After the meeting when I accepted my full-time job in journalism, I got into my car, drove around the corner, parked, and cried for a long time.

I cried because I felt as though I had to take that job, even though I didn’t really want to. It was in my field of study and it offered a salary that I knew I could comfortably survive on, and I was truly grateful for those things. I’m fully aware that many people don’t have jobs at all. But I don’t even know how many times I had told people, “No, I wouldn’t want to work at a newspaper. But there are lots of other things I could do with this major!” None of those other things panned out.

Ten months passed. I transferred to a different newspaper in our network, in a more desirable city. I thought I would be happy as a writer if I had better content to work with, but that wasn’t the case.

I decided to reclaim my life as an unofficial biologist. I started volunteering at the Orlando Science Center, which was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Caring for and exercising alligators, snakes, lizards, fish, and inverts is downright therapeutic. Plus, it’s exciting to talk about animals and conservation with random strangers…especially when they think I’m some kind of reptile whisperer and tell me how brave I am.


Day 1 volunteering in NatureWorks.

Before I was even signed off for alligator handling, I felt as though God was saying something along the lines of, “Remember? This is what I made you to love. Go do it.”

So I bought a GRE study book, cracked it open, and cried again–this time because I was unbelievably excited about the idea of going to school again. (I know; I’m ridiculous.)

A few months and a few applications later, it’s official that I’ll be starting this adventure in January:

  • Leaving journalism, at least for now
  • Starting classes at UCF for my master’s in biology education
  • Starting a part-time job in the education department at OSC
  • Waking up every day excited to see how God is going to meet our needs despite my significant decrease of income

Please pray for me: that I’ll have the energy and resources I need to do my job well and be successful at school, and that I won’t forget my ultimate goal of serving God and teaching others to love his creation. And please pray for my husband: that he’ll have faith when things get difficult and patience when I get overwhelmed.

I decided to start up this blog again because I think it will be a year I want to remember. Check back in January for the first images of my new life.


I successfully shot and posted one photo every day in 2014. Here are the stats.


  • Most popular post: Day 137
  • Number of countries that viewed my blog at least once: 18
  • Country with the second-highest number of views: Argentina
  • Most popular tag: “December”
  • Top commenter: Kelsey Mickelson

Frequent Post Subjects

  • Wild animals: 22
  • Musicians/instruments: 20
  • Chai the cat: 17 (other cats: 5)
  • Zak: 15
  • Food that I made: 12
  • Emily: 11
  • Cat the human: 10
  • Ana: 8
  • Star the dog: 8 (other dogs: 7)
  • Flowers: 8
  • Sunsets: 8
  • Jimmy: 7
  • Bekah: 6

Day 358


Midnight Mass at Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, where thousands gathered for Christmas Eve services. There were more than 50 police officers, and a group of protesters showed up, but thankfully, nothing violent happened.

“Bid thou, our sad divisions cease. And be thyself our King of Peace.”