As we wrap up the last few moments of 2014, I have enjoyed looking back at all of the memories made during this year. I decided to record some of the year’s highlights so I can someday look back on 2014 and remember some of the small things, and not just the moments that happened to warrant a photo. So here are some of my favorite 2014 memories.

Best New Song – “Tonight You’re Perfect” by New Politics – this was actually released in 2013, but it was probably the song that I listened to the most in 2014. Don’t read into any meaning in the lyrics; it is just a fun, upbeat song and it makes me happy! As far as songs that were actually released in 2014, “We are Done” by The Madden Brothers would be my top pick, or maybe “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers. It’s so hard to pick a favorite song!

Best Old Song – “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra – they were playing this song practically every day on Jack FM earlier this year, so it reminded me how great it is! I downloaded it and have been enjoying its awesomeness ever since.

Best New Book – “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom – once again, this wasn’t published in 2014, but I read it this year for this first time. This is an incredible book, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should add it to your list! My favorite book that was published this year was “Artful” by Peter David. This book somehow manages to take a story by Charles Dickens and turn it into a vampire-slaying adventure; thus, every page made me happy.

Best Old Book – “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens – I have wanted to re-read this one for several years, and now that I have 2 hours in the car every day, it seemed like a good time to listen to the audio book. It was just as good the second time around…maybe even better.

Best New Movie – The Mockingjay – What can I say, I really love these books/movies. I may be at risk of sounding like a teen fangirl, but I honestly think Suzanne Collins is brilliant. Writing anything that compelling and thought-provoking would be my dream.

Best Old Movie – To Kill a Mockingbird – It’s kind of funny that both of these movie titles are related to a mockingbird, but we watched this movie again this year on our girls’ trip and I am always amazed at what an incredible story it is. And Gregory Peck was a truly one-of-a-kind actor!

Best TV Show – Sherlock – the most recent season was the best so far! I love the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.

Best Moment – Sometimes it is the small moments that are the sweetest. One of my happiest moments this year was on Christmas Eve when I was at Stephen and Mandy’s house. Jesse was about to go take a nap, and I was giving him goodbye kisses, and he was just laughing and so happy. That sweet smile is enough to make anyone’s day!

Best Mistake – When Heather, Jessica and I were in Maine, we had tickets to go ride the ferry from Rockland to Vinalhaven. We decided since we had several things that we wanted to do in town, we would just take the last ferry ride out. It wasn’t until we were sitting on the ferry and it was about to leave the dock that it hit me – since this was the last ferry, we would have no way to get off the island and back to our room that night! So we ran off the ferry right before it pulled away. We had to leave first thing the next morning, but we decided to risk it and take the first ferry at 7 am and hope to make it back in time to catch our plane. Not only did we make it, the ferry ride was incredible, and we got to watch part of the sunrise out on the water. It was an amazing experience!

Best Day – It was actually more like 1.5 days, but our time in Rockland Maine was absolutely perfect. From eating the best meal I’ve ever had, to mingling with the locals and the incredible ferry ride, this was just the perfect day with my girls Jessica and Heather!

Greatest Victory – When I finally passed my Series 66 exam….while passing the Series 7 felt good, I think the fact that I failed my first attempt at the Series 66 made passing it feel like a greater accomplishment, and it was definitely a huge relief! I learned that a victory feels so much greater when it follows a crushing defeat.

Best Purchase – The infinity scarf that I bought before our Maine trip was such a great investment – those scarves are so much easier to keep snug and it really helped to keep me warm.

Coolest Experience – horseback riding on the beach in South Padre. Everything about that was amazing, and I even saw a dolphin!

Best Entertainment – Swingin’ New Years’ Eve at Bass Hall. I actually saw several really great shows at Bass Hall this year, but I have to say that this one was the best! It helped that I had my mom there to share the experience!

Best Spontaneous Moment – I had originally decided that there wasn’t really time to go up to Arkansas for the Baxter Adoption party this fall. But then the night before I started thinking that we should just go anyway and MAKE the time. Luckily my mom was willing to be spontaneous too, and we decided to get up and go the next morning. It was a quick trip, but definitely worth it to be there for such a joyous occasion!

Well, those are some of my favorite memories from this year, and I am looking forward to many wonderful memories and learning experiences in the year to come. Happy New Year, everyone!