2015: Year In Review

Happy New Year, readers! I can’t believe it’s 2016 already – it seems like these last few months have just flown by! It was a fantastic year though, with more good things than I can count. But as we wave farewell to 2015 and look towards 2016 with hopeful anticipation, I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of 2015 with you. Click the button below to read on!

Music

1
American rock band RED

2015 was a great year for music! Not only did some of my favorite artists release new songs, but I discovered a number of new favorites as well. RED released their album Of Beauty and Rage in February, which was a huge step up from the somewhat disappointing Release The Panic. On May 5 (my birthday, coincidentally enough), Fireflight releasedย Innova,ย which features one of my favorite songs of the year: “Safety,” featuring Stephen Christian (former lead vocalist of Anberlin). Christian rapper and hip-hop artist Manafest also put out a new album, titled Reborn.

2015-09-19  232 Lacey Sturm
Lacey Sturm at Uprise Fest 2015

Lacey Sturm (former lead vocalist of Flyleaf) released a new song, titled “Impossible,” and announced her long-awaited solo album, Life Screams to be released in 2016. Thousand Foot Krutch also put out a single called “Born Again,” and announced they would be releasing Oxygen: EXHALE sometime in coming year.

Some other bands I started listening to this year are: Philmont, Wolves At The Gate, Wavorly, Twenty One Pilots, and Attalus.

I also had the opportunity to attend a lot of concerts this year. My favorite was the City RockFest tour in April, where I actually had the opportunity to meet some of the bands afterwards. In October, I got to see the REDvolution tour in Lancaster. I also attended WinterJam in January (I got to meet John Cooper afterwards!) and Uprise Festival in September. It was an awesome year for concerts!

2015-04-18  309 City RockFest Disciple
Josiah Prince and Josh Kinchloe of Disciple at City RockFest 2015

Books

Way back in January, I set a goal to read 60 books by the end of 2015. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite reach that many, but I still read some fantastic books over the year!

Most recently, I’ve been reading a series titled The Homelanders by Andrew Klavan. It focuses on Charlie West, a teenager with a relatively normal life, until one day he wakes up with no idea where he is or how he got there. I know this premise may be cheesy, but I don’t want to give anything away by telling you more about it. Trust me though, it’s amazing.

I also started the Lunar Chronicles series this year, which quickly became one of my favorites. If you enjoy fairytales, sci-fi, and a little bit of dystopia, it’s definitely worth a try.

In addition to these two series’, I also enjoyed The Five Unnecessaries by Laura Campbell, and two nonfiction books, Fighter by Christopher Greenwood (better known by his stage name, Manafest) and Popular by Maya Van Wagenen.

Writing

Summertime 1c
A book cover for Summertime I made just for fun.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed from the fact that I have a blog here, but I’m a writer. I had two major writing projects this year, both of which are still ongoing. The first one is a novella titled Summertime, which I wrote way back at the beginning of the year. Since then, it’s gone through multiple versions, and it’s still currently in the editing stages. My ultimate goal is to possibly self-publish it as an e-book, but we’ll see what happens.

My other major project was for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Because I used the Young Writer’s Program, I was able to set my own word count goal to 30,000 words. Although I met my goal, I have yet to actually finish the story. Still, I’m proud of myself for reaching my goal!

Moments

Like any other year, 2015 had its highs and lows. Looking back though, I can definitely say it was a good year, and I have so many great memories.

In June, I went to my cyberschool’s graduation ceremony. No, I wasn’t the one graduating, but I knew a lot of the graduating class, and a friend of mine had an extra ticket, so I was able to attend. It was great to be able to meet my classmates (some for the first time!) and some of my teachers as well.

A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to go on a short-term missions trip to Fayette County, West Virginia with my church. While there, I had the chance to work on a house in the community, as well as help paint and tile a school-turned-community center’s locker room so that it would be able to accommodate larger groups of volunteers in the future. I’m so happy with the work we were able to accomplish, and I can’t wait to go back next year!

2015-07-14  048 Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park

My family flew out to Montana to visit with my great-aunt’s family, where we visited Yellowstone, a few museums, and went on a riverboat tour. I also got to see some of my other relatives later that summer and throughout the year. I’m so thankful for the time I was able to spend with my extended family!

Driver's License
Got my license!

In July, I spent a week at Camp Calvary, where I got to meet another one of my friends from school for the first time. I had such a great time there, and although next summer will be my last as a camper, I’m so thankful for all of the memories that I have made there.

After one failed attempt, I passed my driver’s test in November, which was another big accomplishment. I joined the Principal’s Cabinet at my school and also started a promotion committee for our National Honor Society. Oh yes, and my mom and I build a gingerbread house.

2015-12-06  001 Gingerbread House
Our gingerbread house

So that’s my year in review! What about you? What are your highlights from 2015? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to e-mail updates in the sidebar!

Here’s to a fantastic new year!

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8 thoughts on “2015: Year In Review

  1. I REALLY enjoyed this post. You write so well!

    Maybe you whet our appetites for your novel with an excerpt. That would be fun to read.

    Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to the next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like music-wise, you had a great year! I absolutely love going to concerts and festivals. I’ve never heard of RED, but i’ll definitely check them out. I love Lacey Sturm’s new music.
    Lunar Chronicles is the best! Awwwww…Popular! Such a great book.
    Congrats on your NaNo success! And yes, I think that’s a really great goal to have! I hope you can get it self-published soon! (If it’s the one i’m thinking of, then it’s really good)
    That’s so awesome about your trip with your church! And Yellowstone looks gorgeous – i’ve always wanted to go there.
    I LOVE the new blog – it looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouraging words, Olivia! RED is a great band, if you’re into hard rock, and speaking of the Lunar Chronicles, have you read Winter yet? I saw it the other day, but couldn’t get it. Looking forward to reading it though!
      Yes, it is probably the one you’re thinking of! Still have quite a bit of work to do, but I hope to do something with it in the next year or so!
      Thanks again so much for reading my blog! I really appreciate the feedback!

      Like

      • No, I haven’t read Winter yet. I really want too, but I need to read Fairest first, too.
        What album of theirs should I listen to first? I love hard rock.
        No problem – I love that you have a blog that I can follow now. Hopefully, you’ll be able to post somewhat regularly. Are you going for once a week? I’m terrible with planning/scheduling.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hmm, their latest is “Of Beauty and Rage,” and it’s my favorite. “Until We Have Faces” is great too!
          And thanks! I plan to post weekly on Friday mornings for the time being, just to see how things work with that.

          Like

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