2018 was quite a year! It was incredibly hard in many ways but it was also a year that I grew in my understanding of who God is and what it means to be a Christ follower. The past 12 months have been full of people I love, new experiences and wonderful opportunities. I think the best way to share the highlights of this year is in my favorite photos from each month.
I rang in the new year surrounded by friends at a decades themed party hosted by me and my friend. It was an absolute blast and so worth how tired I was the next day!
In January I also had the opportunity to visit Aspen, CO for a fun girls weekend. None of us are very avid skiiers or snowboarders so it wasn’t until we got up there that we realized we were visiting the weekend of the X Games. We had an amazing time watching the games, exploring the town, and were totally refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of the semester when we returned.
February was one of the less eventful months out of 2018 but I still managed to dig myself out of homework long enough to explore Manitou Springs and experiment with photography in some unusual settings.
The month of March can be split into three sections, waiting for spring break, spring break, and recovering from spring break. This year, I went to Steamboat Springs, CO with my mom and one of my sisters. We ate good food, watched the snow fall around us while enjoying the hot springs, and visited the last major National Park in Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument.
In April, I helped a friend plan a surprise 80th birthday party for her Grandma. We baked a cake, brought spray-in hair color, and had so much fun celebrating such a sweet lady!
In May I completed my first year as a full-time college student. UCCS was my second-choice school, and I ultimately chose it because my goal is to graduate from college debt-free. I now wholeheartedly love the school primarily because of the people that I have met and the community I found there. I ended up visiting a student ministry called Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ) and it has been such a blessing.
In May I also traveled to Dallas, TX to visit my best friend. We got to know each other the summer before my freshman and her sophomore year of highschool and have been pretty much like sisters ever since. She moved from CO to TX after she graduated high school and I hadn’t seen her in a year so it was so good to get to visit her.
In June, I kayaked for the first time. It is much more of an upper body work out than I’m used to but it was so fun and I can’t wait to go again next summer! We tried to get across Twin Lakes to visit a ghost town that can only be reached by boat or hiking trail but a storm blew in while we were halfway across and we had to turn around so that is my first goal for kayaking once it gets warm enough!
In July, I turned 19, finally passed College Algebra, and (the most exciting thing) got to visit El Salvador and meet my sponsored child!
Meeting Nuria was the best part of my entire year and made me even more passionate about sponsoring through Compassion. If you want to read more about my trip, I wrote blog posts about Day 1, an overview, and Child Visit Day
August started with a camping trip on the western slope and finally hiking to Crystal, CO before I started my sophomore year of college!
The Crystal Mill is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado and it is located in a ghost town near Marble, CO which can only be reached by jeep or hiking. Most of the property in the town was recently purchased by a woman who planned to develop it into a resort. I was worried that the town would be commercialized and the historical and natural beauty would be lost but actually, the result was quite lovely. All of the original cabins were still there and while I wasn’t able to see inside of any of them it looks like the structure has been repaired so that they are safe to inhabit without significantly altering the appearance. Some descendants of the original residents of the town still live there and I was able to speak to one of them and he was very optimistic about the changes.
I also jumped into a new school year and while this one definitely kicked my butt I learned and grew a ton as a result.
In September I went to Kansas for my cousin’s bridal shower, learned to dirt bike and went to my other cousin’s wedding! It was a wild month but so great!
October was a month full of community. I went to my second RMGA which is the fall retreat for Cru in CO. The first night of the retreat always ends with a dance competition and after 2 years of coming in second to UNC, UCCS finally won! That led into an amazing weekend where everyone grew and we enjoyed time away from school and with God.
I also started working at Trader Joe’s in October! I am so glad to be doing something different from lifeguarding
November can be split into three categories: stress about school, Thanksgiving break, stress about finals. As you can see, most of the month was rough but the week of Thanksgiving was wonderful. My friend’s birthday was right before Thanksgiving so we pretty much spent the whole week celebrating.
In December my cousin got married! She and her husband are an awesome couple and I was thrilled to see them start their life together and gain a cousin!
December also marked the second New Years party that my friend and I threw. We ran out of time to plan much so we opted for a low-key game night to ring in 2019.
2018 was a wild ride. While it came with so many amazing moments I am more than happy to see what 2019 has in store now!