2017 was a bold year. One of adventure, travel, discovery, chasing dreams and finding out even more who I am. It was a new year of tackling fears, walking in faith, moving across the country to New York City and working in a huge Manhattan newsroom I didn’t think I’d reach so quickly. It was a time of opportunity, persistence and excitement. I loved almost every moment of it.
There were so many adventures in each month that I enjoyed, and 2017 was a year of sharing them all with you. A quick scroll through my blog and you’ll see that 2017 was a year of writing, sharing photos and reflecting. My blog grew a lot, and my stats and visitors not only doubled, but grew 5x as much. I’m so excited to keep building and putting more effort into my blog in 2018.
2017 was a good one — here’s my year in review recap:
January’s are always my favorite because the 23rd is a day of endless celebrating–my birthday. This past January, to kick off the festivities, I painted the infamous rock on my college campus at midnight for my 20th birthday. It was something that has always been on my bucket list and my birthday was the perfect time to do it. My brother had texted me about an hour before midnight insisting it was something we had to do. I love spontaneity, so I was all for it. We hopped in the car, went to the store, bought spray paint and then decorated it with a gorgeous hot pink and bright blue. My cousin Becca who goes to college at UNW joined us too, it was so fun. These photos were posted with the caption “I want the 20th year of my life to be as spontaneous and exciting as tonight was 1/23/17.” The year lived up to my expectations.
February was fun because it was kicked off with the best birthday gift–a road tip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to see Twenty One Pilots in concert. It was my first time seeing them, and absolutely incredible. My family went and my siblings and I had a blast at the show. If you know me, you know how much I love concerts. It was the perfect experience. You can read more on their tour I went to in my blog post on it here.
In February I also started my What’s Trending segment at my college for our broadcast station Eagle 7 News and my blog. This gave me a platform to share with students on campus the places I highlighted in Minnesota. The content was published in a vlog package and featured things for individuals to check out and explore. You can find some of those by clicking here.
In March I was accepted into my dream journalism semester program. I was one of 15 students to be selected for a New York City journalism semester at The King’s College for the upcoming fall and was ecstatic. I was beyond thrilled to be moving to Manhattan and starting a new chapter in a city my heart was completely captured by.
In March we also continued my favorite father-daughter tradition by going to the boy’s high school hockey tourney. It’s something we do every spring break and I love it. There’s nothing better than a good hockey game at the Xcel, especially in St. Paul with hundreds of hockey lovers. They don’t call Minnesota the state of hockey for nothing. My dad and sister get so into it with me. We love the competition and watching the underdogs win. You can read more details about why I love it so much and our 2017 tourney experience here.
April was fun because I had the awesome opportunity to make my hosting debut at UNW’s Five16 Film festival. My college broadcasted the program live on TV and we got to interview some of the talent from the night. I love the art of live shows and how everything comes together so it was such a cool experience to be a part of. I love the behind the scenes process of these kinds of things, and getting to play a role in it was a huge highlight of my college experience. More on that here.
My family came to support me and enjoy the night too, which made it even better.
Another month means another chance to see my favorite artists and bands in concert. May was exciting because it was the first time I saw Hillsong Young + Free live. They’re my sister and my’s favorite worship band, so it was amazing. I love their energy, fire and heart for youth revival. It was seriously the best worship night ever with her and my mom. You can read more on my concert review and highlights blog post here.
May was also fun because one of my best friends and I went to KDWB’s Star Party. The dress code was cocktail, so of course we got dolled up and hit the town. I love dressing up and found the cutest sparkly dress at Express.
We had such a fun time but I have to admit, a huge reason I was so excited to go was because I got to see my favorite Niall Horan play one of his first solo gigs in such a small venue with an intimate setting. We were front row and it was unreal. I loved being that close to him and seeing him make his debut. More on that night here.
June was summer prime time in Minnesota and my family knows how to kick off lake life right–by spending days on the lake and in the boat. We soaked up the sun while fishing and tubing. June was a month of endless adventures in our own backyard. It was perfect. I love sharing lake life fun with my family and friends.
June also gave me the chance to capture photos again with a press pass at KTIS’ Joyful Noise music festival in the Twin Cities. It was two nights of concert photography and my favorites to shoot were for King & Country and Switchfoot. It was my first time seeing Switchfoot in concert and was such an honor to highlight them. See photos here.
June was also a month of travel. My family and I visited New York City. Knowing that I’d be moving there in the fall, it was a trip of discovery as I walked the streets of what was soon to be home. We explored the college I’d be studying at for a semester and the part of the city it is in. We also stayed in the same hotel in Times Square as Hillsong United–another band my sister and I adore. The craziest coincidence. It was a trip I’ll remember forever.
