New Year's Eve: a time to celebrate!

It's New Year's Eve! This day always bring so many emotions for me. As someone who is sentimental by nature, NYE can be a little much for my heart to handle. From nostalgia for the year ending, hope for the one to come, and a wistful feeling as I want to savor what it's like to be living in the moment, I have a lot going on inside!

If I'm really being honest, most years I kind of just want NYE to be over so that I'm not so dramatically confronted with the passing of time. I'm a "savorer," and the conclusion of an entire year, and the knowledge that it will never be that year again is just hard for me to process.

Does anyone else feel this way?

 Ringing in 2014 last NYE with my darling husband!

Ringing in 2014 last NYE with my darling husband!

 We couldn't wait until midnight for a kiss!

We couldn't wait until midnight for a kiss!

I'm glad to say, in the past couple years, this has really turned around for me, and I've learned to truly celebrate NYE. By surrounding myself with people I care about and ringing in the New Year with joy, I have come to think less about the passing of time, and more about how blessed I am. I shift my focus to all that the concluding year has given me, and embrace a wild excitement for the possibility of what's to come.

Last year, we hosted a "sparkly" NYE party with our good friends, Callie and Jake, and it was a true celebration in every sense of the word! Woody and I's favorite part of the party ended up being the Hope Tree we set up in our loft (the sparkly photo booth compliments of Jake, Callie, Taylor and Bo came in a close second!). We found the inspiration for the Hope Tree at The Paris Market in Savannah, Georgia, the year before, and Woody had looked for an opportunity to recreate it ever since. 

 Our NYE Hope Tree

Our NYE Hope Tree

 Hopes and dreams waiting to be made and hung on the tree!

Hopes and dreams waiting to be made and hung on the tree!

We set up a lighted wire tree and asked people to "Share a dream, a hope a wish for 2014, hang it on the tree, and surely it will come to be!" It turned out to be one of the sweetest, most meaningful parts of the party. Seeing each couple find a moment during the festivities to hope and wish together was so special. Then, reading the collection of dreams was remarkable. The sincerity and individuality of each couple was heartwarming and inspiring.

 Lucas + Rachel // Bought their first home in 2014!

Lucas + Rachel // Bought their first home in 2014!

 Todd + Amy // Welcomed first baby, London, in 2014!

Todd + Amy // Welcomed first baby, London, in 2014!

 Jake + Callie // Got married in 2014!

Jake + Callie // Got married in 2014!

 Bo + Taylor // Got pregnant and renovated home in 2014!

Bo + Taylor // Got pregnant and renovated home in 2014!

 Michael + Amber // Welcomed first baby, Daniel, and moved states in 2014 (We miss them!)

Michael + Amber // Welcomed first baby, Daniel, and moved states in 2014 (We miss them!)

 Matt + Natalie (Natalie pictured holding the "0") // Fostered their first child in 2014!

Matt + Natalie (Natalie pictured holding the "0") // Fostered their first child in 2014!

Here we are, a year later, and God has done so much in our lives and the lives of our friends. Not everything is exactly as we each hoped and dreamed, but isn't it really better that way? Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God is able to do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." As we conclude 2014 and look forward to a new year, there is nothing more that I hope and pray for all of us in 2015. 

So friends, whether modest or extravagant, I hope your New Year's Eve celebration is one of gratitude and hope. God is doing good things. Happy 2015!