Um… er…

(insert awkward silence)

Well this is just embarrassing… 
I mean seriously people.

And by “people” I refer to the 44 unique visitors that have spent an average of 34 seconds reading my blog in the last month. Thank you Google Analytics…
Yet those stats greatly exceed my own expectations. Greatly.

Where do I even start? How do I begin? Like most things (think getting in the car to drive to the gym) the hardest part was just logging in to Blogger. Seeing the date above the last post I wrote, November 8th, 2012, was not only horrifying but humiliating… An extra large slice of humble-pie shoved down my throat.
Maybe I should’ve waited another 13 days to make it a full year hiatus. Nah… Better to just rip the bandaid off, right?

Nearly a year. Well boy has a lot of life happened in that time span!
If it’s even possible, the thought of catching you all up on the events that have transpired over the past 352 days seems even more daunting than the task of logging in and writing this post. That could definitely explain the procrastination… not that I’m making excuses or anything… ahem, cough.
Attempting to amp myself up for what I knew would be a pretty painful task, I’d decided to title this post “A New Season,” since it’s fitting in more than one way. But seeing that the penultimate post I wrote was literally those three words strung together, yeah… that kind of killed that idea/inspiration.

So I’m going to do something that for those of you who know me personally, or have ever received an email from me, or been on a committee with me will not come as a surprise… and will hopefully conjure a couple laughs.

Two words: Bullet Points.

  • I turned 28 years old. Officially in my late twenties people. 
  • My boyfriend Ryan, myself, and team Photos 4 Homes pulled off an incredibly classy silent auction at the Braevern in November. We auctioned Ryan’s fine art photography raising over $3,000 toward building a home in Tijuana, Mexico through YWAM’s Homes of Hope program. I baked over 300 bite-sized desserts. It was intense. I have a new-found respect for anyone in that profession. 
  • NUTCRACKER! Need I say more?
  • Best Christmas gift? Getting to talk to Ryan on the phone all the way from an oil rig off the coast of Mozambique. Poor guy. Not the way you want or expect to celebrate the birth of Jesus. 
  • New Years Eve. While my parents and their friends were out partying, Ryan, myself and his friends Brad & Silvia who were visiting from Brooklyn enjoyed a quiet evening of some seriously good food. Did we make it to midnight? Not a chance. Sad but true.
  • Quick trip to Billings, MT with my Momma to visit my Grandma Lolo & Auntie Helen. Man I love the Big Sky!
  • My & Ryan’s one year anniversary. An underwhelming evening. It’s actually a funny story but these bullet points are getting long… 
  • Off to NYC!!!! PNB tour to the Joyce Theater to perform Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Agon and Maillot’s Romeo et Juliette. Little did I know how profound a trip this would be… or did I? hehe…
  • February 12, 2013. After a beautiful day meandering in Brooklyn, Ryan Michael McEliece asked me, Jessika Christine Anspach, to be his wife under the Brooklyn Bridge!!!!! The second most wonderful day of my life. A magical trip with Ryan, my parents and his wonderful friends Brad & Silvia. Oh and did I mention I bought the wedding dress of my dreams 3 days after he put a ring on it? Yeah…
  • Victoria, B.C. The most comfortable bed I ever slept in, the most stressful performance I ever danced in, and the best fish-eying I ever did. Well, I’m not so sure about the later, but I was successful. And I do call it success when the first run you ever have of the first Agon pas de trois is the performance, and you survive. And I did. Whoa.
  • Concerto Barocco, Concerto Barocco, Concerto Barocco!!!! We performed that ballet more times this season than any other ballet. Ever. Okay maybe not Nutcracker… And yet secretly, very secretly I do miss it. Shhhhh!!!! It’s our little secret.
  • “Frenchy YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!!” was originally said to Liora Neuville, but this became the universal pep-talk that got us all through Swan Lake. It’s so very hard. And yet it still feels like a dream every time I get to dance it. I was made to be a swan. Crazy, yes. But did you expect anything less from me?
  • The spring brought engagement photos with my oh-so-talented & soon-to-be sis-in-law at Discovery Park. I still can’t get enough of them. 
  • We built a house! Literally. Eleven of us went down to Tijuana, Mexico to build a house for the sweetest little family – the fruits of our Photos 4 Homes fundraising. And we’re going back this spring to build two more! Don’t worry… You’ll hear more about this in the near future.
  • Wisdom tooth extraction. There’s a reason this is done when you’re in High School. With both my parents gone, I had only Ryan to take care of me. He tooks his duties as fiancé and caretaker very seriously. Especially when I got the flu on top of it all. Not fun.
  • PNB’s 40th Season ends with a bang! Agon pas de trois (yet another dream come true), Diamonds corps and demis and no concussions! Check. But it wouldn’t be complete without just one last movement of Barocco. Praise God I survived the hardest season I’ve ever danced to date.  It wasn’t what I expected it to be. I didn’t anticipate having to push through so much physical pain, flirting with the boundary between Ouch and Out. But God truly carried me through it. By His grace alone. He gave me so many opportunities and despite the challenging circumstances I felt He grew me in so many ways this past season.
  • Summer 2013 = a baby shower, a bridal shower (hosted by the lovely Deborah Ritner & Nicole Bolling – it was over the top!) & a new little nephew. I am now an aunty Jessika to both little Josie and baby boy Ethan born to my beautiful friend and now sis-in-law Kelsey & her husband Gabe. So very blessed. He is just too sweet!
  • PNB goes to Vail, CO to perform at the Vail International Dance Festival. When I said that the tour to Victoria was the most stressful performance experience I’ve ever had, well… yeah… Looking back that was just God rehearsing me for Vail. “Pinch-hitting” for Russian girls at 9,000ft with 2.5 days notice was… well it was. I think I’m still a little shell-shocked from it all to be honest.There’s much much more to that story. But, well… I’m running out of space and would rather just not.
  • August was a month of all things wedding-related. Bachelorette weekend with my best ladies relaxing at the cabin, stitching and packaging the last of the 250 moleskin notebooks I sewed for favors. The beautiful nuptials of Leah O’Connor to Mike Merchant and Emma Love to Price Suddarth. And my absolutely exquisite pre-wedding shower hosted by the incredible Jamie Casady at Deru Market. It was girly, dreamy and a wonderful way to celebrate my 28 years of singlehood, sending me along the path that very quickly would lead to the land of wedded bliss.

