Saturday, December 31, 2016

Closing The Door of 2016

And just when I felt like I was getting into a rhythm of 2016....2017 is knocking at our door.

I entered 2016 thinking life would be very different than how it turned out! And that's not such a bad thing!

This is a long post - but a lot happened in 2016. These yearly recaps are always fun to look back on for myself. So don't feel obligated to scroll through a dissertation of my life in 2016 ;).

January -
  • I started the year off on January 1 with a 20 mile run, for a marathon I was training for that I never got to complete because I had to go to Tampa, FL for training for my new job. Why yes I'm still bitter, because I have trained for 5 marathons, and only been able to race and complete 2.
  • Our house went on the market on January 6, as we were getting ready to start our migration around the country. We had a cash offer by January 10. We were moved out by January 25 - and entered apartment living! (Our 1st time in the 8 years we have been together!)
February -
  • I spent my 1st 2 weeks in Tampa, FL training for my new job with Humana, Inc.
  • I got to drive down the coast and spend a weekend with some of my mom's siblings that live in Venice, FL - which was a wonderful weekend! I love spending time with them so much - and Venice is just beautiful!
  • I didn't run the marathon I trained for...and life still went on ;)
  • I turned 28 and celebrated it trail running with Ryan in the morning and going wine tasting.
This is our favorite sommelier at Sonoita Vineyards. He is so knowledgable and passionate about wine. 

This is my aunt Marybeth and I enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the jetties!

March -
  • Ryan grew his mustache for "Mustache March". Which I loathe so intensely. I guess it's some military thing. Or prostate cancer thing. There has got to be a better way to raise comradery or cancer awareness, than looking like a pedophile!
  • We went to San Diego to celebrate Easter this year -- because 2016 was the year of "non traditional Holidays" for us! ;) We seriously had one of the best weekend getaways ever!!
This is Ryan and I taking the ferry from Mission Bay to Coronado. How I love this beautiful place!

April -
  • April is a great time of year to backpack, so we did as much hiking as our schedules allowed. We did a few "overnighters" - and checked out Hutch's Pools - which is a natural pool 4 miles into the mountains that exists year round in AZ. It is absolutely incredible!

  • We also enjoyed lots of U of A baseball! Our team did amazing this year - and we have great weather for baseball! And the stadium serves beer! (Most U of A facilities don't serve beer since it's a dry campus, but our hockey and baseball venues are off campus!)

May -
  • We achieved a goal that we have talked about for a long time. We summited from the bottom to the top of Mount Lemmon with another couple! It was a 20 mile track total. We did 4 miles Friday night after work, and did the remaining 16 the next morning! It was quite steep - but so rewarding! This picture makes me laugh. Because we seriously almost cried when we saw our vehicle in the parking lot!

  • We also did some racing, and I started my base training for the marathon I'm currently training for to get my pace to a 7:40/mi average. I PR'd in my 5K and got it in 21:17. Next goal is get a 5K down to 20 minutes! 
June -
  • One of my closest friends, Amanda, got married. They had their own private ceremony - and then a BBQ at their house the following day. Fun to celebrate amazing moments like this!

  • We began the house-hunting process, as we solidified our decision to stay in AZ!
  • We closed on our new house on July 1. Ryan worked night shift throughout the whole weekend, and would help during the day when he would get home. It was an insane weekend. But he came off shift at 8am July 4, took a nap, and the celebration began -- and we hosted our friends who helped us move in.

  • July 6 we headed to Minnesota for a weekend with my family at the lakes!

Although this weekend occurred in the midst of some utter craziness (moving into the new home, me transitioning to a new department of my job/getting my home office established in the new home) -- it was exactly what our souls were needing! Here is "Captain Paul" (My Dad) taking us out on a sunset cruise around the lake.

August -
  • More travel, more fun! We headed to Barbados for a week of scuba diving!

September -
  • Ryan's mom visited for a week from Germany, and it was so nice to get some 1:1 time with her.

  • We ran the Saguaro Race and just enjoyed some time finally getting to settle into our home!
October -
  • This was the month of "health crap" for me. What started with a rash, turned into bumps on my bones, I had mornings where I had a hard time walking. One social media, it looked like I was just loving life! But I will be honest and say, I spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying in October and November. Long story short - after a consultation with a great rheumatologist -- it was all a medication reaction, and I am feel 100% better. I still have some weird bumps on my shins, and a scar from the biopsy -- which will always be a reminder to never take health for granted!!
  • We also had lots of fun in October - with some U of A games, hiking, and we got our sweet dog Miles back!
Me and my best friends spending a "girls day" at the U of A football game. The majority of our friendship is spent at 5 am when we are tired and worn out often -- and let me tell you -- a very special bond is formed in friendships like this!

Our 1st morning with Miles back home. It was a very exciting day for all of us! I am so thankful to my brother and his family for watching over him while we were moving around. They took such good care of him, and put up with his annoying puppy years. Saints!!

November -
  • Ryan was off to Vegas for most of this month for a training for work. He resided at the Stratosphere. And in his words, "he does not recommend it" ;)
  • We still squeezed in a weekend in Prescott, AZ and celebrated Thanksgiving in Vegas (another non-traditional holiday)!
  • I raced in the El Tour de Tucson again - 76 miles with my friend Amanda. She and her husband also joined us in Vegas for our weekend!

December -
  • Alas, we arrive to December! My favorite month of the year. Filled with lots of celebrating, baking, decorating, indulging, and joy.
  • Ryan came home from his training - and he finished another semester of grad school.
  • We celebrated Christmas with good friends -- which was wonderful and such a good distraction to keep us from missing family! Definitely a new tradition started on the years we aren't celebrating in Minnesota.
Celebrating the season with some of our best friends in our "dinner party" club.
Festival of Lights in Winterhaven
Our peaceful Christmas Eve. It rained outside all night, we played a vicious match of Scrabble by the fire, and just really enjoyed each other's company. We didn't even cook dinner that night. We snacked on appetizers of olives/shrimp,herring - so we didn't get bogged down with dishes and meal prep. (By the way...Ryan won by 4 points. A rematch is coming).

2016 -- I learned many new things, I grew, laughed, cried, ran many miles, worried, and basked in joy. I lost some friends - but also gained new friends. But what I take with me is the memories that will always leave a stamp on my heart.

Tonight we will ring in the new year going to a hockey game with 3 other couples, and out downtown after the game. An evening guaranteed to be filled with laughter and more good memories!

I'm ready for 2017!!

What were your favorite parts of 2016?