Things I Learned in 2015

Another year. More moments and adventures. More memories and laughter and disappointments. And lessons. So many things learned.

I enjoyed participating last year with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky, and thought I’d share again this year.

This is by no means a complete list, but it’s certainly all over the place. Just like my 2015.

1. There is a very specific method, dare I say art form, to making the perfect custard. I’m not the usual “custard-maker” at the pie shop where I work, but I do have to step in from time to time. There’s a lot that can go sideways in the custard cooking process. But thankfully I’ve learned a lot this year.

2. The little box that plugs into the wall on power supply cords is called a wall wart. Obviously this little nugget of knowledge came from my husband. And thanks to YouTube I also learned how to solder and replace a capacitor in one of those. Haven’t put it into practice yet, but it’s on my to-do list.

3. How to sew a button on a shirt. My hubby had accumulated shirts with quite a few missing buttons over the years, before we were married. And apparently our dryer likes to eat them. Compliments to YouTube again, because I can now sew buttons like a pro. Our dryer will not defeat me.

4. There are bears in Tennessee. Okay. I realize I probably should have known this. But I was SHOCKED when we saw bears on the side of the road in the Smokey Mountains on our honeymoon. Gatlinburg is only a few hours from where we live! I just didn’t realize bears lived so close to us.

5. I can clearly hear the sound of a spoon scraping the bottom of a glass bowl from multiple rooms away. Gregory has a problem with ice cream. My hearing is a match for his late night, early morning and mid-day sneakiness.

 6. I actually have the courage to fight against the expectations and traditions and ideas of what other people want, to have the wedding that we wanted. No white dress. No walking down the aisle. No bridal party. No gifts. No crazy planning and decorations. Just potluck-style dinner while we said our vows. Complete with kids everywhere. And it was perfect.

7. There are frequent, unannounced (at least to me) parades when you live down the street from a high school. The cost of this lesson is waking up from a nap to the sounds of a marching band and sirens, followed by the horrifying realization that your car was parked on the street. Why yes, my little red car doubles as a parade obstacle.

8. What exactly aperture, shutter speed, and ISO mean and how they work together to make a good picture. I’ve always been interested in photography. And my husband is quite knowledgeable in this field and has some pretty awesome equipment. And Greg has been teaching me a lot. I really enjoy it.

9. How to make window screens. I love having the windows open. So Gregory taught me how to make window screens and how to use this fancy little tool. This man constantly amazes me. Boys are annoying. They know how to do everything. “Hmm… I need window screens. Let me just make them.” I can’t just DO that. Well... I guess, actually now I can. Hmm. Another benefit to marriage.

10. My husband knows how to juggle. I discovered this one a few nights ago. Oh marriage is fun.

11. My husband also is the best Christmas tree limb shaper I’ve ever witnessed. We had the nicest shaped artificial trees possibly in the whole country, or state, or for sure our town.

12. It’s actually pretty easy (and cheap!) to make your own wonton wrappers. After not being able to find some at the grocery store (and I was DESPERATE to have some crab rangoons for Chinese night!) I did a quick internet search and BAM! found a great recipe.

13. There are some friendships that go deeper than any distance or circumstance or issue can tear apart. Some friendships take a lot of time. Some can be pretty low maintenance. Some can feel life-changing the moment you meet them. Some can take a while to take off. And sometimes you get lucky enough to experience friendships that withstand everything. Friends that stay friends regardless. True love.

14. Ice cream is a foundational part of my marriage. We started off with plenty of ice cream at The Old Mill Creamery in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We bought an ice cream maker to make our own shortly after our honeymoon. My husband bought me ice cream for Christmas. Ice cream is great.

15. Grace is truly and completely changing my life. I don’t always see it day to day. A lot of days I can be quite hard on myself. Some days my insecurities feel like they are choking the life out of me. But as I sit here looking over my year, I feel different. I feel a new peace and joy. Bad days no longer completely do me in. I feel a faith that has become foundational. Suffering has shaped me. It’s hard to describe. But I’m not the same Emily of 2014.

16. I’m attracted to the light. Yes, this might make me sound part insect. But on a random trip to Lowe’s, I experienced the unexpected wonderful loveliness of walking through the light fixture aisle. I had to walk through it multiple times. The warmth and brightness just brought me so much joy. (I won’t mind if you take this lesson further for a much bigger meaning… *wink* *wink*)

17. I’m an extremely emotional person. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s totally true. Small things affect me. I’m insanely sentimental. Little moments can tear me down or build me up. I find beauty and life lessons in the weirdest places. I can be so dramatic. I think deeply. I love fiercely. And it all leaves me feeling completely vulnerable. And I feel crazy most of the time. But I’m also learning it’s okay. And the people who love me the most, love this part of who I am more than I could have ever expected.

18. I am a writer. I write on this blog. I write in journals. I type. I write with pens and pencils. I do calligraphy. I make up stories in my head. I tell stories of my life to the people around me. It feels scary to say it, but this year I’ve learned it’s completely true. I am a writer.

It feels hard to find a place to end this list. It's hard to find a place to stop. I feel like I can go on and on. It’s fun to look back on the last year. But I guess number 18 is as good a place to end as any.

It's been nice to look back on this year with a lot of silliness and a smidge of seriousness thrown in. It's been a rough day. But it's been nice to write this post. Thanks for reading with me.

What about you? What lessons have you learned?


  1. I want a marriage filled with ice cream too ��

    1. Oh friend, it's great. I be praying this sweetness for you :-)


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