Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Friday, December 30, 2016

December Round Up - Continuing the Conversation

I'm excited to share my final round up of comments for 2016. It's been a good year, and I so appreciate those of you who stop by to see what's happening here on my blog!

New York & The Empire State Building

When I shared about my trip to the top of the Empire State Building, Barbara said..I love New York! In fact I have a trip planned for my girls and I in April. It's been many years since we've done the Empire State building. We might have to do it again. The views are pretty amazing! Karen said...When my father was alive, I was in NYC regularly. Now it's been over 15 years! But I've never been to the top of the Empire State Building. It was never on my bucket list, but going to the top of the Statue of Liberty was, and one summer my brother and I took our kids. We had a bit of a wait and like you on the Empire State Building, thought it was a fabulous experience.

Cheri said...I don't think I've been to the Empire State Building (but then I'm hazy about some childhood years). I DID go to the crown of the Statue of Liberty on a class trip - climbed all those stairs, took photos, then climbed back down - and ended up with my legs shaking uncontrollably when it was over. But it was fun! What is it about views from high places that will make us do insane physical activity to see them? Ellyn said...we went to the top of the empire state building when I was 14. on the way up the elevator stopped & we were stuck for hours (ok it was probably minutes, but it felt like hours!) Last year we went to the top of one world trade center, to the observatory there & that was awesome too!

Yikes - a stuck elevator does not sound like FUN, for any amount of time! I've not been to One World Trade Center yet, however, on my first trip to New York in 2001, I stood in line with friends for several hours to get to the top of the Statue of Liberty.


FIT, Weight Loss & Yearly Goals

After sharing my review of Fit,  I was glad to read that I'm not alone in struggling to achieve my healthy living and weight loss goals. Mary-Lou said...Cathy Z is quite a fun & motivating coach. Not sure 2016 is finishing where I thought it would, but being that I am upright, it's all good & means I can try again. Karen admitted... It's been the usual roller coaster here--with weight loss and exercise. I go in cycles. 

I especially like Susanne's positive attitude and plan for 2017...I actually did pretty good for the first 6 months of the year in the weight loss department, but then rested on my laurels in the 2nd half just maintaining the new status quo. I figured if I do the same in 2017 I will have achieved my goal, even though it took 2 years instead of 1. Looking forward to a new year - with a little more fit and a lot more FUN! Cheri also had a positive experience with mixed results...My "FIT" experience this year was fantastic on the physical activity side, but absolutely miserable on the weight side. Despite drastically increased physical activity, I gained about 8 pounds. And no, it wasn't muscle.

My favorite comment came from my friend Amy. She emailed to say...So glad to read this summary of her class!  Wish I had taken it!  And, Melissa, you have lived in the moment this year, 2016, and done it publicly, with so many women!  If I recall, your goal wasn't about weight loss and healthy stuff, it was about glorifying God.  You rocked it, girlfriend!!  Love you!  💛💛💛💛💚💜💙💛💛💛💛  Thank you Amy!!

Snap

I received lots of nice comments on my Snap posts (Christmas Cookies and 12 Days of Christmas) and want to sent a huge THANK YOU to Helena for hosting such FUN photography memes over the past few years! I wasn't a weekly participant, but I appreciate the opportunity to jump in when I had photos to share throughout the year. I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing photos from around the world each week!

I didn't get a post up on Wednesday this week, but here are my favorite snaps as we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Tuesday! Robbie gave me a beautiful double heart necklace as a gift, we saw the Passengers movie, took a walk around the pond at a local park, and enjoyed a nice dinner and stroll around the square in nearby McKinney.


Book Reviews & Recommendations

I shared several book reviews this month and, as is often the case, received book recommendations in return. After reading my reviews, Karen said...The first two books on your list are on my ever-growing lists of books to read. I was glad to see your good recommendations. I read When Breath Becomes Air several months ago, and was very moved by it. In a way, it was a companion piece (to me) to Being Mortal which rates up there among the 10 most important books I've ever read. I have Being Mortal on my to-read list and just might move it up a bit with that additional recommendation!

Susanne said...That first book has been on my list for quite a while, ever since I read his first book, Rules of Civility. I think he does a nice job on character development and it sounds like you agree. I had not heard of any of these others, but I am intrigued by the one written in verse. After Robbie finished A Gentleman in Moscow, he mentioned ordering Rules of Civility, so we'll both be reading that one in the coming year.

Minetta emailed...You know that I believe in the power of children's books. Read some by Kate DiCamillo and Cynthia Rylant.  I loved the Tricia Belden books as well as Cherry Ames and the Dana Girls. Another series I loved were the penny Parrish books by Janet Lambert.

Crafting

After sharing some of my miscellaneous crafty projects, it was apparent that most of the crafting in December was holiday related. Karen said...All the creating here has been Christmas related. I have things to share, but haven't had time to get them posted. Sian said...I've been doing a lot of CHristmas gift knitting. I'm nearly finished. 

I did some Christmas crafting as well - created more cards and a free Bible journaling printable download for my email list.


Illustrated Bible Journaling

My 5 More Places to Find INSPIRATION for Illustrated Bible Journaling post prompted Sandra to comment...I honestly can't thank you enough cor this post. I'll certainly check them all out xx And Susanne said...Great post - good indo. I will definitely check out that Illuminated Journaling book. I've purchased a journal bible and colored pencils to start taking baby steps in 2017. Yeah, Susanne, enjoy your new Bible!

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and continuing the conversation here! I've enjoyed looking back each month this year and sharing your thoughts, recommendations and comments. I hope you and your family have had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a great 2017!!

3 comments:

Barbara Eads said...

Melissa, you have had a great, productive year. I have no doubt that 2017 will be more of the same!

Sian said...

I love your friend Amy's words too. She has said it perfectly. I'm wishing you and Robbie A Very Happy New Year (and I'm hoping you will continue to let us share in it!)

Cheri said...

So when I finally checked into my blog reader, I had 21 (TWENTY ONE!!!) unread posts from you. And now, my friend, I am caught up. Sorry I was so absent throughout December and January and missed so much good stuff. I will endeavor to be a more active reader! :)