2016 in Review, love Matt & Sara

Hey friends! We kinda dropped the ball on Christmas cards so we’re going to write a blog post together about 2016 for the Kernan family! It’s been a big year you could say (with the whole wedding thing and all) and we’re excited to share about how God has been working in our lives (Inspired by the Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines, I will write from my perspective with Matt’s comments in italics).

Chip and Joanna? Who the heck is that?

 Ignore him. Here we go!

2016 was a unique year of incredible blessing paired with seasons of challenge. The first five months of the year I finished my sophomore year in Chicago. I took very emotionally heavy classes including Introduction to Sexual Exploitation, Race, Poverty, and Social Justice, and Ministry to Women in Pain. It was my most taxing semester at school and I grew a lot from the challenges presented to me. However, this difficult season spurred on a healthy escape of reading again. My dear friend Emily told me I needed to do something I find restful and I started the habit of reading for fun again which has been life giving (in 2016 I have read fifty fun books and will be writing a post about them later). Speaking of Emily, after the semester ended we took a road trip to Montana and the rain and fog couldn’t stop us from enjoying our evening tea, hikes, and the quaint little town of Fishtail. After this adventure I went over to Indiana where I had the joy of standing by my friend Kelly as she said “I do” to her love. Then I hopped on a plane to Alaska to go get married myself!

Wedding week was one of the greatest weeks of my life.

It was perfect.

I was overwhelmed to be surrounded by so many people that I love and cherish. Kodiak really outdid itself and there was spectacular weather for the whole week. I had the honor of bragging about the place I love to our out of town guests and it meant a lot to showcase the place that means so much to me to friends and family. Between Crab Fest, the fish fry, sunrise hike, four-wheeling, bonfires, and girl’s nights, I was able to say see you later properly to this island I love so dearly. The wedding itself was an absolute blessing and dream.

I couldn’t have asked for anyway better to start off our marriage surrounded by our friends and families it was perfect no doubt about it. Thank you to everyone for all your help and support. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas for giving your blessing for me to marry your stunning beautiful, smart, generous, loving daughter.

I don’t know if I have ever smiled so much in one day before. I’m so thankful for all that were able to come and make the day all that it was. I’m also thankful for Jessica Bills for capturing this occasion for us. But most of all I’m overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that this day kicked off the rest of my life as Mrs. Kernan; I real love Matt.

I real love you too baby.

We honeymooned at the Captain Cook hotel and then continued on to San Diego for a few days of enjoying the beach before moving into our home in California.

Setting up our lives as husband and wife has been one of the greatest adventures ever even with the ups and downs. For example, it was 115 degrees the day we moved in and we had a little itty bitty air conditioner that needed a lot of prayer and patience to get the house to cool down.

Yeah sorry about that.

We ended up putting our air mattress right in front of it in the dining room and sleeping there for about two weeks. Or when our washer flooded and we scooped the remain water into a garbage bag because we didn’t have a bucket. Or when we didn’t have propane for two weeks and we ate a lot of sandwiches.

Hey, we got a free crockpot at one point! Less sandwiches.

All these moments I hold dear and wouldn’t change for the world because without fail, in the midst of misadventure, Matt smiles at me and says “I love you”. There has also been lots of adventure for us as we explore our new state. The International Banana museum, Disneyland, Salvation Mountain, Idyllwild, Knott’s Berry Farm, and beyond have been some of our favorites.

We also have been blessed by visitors including:

  • Angie and the boys in passing to their new home in California
  • Christie and Isaac in Long Beach
  • Alexis and Seth came to our house and we had a beach day together
  • Treva stayed for a weekend
  • The Rohrer’s in Oak Glen
  • Sadie surprised me for Thanksgiving!
  • Sterling came from 8 hours away for Thanksgiving too
  • Garry came for a visit in 29
  • The Wages met up with us for lunch

These visits have helped Matt and I curb the homesickness that we feel every once and awhile. I’m thankful for friendship and fellowship this year. In addition to visits here I was able to meet up with my mom in San Antonio and go to Chicago to see my girls. We have also been blessed by a Bible study we attend and the friendships made here.

Matt and I are finally finding a rhythm to life out here. Matt joined a line company this year and also hopes to rank up to Corporal in the new year. I had a job I really enjoyed but was unexpectedly let go from in October. This loss was devastating for me but I have grown so much and learned a lot about myself from the experience. I can honestly say that I’m thankful for that because I think God has something different in mind for me. I now work part time for the local newspaper and I’m thankful to have found another job. As of today I was just told that I will now be doing reporting as well!

Congratulations on the reporting job baby. I’m proud of you. Kissy face.

(Guys he literally said “kissy face” and I told him I couldn’t do emojis and he said just write kissy face.)

I’m excited to see where writing takes me. I also dog-sit three times a week and I love having some “company” in the house while I work on school. I am a full time student through Moody Distance Learning and the transition has been challenging but I am proud to say I pulled through with all A’s this semester!

Overall, I am so thankful for the work God is doing in our lives this year. I am excited and eager with anticipation for what the New Year holds for us. As I have learned from God’s faithfulness in the past, whatever is ahead God will lead us through and I will have the gift of my best friend and husband by my side. Happy New Year friends. Thank you for sharing in the adventure with us.


Matt & Sara

Especially from Matt




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