2014: A Year in Review

Happy New Year's Eve! This is one of my favorite weeks of the year - taking time to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the New Year. 2014 was a tough year for us, but there were also many good times and sweet memories. Here is a look back:

Rochester, NY, snow, winter, downtown, city

Downtown Rochester, NY

It snowed. A lot. But I didn't mind it (they say it's because I'm still a southerner at heart). Regardless, it certainly makes for gorgeous black and white photos from the top floor of the library, am I right?!

grandparents, reflection, memory

In loving memory - Annlouise Young (1937-2014)

In February, we lost my Grammy very suddenly. I spoke with her on Monday night and Wednesday morning, she was gone. I was shocked and devastated. It was a very difficult way to begin the year, but I learned a lot about grace and change and what matters most.

We visited my Grampy at his new nursing home a few times this year and played saxophone/piano concerts for him and the other residents. (Side note: The keyboard at this place is truly one-of-a-kind - it transposes up a third if you play below Bass C and turns itself off and on at will!)

Ashley Danyew | 2014 Year in Review | CMS Workshop

At the CMS conference in Knoxville

I presented a workshop at the College Music Society joint regional conference in Knoxville in February. The conference was actually delayed a day due to unprecedented amounts of snow in TN (by the time we arrived the next day, everything had melted!).

Ashley Danyew | 2014 Year in Review | Perspectives Publication

My first publication!

Also in February, my first publication came out in print!

Ashley Danyew | 2014 Year in Review | Ski Day

Skiing at Swain Mountain

In March, we spent a weekend skiing at Swain Mountain (just over an hour from Rochester). The first day was a perfect spring skiing day; the second day was grey and rainy, but we still had fun!

We started house-hunting in May! We hadn't originally planned to start looking this year, but when a gorgeous old colonial in our ideal neighborhood came on the market and a job I wasn't looking for crossed my path, we decided to pursue things.

We found a realtor, had a few meetings, researched property taxes, crunched lots of numbers, and learned a lot about escrow. I had half-convinced myself that if the job worked out, we would be in a position to make an offer; but, by mid-summer, the answer was clear: be still, and wait.

Ashley Danyew | 2014 Year in Review | Rankin House Inn, Asheville, NC

The Rankin House Inn in Asheville

We spent a day in Asheville before heading up to the Lake for Music Week this year and fell in love with this charming old house and this porch (heaven!).

Lake Junaluska, music week, FUMMWA, conference

Music Week 2014, Lake Junaluska, NC

I presented two sessions at the Lake this year and accompanied the Chamber Choir! It was a busy week, but we had lots of fun (as always) with our dear friends, Paul and Deb!

The house we had been eyeing back home sold in July and the job ended up not being the right fit, leading us to withdraw our candidacy. In the frustrations of a fruitless summer, again, the message was clear: wait on Me.

So, we wait - with courage and patience and peace - knowing that God's timing is perfect and complete.

The rest of the summer, we picked blueberries and raspberries, went for walks every day, biked along the canal, had picnic dinners on the roof, and house-sat for our favorite pups!

Hymn art prints available for sale in the Doxology Press Shop

In September, I launched Doxology Press - a new Etsy print shop created to honor and preserve the living legacies of hymn texts. See the full collection here!

My brother's wedding at Hightower Falls in Georgia

We flew down to Georgia for a few days in September to celebrate my youngest brother's wedding. The forecast predicted thunderstorms all afternoon (outdoor wedding), so we prayed for sun (and ran around town buying 75 umbrellas, just in case). In the end, it was a beautiful day - not a cloud in sight!

Ashley Danyew | Starting a Church Choir

First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford

We continued our work at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford, with a new intergenerational choir and TWO handbell choirs! Read more about our year here.

We celebrated our third anniversary (and my official doctoral candidacy!) in October with dinner at one of our favorites - The Revelry.

Aurora NY, Aurora Inn, Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake, Upstate NY

We planned a fall getaway for a weekend in October, but things didn't quite work out as planned. Instead, we had the most perfect weekend in Aurora (and we wouldn't have wanted it any other way).

snowman white Thanksgiving Connecticut

We shared a white Thanksgiving(!) with SD's parents in Connecticut. This year, we made a chorizo-and-cornbread stuffing, corn pudding, cranberry-orange relish, and a friendly snowman to greet our guests!

Steve Danyew, composer, music composition, wind band, choral, choir, handbells

Lunch at one of our favorites - the Village Bakery in Pittsford

SD created and taught a new class at Eastman this fall, had three pieces accepted for publication, and had a wind ensemble piece ("Lauda") released on the Naxos label in December! Now available on iTunes - how crazy is that?!

We played a Christmas concert at church, played together on Christmas Eve, and led both bell choirs in worship services throughout the month.

Boy Scouts, Christmas tree lot, Rochester, NY

The Boy Scout Christmas Tree lot where we got our little tree

We spent Christmas Day at home and then traveled to NJ, CT, VT, and NYC for a grand total of four Christmases (give or take a few!) and a matinee performance of "The Lion King"!

Christmas card, snow day, photo shoot

Our Christmas card pictures!

2014 - the year we invented "snack walks" to our neighborhood bakery, the year we learned a lot about waiting, the year we showed up at not one, not two, but three bed and breakfasts that had lost our reservations, and the year we discovered Aurora.

Here's to 2015!