Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

First of all, I want to thank  you for being so much better than 2016.

2016 sucked ammirght?

Thank you for bringing me new memories, new opportunities, and new people into my life to be grateful for each and everyday. Thank you for bringing me closer to the person I want to be and the life I want to live. I still have a ways to go, but 2017 was, at least, a step closer.

Thank you for one last season of softball. I knew this day would eventually come and I was prepared for it (as prepared as you can be). This game,  this sport, has been the biggest part of my life since I was 6 years old and it’s incredibly heartbreaking to see it go.

But this isn’t goodbye, softball will always be a big part of who I am today and not playing anymore could never change that.





Thank you for the opportunity to do baton one last time with my sister. This makes it sound like everything is ending, but just like softball, baton will be a part of who I am for as long as I live.

Growing up, I took baton lessons. It was incredibly fun and challanging and my favorite thing ever . Again, like softball, it was something that my sister and I did together. We decided that we should do a routine for showboat together, one last time. It was great to get to work with our baton teacher that we love and come up with a completely new routine. Baton isn’t something that you can just quit, it’s a part of you. I can go months without touching my baton but as soon as I pick it up, it’s back to being that part of me-like another arm. Even as I type this, I find myself wanting to go do some finger twirls.

Anyway, I said this is “one last time” but we all know it won’t be 🙂

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Thank you for the opportunity to further my education at Ohio University. I have never been to a major university like OU before this year and although it was an adjustment, I am always grateful that I have the opportunity to attend college and major in something that I am passionate about.

Along with that, thank you for my new job- doing something that matters and that I really love.

Thank you for my family and all the memories that we made in 2017. I will forever be grateful that I live in a household where we are all so close. I love spending time with them and look forward to, well who knows what we’ll get into for 2018.


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Thank you for the opportunity to coach at my high school. I was lucky enough to get to assist with the middle school softball team. I had such a hard time moving on from high school- because I missed softball so much. Getting to help coach was the perfect way to mend that brokenness I felt from closing that chapter in my life. I have since realized that I want to make softball a part of my life in the future- I want to coach and I don’t know where this will take me, but I now know for sure that it is something I want to do. I want to teach my own daughter how to pitch someday. I want to teach her the game that I love so much.

And I loved coaching girls who are so young and so full of life. I got to work with so many talented young athletes who’s drive and ambition reminded me of 13 year old Cerena- who had a dream of pitching for her varsity team.



Thank you for another year with my fiancé, Hunter. We grow closer every year, every day and I will never get tired of spending another year with him.

I’m grateful that I get to experience so much with him in this life. I got to travel with him and just spend every day loving him.

This year, we started our future together by getting engaged and I’m so excited for the adventures that I know we will get into in 2018.


In October 2017, I turned the big 21.

Everyone knows that your 21st birthday means you get your hands on that sideways license and it’s finally legal for you to drink alcohol. I have never drank alcohol before my birthday and let’s just say- it didn’t live up to the 21 years of hype.

Thank you for reminding me to continue  to live and act responsibly (with or without alcohol).

Thank you for the animals!

In 2017 I visited the Wilds for the first time and the Columbus Zoo for probably the millionth. I love animals, all kinds, and I am so passionate about making their education a priority in my life. They are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I love to capture their spirit, their beauty.



Along with that, I am grateful for another year of photography. I swear my love for capturing photographs only continues to grow every day. I tried several new techniques and learned so much! I even took a photography course for an art credit at school. I am always anxious to learn new things and get out there to capture the ideas I hold in my head.


But even as I type this and I say thank you to 2017 for the blessings, I only have God to thank for this incredible journey of a year.

Thank you for family, for friends, for co workers, for classmates, for teammates, . Thank you for positive people who enrich my life every single day.

I say thank you 2017 but really  I mean thank you, Lord.

Thank You for sending Your son down to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life with You someday. Thank You for remaining by my side as You do for another year. Thank You for bringing people into my life that You knew I would need and for removing people You knew weren’t serving me well. Thank You for bringing me closer to people that lift me up and encourage me everyday. Thank You for brining me closer to my purpose in this life.

No thanks will ever be enough, obviously, but for now- thank You for 2017!


Love and Hugs,

Cerena 🙂

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