2015 Top 25 || Year in Review

Today is my birthday, today I turned 25! To celebrate another year on earth and the ending of a pretty perfect year I thought I'd do something never before done on this blog: a year in review list! 


2015 started out big with a road trip to Oakland with my mom. With very little problems, the biggest being I left my shoes in Chandler, AZ, we arrived on the 16th. Mom helped me unpack, we saw some sites, I put her on a plane and said later alligator. 



2015 ended up being one of the best chapters of my life thus far. I've made some wonderful new friends, tried amazing new foods, put on some pounds, seen the Full House San Francisco highlights, read many books, watched many A's games, walked around the lake many times, been to the ocean, been to the mountains, and flown more than ever before. I've gotten more into learning about leadership and trying to discern what God has for me. I've also eaten lots of ice cream and watched lots of x-files. 

To wrap up 2015 I wanted to thank the people of Oakland (and many folks who visited me in Oakland) that have made this year special. I'm not going to write everyone out because honestly it would read like the book of Numbers. Just know that if you've had contact with me this year I am so thankful for you. For how you accepted me, and supported me. Fed me, bought me drinks, made me laugh. Swapped clothes, and prayers, and jokes. Gathered in small groups in homes, or a large group at church. Thank you for the true community I am a part of. 2016 will probably be a time in which I let go of this community, following God's ushering to where he wants me, but know how much I needed you. 

2014 had been a terrible rough rainy cold year - emotionally. The weather sometimes mimicked that. I had a few great friends, and a handful of good experiences (Scotland, I'm talking to you!) but for most of 2014 I was bitter, hurt, sad, lonely, angry, confused, worried, ashamed, unhappy, etc. Many things, including some of my own choices were at fault here. Moving to Oakland and getting a fresh new start, getting to be me, to pioneer a path for myself was so cathartic for me. 

And most of all, thank you for helping me better connect with God. Through Bible studies, dinners over at your homes, prayers, coffee chats, (so many coffee dates!!) etc I have connected with God in many new and wonderful ways. A strong wholehearted community of Believers supporting me was a crucial part of that. 

Thanks. 





So now, without any further ado here are my top 5 lists for albums, movies, podcasts, tv shows and books. There's no real reasoning here, the albums and movies are both from 2015 only, but the other are just things I really enjoyed this year. 


Albums:

Although I listened to Without Words more, I would strongly argue Kensrue's album was by far my favorite. I have listened to it countless times and still love every song, which is odd coming from someone who usually does not like Thrice one iota. 

  1. Without Words: Synesthesia by Bethel Music
  2. Carry the Fire by Dustin Kensrue
  3. Kintsugi by Death Cab for Cutie
  4. All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes
  5. Just Kids by Mat Kearney 

Movies:

I have to admit, 2015 wasnt a great movie year for me. I saw very few movies in theatre. I'm still planning on seeing Joy, The Big Short, and Sisters, so the 5th slot will be left blank until one of those can fill it. 

  1. Ex Machina dir. Alex Garland
  2. Bridge of Spies dir. Steven Spielberg 
  3. Star Wars the Force Awakens dir. JJ Abrams
  4. The Martian dir. Ridley Scott
  5. __________________________

Podcasts:

This was the first year of podcasts for me, so I dove in deep and listened to so many it was hard to narrow it down to 5, but these are my closest friends and podcasts right now. I included links bc you should start listening now. Stop reading and just chose one. They all rock. 

  1. Memory Palace from Nate DiMeo
  2. 99% Invisible from Roman Mars
  3. Surprisingly Awesome from Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Ant Man, Step Brothers SNL headwriter, etc. He's a funny guy.)
  4. Reply All from PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman
  5. Lore from Aaron Mankhe

TV Shows:

I got really into X-files this year thanks to Lisa and Scott, but I was also just generally into learning. I watched lots of documentaries and historical movies this year, but those aren't good enough to share here. 

  1. Sense-8, Wachowski sibs.
  2. X-Files, Chris Carter
  3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Tina Fey
  4. Master of None, Aziz Ansari
  5. Tie: How We Got To Now, Steven Berlin Johnson | Cosmos, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Books:

I feel like I read lots this year, but it was actually difficult to list my top 5. Lots of my reading was for my internship, shoutout Divine Conspiracy, and although that's a great book, it's not one that makes a fun fresh upbeat bubble-gum top 5 list. 

  1. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  2. Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure by Christopher S. Stewart
  3. Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey
  4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy



So, there you have it. My 25 for 25. I hope you can find a few things you like, comment below and let me know if you think I missed something important! 

Jen



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