharing life together, traveling better together, and just enjoying each other even more that we already did.

We are excited to see what 2016 holds.  Read about our 2016 GOALS here. (Yep, we already wrote them down this year!)

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