As with most years in life, 2016 has been full of great times and wonderful memories, but there has also been heartbreak and loss.
I was looking back at my 2015 Year in Review just to see how I’d set that post up and, well…this year was definitely not as crazy as last year. This year has been far more calm, far less full of (necessary) travel, (and more full of fun travel!), and even much more difficult in some ways. This is exactly what we wanted. The highlights of 2016 for both of us have all come as a result of our choice to move back to Virginia to be closer to our families and friends. Though it has been a wonderful change, it has still been a lot to adjust to. We traded in weekend drives along the PCH for Sunday afternoon barbecues with our best friends in Roanoke, a trade that may sound far less exciting to some but has filled our hearts in the best way possible.
So let’s get on with it…
My 5 Most Meaningful Posts This Year:
- Love the Past, Embrace the Present
- The Fresh Feeling of New Beginnings
- Two Anniversaries in One
- Today’s My 30th Birthday
- Love and Loss in a Small Town
A Few Stats:
- I read 21 books this year. I didn’t reach my goal of 30, but that’s okay. You can read the reviews I’ve written on these books here.
- I did 5 reviews this year (including a couple of my first real sponsorships*): Tieks, WOW Airlines, CabinZero Backpacks*, The Albus Hotel (Amsterdam), and Cora Organic Tampons*.
- I’ve been to eight concerts this year, seeing the following bands: Mutemath, Underoath, Caspian (w/UO), Hands Like Houses, The White Noise (w/HLH), DJ Williams Project, Andrew McMahon [and the Wilderness], Panic! at the Disco, Weezer, Periphery, Sikth, Chon, St. Lucia, Sofi Tukker (w/StL), The Chain Gang of 1974, Xylø, and The Naked and Famous.
- In January we moved to Richmond. The “Snowpocalypse” happened and we enjoyed our first snow in over three years. It was really fun living downtown and being able to wander around and get to know the city better.
- In February my nostalgia for California really hit hard. My emotions were bouncing back and forth between sadness for what we’d left behind and excitement for what could be ahead of us. I opened up about my adoption and did one Q&A post (then stopped because I felt that this blog wasn’t really the right fit for this topic.) (Clearly it was a heavy month.) I tried to lighten up by exploring our local neighborhood.
- In March I shared about our decision to leave New York City with Life Goals Mag through a post titled “It’s Okay to Change Your Mind.” I later shared a second piece with them titled, “Be Willing to Say Yes.”
- In April I dropped off the blogosphere.
- In May I came back to blogging. I started working at a coffee shop downtown that was frequented by a few actors and actresses and loved being a barista again. My cousins Sarah & Amy spent their spring break with me. We started going out for local food truck nights at breweries and making a point of meeting up with new friends.
- In June I started a full time job I had been interviewing for since the end of February. My cousin Sarah and her friend Ari came to visit and we took off for a day at Virginia Beach and to see Panic! at the Disco, Weezer, and Andrew McMahon. The very next day Daniel and I flew out to Holland. We spent several days at my best friend Di’s followed by two days in Belgium and two days in Amsterdam.
- July was full of friends and family. Dan and I began our weekly “Wednesday Night Date Nights” where we visit a new (to us) local Richmond restaurant each week. I took a screenprinting class that was exactly what I needed. Dan and I decided not to extend our lease and started looking for houses to rent. We celebrated our 6 year anniversary.
- August felt like a fresh new start. We spent a really fun weekend with our best friends in Raleigh and at a Periphery concert. Later in the month I took a train to Philadelphia for a girls’ weekend with Chelsea.
- September was full of big changes. I chose not to accept a full time position with the company I worked for all summer when my contract ended (aka, I quit my job.) We moved into our new rental house and feel so at home. Two of our best friends eloped and we spent a weekend celebrating with them in Roanoke. We reunited with two other best friends who live in South Carolina and whom we hadn’t seen since before we moved to California. One of my best friends growing up got married and her reception was like a mini high school reunion.
- In October I turned 30! We got to meet Rory and claim her as our kitty, even though we had to wait for her adoption. We had our fourth “annual” (we’ve skipped a few years) Cabin Party with some of our best friends and had the best time.
- November ushered in a chill that made me miss the California weather again, but fall is beautiful in Richmond. We finally adopted Rory and immediately fell in love with our new fuzzy friend. I started cooking from scratch like crazy. The weather also made me reminisce about our time in New York City. Thanksgiving was wild(ly exhausting).
- December was hard. My family, friends, and hometown community suddenly lost one of our best.
Where I See Myself in One Year
I don’t think anyone can predict the future, and with they way we’ve historically done things I can’t say for certain what we’ll be up to a year from now…but I can sort of guess. There’s a chance that we’ll be making another move at the end of next August; Richmond is great and all, but we’ve been toying with the idea of moving back to the Roanoke area to be closer to our friends. I would love for 2017 to be the year that we bring another little Dan or Emily into the world, or at least see the beginnings of that chapter of our lives. I hope that I will also find some peace with myself over the next few months and be able to give 100% of myself to something I really enjoy, whether that be finally starting that business I’ve been talking about for months or finding a way to use my skills productively elsewhere.
So tonight I raise a glass of something bubbly to the memories of ’16 and to the potential of ’17. I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s! Love you all.
PS, I love to read other peoples’ Year in Review posts! Please leave the link to yours below so I can see all of your year’s highlights.