Wrangler Dani

Writer, editor, marketer and communication strategist. I'm also a wife, mama, hiker, cowgirl and experimental cook living in beautiful Central Oregon.
December 28th, 2015 by Dani

A little list about 2015

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Became a momma. It’s the most wonderful, difficult, beautiful, fulfilling, terrifying thing I have ever done and I can’t wait to keep doing it for the rest of my life.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I actually did! Adam is big on goals, and so we make new goals for each new year. This year, we both did really well on our goals (things like taking Sabbath, writing, house projects, parenthood, farm stuff) and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has to offer.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

2015 was the year of the Babies. SO MANY BABIES, including my own, made this year really special. More are coming, too!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Donna’s sweet mom passed away at Christmastime last year, and we still miss her.

5. What countries did you visit?

We stayed here in the good ol’ USA.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn’t have in 2015?

I have some significant career-related goals that I’d like to reach in 2016. For the last couple of years my free time has been consumed with moving, house-shopping and adoption, and so in 2016 I’d like to focus that energy back to my business and creativity.

7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

July 6. November 10. Adelay Joy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

We adopted our sweet girl, and we did it without any debt (a miracle). Through hard work, lots of money saved, tons of generosity from friends and family and countless miraculous blessings, God made it very clear that this was the right path for us, that our faithfulness would be rewarded in an unbelievable way.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Eeesh. I am not patient. I am not selfless. I am unsure of myself at all the wrong times. Luckily my sweet husband is still in love with me, and God is not through with me yet.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My baby is heavy. My wrist hurts. Send bourbon.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A new pair of jeans. Honestly!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Oh man. I feel like I was given a front-seat to the kindness and sincerity of the human race this year. From our friends who prayed with us and helped us prepare for Addy, to the friends who filled our living room with diapers, to our family who supported us, loved us, paid for things for us, to the strangers who helped me lift heavy things in Costco because of the baby on my chest, to the husband who has gotten up at every hour of the night to comfort our baby, to the countless prayers, donations, presents and visits that kept us afloat during a tumultuous year. You are the hero of our story. Thank you for showing us the love of God, in tangible ways.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton. We’re doomed.

14. Where did most your money go?

Remember that little story about adoption? Yep. That.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Adelay laughed at me! She laughed! Adam and I both saw it, it was real. And then she did it ALL THE TIME, and it was no less exciting.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

“Ooh Child”. Adam sang this to Addy every night during her first couple of weeks of life. She still lights up when he sings it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier. Fatter. Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my folks’ house, playing in the snow, and letting Adelay chew on wrapping paper with impunity.

21. Did you fall in love?

Her birthfather placed Adelay in my arms and I knew with complete clarity that my life would never be the same. Yes. Also, seeing Adam as Daddy to Adelay and Hero to me has been remarkable. When you’re picking a fella, girls, pick one who will change poopy diapers without complaint and dance with you and your babies in the kitchen and tell you you’re beautiful when you haven’t showered in three days and have been crying uncontrollably because you’re SO TIRED.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

We started watching “Parenthood” and are totally in love. We plan to keep adding children until we have a massive family ala Braverman and then keep them around forever.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope. My hate levels are all very static.

24. What was the best book you read?

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Seeing her speak was a spiritual and emotional awakening, and her book has been a refresher course.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

We’ve been listening to country radio, the old-fashioned way. It’s refreshing and simplistic and I like the small-town ads and the drawl and the prank phone calls and the DJs walking around local events like celebrities.

26. What did you want and get?

Adelay Joy. New jeans. A white Christmas. A lovely summer.

27. What did you want and not get?

A vacation? A book deal? Everything I might want is silly and way too big for my little self. God knows this, which is why 2015 has been perfect.

28. What was your favorite film of 2015?

Creed. (Close behind was Cinderella.)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Denver and Chelsea made breakfast for the family, then my folks and Adam and Addy and I braved snow and sleet to wander the Old Mill and shop and drop hints about Christmas gifts. Then Adam took me to Pine Tavern for a very special meal and to a live rendition of The Messiah while Grandma and Grandpa watched Adelay. It was magical. Oh, and I’m 32 now, and my joints and fat stores like to remind me of this sad fact.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing – 2015 was plenty satisfying – any more and I would burst!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?

I’ve been back at the therapeutic riding barn this year, which has lead me to start wearing more western/cowgirlish styles again. I love an excuse to wear a little bling, boots and a big hat!

32. What kept you sane?

Writing. Friends. Family. Good food.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Abortion. There is no such thing as an unwanted child.

34. Who did you miss?

I wish my grandma could’ve met Adelay. She would’ve loved her, and I hope she’s proud of the way her legacy of motherhood is being passed on.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

We got more involved in our church this year, which has been fun. We know everything about marriage (sarcasm alert) so we’re now on the pre-marriage mentoring team. Come to us with all of your problems and we will look at you with compassion and likely confusion.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Trust. I worried that we wouldn’t have enough money for the adoption fees. I worried that we wouldn’t be able to work and parent. I worried that we would be alone. I worried that our house wouldn’t be safe for a baby. I worried that our baby wouldn’t like us. I worried that I would be mean, or impatient, or selfish. God provided everything we needed, and then some. All we had to do was ask.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government
Shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

-Handel’s Messiah


2 Responses to “A little list about 2015”
  1. Great list! Congrats!

  2. […] first half of the year at all), I figured I’d take a page from my girl Dani’s book and reflect via a listicle. If you’re a blogger (or even just a journaler), feel free to lift these questions — I found it […]

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