2000- The middle of my sophomore year in high school and the pinnacle of the Y2K scare! This was my first year at Fort Myers High, as I had just switched from ECS. I loved it! I had just gotten my license in October and my parents got me a new silver VW Beetle! I'll never forget that day :) This was also the summer we went to New York City as a family and had dinner at Windows of the World, the restaurant on the top level of the World Trade Center towers. A dinner we didn’t know would be as special as it truly was.
2002- Senior Year/Freshman year of college. How life had changed over the past year. I started the “college search” and we went on an eastern-seaboard road trip to find my dream school! Senior year I had my heart set on Vanderbilt, but (long story short) ended up at University of Miami. Miami in one word was FUN. My random freshman roommate ended up being my best friend, Ali D’Andrea…we had an amazing time! Also, joined a sorority and enlarged my circle of friends to include my besties Amy & Amanda. It was a great freshman year of college, and wouldn’t have asked for anything better!
2003- A year of changes, the second semester of freshman year in college and a summer that changed my life. Spring semester was rough at Miami, but it also brought the renewal of a high school friendship with Emily Millage (who, to this day is still my best friend!) I digress, that summer my friend Melissa asked me to spend those three months with her working at a camp in Michigan. I said yes and my life was never the same! God used that summer to grab my attention and get me serious about Him and ONLY Him. At the end of the summer, I knew I needed to change schools, but didn't know what to do...so, I finished out the semester and made the change in January.
2004-The year of the unknown. This year started off with me finally getting the courage to leave Miami and take a semester off of college (much to my parents dismay), but I knew it was what the Lord wanted. I spent that semester and summer really searching for what God wanted (and getting into a little trouble with Melissa, Colin, Wade and Brad!) In August, I packed up and headed to Liberty University. I knew probably 3 people, but had that peace I hadn’t had in years and knew this is where God wanted me. That first semester was rough, but the Lord brought me my best friend, Danielle McCarthy and later in the semester, Cody.
2005- This year started off with such excitement, as Cody and I had just gone on our first date and had talked the ENTIRE break on the phone. The rest of the year was confusing. Those first few months were, simply put, BLISS. The kind of love story I thought would never happen to me, but I was living and couldn’t believe it! Then the fear set in and we broke up….then the drama really began. The rest of that year can be summed up in one word, too….TEARS! A rough start in the fall, but also the beginning of God’s call to ministry in my life. I spent the rest of that year on True Identity, a traveling ministry team for girls 6-12th grade. This is when I began to fall in love with Jesus, and be filled with HIM and not a boyfriend.
2006- This year is kind of a blur, Cody and I had gotten back together in January and were together until November. This year was full of incredible ministry opportunities and great friendships. I met such incredible women, like Sarah Wetherington and started living with Ashley Cherilla, a friendship that grew into a sisterhood. But, I’d say the best part of 2006 was the plane trip back to Virginia over Thanksgiving break. I met a friend I’ll love forever, Abigail Reighard. We hit it off over cute shoes and Paige premium jeans…and crazy boys. The rest of 2006 was my favorite part of college. Hanging out in 734 and laughing until it hurts with Ashley Cherilla and Lindsey Crosby...otherwise known as P.O.G.
2007- Probably the craziest year of my life! Cody and I were Lord knows what in the relationship department, I went to Haiti on a missions trip with True ID and learned to cling to Jesus in a way I never had before. In the summer, we decided to end the ‘on-again, off-again’ drama and call it quits. I was sad, but also knew that the Lord was going to do great things because we finally stopped trying to control our lives and gave it over to Him. Ironically, I never thought it would be us getting back together and getting engaged at the end of that year, in December, but God has a different plan....and I couldn't have been happier!
2008-An amazing year of new beginnings. That year started with us apart, as Cody took a worship pastor position an hour and a half away in Blacksburg, Virginia and I was continuing my Masters at Liberty and being the Director of True Identity. June 21, 2008 was the day that changed it all, our wedding! Also, the day I gave my life away for ministry and tried not to look back! It was a rough transition being a 'pastor's wife', but it helped us grow in our marriage and learn to trust in the Lord so much for fulfillment and friendship. Also, the year I had my first 'grown-up' job at Virginia Tech..not my favorite, but still a blessing to help pay the bills :)
2009- We celebrated our ONE YEAR anniversary! It was a year of weddings and babies (our newest niece, Estella Ruth)! So many friends got married, we were able to be a part of it all! This past year has been an incredible one. We've finally gotten into a groove and have been able to learn the balance of jobs, ministry, marriage and family! But, God's still growing us and helping us to love Him more! We've also been blessed with a new pastor at Northstar and great new friendships with the Carver's, Fickes', Card's, Rancourt's and the list goes on and on! God has truly blessed our obedience and I'm so grateful!
2010- I can't believe it's been ten years and the start of a new decade! I can't even fathom what the next ten years will hold, but I can't wait!