I have so many things to say, I will have to split it up into 2 posts.
First I want to give you a recap in pictures of the things that kept me from the blog since Thanksgiving.
The first weekend in December I graduated from the Botanologos School of Herbal Studies!
The morning of our graduation we took a test, and in the afternoon we had a medicine making show. Everyone made 9 original herbal preparations and presented them to the class.
Our amazing teacher, Patricia Howell, tested every preparation.
All those in the audience got to test as well. I was amazed at the collective creativity of the group and feel blessed to have gotten to know some incredible herbalists and friends.
The second weekend in December, my sister Anna got married!
I had the privilege of making their wedding cake. Wonderful people + magical atmosphere + delicious food = an amazing wedding. Congrats to the lovely couple and all the friends and family that helped make the day possible!
On December 17th, I finished another semester at school. Now I only have one more semester until I graduate with my BS in Nutrition Science in May! It is so close, I can taste it.
I also made all A’s this semester. Woohoo!!
I made homemade gifts for Christmas this year that were a big hit (more posts on that later).
We also painted our bedroom and got new blackout curtains. We love the color and have been sleeping better with a darker room.
Needless to say, it has been a jam packed couple of weeks and by the time we made it past Christmas last week, I was ready for a break in all aspects of the word. We spent this week hanging out with friends and relaxing, and it has been wonderful.
Now that I feel I have more margin, I thought it would be fun to reflect on this past year, even though it is a few days late.
In December of 2013 I picked a word that I want to describe the following year.
The word I picked for 2014 was GROWTH.
Going into it, I wanted 2014 to be a year of new experiences, new knowledge, new friends, to grow and be a better person for it. Looking back from the other side I can confidently say that all of that happened and more!
In January we bought a house. I subsequently learned how difficult it is to decorate said house, but we made progress along the way. I grew in my knowledge of herbal medicine by taking The Botanologs School of Herbal Studies with Patricia Howell. I learned how to make herbal teas, salves, tinctures. I learned how to make soap, how to dye my hair with henna, how to grow medicinal herbs at the UGArden, how to identify weeds in my yard and use them for medicine, how to lacto-ferment veggies, how to cook with different organ meats. My parents took us on a cruise and taught us how to vacation as a couple :). I got published in a magazine, and gave a presentation to local group participating in a weight loss competition. I got a new website and learned how to use wordpress. I made it through my 2 hardest semesters at school. On December 10th, I paid my last tuition payment for the spring semester. I can officially say I worked my way through school and did it DEBT-FREE!
Life isn’t always good, all the time. I feel compelled to share that I also had a lot of experiences I would rather not live through again. I was the most stressed out last year. I was overcommitted at work, at school, and in the kitchen so I left little for my husband, or for taking care of myself. Despite feeling grateful for all the wonderful things that have happened, I find myself at the end of a long year with poor digestion, addicted to sugar, feeling burnt out, distant from God, and craving the community that we just ‘haven’t had time for’. I didn’t want to end this post on a negative note, but I also want to be honest about the fact that great passion means greater need for boundaries.
The good and the bad. It is all a part of life. I am truly thankful for last year, and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it. It was full of adventure, great accomplishments, lots of stress, and many opportunities for learning and growth that I will bring with me into the new year.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post when I talk about my word for 2015.