July was another month of travel, but one of spontaneous exploring with my best friends. My brother, cousin Becca, friend Mason and I planned a last minute trip to California days before we hopped on a flight. We rented a Mustang convertible, enjoyed the west coast beaches, hiked in Hollywood and booked hotels as we went. It was probably one of the best trips of my entire life. I love seeing the world and getting to travel with some of my favorite people. We swam in Malibu, jumped waves in Huntington and surfed in Laguna. It was narley. More in a blog post here.
While in Cali I also got to visit Hillsong LA, a church I love and adore. It was so awesome to see their Los Angeles campus and experience a Hillsong service for the first time in person. We were there the same time their global senior pastors Bobbie and Brian Houston were there. We also got to meet LA pastor Ben Houston. I had the best time. It made me even more excited to attend their church in New York City that fall.
August was a time of saying goodbyes with anticipation of what was to come. My mom threw me the cutest going away to NYC party, which made leaving even harder, but also made me realize how much I’d be missed. You can read about my final moments in Minnesota in a blog post I wrote here.
The first two weeks of August before I left were also concert packed. I went to two of the best shows of my life– Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate World Tour and Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams Tour. Both were absolutely magical and everything I dreamed they would be. My mom and I saw Shawn, and my sister and I had one last sister date before I moved to NYC at Coldplay.
You can read more about what it’s like to see Shawn Mendes in concert in a blog post concert view I did with more photos here.
And in August – we can’t forget that one time I moved to New York 😉 The biggest move of my life, and by far the best. I had no idea what was to come in those 120 days living there, but I knew it was going to be good. I was right. 🙂
I was blessed with great roomies, awesome classmates, a fun neighborhood to live in and a beautiful city.
September was full of new firsts–including my first ever media internship. I had the incredible experience of interning at the New York Post on their video desk, and I learned a lot. I got to see journalism in action while working in a huge scale newsroom in the heart of Times Square. I enjoyed the days I helped with video shoots and video screenings–getting to help cast talent for different videos was also a highlight. It was a great environment to learn in and I got to work with some really talented individuals.
September was also a dream for my concert loving heart — I got to attend my first every concert at Madison Square Garden. I still pinch myself when I think of it. I have always dreamed of taking in a show there, and it was amazing. I saw Sam Hunt on his 15 in a 30 tour with my roomie Davis, and it was so much fun. MSG is the most incredible arena.
I also got to see Ed Sheeran of Good Morning America — which was the best. September was so good to me. More on my experience at GMA here.
October was for exploring the city with new friends.
It was for rooftop gigs and stunning views.
And it was for 3am adventures to the TODAY show to see Niall Horan and then to see him again less than a week later as he came back to headline his first solo tour at the Beacon in NYC. More on my experience and review of Niall’s Flicker Sessions tour here.
October was also a time of growing more invested in Hillsong NYC and making Manhattan home. This church gave me a place to grow with friends and the opportunity to sit under Pastor Carl Lentz’s teachings–a guy with so much wisdom and strength that I respect and admire. You can read more about my experience at their church and my love for it here.
November in New York is a time I will always remember because it was when my sister Abby and cousin Julia came to visit. There’s nothing like sharing adventures with people you love in a city you love.
In November I also got to attend the annual Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony with one of my friends Bri! It was such a cool NYC experience–see more here.
December in New York City was a winter wonderland unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was like everything you see in the movies. Getting to experience my first nyc snowfall was a huge 2017 highlight. I love the way the city glistens under hundreds of falling snowflakes. It was absolutely gorgeous and enchanting. See more photos I took in Central Park here.
My mom also visited me in New York in December and helped me move all my things back home. I got to show her around my city and my favorite Manhattan spots. We also went to our first Broadway show and saw The Phantom of the Opera — which was so good. More on that here.
We also got to see The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. I had won tickets on Twitter and we checked another broadcast show off my bucket list. It was so cool. More on that experience here.
Then, Mid-December, I moved back home to Minnesota. I said goodbye to my favorite city and a home I began to love. I parted from good friends and an excellent school and program. It feels so good to have complete, but its definitely bittersweet. New York saw the best of me and I’ll be fighting to keep that city-loving wonder, wanderlust and sense of adventure fire alive inside of me. More about what I learned in NYC here.
2017, you were good to me–unreal, actually. I love taking the time to put these blog posts together because they really help me reflect on the year and how good life is. God has surely blessed my academic and traveling endeavors in the last year, and I have a hunch 2018 will be even better. I look forward to another fulfilling year of grace, growth and new chapters. I can’t wait to graduate from college this upcoming spring and seeing where God leads me next.