  • September 1st, 2013. I, Jessika Christine Anspach, walked down a beautiful hop-lined aisle toward a driftwood arbor, an oyster shell covered cross, and my best friend and love of my life, Ryan Michael McEliece. And I became his wife. It was a whole weekend full of celebration and it truly was the wedding of my dreams. A perfect day in every single way. A day I wish I could re-live every day. The best day of my life. Hands down. No question. And as my Dad so often says, God was in every single detail. His Presence was so very tangible and we felt His hand of blessing and the warmth of His smile as the sunlight turned in to the candlelight glow from the oyster-shell chandeliers my Momma & Grandpa built that graced the interior of our big white tent. Don’t worry. An entire if not multiple blog posts will be devoted to this momentous event once the incredible photos come in.
    © Kristen Marie Photography
    © Kristen Marie Photography
    © Kristen Marie Photography
  • Influenza strikes!!!! After a blissful and restful 3 day “honeyweekend” at a cabin a few miles down the road, I returned to work for 2 days and then we went back to my family’s cabin to pick up wedding remnants and reminisce on the “Big Day.” But come Monday I came down with a fever that despite all my efforts of self-will would not desist. For 10 days. After all was said and done I missed 2 weeks of work and consequently the first Rep of my 10th season with PNB. Not the way I wanted to start the Season let alone married life. God used that time to teach me quite a bit that’s for sure. But the silver lining of it all was that I was able to attend PNB’s Gala dinner and dance for the very first time with a date! And he just happened to be my husband! What a good and gracious God we have! He truly works all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Well that pretty much brings us here. October. September was a rough month and October has continued in a somewhat similar fashion. I’ve been really struggling with my health. But praise God He is revealing some of the root problems… gluten being one of them. As with many of the other bullet points above you will be hearing much much more about this in the near future. That is if you’re still reading.

So hello again. 

Goodbye for now.
That was definitely a gulp-full. 
just Jessika

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